Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy 91st Birthday to WWII Navy Veteran Carl L. Young!

WWII Navy Veteran Carl L. Young
Sailed the Melvin R. Nawman DE-416
Welcome blog fans! We're so glad you stopped by this post. It is a very special post as today is Carl L. Young's 91st birthday, and he is still with us to celebrate such a milestone!

Who is Carl L. Young you ask? He is a WWII navy veteran and is the true-life author of the journal from which our author, J. D. Karns, crafted his first novel, 28 Months of Heaven and Hell. 

28 Months of Heaven and Hell is a hot title that is receiving attention in the veteran world and rave reviews from all walks of life. 

Karns pulled actual facts from Carl's WWII navy journal (that he kept while sailing on the Melvin R. Nawman DE-416), and stunningly wove them into a historical fiction novel that takes the readers not only into the Pacific, but also the challenges and emotions that arose in the home-front back in his home state of Ohio.

When Carl returned home from the war his youngest brother, Charles, asked him to tell him all about it. He told Charles, "Some day, little brother, some day." 68 years later Charles began receiving emails from Carl...but they weren't just any emails. The emails were journal entries. It was 168 emails later that 28 Months of Heaven and Hell was written. JLB Creatives Publishing was honored to work with this family and their project plus publish J. D. Karns for the first time in his life...he was 82 years old, and still lives today.  

Carl's actual journal lying atop a copy of
28 Months of Heaven and Hell
(All rights reserved)
This novel has achieved more than rave reviews. When you understand the back story you'll find it is a heartwarming story far beyond the pages. 28 Months of Heaven and Hell not only holds the haunting tales of war-life, but it also has brought a family back together. Charles and Carl had lost contact with each other for over 60 years. Thanks to social media and email they found each other once again. 

When the novel was released, Charles was re-introduced to numerous family members he hadn't seen for many years and introduced to several he didn't even knew he had. Charles now stays in contact and communicates with many of them. His oldest nephew made a special trip to Florida to let Charles hold Carl's actual journal in his hands. Needless to say the moment brought tears of overwhelming emotion to everyone's eyes. 

Both Carl and Charles were thrilled beyond belief when they had the chance to Skype with each other for the first time this past July.    

Here's a couple of excerpts from 28 Months of Heaven and Hell. Both excerpts are based on information straight out of Carl's journal.

Carl L. Young 1945
Excerpt 1:

BAM! The big wave hit. Chester felt the ship list, and he checked his gauges. He quickly made peace with his maker when he saw that the Nawman was listing at sixty-plus degrees! Strapped in his chair, on his way to being upside down, he detested the thought that his gut feeling had been right many weeks before. He thought of the box of letters he had left with Jeb. The radio went dead, and he was certain this was the end. The Nawman’s creaking, snapping, and low rumbling brought him to tears. He closed his eyes and whispered, “I love you Mom, Dad, Mike, Jeb, and especially you, Sue. I’ll see you in Heaven.” He braced himself for the worst. 

The Melvin R. Nawman rolled back upright. 

Chester sat in awe. He screamed as he banged on the radio, but no sound returned. He felt he could do no good from his chair now, so he unbuckled his seat straps and jumped from his chair, his feet landing flat on the starboard bulkhead. From below deck aft he walked, stumbled, and crawled back and forth from the starboard bulkhead to the port bulkhead while the ship continued through the waves. Somehow he made it topside and into the pilot house. He grabbed Randall’s leg for balance and pulled himself up. 

“The mast! We’ve lost the main mast!” Randall shouted. Chester now knew why the radio had gone dead. He peered through the driving rain as best he could and saw the enormous mast dangling over the side of the ship with cables still attached, making for a dangerous situation. 

Excerpt 2:

As the ship drew closer to the island, Chester said to Randall, “It’s hard to imagine we were just watching whales on a calm sea, and now we’re watching this.” 

A call came over the radio from the observation plane, letting the big ships know that their salvos and explosives were making direct hits; they were doing great. Chester looked at Randall when the sounds of the bombing began to escalate. 

GQ sounded, “Red alert! Bettys have been reported in the area.” Chester and Randall knew the kamikazes had to be close to the Nawman because of all of the extra fire power that opened up immediately after the alert. 

Chester walked to the porthole to see for himself, and what he saw shocked him. Rapidly the sky was filling with flack from all of the ships firing their big guns. Black smoke began to cover the water’s surface, and not long after the fires ignited, the faint smell of gun powder seeped into the sonar room. 

Randall squeezed his face next to Chester’s to take a look. “Looks pretty bad out there, but we’re winning, I just know it!” He stepped back, leaving Chester the full view once again. 

“OH MY GOD!” Chester stood motionless, his face glued to the glass. “She’s coming right at us. We’re gonna die. We’re really going to die. Right here. Today.” He reached his hand out. Randall grabbed it and pushed his face back onto half of the glass. Chester could feel Randall shaking. They put their arms around each other and stood in awe. Chester barely squeaked out, “That Betty’s too low. Our boys can’t gun her down.  She’s too low. She’s too low. OH MY GOD! SHE’S TOO DAMN LOW!” He could not close his eyes. He and Randall braced for the impact.


J. D. Karns
To learn more about our author, J.D. Karns, click here. To purchase a print copy or an ebook of 28 Months of Heaven and Hell from Amazon click here.

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