Saturday, 8 February 2014

I CARRY THE CURSE!






It's been my honor to host the CURSE THE MOON blog tour in conjunction with some awesome bloggers. Today it is my turn to be cursed and present Lee Jackson's highly acclaimed book. "What's this curse!?" I hear you ask? Well...we were all cursed to be only THE MOST AWESOME BLOGGERS ALIVE and PUT ALL OTHER TOURS TO SHAME!!! I know. It's a hard life and a terrible curse, but someone had to do it! 

As the Tour host, I have decided to do a little more than just post the media kit. Very few people know that I am a Guild reviewer, so I have decided to embrace my curse fully and put my Guild Review showcase up instead. 
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PLEASE NOTE: This rating below was based on a score sheet with points awarded to the following categories. My personal rating will be 5 stars:

  • DESCRIPTIVE & UNIQUE

  • THOROUGH INTEL & WELL RESEARCHED

  • SUPERBERLY WRITTEN

  • ERROR FREE

  • WELL FORMATED

  • GREAT READING EASE

  • GREAT CONCEPT

  • GREAT PLOT MAP/ LINES

  • GOOD CHARACTER DELOPMENT

  • ORIGINAL STORY LINE

  • GOOD COVER DESIGN

  • GREAT ARTISTIC EXPRESSION

  • GOOD STORY STYLE & FLOW

  • HAD MAPS/ PICTURES

  • MULTI GENRE PIECE

  • MET EXPECTATIONS

  • INSPIRATIONAL

  • MEMORABLE

  • GREAT PACE

  • THOUGHT PROVOKING

  • BOOK IS AWARD NOMINATED

  • BOOK WON AWARDS

  • NOTBALE ACCOLAIDES RECEIVED

  • AUTHOR WON AWARDS

  • HAD EDUCATIONAL VALUE

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Book & Press Guild Reviewer: Natasha Johnstone
Curse The Moon: Cold War Rising
Lee Jackson
Stonewall Publishers, LLC

RATED 4 GUILD STARS
Atcho is known by many names but his only goal is to find his daughter who was kidnapped by a Russian General called Govorov. All he wants to do is find her and flee to the US where he was a former student at West Point when he was younger. His friend Juan convinces him to go to a secret meeting with members of the CIA who wanted their help to rise up against Castro and might help him find her.
In a cruel twist of fate, just as he hears of her release, he is thrown into the middle of the Cuban Revolution where actual events are true and based on fact. He leads the revolutionaries through the battle of the Bay of Pigs, but things don’t go as planned and he gets caught where he spends fourteen years in the Boniato prison. He is sent to the Isle of Pines prison for another five years. He goes from planning and training men for revolution to planning and training men to escape out of prison. Though, he did not escape it was not in vain as years later one of the prisoners he helped escape is responsible for his release. Just when he reunites with his daughter, who’s own story is gripping, he finds himself working for the very same General Govorov and the Soviet Union to once again keep his daughter save.
Curse The Moon is an action packed, deeply moving story about a man’s desperate struggle to reunite with his daughter amid political, social and personal change. It grips the reader from the starts as depicted in this excerpt from the first paragraph: ‘Atcho slouched against a wall, alone in a small plaza illuminated by the dim yellow light of a single streetlamp. His eyes probed the surrounding darkness. His fine, aristocratic features were hidden behind a week’s growth of unkempt beard, while his normally well-groomed hair fell in shaggy brown locks below his ears. Since state Security Police, commonly referred to as G-2, had never seen Atcho, at least not as himself, they knew him only by reputation. Tonight, they would be looking for his messenger. Atcho’s ears strained for the sounds of approach. His powerful frame ached to be released from its tense stance. “For Isabel,” he muttered.
From there, the mystery and intrigue incorporated into this action packed book by the ever present General Govorov in Atcho’s life ensures that the pages turn themselves!

But, there is more to this book than a thrilling personal story with a political backdrop. This remarkable book with very deep rooted plot lines portrays a very emotional story, which had a huge impact on me. The book integrates both the history of a country and a man, in an intelligent and gripping manner as well. In this beautifully written book, and in the ever changing landscape that is Atcho’s life, the only constant remains the moon as taken from this excerpt,  “You’re always there,” Atcho murmured to the moon. “It seems you are the only benign constant in my life.” His mind drifted. (sic)

The book is now available at the following online stores:



The Author himself is a very fascinating man and well worth following on any social network.  When I asked him about himself, this is what he had to say;

I write Historical Thriller Fiction - particularly surrounding the Cold War. Having lived in Morocco, Germany, Costa Rica, and of course in the United States; and, having been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for a combined 38 months, I've been up-close-and personal with many different cultures. I graduated from West Point and Boston University, resulting in a front row seat on many pivotal events. I was Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but grew up in Tangier, Morocco and now reside in Texas (between League City and Austin) I am married, with 2 sons, 2 daughters, who are all grown and have 3 grandchildren. Pets have gone to happy hunting grounds after full lives. I love to Read and travel. I was inspired to write at a younbg age. I started writing in 5th grade. Teacher paddled me to make me write a short-story. Everyone loved it, and the next and the next, all through my academic and professional life. I should have been doing it professionally long ago.
I was inspired by my teacher’s paddle. For “Curse The Moon,” I was inspired by the real story itself, and by the courage and dignity of the Cuban people who resisted the Soviets and Castro. Many of the episodes described in this novel were based on actual events, particularly those in the story that take place in Cuba.
The views expressed in this novel are not necessarily those of the United States Military Academy, the US Army, or the United States Government.
This is a work of fiction. The main character, Atcho, and his daughter, Isabel, are based on my family members. All other characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I am an Indie publisher under my own LLC, Stonewall Publsihers, LLC. The sequel to “Curse The Moon” is “Rasputin’s Legacy,” and is due out in mid-2014.
Much of my writing was classified - can’t include here.





Twitter: @Stonewall_77



In order to appreciate this character's depth fully, you have to delve into his world and understand the situation he fonds himself in. Chapter 1 does this perfectly as proven in this excerpt:

Atcho slouched against a wall, alone in a small plaza illuminated
by the dim yellow light of a single streetlamp. His eyes probed
the surrounding darkness. His fine, aristocratic features were hidden
behind a week’s growth of unkempt beard, while his normally
well-groomed hair fell in shaggy brown locks below his ears.
Since state Security Police, commonly referred to as G-2, had
never seen Atcho, at least not as himself, they knew him only by
reputation. Tonight, they would be looking for his messenger.
Atcho’s ears strained for the sounds of approach. His powerful
frame ached to be released from its tense stance.
“For Isabel,” he muttered. In the light of the streetlamp, his silhouette
stood out, an easy target. From behind a nearby wall, the
first glimmer of the moon tinged the edge of the sky as it began its
ascent. Soon, it would cast its ghostly glow about the square.
Screeching tires around a nearby corner broke the silence.
Atcho shrank even further into his loose-fitting clothes. He
checked the inside of his left calf once more for the razor-sharp
hunting knife strapped there. His face melted into dull callowness
and his eyes became vacuous. He looked like a crude country
peasant, nothing more.
His mind raced as two Jeeps drove into view and stopped several
yards away, spotting him in their headlights. Muscles tensed. Control!
I must maintain control! His heart pounded and his temples pulsed. He felt adrenaline surge, but his face showed no expression.
The driver of the first Jeep opened his door and stepped out.
“Are you José?” he asked roughly.
Atcho shuffled away from the wall, and moved forward, shoulders
drooping. “, Señor. I am José.”
“Do you have something to tell me?”
, Señor. Do you have a package for me?” José smiled amiably.
“Just tell me!” the driver retorted.
“But my boss says I have to get a package first.”
The driver delivered a brutal punch directly into Atcho’s belly.
Atcho rolled with the blow and sank to the ground in pain. “Why
did you do that?” he gasped. “I will be happy tell you. But my
boss will kill me if I don’t get the package.”
The driver’s boot connected with Atcho’s chin, sprawling him
across the ground between the Jeeps. He squatted beside Atcho’s
head. “José, you are going to tell us … ” Leaving the threat unspoken,
he grabbed Atcho by the hair and jerked his face close.
“I want to tell you. But my boss will kill me if I don’t bring
him what I came for!”
“What’s in the package?”
“I don’t know. My boss says I’ll know it when I see it.”
The driver studied him a moment then motioned with his hand.
Two men immediately stepped from the first Jeep. The driver conferred
with one, a lieutenant, while the other stood guard over Atcho. When they parted, the driver squatted next to Atcho’s head while the lieutenant moved back toward the second Jeep.
“Soften him up a bit,” the lieutenant called, “while I speak to the captain.”
Atcho’s guards seemed to relish their task. They pistol-whipped
him, then threw him to the ground, and pounded his head and
body with kicks. Again, they stood him up, and while one held
him in a bear hug from the rear, the other punched his face over
and over into a bloody pulp. Pain seared through him, and still
the blows fell. First to his face, then to his stomach. When he dropped to the ground, they continued kicking. But, despite feeling life ebb from his body, Atcho offered only token resistance.


This book is possibly one of the most realistic, intelligent and touching stories out there. It is in my mind a best seller and will remain on my Top 10 for a long time. 
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Special Reward/ Accolade


Diane Donovan from Midwest Book Reviews


Curse The Moon: Atcho Rises
Lee Jackson
Stonewall Publishers, LLC
9780989802574    Price: Print: $15.95; eBook: $2.99

Curse The Moon: Atcho Rises centers around a West Point graduate and guerrilla fighter (code named Atcho) who leads revolutionaries at the Bay Pigs during the early days of Castro's Cuba, and opens with his imprisonment and subsequent release, where his political encounters with Moscow and the U.S. become key to his brand of warfare - and to a mystery overshadowing his struggles.

Trained to overthrow Castro and his regime, Atcho seems to hold the upper hand; but Soviet agent Govorov is equally determined not to let this happen, and holds Atcho's young daughter hostage. Now it's a personal as well as a political struggle that tests Archo's limits and commitment.

Curse the Moon is loosely based on the life of Jackson's Cuban-born father-in-law, who fought during the rise of Fidel Castro. The history behind Atcho's struggles is impeccable, weaving facts and insights based on a pivotal point in history and injecting the characters of Atcho, his comrades, and his oppressors with realistic components that personalize the struggle.

A quick overview of the novel's cast of characters, an explanatory prologue of history, and a map of Cuba deftly introduce background and setting, paving the way for a survey steeped in political intrigue and the atmosphere of 1960s Cuba.

It's this attention to the details of atmosphere and setting that contribute to Curse the Moon's realistic, you-are-there feel: "Atcho could still scarcely believe that he was cutting sugarcane by hand with a machete. He had been in the fields many times here at the family plantation in Camaguey, on horseback, racing with his father through the rows of cane, even while field laborers swung their sharp, steel tools during the harvest. Fidel Castro, worried about losing the crop while the country was still in chaos since his coup, had issued an edict that all citizens would go into the fields to help harvest."

Combine this with a dual focus on how personal lives become entwined with political purpose and social change and you have a historical novel packed with not just intrigue and tension, but with the ability to understand social change, the roots of revolution, and how one insider's struggles can affect not just one nation, but the world.

Curse the Moon has it all, packaging its tense thriller in the cloak of understanding motivations both political and personal. Interplays between protagonists assume chess-like proportions as goals change, obstacles rise and fall, and emotions run deep.

It's all about danger, sacrifice, and how even would-be romance bows to the pressure of a covert operator's obligations. In the end the personal moves into political realms and comes full-circle to promise Atcho a life he could barely have imagined at the novel's beginning. The warrior's façade may soften, but can it transform to something more than constant struggle and fighting?

Curse the Moon charts this change and promise and is a powerful read for any who enjoy political intrigue tempered by personal transformation.


Our Midwest office will also archive the review on our web site for 5 years and will send it to Cengage Learning for inclusion in the Book Review Index that goes out to thousands of school and community libraries throughout the US.