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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Just Released: J.J.Zerr's Historical Novel: THE HAPPY LIFE OF PRESTON KATT

Coffee and Critique long-time member Jack Zerr has released his latest novel: The Happy Life of Preston Katt.

Not only is Zerr a talented writer, he also is very generous. He recently presented members of Coffee and Critique autographed copies of his novel. Once I began reading my copy, I had a hard time putting it aside.

Zerr's historical tale opens on the Island of Oahu on December 7, 1941, "a day that will live in infamy."

After a night of reckless abandon, Seaman First Class Preston Katt sneaks back aboard the USS Callahan scant hours before the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

Preston Katt's naval service began right after high school graduation. He joined the Navy to escape his alcoholic and neglectful mother and to leave behind painful memories of growing up in the fictional town of Saint Ambrose, Missouri, where the only kindness he was shown was by his beloved teacher, Sister Ralph, and the charitable and warm-hearted shopkeeper, Frau Grossman.

In the Navy, Katt has found a new home as a sailor serving on lookout duty during the heat and chaos of the war in the Pacific. Katt has a unique talent. Using his favorite pair of Navy-issued binoculars, Katt's eagle-eye vision is responsible for spotting enemy warships and planes far away, saving several US vessels from being destroyed.

As the story unfolds, we learn about the daily grind of Navy life, as well as Katt's struggle with guilt and insecurities and his strong and sustaining faith.

As a Navy combat aviator, Zerr writes with authority and compassion. His  vivid writing, strong characterization, and attention to detail make The Happy Life of Preston Katt a compelling read.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An Announcement and a Call for Submissions for Veterans and their Families

It's official, Coffee and Critique writers' group is the newest chapter of the Missouri Writers' Guild. Watch for details in a future post.

Here's a call for submissions with a short deadline.

With so many veterans and family members of veterans in Coffee and Critique, I thought this call for submissions would be of interest to them and any other veterans or families of veterans.

But act fast, the deadline is June 1.

For all military personnel, Veterans, and their families:
Call for Submissions for Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors volume 4
Deadline: June 1, 2015
No fee
Prize: $250
Categories: Short fiction, Poetry, Interview with a Warrior, Essay, Photography
Writing must be by veterans, military-service personnel or their families.  Include the connection in your short bio.
Theme:  Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares the military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation’s history.

For more details, click on this link.