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In April 2014, I mentioned the creative aspects behind the cover art for our novella, Genesis: Call Sign: Wrecking Crew Slice of Life .   ...

Video courtesy of @jcallenbooks

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Big Thank You

Thank You via Adobe Illustrator
I wanted to take a few moments to show my appreciation to the many people who have crossed my path this past couple of years.

First and foremost, a Big Thank You to the loyal followers of this blog and other Social Media outlets. Without your support, I probably would have folded up my proverbial tent a long time ago. 

I believe I've said this before but I will say it again, Independent Authors are a special group of people. They know the value of working together for a common goal - entertaining and/or enlightening their readers. It takes teamwork to accomplish this goal.  Many of them make an effort to help their fellow authors out in whatever way they can. Some have given me/us a gentle nudge in the right direction. You know who you are... Thank You so much.  

Others have shared David and I with their followers this past year or so. I've been wanting to post a list of them on here and now seemed like the best time to show my appreciation. Thank you so much: 

If for some reason you've missed these interviews or guest blogs, then please feel free to visit (click on) them, provided you get a rare few moments. ;)  I've also posted these links on the guest page of our website.

That reminds me, I'm very grateful for the lessons I learned at the Art Institute of Dallas. They've helped me have a foundation necessary for some of the marketing things I do. 

I'm especially grateful to my friends that I live with. They provide me with a roof over my head; plenty of chaos; life lessons; and love on a daily basis. They have adopted me into their lives for better or worse. 

As most of my loyal followers know, David was the one that encouraged me to write. We are quickly coming up on two years being published. So even though, I came into this kicking and screaming at times, I'm glad Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning) was published.  We've had some publishing adventures but we've also made a lot of great friends too.  

Thanks David, my adopted family, and all of my friends for all you do.  

Hope everyone has a Grateful one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Write A Wrong Was No Easy Day

No Easy Day... by Mark Owen
Hardcover version of No Easy Day...

When you first open up the book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen, and read the Author's Note, you learn the reasons why Mr. Owen wrote the book in the first place. It is interesting to note that a book read in Junior High School influenced Mr. Owen to want to join the Navy SEALs. Does this mean that books have power? 

Books, in and of themselves, do not have any powers. The power is in the words that are written. Do they inspire the imagination of the reader. Do they reach out and grab you, urging you to make a change in your life or way of thinking? If the words do, then the author has been successful. 
Current eBook version of #CSWCSW
In my case, Mr. Owen's words helped me to understand the inner mindset of a modern-day Navy SEAL. As long time followers may know, I'm prior Air Force. To my knowledge, I do not know any Special Forces people. David has been around them and learned from them, so I defer those details to him. As a writer though, it does help to know what a character would or would not do in a situation. Having read No Easy Day..., I feel a little more at ease with the Special Forces mindset. Granted the Wrecking Crew are a bit more old school but I'm sure they could learn a thing or two from the younger crowd. 

If the reader pays attention, Mr. Owen taught many lessons. He taught me that missions require planning and attention to detail complete with contingencies. I also learned that even with all the factors stacked in your favor, a fair amount of luck (or blessings) help out. As SEALs go from mission to training onto the next deployment, they learn from their prior misfortunes.  I guess the same can be said for authors and writers. We plan, we factor stuff in, we get lucky with a word here or there then we go on to the next book taking away some lesson we learned the hard way. Then again, usually authors aren't under enemy fire when having to make decisions.  Navy SEALs are a special breed. Members of DEVGRU are the cream of the crop.  

Mr. Owen explains about DEVGRU, its history and how he made it into this elite group. He also shares the events leading up to and after the title mission to the best of his abilities.  Personally I applaud him for taking the risk to set the record straight. Writing and sharing your inner thoughts and feelings is no easy thing. But then again, I feel sure easy is a foreign word to Mr. Owen and his fellow SEALs when you consider the "only easy day was yesterday".  I'm sure their yesterdays are a hundred times worse than my toughest day ever. 

"Bestsellers" to Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer. I hope you raise lots of funds for your worthy causes. To everyone else, if autobiographies and/or books on military are your thing, I highly recommend this book. 

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Night Watchman has moved

Amazon Paperback
Trade Softcover of #CSWCSW
Today is Wednesday... if you are looking for David, he has moved to his own blog site, David McKoy, The Night Watchman and will remain there for the duration.  

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks

Monday, November 12, 2012

You Are Not Forgotten

Current Cover Art
Since Friday I've visited some Veteran's Day themed blogs.  Three of them not only honored Veterans as a whole but mentioned their family or friends that served.  Thank you, Jeff Dawson, Dixie Swanson, and Rich Weatherly for sharing your stories.

Today at my God-daughter's school, local veterans were honored. I was

Thursday, November 8, 2012

David The Night Watchman Speaks

Howdy! I hope everyone have their breakables out of reach and your sitting down for this report from David. I have a feeling it will be a doozie. 
Original Cover Art 
Aye, this is David McKoy the Night Watchman standing my post at the Watchtower. As I look over the horizon, I see a major storm brewing. It amazes me that the majority of Americans rely on the government to protect and save them. I foresee that over the next four years, the government will be controlling every aspect of your life.
Now Mac would say, “The government can’t handle a wet dream much less take care of us.”
Seriously though, from personal experience I know the Democrat mantra because I've read THEIR handbook. It can be compared to that of Lenin or Marx. In my opinion, you can expect high-end unemployment and hyperinflation in full swing. The government will have to print more money and China is going to own more of our debt. Will we have to sell our National Parks in order to repay them? I highly suspect this will happen. 
You Freedom lovers that know what the Second Amendment is about - you may bow out now if you wish.  The rest of you - the Second Amendment isn't about hunting.  Just ask the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and now Hurricane Sandy. Some are still in the dark, others cold and hungry...so much so that they are eating from trash cans and dumpsters.  When those people see you have lights, food, and shelter they will attempt to take these things from you...if you use a weapon in defense of your home and yourself...the government will put you in jail. How safe and secure do you feel now?  You lost souls, who willing gave up your freedom for safety and security. You deserve neither safety nor security. You reap what you sow!
Yes, I survived Hurricane Ike...I lived without my own electricity or water for ten days.  FEMA wouldn't reimburse me money when I evacuated from my home that Monday morning to Hempstead, Texas. But I digress... even though there was 
a curfew posted there was no widespread looting. Why, because the people in the Republic of Texas understood the meaning of the Second Amendment. The city government, mostly Liberal, knew if Martial Law was imposed they would have a fight on their hands. 
How did we survive, cowboy showers, family, friends, and Bar-B-Q. You see my friends in Texas, we know how to do two things really well... one is how to make Chili and the second is how to do Bar-B-Q.  Truly I hope you don't have to hole up too much longer sitting in the dark, cold and hungry waiting for President Obama and the government to save your collective- as Frieda would put it - arse. Then again, I'm not going to hold my breath. 
Let’s have the team sum things up in their unique ways: 
Deano: “God Bless you from the Republic of Texas.” 
T.K.: “Come and take it, Texas first.” 
Hank Williams Jr.
Mac: “Liberalism is a disease - a bullet is the cure.”  
Crazy Larry: “Better Dead than Red.” 
Deb: “Peace through Superior Firepower.” 
J.T. and Hank Williams Jr.: “... I've got a shotgun, rifle, and a four-wheel drive. Country Boy can survive...” 
This is The Night Watchman signing off.
I have to admit to a certain sense of foreboding since I heard the Presidential Election results. Call Sign: Wrecking (Storm Warning) is a work of fiction, yet so much has rung true these past couple years. Will even more come true?  Will Texas and other States of the Union have to secede in order to maintain their freedom? 

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owner of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Introducing The Night Watchman, David McKoy

Happy Halloween! As promised yesterday, here's the first in a series of blog posts by my co-author and business partner, David McKoy.  For those that don't know, David does not mince his words or his feelings on a given subject. Today is no different. 

For your listening pleasure (before, during, or after reading), David suggested Riders On The Storm by The Doors - Instrumental version on YouTube

The Night Watchman, David McKoy

Riders On The Storm by The Doors
Ahoy there, this is David McKoy standing my post in the Watchtower. Since I turned my will and my life over to the care of God and His son Jesus Christ, I have been given a blessing from the Holy Spirit.
For example in October 1988 two days before the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s, I said in the shop, “Watch there will be a major earthquake event before the first pitch of the first game in Candlestick Park”. One hour before the first pitch, an earthquake measuring over 7 on the Richter scale occurred.
Coincidence, okay here’s another example. Before the launch of the Panama raid to get Noriega, I told a buddy of mine that he wouldn't be in his usual places to hide but in a church. As it turned out, he was found in a Catholic church looking for asylum.
Not convinced yet, when Bill Clinton was elected in his first term, I told my supervisor, “Ninety days from now, there will be a major terrorist attack in New York City.” Ninety days from the day he was elected, the first bombing of the World Trade Center occurred.
Still not convinced, from 1996 to 2001 I had been saying that the United States was vulnerable to attack. The feedback was, “sure but how?” My answer was simple, “Fly a bunch of airplanes into a building.” I was told that was impossible. When I did a briefing at the American Legion 8th District, I was giving out my usual quarterly intelligence briefing, I stated the same thing. At the same time as I was giving this briefing, Osama Bin Laden and his people were planning the 9 - 11 attacks. Fast forward to 11 September, 2001, four airliners took off three slammed into buildings. One hit the Pentagon, two hit the Twin Towers.
You still not convinced, in our book, Call Sign: WreckingCrew (Storm Warning) even though events were based in the near future, at the time of writing, some happened prior to publication while others are still occurring. For example, hyperinflation was mentioned as occurring in August 2011.
Back in real life, April of this year, I mentioned to my best friend that on October 15, 2012, consumers will start seeing hyperinflation. Have you seen your electric bill, gas prices, or your grocery store bill lately? How about your favorite fast-food place? Are you getting your money’s worth?
Are you scared yet? You should be. If you aren't scared, then go ahead and re-elect our President. However, if you are tired of all of this, then vote for the alternative.
On another note, my heart and prayers go out to the People’s Republic of the East Coast. Hope they learned at least one valuable lesson during this hurricane event; the Second Amendment isn't about Deer or Duck Hunting.
David McKoy - signing off for now!
Next week this time, David will share his thoughts on the Second Amendment.  Those of you who have read our book know who David would really like to have win the Presidential race for 2012.  Do they still take write in votes? :)

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mr. Murphy

Anyone who has read Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning) should be familiar with Mr. Murphy.  If not, then here is the glossary definition that I wrote out... with an additional link out: Mr. Murphy = personification of Murphy’s Law
Greyhound bus logo
You may well ask what Mr. Murphy has to do with a writing blog...everything!  Mr. Murphy seemed to be my constant companion when I was in Houston this past week.  The trip down was relatively uneventful and I was quite happy with  that Greyhound bus ride. The real adventure came when I arrived at the InTown Suites.  Let me qualify here and now, that I can only speak to the one in which I resided.  The major issues were lack of Internet connectivity and slow running toilets. The minor inconvenience of no elevator and hauling luggage up and down two flights of stairs paled in comparison. As for the toilet after two attempts on their part it was corrected. As for the Internet, I was highly disappointed with them.  Initially it was a lack of a cord for the resident to use. Maybe I've been spoiled by places like Holiday Inn, but I presumed that a cord would be provided. My bad... not one of my best laid plans but on the other hand I only had so much space to pack stuff into.  Thus I borrow a cord from David's wife... Internet did come up for a very brief time period of time. I'm not sure what the deal was, but I finally gave up on worrying about it.  I had more important things to deal with, namely book two.
Despite it being a literal and figurative pain in the neck, we did work on book two, tentatively entitled, Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Mount Up). David reviewed many of the notes that I had for him.  Between his chaotic work and family schedules, we only scratched the surface.  The good news is that we brain-stormed alot and came up with some interesting plot twists and turns. I did get to see David while he was in hand-writing mode. It was rather interesting, he can have all this noise around him but almost totally tune everything else out. I admire that.
The book is not anywhere near where I'd hoped it would be at this point but at least it is moving in the right direction.  Mr. Murphy did not totally leave me alone on the way home. Instead of a one hour layover in Dallas, it was more like three and I was exhausted. I've been busy around the house catching up on my neglected chores. I hope to be back in full swing tomorrow.
I think yesterday's book review, unleashed a inner blog monster. :) David has decided to do a weekly blog on Wednesdays, The Night Watchman, David McKoy. From what he read to me earlier, I think it might be a bit scary...very appropriate for Halloween.  Don't take my word for it, please come back and check it out for yourself.

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Monday, October 29, 2012

No Easy Day by Mark Owens

Many of you may know that David McKoy is the "brains" behind the story line for the Call Sign: Wrecking Crew series.  By that I mean he is the one that knows about military tactics, weapons, etc.  He has read multiple Richard Marcinko books over many years.  So when Mark Owens book, No Easy Day... came up for pre-sale, I arranged to purchase it for David to read and review.  
No Easy Day... by Mark Owen

Here is the exclusive blog version of his review which is currently pending on Barnes & Noble:  

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen takes the reader on a journey into the life and adventures of a member of DEVGRU. DEVGRU stands for Naval Special Warfare Development Group or more affectionately known as SEAL team Six.
Mr. Owen takes you on a tour of the interview process, training involved, and acceptance to this elite team. He includes operations against Somali pirates, deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, culminating to the demise of America’s number one public enemy, Osama Bin Laden.
Mr. Owen broke his silence due to the government’s handling of Operation Geronimo. Why... for more in depth reasons, you’ll need to read the book. I will tell you this; Mr. Owen thought the reporting by the main stream media on the operation was funny, at first. It then became embarrassing, from the twisting of the facts to outright fabrication - rather than reporting the facts correctly. He felt that they and others needed to know the truth.  In my humble opinion, the main stream media does not know what the word,“Truth” means. Mr. Owen wrote his account, only after he saw an interview on national television of President Obama and later on the Admiral in charge of the operation. Both persons were talking openly and in greater detail than most with a high level security clearance should. Now the government cries foul, since the censors at DOD were unable to “gut” the book for security violations, this is laughable in itself. Mr. Owen went through great pains to hire a lawyer who was also a member of the Special Operations community to ensure that the government’s secrets, stay that way. If the government wants to try and convict Mr. Owen, then you must look towards the members of DOD, Congress, White House, and the Main Stream Press for leaking information to the public as well, after September 11, 2001.
Mr. Owen wanted to do something that was bigger than himself. In my eyes, he achieved that goal. Hoo! Yah!
Mr. Owen has given his profits to a multitude of organizations which are listed in the book.  I feel this is very noble. Not only am I recommending the book to anyone interested in the military particular Special Operations, but I’m endorsing Mr. Owen’s stance. We at Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC recommend No Easy Day to read. More importantly we whole-heartedly endorse this book. Some of the situations he describes are not dissimilar to that of the actions in Call Sign: Wrecking Crew (Storm Warning).
During our week long, literary logistical and tactical revising session of book two, David gave me his copy of No Easy Day... to read.  Based on what I've read so far, I concur with his overall assessment.  I feel certain that I'm going to learn alot more about Navy SEALs and their deployments in upcoming chapters.

Stay tuned for an account of my week long visit to see David.

Have a great one! 

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Recently, I was nominated by Rich Weatherly, author of Closed Doors, a Trilogy, for the One Lovely Blog Award. I am very honored that he chose my blog. In the relatively short time I've known him, Rich has proven to be an all-around great guy to know. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised, after all, he is a fellow Texan and military veteran. I hope you will join me in visiting his 'Welcome To My Place' blog on a regular basis. Thank you Rich for this award and for all you do to help others. 

Now for “The Rules”:
If you are one of the nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award you must do the following:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to them in your post. (see above)
  • Share seven unknown things about yourself. (see below)
  • Nominate other bloggers and blogs you like or admire... 15 or so if possible (see below)
  • Contact the bloggers you nominate to let them know and to link them back to your post so they can read "The Rules", too. (Will contact them when I have a link to share)
Seven unknown things about Lynn Hallbrooks

1.  I am part Irish, which is only a problem when I'm upset.
2.  I was born in New York but have lived most of my life in Texas.
3.  I have sung a couple of duets at my church with my friend.
4.  I am about to be a grandmother for the first time.
5. I have judge the quality of children's books by the reaction of my Godson.
6.  I am a slow reader but I believe it is more of an advantage at times.
7.  I prefer silence when I'm reading or writing. Noise does not induce concentration for me. I'm not really sure how people, youngsters in particular, can  multitask like that. 

My nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award are less than fifteen.  After learning I was nominated, I made a list of blogs that I came across.  Each   blog posts spoke to me for different reasons. I hope that you will take a moment to see if they speak to you as well. Fair Warning some may require a hanky. 

Once again, thanks Rich Weatherly for giving Call Sign Wrecking Crew on the Run, the One Lovely Blog Award.

Hope everyone has a lovely one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Tracy James Jones recently surprised me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. 
Some of you may remember that Tracy interviewed us and I turned the tables and interviewed her. It was great fun to do back to back interviews.
Speaking of fun, I have to mention 7 true facts about me. Let me see if I can come up with some fun ones. 

1. I love to sing along with music...just about everywhere.

2. I love eating chocolate in any form, actually I love most sweets.

3. I love reading a good mystery.

4. I love reading a good medical thriller.

5. I love art but I don't go out of my way to go to an art gallery unless my son or daughter's work is showing. 

6. I love going to the movies with friends.

7. I love my co-author.  Although there are some days I don't like him very much, he's still one of my best friends.
 After searching through my blog lists for just the right posts that deserve this award, here are my 15 nominees:

Tim Greaton

Hannah Warren

Paty Jager

Writers in the Storm

I hope you took a moment to either scan or bookmark these posts. Each in their own way, are very inspirational. If you read them, then I hope you learned something that will inspire you. After all, creative humans desire inspiration.

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owner of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Sunshine Award

Tracy James Jones presented me with The Sunshine Award. I am very honored indeed. It seems that Tracy and I run in some of the same circles. I guess that's not surprising since we are both authors and bloggers. About a month ago, Tracy interviewed us. Then the next day, I interviewed Tracy

I’m supposed link back (see above), answer some questions about myself, and then tag more people.
1. What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?
I have many Christmas favorite movies but among them White Christmas is a must see every year. What's not to love...there is Christmas = the spirit of giving, singing, dancing, and military all in one movie.
2. What is your favorite flower?
Carnations are my favorite flower. They come from the florist in so many different colors these days.
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
My favorite non-alcoholic beverage is Dr. Pepper.
4. What is your passion?
I think my most overwhelming passion is helping others...that and eating sweets.
5. What is your favorite time of year?
Right now my favorite time of year is when school starts and I have more time to work. :)
6. What is your favorite time of day?
When the house is quiet...I prefer quiet to think, write, and read.
7. What is your favorite physical activity?
My favorite physical activity is singing.
8. What is your favorite vacation? 

My favorite vacation would be one where I didn't have to lift a finger for a whole week. I could spend time lounging and reading uninterrupted until meals and/or drinks were served to me. 

Now I’m supposed to nominate 10 other people for this award. 
I searched my blog lists for just the right posts that reflect Sunshine in some form.  If you do not have time to read the posts then please either skim or bookmark for later.

Writers in the Storm - This article shows both the storms and the sunshine.
Wodke Hawkinson

Amberr Meadows - Amberr is helping some stray cats with our assistance? Can you send her some Sunshine?

Christian Fiction for Your Kindle

Kate Donahue

Norma Budden

Frederick Lee Brooke


Shelley Workinger

Shannon Mayer

You know sometimes it isn't easy to find sunshine in this world of ours. I hope you found some with these posts. If so, I hope you spread a little sunshine in your next blog or maybe just smile at someone.  Simple things can be all the sunshine people need to make their day even better. Thanks,Tracy for sharing your sunshine with me and making me smile. :)

Have a great one!

Lynn Hallbrooks
co-author to David McKoy
co-owners of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC