The Discharge (Private Palmer, Book 3) by Gary Reilly – Promotion

The Discharge is the third novel in Gary Reilly’s trilogy chronicling the life and times of Private Palmer as he returns from the U.S. Army to civilian life after a tour of duty in Vietnam. It is a largely autobiographical series based on his own two years of service, 1969-1971, which included a year in Southeast Asia.

In the first book, The Enlisted Men’s Club, Palmer is stationed as an MP trainee at the Presidio in San Francisco, awaiting deployment orders. Palmer is wracked with doubt and anxiety. A tortured relationship with a young lady off base and cheap beer at the EM club offer escape and temporary relief.

The Detachment is the second in the series. This novel covers Palmer’s twelve months in Vietnam as a Military Policeman. In the beginning, he endures through drink and drugs and prostitutes but comes to a turning point when he faces his challenges fully sober.

Now, in The Discharge, Palmer is back in the United States. But he’s adrift. Palmer tries to reconnect with a changed world. From San Francisco to Hollywood to Denver and, finally, behind the wheel of a taxi, Palmer seeks to find his place.


Gary Reilly was a natural and prolific writer. But he lacked the self-promotion gene. His efforts to publish his work were sporadic and perfunctory, at best. When he died in 2011, he left behind upwards of 25 unpublished novels, the Vietnam trilogy being among the first he had written.

Running Meter Press, founded by two of his close friends, has made a mission of bringing Gary’s work to print. So far, besides this trilogy, RMP has published eight of ten novels in his Asphalt Warrior series. These are the comic tales of a Denver cab driver named Murph, a bohemian philosopher, and aficionado of “Gilligan’s Island” whose primary mantra is: “Never get involved in lives of my passengers.” But, of course, he does exactly that.

Three of the titles in The Asphalt Warrior series were finalists for the Colorado Book Award. Two years in a row, Gary’s novels were featured as the best fiction of the year on NPR’s Saturday Morning Edition with Scott Simon. And Gary’s second Vietnam novel, The Detachment, drew high praise from such fine writers as Ron Carlson, Stewart O’Nan, and John Mort. A book reviewer for Vietnam Veterans of America, David Willson, raved about it, too.

There is a fascinating overlap in the serious story of Private Palmer’s return to Denver and the quixotic meanderings of Murph. It is the taxicab. One picks up where the other leaves off. Readers familiar with The Asphalt Warrior series will find a satisfying transition in the final chapters of The Discharge.

And they will better know Gary Reilly the writer and Gary Reilly the man.

Social Media Sites:




Official Website:

Purchase Link:
Guest Post –

We all know war is hell.

We utter those words and we know it’s true. We’ve seen the news footage, watched the movies, read the books. We see the suicide rates. How could it be anything else?

General William Tecumseh Sherman coined the phrase “war is hell.” He had a lot more to say about war and its justifications when he wrote those words in explaining why the city of Atlanta must be evacuated and burned in order, of course, to end the fighting.

“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will,” said Sherman. “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it, and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.”

And yet, of course, war is everywhere. Wikipedia maintains a list of current armed conflicts. Or you can review at your leisure the list of wars back through the millennia and consider them in order over time.

And war-related fiction, of course, is part of our literary diet. Vonnegut. Hemingway. Heller. O’Brien. Caputo. Salter. Mailer. Greene. The late Denis Johnson and Karl Marlantis, too.

As inspiration for fiction, war has everything a writer might need.

I’ve read plenty of it, but I’ve never read anything quite like the late Gary Reilly’s three novels about the Vietnam War, a trilogy that is complete with the release this month of The Discharge.

Reilly offers a gritty portrait of one man’s experience of waiting for war, surviving the war, and finding his way home.

Gary Reilly went to war. During the Vietnam conflict, he was a military policeman at Qui Nhon Army Airfield. When he came home and started writing fiction, he developed the Private Palmer character and started writing. (His three novels about Private Palmer were just three of the 25 novels or so he left behind when he passed away in 2011; none of the books had been published.)

In the first volume of the trilogy, The Enlisted Men’s Club, Private Palmer is waiting to find out if he’ll be shipped off to fight—or not. He worries about what’s ahead, hopes to avoid the call-up, and then gets handed a surprising mission that changes his mood, shifts his attitude.

In the second installment, The Detachment, Private Palmer’s assignment is rear-echelon stuff. He serves at a military base, not on the front lines. But the war takes its emotional toll nonetheless. The war pushes Private Palmer right to the edge of self-destruction before he peers over the edge, tip-toes back, and changes his approach to what survival means.

And in The Discharge, Palmer is back home and deciding what he thinks about the world and how it’s put together and whether he has a role in it. Palmer’s mood is, at first, downbeat and dour. In the second part, he follows a faint invitation to write comedy for a genuine Hollywood star (something that also happened to Reilly). And in the third part, Palmer takes up driving a cab, still looking for his place in the world.

Joseph Heller was a bombardier during World Wari II, as was his central character Captain John Yossarian. I’m not the only one making the Catch 22 comparison. Ron Carlson (Return to Oak Pine, Five Skies, many notable short stories) called The Detachment “Catch 23 or 24.” Yossarian and his squad pals spend their time trying to avoid combat missions. Private Palmer had the same mentality. He works hard to avoid meaningless chores and staying well-buzzed by beer or wine or something stronger. Comparisons with Catch 22 are apt because of the general jaded point of view and the way both stories poke hard at military authority and skewer all those rules and all that bureaucracy.

Reading war-related fiction will never explain why war is part of our millennia-long worldwide state of being. But it will give us a window into the human experience of war and it is, in fact, hellish. So is the return home.

In his book on Spanish bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “The individual, the great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.”

Yes, you may have to read that quote a few times to get it. But if you read The Discharge or the entire Private Palmer Trilogy, you’ll know. Gary Reilly went to war. He came home and turned the whole harrowing experience into art.




Follow My Life. One Story at a Time. for future book reviews, promotions, and giveaways!

My Life. One Story at a Time. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. In the state of Louisiana, we are no longer allowed to be Amazon affiliates, therefore the Amazon link is provided for your benefit only. At this time, My Life. One Story at a Time. does not collect any affiliate fees.




Did someone say chocolate?! Fudge Brownie Truffles – Definitely a chocolate lover’s dream!


From –
Brownies are one of the most forgiving desserts of all. They almost never include a lengthy preparation process, or a complex gadget. For most recipes, you only need one bowl, and one spatula. These gorgeous little truffles start with a fudge brownie base, and are enriched by homemade fudge sauce, rum, and hazelnuts. Basically, a winning combination in every way.
As with every brownie recipe, do not overmix the batter, and do not overbake them. They will be somewhat thin after they bake, so keep an eye on them, and check them with a toothpick, so that they remain fudgy and dense.
For this recipe I used my homemade chocolate syrup, but you can use a store-bought fudge sauce, too, as long as it is a tad runny. If it has thickened in your refrigerator and has a consistency of a chocolate spread instead of sauce, microwave it for a few seconds to loosen it up a bit, then proceed with the recipe as written.

For the brownies
180 grams plain flour
150 grams granulated sugar
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghiradelli
180 ml cold water
180 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (Nielsen-Massey
1 teaspoon dark rum
For the truffles
120 grams chocolate sauce
1 tablespoon dark rum
50 grams toasted hazelnuts, roughly ground (
5 tablespoons heavy cream


Start by making the brownies. Take a large bowl, sift in the flour and the cocoa powder, then whisk everything really well. Add in the sugar, and whisk everything again. Pour in the water and oil, then add the rum and vanilla bean paste. Whisk until well blended. Take a baking pan (23×33 cm), grease it well, and pour in the batter. The batter will be thick, so level it as much as you can. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 18-20 minutes. Check them with a toothpick, because if they overbake, they will be dry. Once they are done, let them cool almost completely, but not in the refrigerator. Letting them cool down at room temperature will make them easier to blend well with other ingredients.
Crumble up the brownies into a large bowl, then add in the fudge sauce, rum, and heavy cream. Mix it briefly, then add the hazelnuts, and mix with a wooden spoon, or a sturdy spatula, until the mixture forms into a soft and pliable dough. If the batter seems to be too soft for your liking at this point, you can place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or you can proceed to make truffles. The softer the batter, the smoother and creamier the final truffles are. Take out tablespoons of the batter, roll them into little spheres, and arrange them on a serving platter. Top with more of the fudge sauce, and serve. Yields 35 truffles.

Serenity Harbor, A Haven Point Novel by RaeAnne Thayne – Review

Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he’s arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized.

Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he’s ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there’s room in it for him, too…


Purchase on Amazon –

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

My Review – 

I LOVE RaeAnne’s books and this one is great! By the time you finish a series, you feel as though you live in the small town and all the characters are your friends. And, that is exactly what RaeAnne’s series do; the stories are set in small towns and there is family and camaraderie all around.

In Serenity Harbor, RaeAnn adds two special needs children into the mix and the results are loving, chaotic, charming, and suspenseful. I haven’t come across another author that has done this and I really enjoyed getting to know the main characters and loved how the story evolved.

I have read all of this series and I am hoping that there are a few more on the way. Definitely pick this book up and a few others if you haven’t already read them. They will be a great addition to your summer reading pile.



Follow My Life. One Story at a Time. for future book reviews, promotions, and giveaways!

My Life. One Story at a Time. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. In the state of Louisiana, we are no longer allowed to be Amazon affiliates, therefore the Amazon link is provided for your benefit only. My Life. One Story at a Time. does not collect any affiliate fees.




You’d think we’d pray…

“I have given her in marriage to seven men, all of whom were kinsmen of ours, and all died on the very night they approached her.” – Tobit 7:11

If you were marrying someone whose previous husbands all died on their wedding nights, what would you do? You’d think you’d pray, but obviously, none of the dead husbands thought of that.

You’d think we’d pray at the time of death. However, this is an unprecedented time of death, when millions of babies are aborted surgically and chemically each year in our country alone. Yet how many Christians are praying that much?

You’d think we’d pray in time of war. Yet aren’t we in the ultimate war between Christ and the anti-Christ, between the Gospel of life and the “culture of death”?

You’d think we’d pray when times get hard and the going gets tough. How hard does life have to be for us to pray? Isn’t it hard enough?

You’d think we’d pray when Jesus, God Himself, commanded us to pray always (Lk 18:1). Let’s obey Him and pray accordingly.

You’d think we’d pray, knowing we could go to heaven or go to hell, to Jesus or Satan…

This was taken from the book, One Bread, One Body, June 8, 2017

Surgeon’s Story, Inside OR-1 with One of America’s Top Pediatric Heart Surgeons by Mark Oristano – Promotion

Surgeon's Story: Inside OR-1 with One of America's Top Pediatric Heart Surgeons by [Oristano, Mark, Guleserian, Kristine]

From Amazon –

“If you can’t operate in heels, you can’t operate!” – Dr. Kristine Guleserian

“This book should be a gift to any young woman considering a medical career and wondering if she could do it. ”
“A fantastic journey into the science of the human heart and one heroic doctor who repairs and replaces them.”
“From the very first page right up to the climactic ending, this book will entertain you with the real life wit, humor, and drama.”

Kristine Guleserian, pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, is scrubbed in.

Dr. G, as she’s known, is one of only nine women in the U.S. sub-specialty board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgeons to what she’s about to do — take a scalpel sharper than a dozen razors, cut through eleven-month-old Claudia’s skin, saw open her breastbone and spread her ribcage apart in order to repair congenital defects threatening a malformed heart the size of a walnut.

It’s just after 9:00 AM. Claudia will be in the OR until 2:00 PM, along with a team of talented surgeons, nurses, techs, anesthesiologists, perfusionists and others.

Dr. G is in charge.

  • What will she find when she opens the chest?
  • How will this tiny little child hold up in surgery?
  • You won’t believe the real-life medical drama in this intense, close-up visit to the cardiac OR.

    Buy on Amazon –

    About the Author –

    Mark Oristano is a 35-year veteran journalist.
    Mark’s new book, SURGEON’S STORY, is about Dr. Kristine Guleserian, one of the most interesting women in medicine, a pediatric heart surgeon at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Mark spent six years as Dr. Guleserian’s shadow at Children’s, observing dozens of surgical procedures, going on rounds, meeting with patient families and more. It was a crash course in congenital heart disease which he simplifies for the non-medical reader.
    Congenital heart defects received national attention recently when TV star Jimmy Kimmel announced that his newborn son was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. In Surgeon’s Story, the first case you’ll see Dr. Guleserian deal with is what heart surgeons call “TOF” for short.
    From the story of 2-year old Rylynn’s heart transplant, to 13-year old Andrew throwing out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox World Series game three weeks after his heart transplant, Surgeon’s Story will bring you right up to the operating table for this true story of a woman with great skills, and a huge heart herself.

    From the Author

    I spent nearly seven years shadowing Dr. Kristine Guleserian, one of the nation’s leading pediatric heart surgeons. I saw heart transplants, patient consults, physician rounds, and more. Dr. G, as she’s known, is one of the most dedicated, talented people I’ve ever known. Her dedication to her patients is immense. But best of all. She is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary skill set. It was a privilege to work on this project and to be able to tell a story so much worth telling. Pick up your copy with just one click.

What made you decide to write Surgeon’s Story?

I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years, and I got to know Dr. Guleserian in a very casual fashion, seeing her give a couple of lectures and things. But the more I found out about her, as both person and surgeon, the more I thought she’d be a great subject for a book. And she agreed to the project with the one proviso that it would not be in her first-person voice.

What it is like to watch heart surgery?

Well, if your only notion of heart surgery comes from watching MASH, you’d be disappointed. It’s almost bloodless. But the most impressive thing is the incredible, complete teamwork functioning of the OR team. Surgeons, nurses, scrub techs, perfusionists, anesthesiologists, all work like a well drilled football team, or a perfectly synchronized ballet company. It’s really a very beautiful thing to watch.

Who are you hoping will be eager to read Surgeon’s Story?

Well, pretty much everybody, obviously. But beyond that, there are two core audiences. First, anybody who has ever enjoyed Chicago Hope or Gray’s Anatomy, or ER, and wants to see what really goes on in those life-or-death hospital settings. And secondly, young people, especially girls, who are thinking of careers in science and would like to follow in Dr. G’s shoes.

The Inspiration Behind Surgeon’s Story

I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years, working in the PACU, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. To the layman, that’s the Day Surgery Recovery Room.

I attended several lecture given by a heart surgeon at Children’s named Kristine Guleserian, and each time I was impressed by the doctor’s humor and warmth, but also the intense intellectual honesty she brought to her work, and her feelings about her work.

I would see her around the hospital, and we’d chat about baseball as we were both big fans. And then I began to hear more and more stories from other people about things that Dr. G, as she’s known, had done for her patients after their surgeries. So, I decided to take a flyer.

I walked into her office one day and said, “How’d you like to do a book with me?”

“What about?” she asked.

“About you.”

“Nobody wants to read about me.”

“Everybody wants to read about you. They just don’t know it yet.”

Dr. G thought for about ten seconds and then said simply, “Why not.” Seven years later, we had a book.

In that intervening time, I spent many hours as her shadow. In the OR, in patient consultations, on rounds and more. I saw what I later would describe as an ordinary woman with an extraordinary skill set. She’s only five feet tall, but as they say in sports, she plays six foot two. She stands on a small stool when she’s operating, and I’ve seen her stand on that stool for 16 hours straight, with no breaks for water, food, the bathroom… nothing.

Once, after a ten-hour double lung transplant, somebody in the OR noticed she was wearing four-inch Prada heels. They asked her how she could stand that long in those shoes.

“Simple,” she replied. “If you can’t operate in heels, you can’t operate.”

How could you not want to write about someone like that?





Follow My Life. One Story at a Time. for future book reviews, promotions, and giveaways!


My Life. One Story at a Time. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. In the state of Louisiana, we are no longer allowed to be Amazon affiliates, therefore the Amazon link is provided for your benefit only. My Life. One Story at a Time. does not collect any affiliate fees.




The humbling effects of Alzheimer’s and other ramblings…

We go to the local nursing home each Sunday morning for the Rosary and a little music; and when Hubby is in the mood or inspired, a little preaching. This morning was no exception. There are, as you would expect, many residents there with Alzheimer’s. One elderly woman, in particular, was a bank manager during her life, or so I’ve been told. She was obviously quite intelligent.

I do not know of her temperament before Alzheimer’s set in, but she is a pleasant little lady in the here and now. She often shows up with her rosary around her neck and recites the prayers a little off tempo, which is fine with me. We are there for the residents and not ourselves, which is something that I think people tend to forget at times.

I think she may have passed another milestone in the disease as this morning, instead of parking her wheelchair and joining in, she proclaimed, quite loudly and many times, that she remembered the prayers and that she remembered her momma saying those prayers. In her childlikeness, she was so innocent and excited that she was hearing prayers that her momma recited when she was a child. And, quite predictable, the first worker who went through the room was grabbed and asked to remove the lady.

I was torn between relief and sadness. We are there, after all, for the residents so maybe she should have been allowed to stay. Then again, I think a resident or two may have shushed her, and they have a right to not be disturbed while praying. It is such a delicate balance between right and wrong. It is not just a humbling experience for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s, but also for the people around that person. Sometimes, we may need to just smile and nod, and hope that if we are one day in a place similar to hers, someone will be kind enough to nod to us. 

And…that is my two cents for today! Have you had any experience with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s? Have a Happy Sunday!