Tuesday, May 20, 2014

John Huffman - Eyes of the Blind is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES John Huffman's Book: Eyes of the Blind.

Winner in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards!

Eyes of the Blind is the Winner in the Military Fiction category for the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards. "Eyes of the Blind truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute John Huffman and his fine work."

Eyes of the Blind

Author: John W. Huffman

Barnes and Noble

Eyes of the Blind is a forceful saga set in the Vietnam conflict’s initial phase as support for the war effort wanes amidst the media coverage’s most exploitive stage. Following his second battle wound in Operation Attleboro, young Private Delarosa earns his way out of combat, but becomes entangled in his best friend Jay Sharpe’s driving desire to remain in the infantry and signs a waiver to remain on the line. Together, the two rapidly rise in rank while enduring a downward spiral in moral as political agendas replace aggressive military tactics, chronicling the best and worst of that difficult era.


I lay back on my hospital bed and clasped my hands behind my head as I stared up at the ceiling. It had been a long six months, but the next six would be a breeze. I slipped my right hand from behind my head and placed it across my chest to fondle the cold piece of metal pinned by a ribbon on the left breast of my robe—my second Purple Heart—my ticket out of hell. The 25th Infantry Division Commander himself pinned it there half an hour earlier as he visited us wounded soldiers on the ward. As was his custom, he walked down the rows of beds shaking hands and thanking each of us for our sacrifice, his entourage of junior officers straggling along behind him in a gaggle. It was the general’s official division policy, two wounds and you were out of combat. Now I’d be given a nice, safe rear-echelon job doing diddlysquat for the next six months until I rotated out of this hellhole altogether and got back to the real world—back home to Chicago, civilian life, round eyed girls, and cold beer. It was worth the two minor wounds I’d received to know I was going home on my feet instead of in a body bag like Jerry, or in a wheelchair with both feet blown off like Bernie. I was one of the fortunate ones.

Jay would undoubtedly stay in the infantry, even though he now had three Purple Hearts upon his release from the hospital the day before. He’d already signed one waiver to remain in combat when he got his second Purple Heart. He was seriously loony that way … a born warrior who didn’t have much use for men who weren’t in the combat arms side of things. He was different from normal men in other ways as well, especially after the big battle with the Ghost Regiment. Jay was never one for talking much in the first place, but in the five days he had spent here in the hospital, he was even more withdrawn than usual.

I reflected back to the day he and I arrived in Vietnam together at the Replacement Depot. Over the months of combat, we’d forged a bond between us closer than brothers.

Who would cover his ass now, I wondered uneasily. He was so damned reckless, always charging over the next hill to see what was there and to hell with the consequences.

Damn, I was going to miss him!

Reno would stay too, I decided, turning my head slightly to the next bed to study the tall, thin man calmly reading a magazine without a care in the world, his left hand absently smoothing the thick, black waves in his hair. He had his second Purple Heart now as well, but would sign a waiver. He was a born killer, pure and simple, definitely a strange one. Jay and Reno would be the only two with any combat experience left in our first squad. That’s their friggin’ problem, I swore under my breath.

“What’s that?” Reno queried, still intent on his magazine.

“I didn’t say anything,” I dodged.

“Did too,” he argued as he flipped a page in his magazine. “So, are you going to stay in the infantry with Jay and me?”

I scowled. “Are you friggin’ nuts?”

He smirked. “Didn’t think so.”

I grimaced, acutely aware he was referring to the fact that I was a draftee and therefore didn’t have the spunk to fight unless I had no other choice, that I just did as little as possible of whatever was required of me to get by and stay out of harm’s way … which was mostly right.

“I hear Black is sending Jay to the Leadership Academy and promoting him to sergeant,” Reno continued.

“Black’s a jackass,” I swore. “And so is Jay!”

“I didn’t hear you complaining when he saved our ass by taking charge of the whole platoon after Sergeant B got killed,” Reno defended. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him getting us reorganized before that last attack. I’d follow him through the gates of hell.”

“That’s likely where he’ll lead you,” I vowed.

“Then the Devil better look out, ‘cause here we come!”

“You’re both wacko,” I accused.

He glanced at me. “Do you think you could put in a word with him to make me a corporal in his squad?”

I sighed. “Put in your own friggin’ word with him, Reno, you know him as well as I do.”

He scowled. “Yeah, but he’s your buddy. He won’t even talk to me most of the time.”

“Hell, he doesn’t talk to me most of the time,” I complained. “That’s just the way he is. I think it’s one of those stupid Texas things of his or something.”

He brightened. “Hey, there’s an angle, remind him about Davy Crockett and the Alamo and he might like me better, you know?”

I frowned. “Davy who and the Ala-what?”

He sat up. “It’s another one of those Texas things. See, the Texans pissed off this Santa Ana dude and he marched up from Mexico with a zillion soldiers to straighten them out. Davy Crockett got a whole passel of Tennessee volunteers together and rushed off down there to help them. They pinned them up in a church or something called the Alamo and killed every last one of them suckers.”

I stared at him in disbelief. “The Tennessee men killed all those Mexicans in a church?”

“Hell no, I said there was about a zillion of them. The Mexicans killed all the Texans and the Tennesseans. You see, there were only a couple hundred of them, and most of them were from Tennessee, but the Texans wouldn’t surrender and died to the last man to win their independence from Mexico. And I’m from Tennessee so, in a way, Jay owes me, you see?”

“No, Reno, I don’t see. And that’s the craziest story I’ve ever heard! How in hell did the Texans win their independence by dying to the last man? Did this Santa fellow feel sorry for them after he killed them and give the state to their widows or something?”

Reno sighed. “No, dumb ass! The Texans defeated Santa Ana in another battle later on!”

“How’d they friggin’ do that if they were all dead?”

He rolled his eyes. “Just mention it to Jay for me, okay?”

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: John W. Huffman
Twitter: @johnwhuffman
E-Mail: jhuffman46@aol.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
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Author Description:
John W. Huffman was born in Hemphill, Texas, attended elementary school in Pineland, Texas, junior high and high school in Jasper, Texas, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

John enlisted in the Army Airborne in 1966 and served two tours of combat duty in Vietnam, the first as a private, and subsequently a sergeant, with Alpha Company, 1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in 1966-67, and the second as an officer/aviator with the 120th Aviation Company in 1972-73. He retired as a major in 1986 with three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, sixteen Air Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, and various other service and campaign ribbons.

Upon retiring from the Army, John launched a real estate sales and management company, SouthCorp Properties, Inc., which he still owns and operates today, and previously owned and operated seven NASCAR speedways in five states, created an automobile racing and sanctioning body, the American Racing Association, and developed three touring series.

John has received an honorable mention in the Writer's Journal for a short story contest, and published two short stories, The Reincarnate and The Mad Dash, along with his seven novels: A Wayward Wind, a Regional Finalists in the General Fiction category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; The Baron of Clayhill, a Finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest and a Finalists in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Book Awards; Tiger Woman, the First Place Winner in the Action-Adventure category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Above All, a Finalists in the Action-Adventure category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; America's Diplomats, a First Place Winer in the Military Fiction category of the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, and recent releases Cold Hearts Burning and Searching For Leah.

John resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, with his wife Misty, and has three grown sons and three granddaughters.

Author's Book List
Searching For Leah
Clint Long, desperately seeking a sponsor for his race team, impulsively stops by an old mystic to have his fortune read and unwittingly sparks a euphoric reaction when she discovers he by chance has eleven direct genetic links to their twelve sacred tribes, which the governing Council of their Craft has been trying to forge for over five thousand years.

Unbeknownst to him, the colorful members of Council hastily adapt a plan to gather his seed within a maiden from the remaining twelfth tribe, whose newborn persona is destined by the ancient ones to usher in a new age of enlightenment for all mankind. For this noble quest, they select Leah as the vessel to bear his child, a naïve young woman raised in the swamps of Louisiana and home-schooled by her mother with virtually no contact with the outside world. When Leah’s godmother mistakenly casts a love spell, Clint whisks Leah out of her protected environment into his fast-paced world while Council valiantly tries to keep up and subtly protect the unborn child.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
America's Diplomats, The Road to Attleboro
Winner of the 2011 Military Fiction National Indie Excellence Award.

America's Diplomats powerfully portrays the Vietnam conflict's initial phase when patriotism still reigned supreme. All wars spawn simple heroes from youthful naivety as boy-soldiers evolve into weathered combat veterans. Young Jay Sharpe is no exception.

Born into a long lineage of patriots, he never questions his generation's call to arms. Filled with wanderlust and rarely sure of what he wants, but knowing precisely what he does not want, a predictable marriage to his high school sweetheart and looming job at the local sawmill in his small hometown after graduation, he gallops off to the nearest Army recruiter to become Private John Joseph Sharpe, All-American hero. After rigorous training, he emerges as one of the Army's elite paratroopers and eagerly sails off to Vietnam and the golden opportunities awaiting him there--a near fatal encounter with the 9th North Vietnamese "Ghost" Regiment in the legendary battle of Attleboro, the largest land engagement of the entire war effort.

His gripping tale of the trials of a soldier in our nation's most controversial confrontation is a graphic chronicle of love, hate, hope, and despair in an era of uncertainty and misdirection.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Cold Hearts Burning
Cold Hearts Burning is an enduring tale of wit, romance, and intrigue revolving around a series of perplexing murders centered on youthful liaisons, which ultimately leads to a quixotic relationship as the past unravels into the present.

After a big-city police department drums Dean Davis off the force for committing a tragic error in judgment, he returns to his small hometown to ponder his uncertain future, only to encounter his troubled past. He finds that small towns hide their dark secrets well when a former first love charged with the murder of her current fiancé engulfs him in a baffling whodunit to prove her innocent of the crime.

Further besieged by another old flame from his freewheeling high school days, as well as his first love's younger sister, his dilemma quickly evolves into a comical misadventure that ultimately heals deep wounds distant and near as it exposes a heinous scandal in a convoluted paradox of twists and turns.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Above All
A Finalist in the Action/Adventure Fiction category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Above All is a lighthearted action-adventure historical fiction set in the waning stages of the Vietnam War which pits a consummate warrior against the political strangulation that rendered our armed forces virtually ineffective. It is a comical but sordid tale of a roguish gunship pilot and his nemesis, a petty commanding officer, who loathe each other at first sight. As fierce adversaries they encompass the chaos of that era accompanied by a coven of nurses and a clandestine army of misfits who portray the best - and worst - of our country during that painful affair. Their saga is one of love and lust, hope and despair, valor and cowardice awash in a deluge of demoralizing apathy as they face the bitter end of that conflict.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Baron of Clayhill
A 2010 Finalist in the Popular Fiction category of the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1967 East Texas, this novel mixes a soupçon of the supernatural in with the mundane. Twenty-year old Paul Henry has just been released from the Army. Physically healed from the wounds he suffered in Viet Nam, he still suffers from deep psychic wounds and a radically changed outlook, his "enlistment bonus." Having gone through the classic lost-his-girl-to-his-best-friend scenario, estranged from family and friends and not knowing what he's going to do with the rest of his life, Paul decides to visit the grave of his father, a man he never knew.

Paul's father, John Allison Henry, supposedly committed suicide on the day his son was born. Paul's impulsive decision to find out more about his father sets him on a journey among strangers in a strange land, where he will find happiness and horror, love and hate, the power of determined effort, and the force of capricious fate.

The author does an excellent job of keeping you enthralled, making you hope all will be well, yet causing you to fear that all will come crashing down. Like a skilled poker player, this story keeps its cards close to its vest until all the bets are in, the hand is called, and boom! - the cards are laid on the table for all to see. After the emotions stirred up by the showdown abate, one thought is left - wow! Deal another hand!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Smashwords
Tiger Woman
The 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner in the Action-Adventure Fiction Category.

Tiger Woman depicts a brief period of unconventional warfare that tests the boundaries of humanity in a haunting tale of unremitting evil no ordinary soldier ever trains to face. Captain Christen, a dedicated intelligence officer with the 25th Infantry Division, directs an all-out hunt for a roguish female who leads a small guerrilla force with chilling efficiency as she employs depraved acts of psychological warfare to instill terror in those she opposes. This historical fiction provides graphic detail of the bitter struggle between the hunter by day who becomes the hunted by night as the pendulum of power swings to and fro with the rising and setting sun. Tiger Woman infuses great passion into a previously undisclosed segment of the Vietnam conflict in a manner never before portrayed by bringing into sharp focus the female soldiers who supported the communist cause so efficiently.

Book Trailer: Tiger Woman
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
A Wayward Wind
A 2010 Next Generation Indie Award Finalist in the Regional Fiction Category.

A Wayward Wind is a gripping tale of three former runaways whose troubled past spills over into the present when tragedy reunites the trio and spins them off into yet another unlikely venture together. When Jay Harte returns from the Army a highly decorated but disillusioned veteran, a desperate letter from his childhood friend, Oliver Freeman, now incarcerated on death row in Angola prison, launches him on a heartrending search for his youthful love, Hattie Trudeau.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
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eBook Author’s Corner
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