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WEBSITE OF DALE ROLLINGS, AUTHOR

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ABOUT



COMMUNICATION

In this website I'll try to communicate some thoughts and ideas that go into my books.

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TESTING GROUND

Sometimes I'll talk about books I have written, or might be in the process of writing.  Other times, I might just try out an idea that I am thinking of writing about, or a plot line that interests me. Maybe I'll explain something that has been questioned or blog on some subject that is on my mind.

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THOUGHT PROVOKING

If the object of writing is to enhance learning, or stimulate thought, then I should be tickling your imagination, and encouraging you to consider options.

"At The End of the Day”

COMING … ON SCHEDULE, JUST IN TIME FOR FALL

DALE ROLLINGS’ NEW NOVEL

           A sweeping panorama of the Greatest Generation, as seen through the eyes of the son of an Immigrant who is thrown into World War II at age eighteen, and struggles across Europe with the US Army in its relentless push for Berlin.


            From the time he hits the beach at Normandy, until his boat ride home on Christmas Eve, 1946, his life is one of discovery, amazement, and immersion into the greatest generation of Americans that ever lived. What he learned, and what he experienced in war affects his life for the next fifty years. It brings him riches, successes, failures and an understanding of real love as he builds a family, a business and an understanding of what it all means.


            Michael Poulos, the boy, becomes Michael Poulos, the man, as he is swept forward from Utah Beach, to the canyons of Wall Street.


            This one is not to be missed. It’s a chronicle of life in the Greatest Generation that starts in the back of a ’36 Ford and winds up in a private jet touching down in Paris on the eve of the Millennium. It’s a story of love and of loss, of successes and failures and of pathways we choose or choose to ignore.


Great Reading.


Coming September 1st. Available in print from Amazon, and in electronic formats from Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple and KOBU.
For more information contact Dale at: dalerolliings@hotmail.com

RECENT WORK

"The Trunk" Deceit and Intrigue in the Last Desperate Days of the Nazi Third Reich

Like WWII history? Into spy stories? Intrigued by the cultural crosswinds blowing in America in the run-up to World War II? Like stories set in St. Louis? Then I think you'll like "The Trunk".

     Watch as our principal characters, Hugo and Frieda Jurgens, sink deeper into the web of spying for Nazi Germany motivated by their greed (or, some say, by their need). See their lust for rewards lead them into a scheme to divulge secrets of the Manhattan Project. The clever Nazis snare them into a sinister plot to kill thousands of Americans and destroy their home city of St. Louis. And watch how a little slip-up can foil even the most perfectly laid plans.

A FUN TIME TO DO SOME READING

      With a lot of us "Social Distancing," some of us are reading a lot more, particularly if we are stuck at home. One of our favorite readers, Joyce DeNeal, provided us with a copy of her reading list for 2020. We found it interesting

     We are honored that "The Trunk" made the cut. Joyce is a voracious and discriminating reader and we are always interested in what she is reading. She is also a good filter of what reading is a waste of time. If Joyce didn't like a book, or refused to finish it, she is not bashful about telling you so.

     But one of Joyce's comments somewhat surprised us. She liked "The Trunk" because it could be read in just a few days. We never thought about it that way, but we understand what she is saying. "the Trunk" isn't a long and complicated book that requires hours of studied text to understand the plot. It is, and is meant to be, easy reading for the enjoyment.

     One of the things that is attractive to many readers is the connection with many South St. Louis landmarks. the places where the book is set are very familiar to many people, particularly those with long-standing relationships with that part of the City. Familiarity makes for easy and fast reading.

    "The Trunk" is available in print from Amazon, and in electronic form from Kindle, Barnes & Noble (Nook), and KOBU.

ON THE DRAWING BOARD

"The Greatest Generation" is passing into eternity. We'll soon see the last World War II Veteran leave us. When you think about all that generation accomplished you cannot help but marvel at the achievements, progress, successes - and a few mistakes. That generation, bracketed by a World War and the end of the Twentieth Century is leaving us with so much achievement it is almost impossible to describe., 

     The era between WWII and the close of the Century fascinates me. Think about six million men and women returning to our shores from Europe and the Pacific after four years of war. We had won a great victory; there was jubilation. These Vets could have rested on their laurels, reveled in the glory of their wartime successes, and settled into a life that was just a future that was just an extension of the life they left before the War.

     But it didn't happen that way. There was a restlessness, an attitude that we could do better. War awakened the pioneering spirit that once drove us to form a nation out of Thirteen separate colonies and conquer a continent.  Now that spirit was directed toward science, technology, medicine, law, social justice and just plain "finding a way to do things better, faster and more efficiently than that which we had done before." The juggernaut that was post-war America was born of war, and the second half of the Twentieth Century was its proving ground. The world would never be the same.

     It is this phenomenon that I am exploring in my next book "At the End of the Day." It's not about going to the moon, curing polio, inventing heart transplants or the computer revolution. It's about a common man, a small part of the Greatest Generation, and his metamorphosis from an immigrant teenager drafted into a war he knows little about, and his journey through the second half of the Twentieth Century. We explore his personal, financial, technical and romantic achievements, and we highlight a few of his mistakes.

     Oh yes, and there is a love story in here too. Successes and failures in relationships with the opposite sex are an integral part of the story. To some, you might even think could be a Romance Novel. but it's really about much more.

     No matter how you perceive it "At the End of the Day" is a sweeping story that promises good reading, and I hope you will take a look.

     I estimate "At the End of the Day" will be ready for release mid-2020.


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What would you do for an unfathomable amount of money?

      Or, put another way, what amount of money would it take to get you to do something you would not consider otherwise? The cynic says that “everyone has a price”, and that, given enough money, anyone would do anything.
      Do you believe that? Well, that is the underlying theme of “The Trunk”, a novel that explores what people will do if they are given enough money? Hugo and Frieda Jurgens are put to the test. What will it take to get them to commit minimal crimes with a low likelihood of being caught? Where does weighing the risks of being caught at an illegal act get measured against the successful rewards of pulling off the crime?
     What then, if the task and the reward were ratcheted up? More risk- more reward? At what point do we say, ”No, I won’t do that, at least for that amount of money.” Hugo and Frieda reach that point, but the reward gets increased, and the temptation is multiplied. The limits of their restraint are tested, and they lower their bar of resistance as the price goes up despite an increase in the risk of being caught. Does the offer of money dissolve the concern for the risk of danger- even to the point that it could cost them their lives? What they are asked to do is much simpler than, say, an armed robbery of a convenience store or a gas station, but the rewards are much greater.
      And then there is another element: does repeated success in pulling off the task with no challenge; not even a close call at getting caught, cause erosion of caution; or perhaps the lowering of the concern for the risk?
      Finally, comes the pièce de resistance: Frieda and Hugo are offered riches beyond their wildest imagination, but they must do something that they have never done before. In fact, no one has ever done it before. The task involves trickery, betrayal, nerves of steel, and the result will bring death, destruction and pestilence to many people. Yet, if completed successfully, Hugo and Frieda will be rich for the rest of their lives. Can they overcome their Christian, conservative, God-fearing upbringing, and commit a heinous, dastardly and destructive crime? The chances of pulling it off are pretty good, and the risk level seems manageable.
We’ll find out in ”The Trunk”, a novel by Dale Rollings.
Available now at Kindle, Nook, Apple books and KOBU, and in paperback. 

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HOW DO BOOKS BEGIN?

Where, in the crevasses of the mind do stories, fiction or not, begin to take shape? I’m no expert, but I can tell you about one:

     Several years ago My wife and I took a driving trip across France.  We started in the east, in Alsace-Lorraine, that enchanted wine-producing region along the Rhine River on France’s eastern border with Germany. Then we drove west – across France towards Normandie. We were on our own, driving over the Voges mountains, along rolling fields near Reims, past fields and vineyards, through little towns and villages, avoiding the big motorways and cities and sticking to the less-traveled “blue-highways”.  France too, has created a superhighway system by which it is possible to travel across the country without even seeing it! We chose the route less-traveled.

     I began to wonder what it was like for an American soldier in World War II, probably away from home for the first time in his (or her) life, fighting their way east toward Germany and ultimately Berlin. The towns might have looked a lot like what we saw, and the hills and valleys were the same picturesque vistas we all know from the travel posters. But with the War, the dangers, the death, the destruction that accompanied their sojourn what kind of a perspective did the lonely American soldier have of this ancient and beautiful country? And what was its effect on them?

     The more I thought about it the more I wondered what changes a year, two or even three fighting across France had on those soldiers? We have the advantage, now, of hindsight. We know it changed them. Not only did it cause boys and girls to grow up quickly from teenagers to young people, something else happened to mold them into the Greatest Generation of Americans that ever lived. It happened in other places where the War was being fought, too, but it happened right here on the very this soil that I was traveling across; It made me wonder?

     These thoughts gave rise to the writing of “At the End of the Day.” Soon to be released in print and electronic form on September 1. I took some time to research questions that I have had since birth. Who were these people who fought so valiantly against Hitler’s Third Reich? How did the War shape them?

And how did it affect the people who lived here? And even, how did it affect the Germans who were sent here to defend against us? It was most enlightening to dip a toe into recent history, and tell a story against the backdrop of a savage World War, about how ordinary people were affected, molded, shaped and sometimes blessed by events that happened right here in these fields, vineyards and towns. I tried to tell the story with the events of the day forming a background of how this Generation came to be so unique.

     I’m sure that this is not the only way that a book comes into fruition. There are myriads of others, but these are the origins of “At the End of the Day.” Available in print, and electronic versions from Amazon, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Apple books and KOBU September 1.

 

COMING SOON: THE TRUNK WILL BE RELEASED IN AUDIOBOOKS

     We've ventured into the recorded book world with our first Audiobook, "The Trunk." The recording is going on right now, and we anticipate release as early as August 30.

     If you are an audiobook fan we think you'll like this professionally narrated version of the popular printed version. Nothing is left out.  What a stitch it has been transforming the narrative into recorded words. Our Studio, Findaway Voices, found the perfect narrator in Kieth O'Brien. Add a professional recording staff of technicians and we have the formula for an entertaining pro-produced audiobook. You'll love it!

     Also available in printed form and electronic form at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple Books and KOBU. The price of the audiobook has not yet been established.  Perfect-Bound Paperback: 19.95 plus shipping & handling (approx $6.50); Electronic version: $9.95. 

THE TRUNK - Deceit and Intrigue in the last Desperate Days of the Nazi Third Reich*

 All sales from DLRollings LLC are final. Sales of electronic versions (i.e. Amazon, KOBU, Nook etc.) for download are subject to the cancellation/return policy of the electronic vendor. 




WHAT READERS SAY,

Testimonial from our client


Just finished The Trunk. Great, great read. Couldn't put it down. Actually, I got up at 2 am one morning to read through a few chapters.”

        Dennis Doyle, Navarre, FL



"Just finished The Trunk. I loved it. A real page turner. There's just enough fiction and apparent factual basis to keep you on the edge of your seat. Growing up in St. Louis and working in South St Louis most of my career, the attention to detail of that area in St Louis made the book extra fun. Thanks for writing the book Dale!"

Jeff Comotto, Atty.

Defiance, MO


"Blazing good reading!" *****

     Rollings writes with an easy to read prose, sort of like he is telling you a story, and it's a pretty good story! Who would have thought that there were areas of America that did not exactly support our position on WWII? 

     This story starts slow, characters are developed, and you feel like you know them. Then they turn ugly, and you realize that common people can do really bad things when motivated. This book builds toward a crashing finish.       It tests your morality. Were they just good people lured to the dark side, or were they inherently evil? The author leaves you to decide. He warns you that deciding will not be easy - and he is right."


California Reader

     "Ijust finished "The Trunk".  Wow! What an interesting and clever story. I enjoyed it from cover to cover. From the point in the book when you first mention the "bomb" and the plan for Hugo and Freida, I continually thought about how the book would end.  What a clever and surprise ending.   

     I am amazed at your attention to detail which had to require tons and tons of research. How did you find out the many details described, such as the locations of all the various names  and locations of buildings in Berlin which were part of the Third Reich ?   How did you know that the JB Bridge roadway was 200+ feet above the water? I am just utterly amazed and impressed with your knowledge of St. Louis, the German culture that existed in South Saint Louis at the time of WWII, and your detailed description of the world situation  at that time.  

     I can't wait to read your next novel."

Kent Mueller, Paradise Valley, AZ


THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC! ***** The lifestyle and history of wartime German S. St. Louis was so precise, Author Dale Rollings had to have really researched it because much of it was before his, and even my, time.I can vouch for the precise S. St. Louis accuracy of his book from living right near Black Forest Beer Garden on Wanda Ave. war-time. That is when Black Forest original location was on the South side of Gravois near Kingshighway in S. St. Louis near the overgrown cemetery. 

      Especially on the weekends as a little guy, I could clearly hear the loud German Um-pah pah bands wafting out over the neighborhood and the German patriotic songs sung in that language. I didn't know why that was being done and I didn't know about or understand the large connection to the emotional Nazis in lovely S. St. Louis. Not being from a German family I didn't have a clue why. 

     The WW2 German spying among our German immigrant residents doesn't now surprise me. 

Golly, I hope the book was all fiction in regards to the existence of the trunk. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be here to write this review. 

     Well Done. Read it! Five Stars."

                    Dr Paul Wilson, Lindenwood University

Testimonial from our client

    "Dale Rolling’s latest novel, The Trunk, is a super read. Part thriller and part history, it is set in the author’s boyhood South St Louis neighborhood. Replete with references to places, people and things familiar to locals and intriguing to non-natives, The Trunk takes readers on a thrill ride through pre-World War II St Louis and into the chilling world Hitler’s Germany.

      This is one of the best written and most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. I can’t wait for Dale’s next oeuvre."

              Nancy Schneider Cir. Judge, ret.




A sweeping panorama of the Greatest Generation, as seen through the eyes of the son of an Immigrant who is thrown into Word War II at age eighteen, and struggles across Europe with the US Army in its relentless push for Berlin.

            From the time he hits the beach at Normandy, until his boat ride home on Christmas Eve,1946, his life is one of discovery, amazement, and immersion into the greatest generation of Americans that ever lived. What he learned, and what he experienced in war, affected his life for the next fifty years. It brought him riches, successes, failures and an understanding of real love as he builds a family, a business and an understanding of what life is all about.

            Michael Poulos, the boy, becomes Michael Poulos, the man as he is swept forward from Utah Beach, to the canyons of Wall Street. 

            This one is not to be missed. It’s a chronicle of life in the Greatest Generation that starts in the back of a landing craft and winds up in a private jet touching down in Paris on the eve of the Millennium. It’s a story of love and of loss, of successes and failures and of pathways we choose to follow ignore.

            Great Reading.

            Available in print from Amazon, and in electronic form from Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple and KOBU September 1st.

A sweeping panorama of the Greatest Generation, as seen through the eyes of the son of an Immigrant who is thrown into Word War II at age eighteen, and struggles across Europe with the US Army in its relentless push for Berlin.

            From the time he hits the beach at Normandy, until his boat ride home on Christmas Eve,1946, his life is one of discovery, amazement, and immersion into the greatest generation of Americans that ever lived. What he learned, and what he experienced in war, affected his life for the next fifty years. It brought him riches, successes, failures and an understanding of real love as he builds a family, a business and an understanding of what life is all about.

            Michael Poulos, the boy, becomes Michael Poulos, the man as he is swept forward from Utah Beach, to the canyons of Wall Street. 

            This one is not to be missed. It’s a chronicle of life in the Greatest Generation that starts in the back of a landing craft and winds up in a private jet touching down in Paris on the eve of the Millennium. It’s a story of love and of loss, of successes and failures and of pathways we choose to follow ignore.

            Great Reading.

            Available in print from Amazon, and in electronic form from Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple and KOBU September 1st.

DLRollings, LLC - Home

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Why am I so fascinated with WWII?

I don't know that I am "fascinated", but, as I age away from that time I am very introspective about what happened in the early days of my childhood. The passage of time has given me a new perspective on the events and people of that time.  I am fascinated with the effect that the events of the late Thirties and early Forties have had on that generation, of which I am a fringe member. I've also learned that many of us have "selective memories" of those times.  In our minds, we sometimes filter out good and bad recollections, and by doing so we are often tainted in what we think of the events of the day. This "selective recollection" has a lot to do with how we view what we remember.

     War is awful. Not only the killing, maiming and bodily harm that accompanies armed conflicts, but damage to the psyche, and the actions, attitudes and mental stresses that accompany it. Men and women that would not think of perpetrating heinous crimes, rape, steal, blackmail, and pressure fight with each other under the strains of war. Just look at Frieda and Hugo in "The Trunk", or Jacques Rodier (here is a hint of what is coming the next novel) in "At the End of the Day."  War, even if it doesn't kill, wound or maim, often upsets or disrupts our moral compass leaving us to drift from what is right. Now that fascinates me.

     But, as we have found out, it doesn't have to be that way.  War can bring out extraordinary behavior, exemplary beyond any expectations. the same pressures that can disrupt our moral compass can, sometimes, bring forth positive thoughts, actions, and exemplary results. Such was the case study in the "Greatest Generation." Men and women whose lives were cloistered, mundane and without achievement (and maybe devoid of hope) were spurred to unbelievable heights. People with no hint of greatness were shaken, prodded and drawn toward earth-shaking discoveries and unheard-of acts of bravery and leadership. To many, the war set the mind, spirit, and creative juices, free.

     Which brings me to the book that is now under construction. In "At the End of the Day" we follow a young man from St. Louis who, just after his graduation from High School is drafted into the Army of the United States, and sent off to Europe to participate in the greatest invasion the world has ever seen. But it's not a war story. How his world, in the context of the European Theatre of war, is shaped and molded. His perspectives, particularly his interactions with the people with whom he meets and interacts in the context of war is an interesting study. As important are the lessons of life and the attitudes he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

     Last year, I visited the Beaches of Normandy. I noticed tour groups that contained old men, many feeble and barely able to traverse the beaches with their wheel-chairs and walkers. They fanned out over, the fields and hills, now covered with rows of white markers, that they so valiantly attacked and conquered over seventy years ago. My guide pointed out to me that there were "not so many anymore; they were all dying off." They are the last vestiges of the Greatest Generation of Americans that ever lived.  Soon they will all be gone.  I had to write this book to trace the life of just one of them. I owe it!  We all do!

CONTACT ME

I'm always glad to hear from you - whether it's positive or negative.  Did you like the blog? disagree or not? How was the book?  Did it meet your expectations? Got an idea for a book, or just want to get something off your chest? We like to hear from our readers. Don't be intimidated by the box - it'll take lots more words than it looks.

    If you want an autographed copy of The Trunk, let me know.