Sunday, September 14, 2014

2nd Annual Armed Forces Tribute - Vandalia, IL - Oct. 11 - 12, 2014


Sonnemann Park
1001 West Fillmore Street
Vandalia, IL 62471


Vendor & Camp Setup on October 10th, 2014,

Public Event on Oct 11th-12th, 2014

Event Times: 8 AM - 5 PM

Registration Times: Anytime

Pre-Registration: Not Required - Eventbrite registration link:

Eventbrite password is: tribute


Contact: Mat Hanabarger (217) 690-9239


Directions: From I-70 - Take Exit 63 - Turn south on Kennedy Blvd, then right on Veterans Ave., left on 8th
St. at stoplight, then right on W Fletcher St. Event is straight ahead.

Authenticity Notes: D-Day + 3 time frame

Prohibited Vehicles/Items: No tracked vehicles on grass - tracked vehicles must stay on paved areas

 Motels: Days Inn, Ramada Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Jays Inn, Economy Inn

Sponsoring Unit(s): C Co, 1st Bn, 502nd PIR, 101st Airborne Division

WELCOME HOME - Stars & Stripes Remembers WW2 & Korea - Bloomfield, MO

WELCOME HOME - October 16 - 19, 2014


Stars & Stripes National Museum & Library
17377 Stars & Stripes Way
Bloomfield, MO 63825

Event Times:

16 Oct, camp set up can begin @ 12 noon
17 Oct, open to schools: 10am-2pm, set-up continues all day
18 Oct open to the public, 8:30am, Memorial convoy
18 Oct open to the public, All camps and displays @ 9am - 5pm
19 Oct camp sites cleared by 12 noon

Registration Times:

3pm – 9pm 17 October
7am – 9am 18 October
Pre-Registration: (click here)
Fee: N/A

Contact: 6th Corps Living History Group, St Louis, MO at the contact me button on this web-site:

Authenticity Notes:

All HRS Safety and authenticity rules apply.
Prohibited Vehicles/Items: No live ammo
Restrictions on Minors: per HRS rules
Other restrictions: Per local and state laws
Sponsoring Unit(s):


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

4th Place - Best Books about National Socialism

Just found out that "Through Innocent Eyes" is in 4th place on Best Books about National Socialism! 
Click here:  Goodreads

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Presentation: "How to Build Your Author Platform One Step at a Time"

September 9, 2014 - 6:30 pm - Tampa, Fl. 
How did I go from an unknown, self-published, first time book author to becoming a well known, respected published author in less than two years, selling hundreds of books and speaking around the country?

First, I needed a plan. 
Secondly, I needed to set new goals for myself and third, I needed to develop my Author Platform.

I figured I had pretty good idea of how the book publishing industry worked. In my past life, I worked in the NY music industry with such artists as John Denver, Lee Holdridge, and the Starland Vocal Band, to name a few. Simple, I thought. While working at Cherry Lane, our artists would write and submit their songs to me for copyright.  I handle the licensing and administration on a world-wide basis.  (We did not have CD's back then or computers).  I learned the workings of the royalty department and WOW, was I impressed with those huge checks!

My assumption was the same when I finished writing the original manuscript on my mother's biography based upon her personal journal that she wrote when she was in Country Service Camp (Landjahr Lager).  She grew up in Austria before WW2. In 1938, it was mandatory that she join the girls division of the Hitler Youth called the Bund Deutscher M├Ądel (BDM).

Years had passed since I left Cherry Lane and until "Through Innocent Eyes" was published on Nov. 20, 2012, exactly twenty-three years on the anniversary of my mother's passing.  Boy, have things changed in the publishing world!

I knew that once I received a contract with a publisher they would handle all the work for me. In turn, I would become an overnight success, just like John Denver!  Simple, I thought.  I sent the manuscript to the publisher. In turn, they copyrighted and published the book.  All I had to do now was to wait for those huge royalty checks to start rolling in. I waited and waited, and then, the BIG DAY finally arrived!   

I treasured this moment, holding the precious white envelope in my hand.  I thought about my mother.  I thought about the past 23 years and what it took for me to research, write and invest the thousands of dollars to print my book. I wondered how much money was inside the envelope. I wonder how many books I sold.  Am I going to have enough money to pay off my house, buy a new car, and maybe, even move into one of those fancy gated, deed-restricted communities where every house has a pool?  (I live in Florida and a pool is mandatory. Something I do not have).

As I slowly opened the envelope I was dreaming of all the things I can do with my first royalty check.  I imaged myself on stage receiving an Academy award for "Best Film of the Year,” and being recognized as a “New York Times Bestselling Author.”  My imaginary acceptance speech included thanking God and my mother first and foremost, then, my family, friends, publisher, director, producer, and the cast and crew.  This is what I long waited for and at last, the moment has arrived!

I removed the check from the envelope and looked at the amount.  I blinked my eyes once, then twice.  I removed my glasses, rubbed my eyes, and looked again.  Can this possibly be right? I thought to myself.  Really?  Is this all that it is? I said to myself out loud.  What happened to the million dollar first royalty check I was suppose to receive just like John did on his first royalty check with “Take Me Home Country Roads?”

I instantly knew  that at I had to make a plan, go outside of my comfort zone, and figure out how first time authors became well know New York Times Bestselling authors with a movie to their name.

Now, I am selling hundreds of copies of my book and being invited to speak.  I am proud to say that I have moved from the self-publishing, pay the publisher world, and into the professional book publishing industry, receiving royalties from the publisher, world.

I look forward to meeting you at the Aspiring Writers Publishing and Marketing Meet Up group on Sept. 9, 2014, 6:30 pm, and discussing your goals, plan, and author platform with you! 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Almabtrieb - Cow Parade Celebrated during September - October

The Almabtrieb (German language literally: drive from the mountain pasture) is an annual event in the alpine regions in Europe, referring to the cows returning to their valley homes for the winter months.

During summer, all over the alpine regions cow herds feed on alpine pastures (Almen or Alpen) high up in the mountains (a practice known as transhumance). In numbers, these amount to about 500,000 cows in Austria, 380,000 in Switzerland and 50,000 in Germany.

While there is often some movement of cattle between the Almen during the summer, there is usually one concerted cow train in autumn to bring the cows to their stables down in the valley. This typically takes place in late September or early October. If there were no accidents on the Alm during the summer, in many areas the cows are decorated elaborately, and the cow train is celebrated with music and dance events in the towns and villages. Upon arrival in the valley, joint herds from multiple farmers are sorted in the Viehscheid, and each cow is returned to its owner.

In many places this Alpine custom of Almabtrieb has nowadays evolved into a major tourist attraction, with a public festival and booths set up along the course for selling agricultural as well as artisans' products along with alcoholic beverages.

The reverse cow train up to the Almen in spring is not celebrated.

The Meaning of "Volksgemeinschaft"

Volksgemeinschaft is a German-language expression meaning "people's community." This expression originally became popular during World War I as Germans rallied in support of the war.  It appeals to the idea of uniting people across class divides to achieve a national purpose.

Monday, August 25, 2014

D-Day Conneaut, Ohio - August 2014

Words alone cannot convey the gratitude and appreciation I have for this spectacular event.  The organizers of D-Day Conneaut, Ohio have far surpassed everyone's expectations for this phenomenal annual event. 

This year the organizers of D-Day Conneaut hosted 113 WWII veterans.  Over 1250 re-enactors participated with more than 30,000 spectators.  Their gigantic 100+ local volunteers and 200+ service group members were absolutely critical for this annual event to become such a huge success.   

Their professional media crew photographed over 10,000 photos which will be displayed on the gallery very soon.  I am looking forward to seeing the DVD when it becomes available.

My calendar is marked for August 21 - 22, 2015.  I plan on being there a few days before hand to set up.  I am currently working with my publicist to arrange for a few speaking engagements.

I want to especially thank the veterans, organizers, re-enactors, volunteers, and attendees for making D-Day Conneaut, Ohio, the Best National WWII Living History event in the entire United States.