Valley of the Purple Hearts
Book #4 in the Vietnam War series, is now available in both print and Kindle e-reader formats on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/2tQzJIa. Classified as historical military fiction, Valley of the Purple Hearts is a story about a squad of paratroopers with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam in the months following the 1968 Tet Offensive. Buck Marino, a naive boy fresh off the farm, quickly finds his yearning for adventure becomes a struggle for survival as he faces the horrific realities of war.
I have addressed the inevitable cliches of such a story through deeper development of the characters, their psyches and relationships. And, as with Book #3 in the series, Raeford’s MVP, Valley of the Purple Hearts explores the aftermath of war and its effects on the individual combat veteran. Be sure to read the review comments by Army Brigadier General (retired) Robert Enzenauer, a paratrooper surgeon who served two tours in Afghanistan with the 19th Special Forces Group. Not even officially recognized by the military until 1981, “Post Traumatic Stress is,” as Doctor Enzenauer explained, “not a disorder, but a very normal human reaction.” Great effort was taken to embed this reality within the story.
There is also included in the story a strong under-pinning of the “Vietnam experience” depicted through both allegorical and direct reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, primarily as seen through the eyes of squad leader Sergeant Rolley Zwyrkowski. I feel this helps a reader better understand the bizarre nature of what was the Vietnam War, its lack of coherent strategy and the actions of the military leaders during that time. It also adds a certain much needed comic relief to the story.
Because of its current relevance, Valley of the Purple Hearts is not a light read, but I have taken care to make it a rewarding one. As with my other novels, Valley of the Purple Hearts has a strong female secondary protagonist represented by Army nurse Janie Jorgensen. And, as it seems to be my unavoidable nature, I have written a romantic thread into the story. After all, where would any veteran be without the strong support of a mate?
For those of you who have read this far into this blog post, I am also making a special offer effective through Saturday, August 5th, 2017. Anyone who will commit to writing and posting an honest review of Valley of the Purple Hearts on Amazon and Goodreads.com can receive a free copy of the Kindle e-reader edition of the book. Simply send me your email address via the “contact” screen on the www.rickdestefanis.com website. I will purchase a copy (not even I get them for free) and have it emailed from Amazon to you or your Kindle device. Amazon also offers free downloadable e-reader apps for other devices, including cell phones, thus enabling Kindle books to be read in virtually any format.