Fly With The Aces in "Close To The Sun"

                                                         Publication Date: June 15, 2014
                                                                     Fireship Press
                                                                      eBook; 404p

    Historical Fiction

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Close to the Sun follows the lives of fighter pilots during the Second World War. As a boy, Hank Milroy from Wyoming idealized the gallant exploits of WWI fighter aces. Karl, Fürst von Pfalz-Teuffelreich, aspires to surpass his father’s 49 Luftsiegen. Seth Braham falls in love with flying during an air show at San Francisco’s Chrissy Field.
The young men encounter friends, rivals, and exceptional women. Braxton Mobley, the hotshot, wants to outscore every man in the air force. Texas tomboy Catherine “Winty” McCabe is as good a flyer as any man. Princess Maria-Xenia, a stateless White Russian, works for the Abwehr, German Intelligence. Elfriede Wohlman is a frontline nurse with a dangerous secret. Miriam Keramopoulos is the girl from Brooklyn with a voice that will take her places.
Once the United States enter the war, Hank, Brax, and Seth experience the exhilaration of aerial combat and acedom during the unromantic reality of combat losses, tedious bomber escort, strafing runs, and the firebombing of entire cities. As one of the hated aristocrats, Karl is in as much danger from Nazis as he is from enemy fighter pilots, as he and his colleagues desperately try to stem the overwhelming tide as the war turns against Germany. Callous political decisions, disastrous mistakes, and horrific atrocities they witness at the end of WWII put a dark spin on all their dreams of glory.

Blogger Praise for Close to the Sun

“Donald Michael Platt’s Close to the Sun is an amazing story told from the perspective of average male fighter pilots in the onset and during WWII, juxtaposing between various men from many sides of the war. The details in this novel were spectacular, creating imagery and depth in the scenes and characters, as well as the dialogue being so nostalgic and well-written it felt right out of a 1950’s film. The romantic nuances of his storytelling felt incredibly authentic with the tug and pull of the men being called to serve and the women whom they loved who had their own high hopes, dreams, or work. I loved how he portrayed this women the most—strongly and fiercely independent. I’ve read several other books by Platt, and this is the best one I’ve read yet! I couldn’t stop reading. ” – Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Hook of a Book

“Donald Platt’s Close To The Sun, is nothing short of Historical Fiction gold. Platt’s flair for emotionally provocative storytelling makes this book attractive to both male and female readers. Seamlessly weaving the threads of action and feeling into a brilliant tableau of humanity. This is a masterfully penned tale of war, ambition, love, loss, and ACES!” – Frishawn Rasheed, WTF Are You Reading?

“Fast-paced and riveting I couldn’t get enough of Hank, Karl and Seth’s exploits! CLOSE TO THE SUN is a thrilling novel that leads readers through idyllic dreams of heroism and the grim reality of war. Platt provides readers with a unique coming-of-age story as three adventure-seeking boys discover far more than how to be an aerial combat pilot. CLOSE TO THE SUN is an amazing tale of adventure, heroism, war and the drive within us all that keeps us going when things look bleak.” – Ashley LaMar, Closed the Cover

“I found Close to the Sun to be an entertaining read, it was well written, with well developed characters, these characters had depth and emotion. A unique plot, told from the point of view of pilots prior to and during World War II. It was a well researched and interesting book” – Margaret Cook, Just One More Chapter

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My Thoughts
Donald Platt's Close To The Sun, is nothing short of Historical Fiction gold.  Set against the bleak and bloody backdrop of WWII.  This novel introduces readers to three young men sharing one dream.  To be the best, to rule the skies as only pilots an Ace!

The Prince - Karl is a man haunted by many ghosts.  Chasing the military legacy left to him by his royal ancestry, living the lie of a loveless marriage, and forced to fight under the tyrannical leadership of Hitler and the Third Reich; Karl is only able to find solace and sanity among the clouds.

The Cowboy - Hank wants nothing more than to soar through the wide expanse above, like the majestic falcons that inspired him as a boy.  Though Hank has the talent and ambition necessary to make his lofty dreams a reality; he soon finds himself stalled by military pecking orders and bureaucracy.

The College Boy - Seth is an idealist.  With stars in his eyes and the songs of his "Lady Gershwin" in his heart, Seth is sure that he will attain the glory of his dreams, and return home the "conquering hero".  When boyhood dreams of glory meet the difficult realities of pain, death and loss...Can Seth accept the fact that the road to victory is often a bloody one?

While this book is militaristic in nature; its author has gone to great pains to make said militarism accessible to civilian  audiences.  Rather than a collection of battle names, dates, and statistics; readers are given battle stories.  Thereby providing the names, faces, and feelings needed to bring these battles to life.

In addition to the battles of war, Close To The Sun is also able to supply readers with a great deal emotional and psychological drama.
Platt writes characters who, while striving for perfection in their careers, are unafraid to be flawed in their personal lives.
It is these "peeks beneath the armor" of these great men that often steal the spotlight of the read, becoming focal points in the plot.
Platt's flair for emotionally provocative storytelling makes this book attractive to both male and female readers.  Seamlessly weaving the threads of action and feeling into a brilliant tableau of humanity. 

This is a masterfully penned tale of war, ambition, love, loss, and ACES!

About the Author

Author of four other novels, ROCAMORA, HOUSE OF ROCAMORA, A GATHERING OF VULTURES, and CLOSE TO THE SUN, Donald Michael Platt was born and raised in San Francisco. Donald graduated from Lowell High School and received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, Donald attended graduate school at San Jose State where he won a batch of literary awards in the annual SENATOR PHELAN LITERARY CONTEST.

Donald moved to southern California to begin his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, Al Ruddy plus Paul Stader Sr, Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. While in Hollywood, Donald taught Creative Writing and Advanced Placement European History at Fairfax High School where he was Social Studies Department Chairman.

After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of his horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, pub. 2007 & 2011, he moved to Florida where he wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Currently, Donald resides in Winter Haven, Florida where he is polishing a dark novel and preparing to write a sequel to CLOSE TO THE SUN.

For more information please visit Donald Michael Platt’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Frishawn for the wonderful 5-star review. Can you do me a favor and post it on facebook, twitter, Amazon, and goodreads?


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