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TUFFY'S HEROES E-MAILS AND REVIEWS!!!
8/13/2004 10:10:16 AM
I am going to begin using My Blog to track all the e-mails and phone calls I recieve from individuals who take the time to contact me and let me know what they think of TUFFY'S HEROES.
R. LEE ERMEY ALERT!!!
Readers, I have been an avid fan of "Gunny" Ermey ever since I saw him in the fim, "The Boys In Company C". However, everyone remembers him mostly from his role as "Gunny" Hartman in the film, Full Metal Jacket, and of course, the History Channel's MAIL-CALL. As a result of a letter I wrote to him, the Gunny actually phoned this humble retired G.I. on the evening of 30 December, 2004. What a belated Christmas gift that was! We spoke for about 40 minutes (most things I shall not disclose)and he was extremely engaging, putting me at ease with our conversation. I must honestly admit, I was DEFINITELY in the "star-struck" mode! Anyway, we spoke about the military and Drill Instructors and then he asked me to send him a copy of TUFFY'S HEROES and to be sure and sign it. He then told me his new book is about to be released called, MAIL-CALL. So readers, along with purchasing TUFFY'S HEROES be sure and ad MAIL-CALL to that order!
I received an e-mail four days ago from a young lady about to enter the Air Force. She reports for her basic training at Lackland AFB at the end of December. Her name is Jody who lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and she purchased a copy of TUFFY'S HEROES after hearing about it from a friend. She told me it is the "...best book I ever read!" Well, readers, after that wonderful e-mail I asked her to send the book to me and I would sign it for her.
Jody's e-mail and praise for TUFFY'S HEROES and all the other e-mails I receive each day from individuals who loved the book make me want to dive right back into the keyboard and begin a sequel!
I received a phone call from an "old" friend and retired T.I. who purchased TUFFY'S HEROES and read the entire book in two days. He absolutely loved it! He made mention that many, many scenes within the book brought back those long forgotten memories of when he trained basic recruits at Lackland AFB. He also made mention of a certain character within the book named, "Guido". He thought Guido was, well...the most hilarious animal he had ever read about! Ok readers, let me tell all of you just a little about my friend, Guido. Guido is a talking parakeet...a DRUNKEN talking parakeet! He drinks home-made Italian wine, gets blitzed every day, and falls of his perch quite frequently! He speaks in "broken english" and mimics all that he can remember hearing each day. This character is modeled after my late Grandmother's parakeet. As a child, Grandma's drunken parakeet's antics would bring tears to my eyes from laughing each and every time I visited her home. So, when you read TUFFY'S HEROES, you now know that Guido, the drunken parakeet, was for real!
I received an e-mail from retired MSgt Don Dobbs who was the artist that designed the cartoon characters on the front cover of TUFFY'S HEROES. He read the book while on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed the read. He also was a T.I. and made mention that several of the "training" scenes within the book reminded him of his days in the sun! He loved the humor attached to the drama of many scenes, especially all the one-liners!
I have received countless e-mails to my web-site from those who have already received the book. Most of them are from Air Force personnel from the past and present. The one prevelant fact they ALL make about the book is some of the characters within the book, both basic trainees and T.I.s, reminded them of certain individuals they met while they were going through their own basic training. The training situations, especially the "White Tornado" scene, definitely brought back memories to them!
Since the book's release, I've also received several e-mails from active duty Marines (Semper Fi) who purchased the book and loved the humor and training scenes. But one statement they ALL made was the fact that I spoke so highly of Marine D.I.s within TUFFY'S HEROES and thanked me for that. Well, Marines, how could I NOT speak so highly of the greatest!!!
Many e-mails ask if the book is all true. Well, I call it "fiction" and that's the way it will stand! However, I will admit the "werewolf" chapter is true...with just a "touch" of dramatic license!
The character within the book of Major Chin Ho Wok, the 5' 3" tall Chinese American Squadron Commander has been the subject of several e-mails. Because of his, shall we say, "speech pattern", the good Major fills the book with hilarity! Of course, the problem he has with his "hat" is beyond belief!
The character of TSgt "Bullets" Grogan, a 6' 8" muscular giant T.I. is another individual within the book the readers are thoroughly enjoying. His specific "medical" problem has brough a great amount of humor into the lives of all these readers. They especially enjoyed our man Bullets and his "run-in" with a waiter at a French restaraunt in downtown San Antonio!
I received 3 e-mails from individuals who told me they were actually sitting in the Reviewing Stand on the Parade Field at Lackland AFB when a famous "one-liner" from a very popular cigarette commercial actually affected a Basic Training formal parade ceremony back in the 60's. They were astonished when they read the scene within TUFFY'S HEROES that brought that entire situation back to life! Each of them told me this was a story they had been telling for the past 35 years and loved reading about it! So, I guess I'm going to have to admit...this is another true story within the book!
This morning, I received an e-mail from a G.I. in Germany who asked about the scene in the book involving the T.I. who gets blitzed and forgets about the "meat". Well, I've been caught once again. Although the scene takes place during the course of one duty day in the book, it actually was a full week-end! That's all I'm gonna say about that!!!
I woke up this morning to 17 e-mails from those who purchased TUFFY'S HEROES and finished reading it in one or two sittings. They all said the same thing "...funniest book I ever read!" At 9:00 O'clock this morning, I received an e-mail from an active duty T.I. at Lackland AFB who purchased the book for himself and his father who was a T.I. back in the 70's. They both loved the read and said it actually put them in the training situations dipicted within the book.
At 10:30 this morning, while I was deeply engaged in watching the PGA golf tournament, I received a phone call from an individual stationed at an Air Force base in Florida. He said he got my phone number by simply calling "information". He read TUFFY'S HEROES and loved it so very much, he said he just had to call me and talk about some of the scenes within the book! We spoke for about 10 minutes and he left me with this comment: "I'll be tellin' everybody I see on Monday morning about your book!"
I received an e-mail today from an Air Force Staff Sergeant based in California who asked why the campaign hat depicted on the TUFFY'S HEROES front cover does NOT have an Air Force hat insignia on it. Well, the answer is simple...I didn't have their permission to use it so I just left it off! By the way, readers, the campaign hat on the book's cover is actually my personal hat. Prior to my departing Lackland AFB in 1976 for an overseas tour of duty, my organization took my campaign hat and had it mounted into a beautiful display which I had hanging on my wall. I removed the hat, cleaned it up and then took a digital photo of it for the book's front cover. I thought you just might enjoy this small piece of trivia.
It is totally unbelievable concerning the amount of great e-mails I'm receiving each and every day from the readers of TUFFY'S HEROES! Most are military or ex-military and are easily relating to the story. Late last night, I received an e-mail from a prior Air Force woman who purchased TUFFY'S HEROES. She thought my name sounded familiar to her. So, she went to my web-site (located within the book) and realized I was her Section Supervisor when she came through her basic training in 1981 in the 3707BMT Squadron! It's definitely a small world!
Readers, I received two e-mails today regarding the "commissary incidents" in TUFFY'S HEROES. OK, here's the story. All the incidents that happened within the Lackland AFB commissary actually occurred! However, they did NOT occur in the single visit to the commissary I wrote about in the book. These incidents happened over a period of a few years. I could not write the story without mentioning the Lackland commissary! "...a battleground for the concerned shopper"!!!
Readers, the response thus far for TUFFY'S HEROES has been beyond belief! It took me almost 30 years to write this book and it is proving to be well worth all my efforts. Thus far, I have received two e-mails from ex-basic trainees I put through basic training in 1968 and 1973. Both have read the book and stated they not only loved the book, but it also brought back specific memories or their basic training ordeals.
The e-mails keep pouring in and I'm lovin' it! I received an e-mail yesterday from an Airman who graduated basic training a few months ago. One of the comments he made was:"...basic training has NOT changed very much over the years! The humor was outstanding and the training situations were all too real!"
Conducted my first "book-signing" event for TUFFY'S HEROES this past weekend at the Lackland AFB Exchange for the "MY Forces" uniform store. Readers...it was outstanding! The store sold and I signed a huge amount of books and I enjoyed every-single-minute of it!
The e-mails keep on pouring in with high praises for TUFFY'S HEROES. There's a new review posted by CMSgt retired Lou Georgiff in my BOOKS section under TUFFY'S HEROES. It's an outstanding review and worth reading.
I received an e-mail through my web-site this morning from an Air Force TSgt based at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. He told me how much he and his wife enjoyed TUFFY'S HEROES. He went on to say his favorite scene within the book was the "Dear John" letter segment. And of course, he also made mention of how his wife felt pangs of sorrow for the character, Airman Basic Mike Plopper. It's easy for women, especially mothers, to relate to Airman Plopper. They just want to hold onto this young man and hug him forever!!! And by the way, readers, Elmendorf AFB in Alaska was my first duty assignment straight out of basic training in 1961!!!
The book reviews on TUFFY'S HEROES are outstanding! They're beginning to show up on bookstore webites such as: barnes&noble.com and publishamerica.com. And the e-mails continue to pour in embracing TUFFY'S HEROES. One individual made this statement: "...it's about time a book was written about the Air Force, especially basic training! TUFFY'S HEROES not only rekindled my own past memories of basic training adventures but the humor from both the TIs and the basic trainees was something like I've never read before!"
It's comments such as this that make the almost 30 years I spent writing TUFFY'S HEROES well worth the effort! Numerous e-mails from readers strongly suggest I write a sequel, however, I think I'll just wait on that suggestion. If there's enough interest in a sequel, then perhaps I'll consider hitting the "keyboard" and bring some of the great characters from TUFFY'S HEROES back in another "basic training" adventure!
It's unbelievable how many e-mails I'm receiving from those who have purchased TUFFY'S HEROES. All the wonderful things they're saying about the book and specific characters and scenes makes writing well worth the effort! It appears the character of Major Chin Ho Wok is becoming a "cult" classic with his famous words: "Puckin' hat!" Ahhhh, to know him is to love him!!!
I received an e-mail at 11:30 last night from a G.I. based in Washington State. His parents purchased TUFFY'S HEROES for his 21st birthday and he thoroughly enjoyed the book! His favorite scene was the "French Waiter" confrontation involving the ordering of a certain food, a much too tight dress, and a VERY angry T.I. named "Bullets" Grogan! This same scene was also a favorite of one of my neighbors who just happened to have eaten in the exact same place many, many years ago.
On the 9th of October, I received a phone call from the senior producer of the live daily talk show in San Antonio called, Great Day SA. They had been contacted by a very popular San Antonio Disc Jockey who read TUFFY'S HEROES and promoted the book to their network. The producer said he would like to give me a 2-minute spot on the talk show for the 18th of October (today) and would I please send him a BIO and some "talking points" about the book.
I e-mailed the information off to him immediately and on the following day, he called me back and said they changed their minds and would like to dedicate 6 minute to the interview and could I please send them a book to review. I was excited about this opportunity to promote TUFFY'S HEROES on TV for 6 minutes and immediately sent of a copy of the book to them. On the 14th of October, the producer's assistant contacted me. She informed me they decided to change the interview date to Monday, the 25th of October so I could have a 10 minute 2-segment interview to promote TUFFY'S HEROES! This is great news, readers, especially as I watch the show almost every morning and it's a very informative show!
TUFFY'S HEROES is catching on fire and hopefully will continue to do so!
The TV spot was fantastic! I brought along 5 signed copies of TUFFY'S HEROES as give-aways for those who call into the live broadcast. All 5 copies went during the first minute of the interview! And now, a booksigning event has been scheduled at a huge Barnes & Noble bookstore in San Antonio for the 4th of November.
I'm getting flooded with e-mails every day from those who have purchased and read TUFFY'S HEROES...they all love it!!! Needless to say, my fellow readers, this type of great feedback is doing extremely well for my author's ego! And for all of you who are thinking about ordering TUFFY'S HEROES, just go ahead and order it now through this web-site! If you select my publisher, Publish America, you'll save a minimum of $3.00. If their web-site is bogged down, please call their phone number at: 301-695-1707, and they will take your orders immediately at the same discount.
I had a great booksigning event at Barnes&Noble in San Antonio last evening. The store was very busy and I did about a 15 minute speaking gig and then the audience pummeled me with questions! The store sold lots of books and my wife and I left about three hours later.
There were 5 e-mails on my computer this morning from G.I.s based in a far-away land where there is plenty of action going on! Two were from Air Force personnel, one was from a soldier and two were from Marines. All of them have read TUFFY'S HEROES and thoroughly enjoyed the book. One comment made by the soldier was very interesting indeed. He made a specific comment about the Air Force "recruiter" in the "basic training" chow hall scene. His comment was short and quite to the point..."I would have kicked his ass"!
Yesterday, I received the most thought provoking review of TUFFY'S HEROES I could possibly desire! It was submitted to the Publish America web-site, under my book's title. The following is the review:
I just finished Chapter 12 of Tuffy's Heroes and I had a "realization" that never happened to me before. I'm using this little book for some kind of therapy sessions. Each night I read but one chapter, I ponder it, I laugh, I ponder it again, and I usually laugh again. Unlike any other reading, from philosophers to modern novelists, have I NOT wanted a book to end. I'll try reading a chapter every other night.
James M. Noiles, EdD.
What more can I say, readers. This review from a professional educator gives me the motivational encouragement to continue with my writing. Thus far, I've been asked on several occassions through e-mails if there will be a sequel to TUFFY'S HEROES. Well, I now must consider that this just may be something for me to strongly consider. I sincerly thank all of you who have purchased TUFFY'S HEROES and I hope future purchasers of this book just may help in making it a best seller!
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TUFFY'S HEROES E-MAILS AND REVIEWS!!! - Friday, August 13, 2004