Saturday, September 19, 2015


                                                        © Cindy J. Smith
They come with their slogans
To entice our youth
"You must sign up and fight
For freedom and truth"
Once papers are signed
Send them off to boot camp
Where they'll be trained
And their morals revamped
Going to free the world
Of all the evil around
"Gooks", "Japs", "Krauts" and "Rag-heads"
Their numbers abound
With pride and honed skills
They board planes and ships
Sure their purpose is right
No doubt passes their lips
In silence they debark
On beaches, meadows, deserts
Their hearts racing fast
Their minds at full alert
Face now their first battle
Bullets whiz, bombs explode
Keep fighting and fighting
Bodies working in "auto-mode"
Crossfire diminishes
Silence and smoke fill the air
Then cries of the wounded
Shrieks from everywhere
Dawn's light show the truth
Of what they have all done
Village now a wasteland
Hell that can't be undone
See homes in shatters, fires galore
Bodies torn asunder, rivers of blood
Of both friends and enemies
Strewn across the thick mud
Eyes that once sparkled
With the glimmer of pride
Now filled with the horror
Caused ignorance and pride
Witnesses now to war
See how they were misled
"Gooks", "Japs", "Krauts" and "Rag-heads"
Are like them and bleed red
All the wounded and dead
Were once filled with hope
Deceived by politicians
Missed the carrot on the rope
War is destruction
Only causing death and pain
To think it will bring peace
Is truly insane

Their future just starting

They are called off to war
Told that freedom and peace
Are worth dying for

In their dress uniforms
Buttons shiny and bright
Family, friends they are proud
So it must be all right

But major destruction
Is all that's in store
When Pride and greed unite
Countries declare war

Bullets start flying
Maim all in their path
There is no escape
From their vengeful wrath

The whining of bombs
Raining down from the sky
Mix with the terror and fear
Of the survivors' cries

Gathering up the wounded
In a town now rubble
Eye witness to carnage
Need help on the double

So many lay dead
Friends and enemies alike
No good thing can come
From this unexpected strike

Their camouflage clothes
Covered now in blood
And their nice shiny boots
Scraped and covered in mud

Horrors of war witnessed
Are burnt deep in their souls
They know that their hearts
Will never be whole

How much blood must be spilled
Precious innocence lost
Before we finally admit
Peace shouldn't have this high cost
© Cindy J. Smith
About the poet in her own words....
I grew up in the country of Upstate New York and now reside in the boonies of Midwestern Indiana. I am a coffee-addicted truck driver (as if there was any other kind). I have written poetry all my life. The topics and poems just come into my head. I try to write in the first person for most of them. I do this as people are more apt to relate to something when they are not feeling like they are the target. Some of my poems are true, either for me or for someone I know. I believe in magic and that life is worth living. I hope that my words will touch every reader in some way. I want everyone to open their eyes and really see what is before them.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

PAULETTE MAHURIN on Emile Zola and The Dreyfus Affair

Welcome to Is History The Agreed Upon lie Paulette. I enjoyed your book To Live Out Loud very much and wanted to ask you a few questions. Growing up in Mexico and the USA my first exposure to Emile Zola was Irving Stone’s Lust For Life when Emile Zola interacts with Van Gogh and discusses Germinal .
A few months after I read the book, I moved to Lyons, France to study. Unlike today in the late ‘70s we learned in drips and drops. Today Google would bring up The Dreyfus Affair.
Walking in Lyons with a French friend in 1977 I first heard of the shame of France and the famous J’accuse open letter. Your fascinating take on the incident, for the very first time really brought it to life for me.

In 1895, France was torn asunder by a scandal that rocked the nation and divided the country. An innocent Jewish military officer, Alfred Dreyfus, was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on a desolate island. The news that could exonerate him was leaked to the press, but was suppressed by the military. Anyone who sought to reopen the Dreyfus court-martial became victimized and persecuted and was considered an enemy of the state. Émile Zola, a popular journalist, determined to bring the truth to light, undertook the challenge to publicly expose the facts surrounding the military cover-up. This is the story of Zola’s battle to help Alfred Dreyfus reclaim his freedom and clear his name. Up against anti-Semitism, military resistance, and opposition from the Church of France, Zola committed his life to fighting for justice. But was it worth all it cost him, to those around him, and to France? This is a narrative of friendship, courage, and love in the face of the adversity and hatred. It is a story of how one man’s courageous actions impacted a nation. From the award winning author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap comes a book that will leave you examining your notions about heroism, courage, and your role in social change long after you read the last sentence. 

Instead of the customary essay guests here provide as The Dreyfus Affaire is based on lies and Bigotry I am thrilled you agreed to an interview. 

First let me say a huge thank you for having me over to your great site and all the support you give to authors. Coming from such a talented writer as yourself, it’s an honor to have you feature my book.
   When did the Dreyfus Affair first pique your interest?

 When I was writing and researching my first book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, I looked up events that happened that year, 1895, the year Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for the criminal act of indecency. The topic of my storyline was intolerance and persecution. I found out that 1895 was a great year for prejudice and intolerance worldwide. Not only was homophobia raging out of control in England with Oscar Wilde’s being thrown in prison for two years but anti-Semitism was alive and well in France with Alfred Dreyfus being falsely accused of being a traitor and thrown in Devil’s Island for life. And over here in the U.S. racism was going wild as Booker T. Washington fought for Blacks to be allowed in schools with his famous Atlanta Address. I became fascinated with the Dreyfus Affair at that time.

The research is clearly vast. Which were the best resources?
Multiple books, especially one written by the son of one of Zola’s publishers, Ernest Alfred Vizetelly, Émile Zola Novelist and Reformer: An Accountof his Life Work. I used multiple websites to gain an understanding of Jewish history in France during that time which is where I found the one sentence I quoted from Dreyfus, “when will I kiss you again” (paraphrase) in his letter to his wife, Lucie. I found the transcript of the Zola Libel trial and used that. Too many to reference here but suffice it to say my eyes were sore from all the reading 

Government Corruption and prejudice can probably be found in any era and in every country; Do you see yourself tackling the topic again?
If there’s a historical situation, a person, an event, that moves me, then yes Perhaps. I’ve started a brief outline and first chapter on a book called, The Seven Year Dress, about a woman I rented a room from while in college. When I first met her I noticed the numbers on her arm. After spending time living with her, I heard her story. There are so many incredible historical events to draw from, like Florence Nightingale being lesbian and serving men at war. Right now, I’m just not sure.

Do you have a favorite Historical era?
I’m fascinated by ancient Greece, when hubris was a crime and Socrates was put to death for it. I’m also fascinated by the early 18th century when Thomas Payne wrote The Age of Reason, which challenged institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of The Bible. Not that I’m against any religion, it is just a fascinating time when freedom of speech and liberties is highlighted. Of course there are the paradoxes and dichotomies of every generation who opposes forward thinking but those times when the wave moved high for tolerance, those are the times that interest me, like the Dreyfus Affair, which changed a nation.

Injustice and Bigotry were also the subject of your novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. How did the topic become a passion?
I think it’s just my nature, to want to help the little guy, the underdog, the downtrodden, especially when there’s unjust intolerance. If an action isn’t hurting anyone then let it be. How are gays hurting? Who are Jews hurting? Who are blacks hurting? Other than ideologies and beliefs when there is no criminal actions involved?

 Monsieur Charles Mandonette; the fictional narrator in To Live Out Loud feels very authentic for the era, I liked how you made him a childless bachelor, afterallthe serous research how did you some up with the character? Was he always the planed original voice for the book?
Initially I wanted to write from the prospective of Lucie Dreyfus or a friend of hers but it was too hard to unleash any information about her. The love letters between her and her husband have been circulating Jewish museums and I couldn’t get a view at any of them on line. There was a paucity of available information on her and what little I did find I included in the book. Because of this scarcity, I went for a friend and confidant of Zola’s, which was modeled after a real confidant and friend, Henry Vizetelly, who kept a long running journal of his time with Zola, including being present at the libel trial. The idea of a confidant of Zola’s was then more plausible as a protagonist and narrator. Once I got into his voice the rest flowed organically. Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.
While in college, she won awards and was published for her short-story writing. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into this fictionalized novel in 2014. Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine.
Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thank you Uvi Poznansky #Review

All good reviews give us great feelings. When fantastic author Uvi Poznansky reviews with such accolades it is a magical feeling. Deeply honored and humbled.

on September 1, 2015

The Bridge of Deaths reads like something far beyond fiction: it reads like a mission of discovery, a search for truth propelled by the author’s passion and curiosity, trying to piece together stories she heard in all the way back in her childhood about her grandfather, who was one of five casualties in a mysterious aircraft crash.

The research that M.C.V Egan wove into this book is astounding in depth and breadth, beyond the usual amount of work usually done by other historical fiction writers. The mystery is wrapped in psychic aspects of the possibility of reincarnation and in romance that is all the more enjoyable because of the contrasts between Bill and Maggie, opposites attracted to each other. They set out to learn about the crash with the help of Catalina, a character who obviously represents the author herself in her drive to resolve conflicts between different accounts of history, different version of truth, and conflicting snippets of evidence:

“She held up a photograph for them to see of two men walking in a snowfall across a bridge somewhere in New York City. They were her two grandfathers, the one she never knew, who died in cold Danish waters, and the one she wasn’t related to by blood, but certainly by bond of great childhood memories…”

Five stars.

AMAZON  ~  Goodreads