Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Running With the Enemy by LLoyd Lofthouse Guest Post

Publisher: Three Clover Press (February 1, 2013)
Category: Vietnam War, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Tour Dates: March 2014
Available in: Print and ebook 384 Pages

Awarded Runner Up in General Fiction at the 2013 Beach Book Festival. Awarded honorable mention general fiction 2013 New York Book Festival!

In this suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War, Victor Ortega is a rogue CIA agent, and he needs someone to blame for his crimes. Recon Marine Ethan Card is the perfect patsy. As a teen, Ethan ran with a Chicago street gang, and he has a criminal record. He also has a secret lover, Tuyen, who is half Vietnamese and half French. Tuyen is a stunning, beautiful Viet Cong resistance fighter. Since she was a young child, Tuyen has lived under the control of her brutal, older, sexually abusive half-brother, Giap, a ruthless and powerful Viet Cong leader, who has forced her to kill Americans in battle or die if she refuses. When Ethan discovers he is going to be court marshaled for weapons he did not sell to the Viet Cong and Tuyen will be arrested and end up in an infamous South Vietnamese prison, where she will be tortured and raped, he hijacks a U.S. Army helicopter and flees with Tuyen across Southeast Asia while struggling to prove his innocence. Victor Ortega and Giap—working together with the support of an unwitting American general—will stop at nothing to catch the two, and the hunt is on. The star-crossed lovers travel across Laos to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat; to Bangkok, Thailand, and then to Burma’s Golden Triangle where Ethan and Tuyen face a ruthless drug lord and his gang. In the rainforests of Burma, Ethan also discovers Ortega and Giap have set in motion a massive assault on his Marine unit’s remote base in South Vietnam with the goal of killing the man he admires most, Colonel Edward Price, who is the only one who believes Ethan is innocent. Ethan must risk everything to save Price and his fellow Marines. Will he succeed?

Read Chapter One.

Lloyd Lofthouse describes his book Running with the Enemy as a memoir that evolved into fiction. As a Vietnam veteran who had seen and experienced enough to leave him with post traumatic stress disorder, he wrote this book it seems to come to terms with all he experienced in Vietnam. The book became fiction, an action novel with a strong romance component.Overall it rings true of war and what it was like to serve in Vietnam. Much of the book details the fighting, the casualties and the heartbreak and the trauma experienced by the soldiers. The book also takes you on a dizzying journey when the lovers Tuyen and Ethan flee to other countries in Southeast Asia – Laos, Cambodia, Bangkok, Thailand ,and Burma (Myanmar).For those who would like to get a sense of what combat was really like, this is an excellent book, which began as a memoir of Vietnam.“- Book Dilettante
“I found Running with the Enemy captivating and well worth reading and enjoyed such a different type of historical novel from Mr. Lofthouse than his previous. Since Mr. Lofthouse is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, I am sure he drew from some of his personal experiences and I shudder to think of some of these experiences.”- M. Denise C.
 ”Running With the Enemy is a gut-wrenching page-turner at once a historical rendering of the Vietnam-American war, a suspense-thriller involving the framing of an innocent man forced to go on the run, and a passionate love story.  As an historical novel, it renders an intricate tapestry of the era, the geography, and the several cultures in confrontation at that time. As a suspense-thriller it grips on page one and keeps your heart racing page after page with hardly a paragraph of relief. As a war story, it depicts war as the bloody, hell that it is–a place in which the mettle of the honorable is tested and honed in the same landscape where sociopaths thrive and reach the heights of power and influence.   As a love story, it portrays the way a bond between two hearts can transcend race, religion, politics, national identity and family loyalty, defying all convention, tradition, prejudice and law to claim their right to have each other.
The characters are all deftly drawn and believable and if they exist beyond a page or two they will leave their mark on the reader who has come to care about them whether it is to love them, admire them, hate them or simply be amused by them.  I can wholeheartedly recommend Running With the Enemy as a story that rewards the time and effort invested. Its impact will linger long after the last page is turned.”-Joystory
“Running with the Enemy was everything and more than I was expecting. First off, the way Lloyd had everything under control from the plot and setting to the character developments and the historical elements that were added. Everything was extremely vivid, as if I was experiencing it first-hand.
Now talking about the extremely sexual love affair between Ethan and Tuyen felt so real that I actually cried at times throughout reading Lloyd’s Running with the Enemy. Speaking of crazy relationships, that Victor Ortega man. I really didn’t like him from the start, but who likes bad guys?
Running with the Enemy is an adventure that definitely isn’t suitable for younger children, but mainly for adults due to the extreme sex and violence. With that being said, I absolutely LOVED Lloyd’s novel and I honestly can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”-A Book and Latte

About Lloyd Lofthouse:
Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, served in Vietnam as a field radio operator in 1966. Back home, Lloyd was a heavy drinker until 1981, never talked about the war and suffered from PTSD. In the early 1980s, he confronted his demons by writing about his war experiences in an MFA program.
Running with the Enemy started as a memoir and then evolved into fiction.
His short story, A Night at the “Well of Purity”, named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards, was based on an event Lloyd experienced in Vietnam.
His novel My Splendid Concubine has earned ten honorable mentions in general fiction—a few examples: the 2008 London Book Festival; 2009 San Francisco Book Festival; 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, and the 2012 New York Book Festival, etc.
In 1999, his wife, Anchee Min, the author of the memoir Red Azalea, a book that was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1994, introduced Lloyd to Robert Hart, the real-life character of My Splendid Concubine.
After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marines in 1968, Lloyd went to college on the GI Bill to earn a BA in journalism, and then worked days as a public school teacher for thirty years (1975 – 2005) in addition to nights and weekends as a maĆ®tre d’ in a Southern California nightclub called the Red Onion (1980-1982).
Loyd’s Website:
Lloyd on Twitter: of Facebook:

The ideal word count for novels and short stories

Guest Post for “Deal Sharing Aunt”

What is the ideal length of a well written book or short story to attract readers?

According to Getting “The golden extent for many publishers is 288 pages (about 90–100,000 words without tables or figures).” In addition,” a key clause in most author contracts specifies the extent that the author should deliver. (Usually, this is word count.)
As proof that Gerald Jackson, the host of Getting Published, was right, let’s look at what happened to my wife while writing her fifth book, and the contract included a word count—about 130,000 words.
But when she was writing “The Empress Orchid” (2004, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—after the final revision and had cut as many words as she could from the manuscript—she still ended up with twice the word count called for in the contract.
She felt strongly that if she had to cut out half the words, she’d lose too much of the history of the life of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi (1835-1908).
I remember suggesting that she split the book creating a sequel. Anchee called her agent, who called the publisher, and soon there was a new contract in the mail for the sequel, “The Last Empress” (2007).
In fact, Smashwords chimed in on this subject with “New Smashwords Survey Helps authors Sell More eBooks”.
Smashwords said, “The top 100 bestselling Smashwords books averaged 115,000 words. When we examined the word counts of books in other sales rank bands, we found the lower the word count the lower the sales.”
Writer's Digest also offers similar advice on word count for several genres and says that 110,000 words or above is often too long.
For instance—learning from my mistake—there was my first novel, My Splendid Concubine (2008), which ran about 125,000 words and was selling several hundred copies a month for more than three years when a reviewer complained about having to pay for the sequel to this novel, “Our Hart” (2010), to finish the story. That reviewer called me greedy for the two book series because they didn’t think it was right that they had to spend $3.99 twice to read one story. That stuck in my head and eventually I made a big mistake and decided to combine the two into one book under a new ISBN with a new cover and stop publishing the prequel and sequel. The results after 125,000 words for each book leaped to 250,000 for one caused sales to drop from several hundred to about sixty a month with one exception being March of 2013—the month I ran a one day ad and sold about 3,000 copies at .99 cents. Learn from my mistake and keep the word count of your books about 100,000 words give or take a few hundred.
That is unless you want to discover the hard way to see if your book will be the rare exception. It’s your decision to make. After all, I did.
What about short stories?
I suggest following the word count guidelines for Kindle Singles with a recommended word count of 5,000 to 30,000. Amazon offers about the only publishing platform for selling short stories unless you are fortunate enough to land a contract with a traditional publisher for a collection of shorts, but the odds of that happening are not good. In fact, it may be easier to win first place in American Idol.
And it seems that Amazon is the place to publish short stories these days. The New York Times said, “Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well. … Amazon, for instance, created its Kindle Singles program in 2011 for publishing short fiction and nonfiction brief enough to be read in under two hours.”
I learned my lesson with word count. Running with the Enemy, my second novel, a suspense thriller and love story set in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in the 1960s runs about 98,000 words, and Writers Digest says, “90,000 to 99,999 words is generally safe.”
Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books Feb 27 Spotlight & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 4 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 5 Guest Post
The New In Books Mar 5 Review
The New In BooksMar 12 Interview
Margay Leah Justice Mar 10 Guest Post
Reader’s Muse Mar 10 Review
Reader’s Muse Mar 11 Interview & Giveaway
Ordinary Girls Mar 13 Review
Identity Discovery Mar 14 Guest Post & Giveaway
Cheryl’s Book Nook Mar 17 Review & Giveaway
Every Free Chance Mar 20 Spotlight
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Mar 21 Guest Post & Giveaway
Sir Read-A-Lot Mar 24 Review & Guest Post
Cassandra M’s Place Mar 25 Review & Giveaway


  1. Thanks again for taking part in the tour and hoisting Lloyd.

  2. Thank you for being part of this book Blog tour and shinning a spotlight on "Running with the Enemy".