The Fussy Librarian

My novel, “Running with the Enemy”, is being featured Sunday, November 10, at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized e-book recommendations. Readers choose from 32 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic. It’s pretty cool — check it out! @ www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

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Literary Awards for this novel:

Runner Up in General Fiction
2013 Beach Book Festival

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2013 San Francisco Book Festival
2013 Hollywood Book Festival
2013 New York Book Festival

Praise for “Running with the Enemy”

“Obviously drawn from the author’s first-hand experiences as a Marine serving in Vietnam,Running with the Enemy is a rough but occasionally heartfelt war story. … The book is sometimes too obviously drawn from his experience. But ultimately that’s a small complaint about a book that, on the whole, is quite good and has a lot to say about the nature of the conflict …”
– 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards commentary from an anonymous judge

“The author definitely has inlcuded vivid, entrancing descriptions of the country, the people and the military who served there. … It is an action-filled, intriguing story I will not forget soon.”
– 5-star review from KMT through a Library Thing Giveaway

“From the first chapter to the end, it kept me going. Lofthouse writes from his heart and that always makes for a good story.”
– 4-star review from Mahree through a Library Thing Giveaway

“For those who would like to get a sense of what combat was really like, this is an excellent book, which began as a memoir of Vietnam.”
–  4-star review from Harvee L.   [an Amazon Vine Voice]

“The fight/combat scenes are stunning, very realistic. … Betrayal, revenge, murder, and desperation make this a must read! … Very highly recommended.”
– 5-star review from Great Historicals

“This was quite a riveting but cruel story, not for the faint of heart. Well written with very graphic language and violent scenes but all-over, a very good suspense book.”
– 4.5-star review from Lynelle of (South Africa)

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Forgetting basic training and jumping in the fire: Part 2 of 2

Adrenalin and our training kicked in—at least for three of us—and without realizing we had moved, we found ourselves a heartbeat later prone behind telephone poles positioned about thirty feet inside the wire to offer some form of protection in the sort of situation we had just found ourselves in—as exposed, easy to hit targets.

But one of us was missing. Once the flare floated to earth and fizzled out plunging us back into darkness, we went in search of our missing Marine and found him trapped inside the barbed-concertina wire stuck to the barbs.  He was lucky that when he jumped in the wrong direction, he didn’t land on one of the mines. We plucked him off the barbs and off we went to the medic.

The third incident was on another all-night patrol as the sun’s early light was sneaking over the horizon and spilling across the rice paddies. We were on our way back to the base camp moving along a dirt road through the hills. There was the sound of a grenade spoon popping and the thud of a grenade hitting the ground.

The patrol—except for one—reacted as trained.  One instant we were on the road spread out in the proper formation, and what felt like a heartbeat later I found myself in a ditch twenty feet away. And I still don’t know how I got there.

Looking up, I saw only one member of the patrol in sight as he stood frozen staring at the grenade sitting in the dirt in front of his feet. The rest of the patrol, like me, had vanished into the terrain on either side of the dirt road, and I couldn’t see anyone else.

Fortunate for that human Popsicle, the grenade turned out to be a dud and whoever threw it was in no mood to start a firefight with the patrol—he could have been a ten-year-old boy who had no other weapon but that one grenade. You see, in most of the world outside of the developed West, children are often not children—not as we think of children in the United States. They are just smaller people and just as dangerous as adults.

Why did these three Marines forget their training? Was it the parents, environment and lifestyle they had come from? Was it something genetic? Or were they just fortunate, klutzy dingbats?

Return to or start with Forgetting basic training and jumping in the fire: Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Forgetting basic training and jumping in the fire: Part 1 of 2

Through intense training, U.S. Marines learn how to react in combat without taking time to think. Then why—for examplewhile I was in Vietnam in 1966, did other Marines I depended on literally jump in the fire ignoring all of the training designed to mold boys in to a fighting, killing machine?

“Without doubt, Marine boot camp is more challenging—both physically and mentally—than the basic training programs of any of the other military services. Not only are the physical requirements much higher, but recruits are required to learn and memorize a startling amount of information. There are more than 70 training days in a period a little longer than 12 weeks …” then after boot camp, there’s training at the School of Infantry—another 51 days. Source: Surviving Marine Corps Basic Training

But in Vietnam, that training failed for more than one Marine putting others on their combat team at risk.

The first incident: I was on a night patrol, and the patrol leader—without telling the rest of us—took off through the rice paddies in the inky darkness. He thought he heard the enemy and without much thought decided he wanted to be a John Wayne.

After he vanished without a sound, the rest of the patrol—including me—set up a defensive position thinking we were going to get hit hard, and we almost shot our sergeant when he returned after chasing his imagined enemy that turned out to be a panicked duck and her chicks as they fled this manic Marine.

The second incident took place on Hill 50-something [hills were named by their elevation]. Four of us were out inspecting the barbed-concertina wire along the camp perimeter. Under the wire were landmines and in front of the wire, outside the defensive perimeter, were trip flares.

We were inside the wire thinking we were safe in the darkness—it was midnight, cloudy and raining and visibility was a few feet—when one of those trip flares outside the wire went off and lit us up as if we were in Law Vegas on a sidewalk.

Continued on July 31, 2013 in Forgetting basic training and jumping in the fire: Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”