Sunday, June 23, 2013

Guest Author Tim Ashby and Thrills of It All Blogfest

Thrills of It All Blogfest: Sponsored by Tara Tyler and Heather Gardner. Share a big thrill with us to be entered into The Thrill of it All blogfest contest! We will judge the biggest thrills and give out some thrilling prizes. 

My big thrill is wrapping up my third and final installment of the Breakthrough Trilogy titled Escalation. Wish I had the cover art to share, but that will be coming along in a couple weeks!

Heather Morgan’s Maguire’s Corner is available now and Pop Travel will be available July 7, 2013. 

Next Up: Thanks to Nikki Leigh for extending the invitation to host Author Timothy Ashby on his Virtual Book Tour as he addresses the age old question that drive many writers today; What is good and what is evil. Take it away Tim: 

Why is Murder OK in War?  Moral Dilemmas of War Itself My new novel, TIME FALL, explores the morality of killing in war.  The hero, Lt. Art Sutton, and team of US Army Rangers have “fallen” from 1945 into 2011 and believe they are still fighting the Nazis in World War II.  The men have been ordered to assassinate a wounded German pilot and minor officials. They decide to disobey this order on moral grounds, even though one of the men – a bitter Jewish sergeant whose family perished in the Holocaust – argues that all Nazis are legitimate targets, whether or not they are combatants. 

When I was a law student I studied “Just War Doctrine” – the theory of military ethics which holds that a violent conflict should conform to philosophical, religious or political criteria.  In my opinion, World War II was a “just war,” and the killing of Axis soldiers was necessary, because it liberated oppressed people in Europe and Asia, and ended the Nazi Holocaust.  Other wars, particularly the First World War, were completely unjustified, and the slaughter of millions of soldiers by was morally and ethically wrong. 

When “a state of war,” is deemed to exist, men may legally kill one another.  The morality of peace time is suspended, and ”murder” can be exercised against enemy combatants, but not against the civilians of enemy countries. 

The First World War officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918.  If an American soldier shot and killed a German infantryman one minute before the Armistice he was killing legally.  Technically, if that same soldier fired a bullet across No Man’s Land with the same result one minute after the war officially ended, he was a murderer. 

War, by its very nature, will forever be morally ambiguous.  And “unjust” wars – which I believe include Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, far outnumber history’s “just” wars.  Another character in TIME FALL, a Vietnam veteran still suffering from physical and psychological wounds, gives voice to this. 

“No wonder I’m burned out, he said to himself, imagining the horrors experienced by teenage boys who had been drafted to “defend America against international communism.” Like all those dead and maimed boys he had known in ‘Nam. And now half the stuff for sale at Walmart was from Vietnam and the other half was from “communist” China.” 

Filled with historically accurate details, Time Fall is a complex military tale that keeps readers riveted through every surprising twist. Read an excerpt and to enter to win a FREE copy CLICK HERE . For your copy, CLICK HERE. You can also get your copy at all major book retailers. 

About Tim Ashby Timothy Ashby's life has been as thrilling as one of his action/adventure novels. Visit his author blog CLICK HERE

An international lawyer, businessman and writer, Tim Ashby worked in Washington DC as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official - the youngest political appointee of his rank - at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). 

He has lived in the Caribbean and Europe as well as various places in the United States. An avid historian, he published widely on military history, archaeology, business and international relations. A licensed attorney in Florida and the District of Columbia, Tim Ashby has a PhD degree from the University of Southern California, a JD from Seattle University Law School, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh Scotland. 

Book Details Publisher – Author Planet Press  
ISBN-10 1481026674 
ISBN-13 978-1481026673

Question: What moral delimmas do you work into your stories? Me, I use utilitarianism, that is, doing something you normally would not do for the greater good.


  1. Sounds like a great read, Timothy.
    Glad you are finally wrapping up that last book, Stephen!

  2. Gosh, Mr Tim Ashby - what a most profound philosophical dilemma! More often than not killing a human being is justified when the perpetrator thinks he or she is in some kind of war. It's all very sad! I guess I tend to stick to more personal moral dilemmas - the affairs of the heart for instance - what a seething massive quagmire of dilemmas there! :-)

    Yay for you Mr Tremp and your finished trilogy!!!

    Take care

  3. Can't wait to see your book cover Steve.

    Tim, the book sound fantastic. Such deep and disturbing issues to explore. War is a sad business.


  4. War is never totally justifiable, no matter what the stakes. I'm not sure what dilemmas find their way into my work...must explore that further.

  5. I left it a bit late for the blogfest. I have so many thrills it would be a hard choice,
    Enjoyed your post as always Stephen.
    Have a good day.


  6. Congrats on nearly completing the Breakthrough Trilogy, Steve. I can understand your thrill.

  7. Hi Stephen .. well done on getting Escalation ready for publication - that's great news ... so nearly there ...

    Tim Ashby's book sounds very interesting .. war is such an unnecessary way of resolving issues - but get that over to leaders can be a difficult or impossible choice option .. one on one ... which becomes lots v lots and makes many others totally miserable for the rest of their lives ..

    Enjoy the thrills of it all blogfest - Hilary

  8. Glad Breakthrough is just about wrapped up. As for the moral dilemma of war, if someone is shooting at you, you shoot back. Killing another human is always murder however you justify it, but it will probably never stop.

  9. Timefall has an interesting concept. Very controversial.

  10. Thanks Tim for stopping by with a timely topic that many writers either struggle with or embrace. Me, I embrace the matter and use it to help drive internal conflict of the protagonist.

  11. This is a controversial subject to be sure. I think it always will be because since the beginning of time there have been struggles between good and evil forces.

  12. You bring up a very interesting controversy, one that I pose to my students as an example of complicated morals. I dropped by for the Thrill of it All, so congrats on wrapping up a book (that always feels awesome!).

  13. A big, fat, THRILLING CONGRATS to you on Escalation, Stephen! That is a great thrill!

    And wow to Tim- that's a heavy topic indeed, and it sounds like he explores it in a fascinating way! I'm gonna sign up to enter the drawing now!

  14. I have an MC in my current story who has a special "gift". He lives by a strict code that governs how he can use that gift and he is eventually confronted with the choice of violating that code or risking an innocent life. At that point, I found myself arguing with my character over what to do. It wasn't an easy decision.

    Good news on wrapping up Escalation, Stephen.

  15. Way to go on finishing Escalation, Stephen!!!

    Tim - that's a tough topic to grapple with. When I wrote my novel, I realized that my character would be in "kill or be killed" battle situations and I needed to deal with the morality of that.
    Since she's a teenaged girl who has never killed anyone before despite training as a warrior, I knew I had to take a moment and think about what it might mean for her as a character to deal with that kind of horror. Even the "just" killing in a war is horrific.

  16. Congrats on finishing the third. I need to get busy reading the first two. And, is Chase Manhattan your MC's name. Such a cool name.

  17. Tim--I've often pondered the morality of killing. The illustration you gave of one minute before "peace/cease fire" and one minute after resonated. No soldier comes out of any war--justified or not--without some deep scars on their psyche. Only in the movies do people walk away without any ill effects. :-)

    Steve--I've used various moral dilemmas in my writing. Looking forward to seeing the new cover.


  18. Wrapping up the third book in your trilogy? That's definitely thrilling!
    I have the first book on my kindle, waiting to be read. I'm looking forward to reading it!
    Writer In Transit

  19. Wow! Yes, wrapping up a trilogy is quite a thrill. Congratulations!

  20. The excerpt from Time Fall was excellent. I'm in for reading it.

    Great news about your trilogy. I'll add my congrats.

  21. wow! lots of thrills! congrats on escalation! cant wait to see the cover!

    and the war morality discussion was stimulating too!
    great post!

  22. Congratulations on wrapping up your series-- that's a BIG thrill!!

    Thanks for introducing me to Tim and what sounds like a fantastic and fascinating read.


  23. Feels great to be nearing the end! I"m ready to jump right into my next book.

  24. Quite thrilling, Stephen - looking forward to seeing that cover.

    Hmm, the moral dilemmas in my stories always seem to center around sex. What's up with that? Congrats, Timonthy. The conflict in your book sounds riveting.

  25. Congratulations on getting near the end of your trilogy!

    I agree about the moral dilemma of killing during wartime vs. peacetime, and morally unjustified wars. I'm a pacifist but would've accepted a noncombatant position had I been a man and drafted during WWII or the Civil War, but wouldn't have volunteered or accepted being drafted for most other wars. There's a difference between murder and killing; I've heard it explained that the Commandment about murder uses that word instead of kill. There's a recognition that killing in self-defence or wartime isn't murder on the same scale as a cold-blooded act of crime.

  26. It will be quite the thrill to be able to see all three of your books completed and published! Wonderful. Can't wait for the cover!
    Thanks for participating!

  27. Congratulations on finishing the trilogy, Stephen!

    Great guest post too, I'd never considered the murder element in war, which is probably a bit naive.

  28. Congrats on Escalation, Stephen! That is quite a thrill. Let me know if you want help promoting it. :)

    And nice to meet Tim. It sounds like a great book.

  29. Great that you're so close to finishing Escalation Stephen. That's indeed thrilling.

    Wartime morality is a definite oxymoron...who are we to judge if a certain war is justifiable? Depends on which side of the fence you're sitting. Instead of going in and bombing the hell out of Afghanistan 'we' could have spent those billions on helping those shattered people. 'Make love not war'.

    Great that someone has made a serious study of this morality.

  30. Timothy Ashby presents this dilemma in a most professional manner. I could not have stated it any better. Thanks again Timothy for sharing on such a well thought out topic that everyone struggles with.

  31. Woot for nearly finishing Escalation!

    Great meeting Tim. It always amazes me what atrocities soldiers get away with because of war.

  32. lovely meeting Tim and getting to know more about his book! Good luck! hope you finish Escalation soon!

  33. Good luck with Escalation, Stephen!

    Great to meet Tim.

  34. Congrats with finishing up Escalation!!

    Tim's book sounds like an insightful read!

  35. I bet the bigger thrill will be when you see the cover. That's everyone's favorite part.

  36. I bet finishing the third book was a huge thrill! Congrats!!
    Time Fall sounds like an interesting read.

  37. I'm glad you finished the latest book Stephen! I can't wait to read it.

    I'm going to be checking out Time Fall for sure. I still bristle over the so called "Domino Theory" that caused me to go to Vietnam.

  38. Happy for you nearing the finish line, Stephen, congratulations! Timothy's book sounds interesting, and I love the cover. :)

  39. Very interesting. I've added Time Fall to my TBR pile.

  40. Thanks everyone for stopping by! And thanks Tim for sharing your post with us. I love this topic and hearing what other writers have to say about it.