I am happy to inform you that McFarland & Company has agreed to publish my new book, Preparing for Disunion. The book focuses on how the West Point Commandant of Cadets prepared cadets for the Civil War. The military instructors provided the basis on which an officer could develop his career. Very little has been written about the educator’s role in training officers for their role in the war. Preparing for Disunion explains their impact on the young men who would become Civil War generals.


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Preparing for Disunion – Status Report

McFarland Publishers is reviewing my submission for Preparing for Disunion. I hope to hear from them in a couple of weeks.

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New Review of The Analyst

the_analyst_cover_for_kindleThe Analyst is Dr. Russell Conrad, a university professor and Director of the university’s think tank on International Economics and Governments. He counts high level members of the CIA as friends and colleagues who call on his expert knowledge of the Middle East. Acting as advisor to the team, he accompanies the President of the United States to a secret meeting in Saudi Arabia. The President is convinced this meeting will secure peace in the region among the warring factions. Instead, Dr. Conrad finds himself in the middle of a terrorist plot to hold the President hostage and launch nuclear war. If you like a fast-paced political thriller, you will enjoy the plot, the sub-plots, and the guesswork of who is foe or friend.

This story is loaded with plots and sub-plots as well as complicated characters each with their own stories. All intertwine and slam together with precision timing. As complicated as the plot and characters are, you’ll never lose your place. You’ll follow along as if you are part of the team. There is enough intrigue to satisfy those who love to solve a mystery, enough bloodshed to make thrill-seekers smack their lips. It provides insight into the challenges and conflicts that the Middle Eastern countries face with each other and their place in the world.

This story was written in 2010, but the issues and threats to world peace are still pulsing, possibly escalating. Take a look and worry for the future.

Please see Amazon review.  Thanks to Michelle Ferrer for her great review.

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Civil War Roundtable of St. Louis

A big thanks to the Civil War Roundtable of St. Louis for inviting me to speak on May 24, 2017. There was an excellent turnout and we sold twenty-three books. Congratulations on the roundtable’s Sixtieth Anniversary.

Civil War Roundtable of St. Louis turned

Thanks for all the gifts.

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Presentations on May 17 and May 18, 2017

I had two interesting and enjoyable presentations this week. On Wednesday, I spoke to a writing group, Writer’s Block, about the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet. I read some sections from my political thriller novel, The Analyst, and explained how I was using the beat sheet for my next novel, The Traitor.

On Thursday, I gave a presentation to two eighth-grade classes at Lamar Middle School in Flower Mound, TX. The trip was organized by David Brayshaw and his history teacher, Tom Wacker. I presented my talk on The Civil War in Your Backyard to about fifty students. Following the talk, we had a 15-minute question and answer session.  They asked some very good questions about the war, which allowed me to relate some anecdotes about the “Late Unpleasantness.”

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The Civil War Round Table of St. Louis

I am looking forward to speaking to The Civil War Round Table of St. Louis on May 24, 2017. Please check the round table site for details.

I hope to have time to visit several Civil War sites in the area. My first stop will be at Jefferson Barracks. Virtually every one of the big military names in the war served at one time or another at Jefferson Barracks, including U.S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman, James Longstreet and many more.  The Missouri Military Museum is located  in the Jefferson Barracks’ 1905 Post Exchange Building.

My next stop will be the U.S Grant National Historic Site. The lives of U.S. Grant and family prior to the war are highlighted here in this park with five historic buildings including the main house, White Haven.

The original Grant family cabin, “Hardscrabble” is located in the Grant’s Farm wildlife park operated by Anheuser-Busch adjacent to the NPS site. It has been moved many times, most recently to this site about a mile from it’s original location.

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Presentation at the Civil War Roundtable of Little Rock, Arkansas

FUMC_Allen_Talk-2A big thank you to the Civil War Roundtable of Little Rock, Arkansas. Sharlyn and I really appreciated your hospitality and help.  It was great meeting all of you. A special thanks to Lonnie Spikes for all of his help in organizing the presentation and hosting our visit.

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