R.V. Doon http://www.rvdoon.com Thriller & Mystery Author Wed, 06 Sep 2017 05:11:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 The USS ARIZONA’s Bandsmen: Rest In Peace http://www.rvdoon.com/the-uss-arizonas-bandsmen-rest-in-peace/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:49:59 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2848 In my novella, Deadly Liberty, one of eight stories in the anthology Pearl Harbor & More, the main protagonist, Connie “Coco” Collins, is a Navy nurse returning to the hospital ship, USS Solace, and is an eye-witness to the beginning of the war. As her liberty launch (a small boat) passes the USS ARIZONA she wonders if the ship’s band won the play off in the battle of the bands, because she hears them tuning up. In my initial research there were conflicting stories stating the band won the play off and others stated they weren’t even scheduled to play that day. So today on December 7th, I wanted to feature the Arizona’s bandsmen in this memorial post and add one more voice to setting the record straight.

Not a single bandsmen survived the Pearl Harbor attack. And yet, history shrouded them in mystery. 

Arizona’s band at the Loch Arena, Pearl Harbor, during the semifinals of the Battle of the Music on Nov. 22, 1941.

The Battle of the Music 1941 or The “Battle of the Bands” as most called it was a popular event for Navy servicemen. This competition began on September 13, 1941 as an elimination tournament held every two weeks. It featured Navy ensemble bands from ships home ported in Pearl Harbor and those attached to shore installations in Hawaii. Four bands were to compete in each round of the tournament with one winner per round selected to perform in the final competition on December 20th. Each band performed a swing number, a ballad, and a specialty tune. Last, they played a fast number for the jitterbug contest. Many people enjoyed attending the musical playoffs including corpsman Lee Huntley featured in Deadly Liberty. As I did research, I kept seeing conflicting stories–such as, after the attack the band that won the competition, handed over the trophy to Arizona out of respect.

Here’s the true story according to Molly Kent, sister of bandsman Clyde Williams. The second semifinal round of the competition did take place on December 6, but Arizona’s band did not compete that evening.  It had won the first round on September 13 against three other bands, but they came in second behind the Marine Barracks Band during the first semifinal round on November 22. Therefore, they weren’t eligible to compete in the trophy round.

Pennsylvania’s band won the semi-final on Dec. 6th.  Some Arizona bandsmen did attend as fans but they didn’t play. The final round to name the 1941 winner of the contest, scheduled for December 20, “never took place.” In respect, the grand prize trophy was ultimately awarded posthumously to the Arizona band. It is now at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, inscribed with the names of the band members.

End of story right? Nope.  More murky history surrounding how they died.

First, it’s a well-know fact that Arizona’s band was on the fantail tuning up for the music after hoisting of the colors. Arizona was a primary target and known throughout the Fleet as the Up and At’Em ship. She got pounded.

 The bandsmen’s families were given this as the Navy’s official press release quoted by the Associated Press on April 1, 1942: “On Dec. 7 they went to their battle stations, one of the most hazardous on the ship—down below passing ammunition to the guns above. To a man, the Arizona’s band was killed when the battleship’s magazine exploded.”

Forty years later, Molly Kent, a sister of bandsman Clyde Williams, found out this was the official narrative given to visitors at the Arizona’s memorial: It had been a long, exhausting, but ultimately successful Saturday night for the band members of USS Arizona (BB-39).  Although denied the top spot during a naval band competition ashore at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, they were still authorized by the ship’s captain to sleep in late the following morning. It was a sleep that they would never awaken from, the morning of December 7, 1941.

Which version was true?

Did they die fighting? Or were they sleeping? Mrs. Kent wanted the truth, no matter which version turned out to be true. Here’s a short synopsis of Mrs. Kent’s research findings that is well worth the read.  Here’s the link to her book titled USS Arizona’s LAST BAND. 

While 3 of the bandsmen were found dead in the water, they died to a man manning their battle stations. 

Arizona trophy at the Arizona Memorial.


Frederick William Kenney
Wayne Lynn Bandy
Oran Merrill Brabbzson
Ralph Warren Burdette
Harry Gregory Chernucha
Gerald Clinton Cox
Frank Norman Floege
Curtis Junior Haas
Bernard Thomas Hughes
Wendell Ray Hurley
Emmett Isaac Lynch
William Moore McCary
William Starks Moorhouse
Alexander Joseph Nadel
Neal Johnson Radford
James Harvey Sanderson
Jack Leo Scruggs
Robert Kar Shaw
Charles William White
Ernest Hubert Whitson, Jr.
Clyde Richard Williams


Please add to this story in the comments section.


Pearl Harbor & More Podcast with SPRT http://www.rvdoon.com/pearl-harbor-more-podcast-with-sprt/ Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:21:25 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2830 www.rvdoon.com


Podcasting is a new avenue for me, so I was thrilled to be one of four authors from the eight contributing to the Pearl Harbor & More Anthology to be interviewed by the Self Publishing Round hawaii14Table. As you know, we wrote the anthology in commemoration to the 75th anniversary year of Pearl Harbor. The hosts Erica and Chrishaun are funny and asked unexpected questions. I will have to say being on their podcast was a highlight for me in 2016.


****Here’s the link to our interview. **** 















More Nurses? http://www.rvdoon.com/more-nurses/ Wed, 16 Nov 2016 21:54:15 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2709 Okay, why do I keep writing about nurses? Yes, it’s a mystery unless you know why I became a nurse. Anyhow, I’m writing about a WW II Navy Nurse on a hospital ship, The USS Solace, because the majority of the war nurses stories died in history’s shadows for years. By the time Elizabeth Norman and other writers tried to find them for interviews, many had died. These nurses told the writers, “No one ever asked what I did in the war.” There is a cool article on the internet about the USS Solace, aka, The Great White Ship, written by a war nurse’s relative who found her pictures and notes in the attic. He published them wishing he’d had a chance to talk to her about her service.

WWII created an acute civilian nursing crisis because women wanted to serve their country too. There was a bill introduced near the end of the war to draft nurses because the surrenders took longer than expected. Thousands of nurses served on or near the front lines. The draft bill did not come up for a vote. After the war, these amazing war nurses were supposed to ignore the fact that they’d been doing advanced practice for years, and return to the same-old-tired routines. It’s hard to forget you went from being a handmaiden to starting IVs, giving anesthesia and blood, suturing wounds, and doing minor surgery. Yet, the majority did.

They were so silent that decades later this would happen to me:  An old battle-ax head nurse told me to give up my chair to a doctor. I said, “I have a college degree.”

She said, “I can fire you.”


I want to tell the war nurses’ stories through fiction. But if you want to read their stories here are a few good books.


Deadly Liberty: Pearl Harbor & More http://www.rvdoon.com/deadly-liberty-pearl-harbor-more-2/ Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:31:30 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2690 Details About PEARL HARBOR AND MORE

Stories of WWII: December 1941:


On December 7th 1941, a pivotal event took place that changed the face of World War II. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes carried out a devastating surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. By December 11th, the United States was at war with the Axis Powers in the Pacific and European theaters. World War II raged for almost another four years, but the entry of the world’s greatest economy into the conflict profoundly influenced its course.

This wide-ranging collection of eight stories by a diverse group of authors, who write wartime fiction, commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Pearl Harbor. Few people’s lives were unaffected in some way by that fateful day and these stories reflect this. Some of them are set at Pearl Harbor itself, in other parts of the United States and in Singapore. Other stories take place in Europe: occupied France, Germany and Northern Ireland. They explore the experiences of U.S. servicemen and women, a German Jew, Japanese Americans, a French countess, an Ulster Home Guard, and many others.

We hope readers will enjoy our salute to the people and the events of this momentous era.

Available at the following online booksellers:

Amazon USA Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon DE Amazon AU

Nook iTunes Kobo !Indigo Books2Read 



Deadly Liberty: Pearl Harbor & More http://www.rvdoon.com/deadly-liberty-pearl-harbor-more/ Sun, 13 Nov 2016 19:21:28 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2698 I’ve been working hard on a new historical cozy mystery series set in WW II on a Naval Hospital Ship-The USS Solace. This is not the cover, it’s a recruiting poster used to bring nurses into the medical service. I hope this old poster gives you an idea where this series is headed–to the South Pacific. Interested? Read More.



The first book currently titled A Murderous Disguise will be on sale in December, but I don’t think I will have it ready by December 7th. But you can enjoy the introductory story, Deadly Liberty, in the anthology called Pearl Harbor & More, which is on sale right now! I had a wonderful opportunity to join seven historical authors from diverse backgrounds and all their stories  represent the world at war.  Deadly Liberty, is the first story in Pearl Harbor & More and it introduces the main character Connie “Coco” Collins and her friends and shipmates. I’ll be posting a short excerpt on Monday and then daily about the other stories in the anthology. All stories lead to series books by these writers.





If you love historical fiction set in WW II, you can’t go wrong with this book priced at 0.99 cents. It’s a diverse collection spread out in various parts of Europe and America. Here are the links to various sources to purchase.


Available at the following online booksellers: 

Amazon USA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon DE  |  Amazon AU

Nook  |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  !Indigo  |  Books2Read




Mystery-Thriller Promotion http://www.rvdoon.com/mystery-thriller-promotion/ Fri, 13 May 2016 19:35:23 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2673  

I’m a very lucky author because I’ve linked up with a great group of mystery and thriller writers for a super two-day promotion.


Cozy mystery and thriller cross promotion @www.rvdoon.com



I’m featuring BODY ACHES Book #2 of my Text-A-Nurse Cozy mystery series. Please share this promo with your friends if you like what you see.

Book #2 in the Text-A-Nurse Cozy Mystery series


In case you like to read your cozies all in one gulp.



Have a great weekend reading mysteries and thrillers. Be sure to check out all the great steals at 0.99 cents.




Double Blind Giveaway http://www.rvdoon.com/double-blind-giveaway/ Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:35:22 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2649 I’ve entered some giveaways and didn’t win. Then I realized, I haven’t done one in over a year. So, I’ve entered Double Blind in a paperback version giveaway. If you love your thrillers, wrapped in a mystery this is a giveaway you may want to enter. No cost to you if you win. Go here to read synopsis and here to read the first chapter.

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Double Blind: A Medical Thriller.https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8c3080b37cc82aa3 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Feb 8, 2016 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

My Kindle Scout Nominations: How I Chose Them http://www.rvdoon.com/my-kindle-scout-nominations-how-i-chose-them/ Tue, 19 Jan 2016 18:11:51 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2634 Two of my goals for the New Year is more blog content for readers and fans of my books, and also doing more to help my fellow authors. In trying to find a way to combine both goals into one, I stumbled on Kindle Scout submissions.

My blurb for my finished novel Blindsided needed help (it needed CPR), so I scrolled through the KS submissions to kickstart my creative process. I liked going to KS because the book supply is limited, and I don’t feel overwhelmed. I wanted to learn why a book in a reader’s chosen category catches her eye. Some might argue I’d be better off reading books for sale in my genre, but readers of this blog know I’ve had a terrible time with covers and blurbs. I wished I’d studied the patterns sooner. I’d like to think as I hone the process that I’ll pick a KS winner fairly frequently. So stick with me and watch my results.

What is Kindle Scout?

Kindle Scout is a “reader powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. Readers decide if a book gets published by Kindle Press.” If an author’s book is chosen, they get several things including: a 1500 dollar book contract, 50% ebook royalty rate, and featured Amazon Marketing. This is a win-win for readers and authors. Plus, if a reader nominates a book that wins, Amazon sends them a free copy. Books have 30 days to get chosen. Authors are on a roller coaster for 30 days (poor things, but you can help them feel better by going to KS nomination page). If Amazon publishes their book, especially a first book, an author gets a hand up in the industry.

So it’s cool. I even wrote a blog post years ago about readers choosing the books they liked. I’ve learned something in the process, and readers may tune in to KS and vote for their favorites. By blogging my nominations and why I chose them, the authors get unsolicited marketing and maybe a boost.

Disclaimer: I have no book in KS and these are my personal opinions on what caught my eye.

On the KS main page books are grouped in 5 categories. Today I chose Thriller, Mystery, & Suspense. I’ll work through the cats monthly.

1. First I scrolled through the 28 covers.

Three covers jumped out as interesting to me. Provenance-has a medical image on it and caught my eye. RestHaven-promises no rest and chills & thrills. The Pirate Sisters cover jumped off the page, and it was my favorite. Of the three covers, Provenance had a problem because I couldn’t read the author’s name and it doesn’t scream sci-fi. Honestly, the impact of the covers are diluted by the (Amazon) orange tag lines. These tag lines are surprising little gems because they managed to force me to look past weaker covers. I think authors should consider using tag lines.

2. These tag lines caught my eye and helped weaker covers stand out. Uninteresting tags made some good covers appear weak.

I’ve ranked the tags below that I liked:

A wartime chase up an African peak.

Modern female pirates plunder the Caribbean.

Fear the unknown in this sci-fi thriller!

Returning war hero’s affair turns deadly.

Blood runs thick in the cold.

They thought the building was abandoned.

3. The taglines forced me to add two more books to the pile even with what I’d call weak covers.

The Snows of Mt. Kenya caught my eye because I’d just finished an Anita Shreve book, Altitude based on that same mountain. Beyond the Icefall made me think of Shreve’s book as well. I think this proves a reader notices topics based on prior books they’ve read, even if they’re in a different genre. Cloud’s tag line caught my attention and Icefall’s short description was the best of all 28. At the same time my eye rests on a cover, it went next to the tagline, and in a flash the first 3 sentences of the short blurb. Overall that tag is important and the first two sentences on the short description. Restland had a thriller’s cover, but it’s short description wasn’t as strong as the others. My takeaway is readers look for a reason to stop because let’s face it there are a lot of books. Set the first 3 sentences of your blurb on fire!

4. KS gives a short description and believe me this was the #1 hook.

After reading the short descriptions, I changed the order of books to be read in the longer excerpts. By now, I have a feeling for the books, they’re not just items on a page.

*The Snows of Mt. Kenya by R.J. Cloud

*Beyond the IceFall by Ryan K. Jory

*Provenance by Garet Wirth

*The Pirate Sisters by Sean Pall


5. I read the short excerpts to see if I wanted to read more.

All passed the short read, but the best was Beyond the IceFall. The Pirate Sisters is a YA novel, not my normal type of book, but it’s short held my attention plus it had a strong cover, great tag line.


6. I read the longer excerpts.

I want to be pulled into story, understand the setting, and comprehend the stakes in these thrillers. Amazon limits readers to 3 nominations. As books fall out of the 30 day window, I can add more. Here is my short opinion about the 4 books.

The Snows of Mt. Kenya is a historical thriller about a POW escape across Mt. Kenya during WWII. This is based on a true story. Cloud’s writing is strong, I felt like I was standing beside the characters talking about the escape. Excellent specific details that historical readers appreciate. I got the MC, great setting, and the stakes. I want more.

Beyond the Icefall-Its short description is killer, and it’s the best of the 28. The first chapter is great. Jory gives excellent details, but I’m not sure if he’s giving away too much too soon in the second chapter. My opinion:)) He hooked me and I’d read on.

Provenance-Great opening hook, ratchets up the attention in the next two chapters in a totally different setting. I’m liking the concept and I want more.

The Pirate Sisters-Strong opening, but then we get a flashback. I felt the section after the hook was slow and could be shortened. The writing is solid, I’d just like to know more about the antique, which kickstarted their adventures.


7. I can only nominate 3. Here is the order based on which one hooked hardest and yanked me to the end.


Provenance was a surprise sleeper but it hit the ball out of the park with the opening hook and held the suspense.

Two of my nominations had low-key covers (Snows & Beyond the IceFall). They showcase the title and the author, but don’t say thriller to me. Snow’s tag line caught my eye and IceFall’s short description rocked. But in comparison to a lot of covers, they looked good. Provenance isn’t the strongest, but it gets the theme out thriller etc, but it doesn’t hit the Sci-Fi thriller genre. So, the books I nominated don’t have the strongest covers. Go figure. I’ve concluded KS isn’t the best place to view great covers, but hopefully it will help me choose my next cover without the usual angst.

Covers make a difference but tags can save you. Make them count!

One book’s tag line interested me despite its weak cover, but the formating kept me from reading. KS isn’t a place to let formatting run wild. People want to sink into a story like a hot tub, bad formating prevents it. Nuke the manuscript following Smashword’s free advice.

I wish all the authors luck, including the ones I haven’t mentioned. If any of my nominations are picked up by KS, I’ll review the entire book here on the blog. Please feel free to comment on your Kindle Scout nominations. If any of the authors listed above see this post, I’d love to hear about your Kindle Scout experience.


Apocalyptic Fears II: Swarmers Included http://www.rvdoon.com/apocalyptic-fears-ii-swarmers-included/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 02:34:37 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2624 I’m excited to post that my book Swarmers has been included in the anthology Apocalyptic Fears II. This collection is available for KU members as the books are found only on Amazon.

Apocalyptic fears II @ rvdoon.com


To be included with so many great writers is an honor and privilege. Please check this 0.99 box-set out if you like reading books that give you chills. Oh, and if you can’t get enough thrills and chills check out Apocalyptic Fears I.



Cozy Mystery: What are ‘Gut instincts’? http://www.rvdoon.com/cozy-mystery-what-are-gut-instincts/ Mon, 09 Nov 2015 22:02:51 +0000 http://www.rvdoon.com/?p=2606 Occasionally, I get clobbered by non-medical critics because my nurse sleuth in my Text-A-Nurse Cozy Mystery Series, uses her ‘nursing gut instincts” to solve crimes. Some claimed I’m inserting a paranormal element into my contemporary mysteries. What? You mean you’ve never experienced this phenomena? To be fair, Reece does have a little ‘shine’ on her, but there is no magical thinking involved in her crime solving.

Gut instincts are often called human, animal, or base instincts. In my case, it’s inserted to give Reece Carson, the nurse sleuth, a cutting edge to crime solving and to show she has a different viewpoint than the more methodical police/detectives she encounters. In real life, I knew a nurse who claimed to smell a change in condition before it happened. As for me, sometimes I noticed a change in skin color prior to it actually happening. Whenever this happened to us, we gave that patient a long second look. A nurse and other health care team members can make a huge difference in someone’s life by deterring an adverse event, which often weakens patients.

you-think-youre-smarter_0code black3

Now Reece Carson ignites her ‘nursing instincts’ described as well-honed from working in critical care units, by writing a backward style nursing care plan for her dead victims. This is a private joke for any nurse reading the series, because nursing care plans are the bane of a nurse’s existence. Mostly because remembering to update them is problematic, since some patients exhibit a roller coaster of symptoms right up to transfer or discharge. So, I made the dreaded paperwork an important crime solving tool because doing so turns on her ‘instincts’.

cod black 1

Nurses and doctors are frequently shown in the TV hit Code Black as working from their instincts. The ER is ground zero for developing instincts that are based on previous experience. In a nutshell, their super-trained instincts are processing the data they are frequently recording,  and whammo an alert smacks them upside the head. They go looking for the problem or remember a unique way to solve it, and make adjustments as appropriate to stop their patient from circling the drain. In real life ‘code situations’, life or death for realz to you non-medical types, it’s a kind of knowing what to do without even thinking about it.

But don’t believe me. Believe Yo Daddy, the wonderful Marcia Gay Harden, in the second episode of Code Black called We Plug Holes.  Daddy tells Dr. Angus Leighton that he let another resident talk him out of following his instincts when he suspected his patient had an aortic aneurysm. She said, “Ignore your instincts at your own peril.”

marcia gay harden code black


Following your instincts is so important in life and death moments that she speaks to the staff about it again. I videotaped a short excerpt off my TV. Hopefully it works, but may be shaky.

Check out the Text-A-Nurse and turn on your gut instincts!

The Text-A-Nurse Cozy Mystery Series