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Based on Real World Events - an Editorial Review of "Midnight in Syria"

Book Blurb:

Midnight in Syria is a Pentagon-approved, real-world story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The next Book in the Special Forces Connection series takes you to the far deserts of the Middle East in a whirlwind adventure romance. Dakota is an intrepid journalist set on making a name for herself, and while she hoped to sneak into Syria to write a story of a lifetime, she never expected to get trapped there. With no one to turn to, and the Civil War unfolding in front of her very eyes, the only chance of escape is with a mysterious Special Operator who is full of intrigue and guile - and while she falls for him, it might already be too little too late as they are hunted down by the security forces.

Dive into this real-world riveting tale of courage, sacrifice, and resilience, that takes you on the ultimate journey, while following the delicate love story of two people pushed to their limits. Contrasted by the painful realities of war, politics, and lives in between, this book is guaranteed to strike at the heart and mind of every reader, and will immerse them into the complexities of the decade long Syrian civil war that has already claimed more than half a million lives.

The Special Forces Connection is a riveting and fast paced US Army Green Beret Special Forces series. Discover the fictionalized real-life characters and their interconnected adventures, romances, and heartache. These people, who have accomplished the dangerous, the remarkable, and the unknown - have lived in the shadows... until now.

Jacek Waliszewski (Yacht-sek Volley-chef-ski) is a Special Forces US Army Green Beret who fictionalizes real world stories and situations (with permission of those he interviews.) He only publishes the books after a painstaking security review by the Department of Defense, and only after the story has been sufficiently "Fictionalized" to protect the identities and missions within.

Air Boat, the first book in the SF Connection, was written as a mental escape while he and his team were stuck in Afghanistan as the entire country fell apart around them. Unable to do more than the herculean efforts they were already conducting, Jacek created a "what happens next" scenario that spawned Luke, Stella, and their loveable canine Saint. He and his team escaped into the story, and the very next year, Air Boat won Best Adventure Fiction, as well as sevearl other accolades.

Midnight in Syria is book two in the SF Connection. Drawing on real world events and the unpredictible demise in Syria, Dakota, an intrepid journalist who is set on making a name for herself gets in too deep and finds herself stuck in Syria on the eve of the Revolution. Owen, a mysterious Special Operator, finds her, and they must work together if they have any hope of escaping. Little do they know it might already be too late, and those that are helping them along their way are being targetted. They must then make the ultimate decision, take them with, or leave them behind.

1945 is coming out in 2024. It is a riveting spy thriller set a the end of WWII, based on a real-world secret mission that hasn't been known till now - the first Cold War mission, to bomb the Nazi Atomic Research Facility before the Soviet's can get to it. More so, 2 secret OSS-era manuscripts have just been discovered! Jacek has asked the DOD and CIA for permission to publish them, with a planned release for the first hand accounts set to release at the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Come discover the intertwining and interdependent lives, pain, and triumphs of real world heros in this fast paced series of stories that is sure to keep the pages turning. The Special Forces Connection waits for you.

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Author Bio:

Jacek was three months old when he committed his first crime - sneaking Solidarity paperwork in his diaper to Polish resistance leaders. You see, His Dad cofounded Solidarity and spent a year in jail. He was then given an offer from the Commies: "Leave the country as political refugees, go back to jail, or be traded out to the Soviets."

He chose America, and his parents arrived with two suitcases, two toddlers (Jacek and his Sister), and no one spoke any English. They had a few dollars, his dad worked as a painter during the day and computer repairman at night, and his mom cleaned houses while the kids stayed home with friends. Years later, and despite the odds, they made it.

Jacek (Yacht-sek) is now a Dad, a writer, and Green Beret US Army Special Forces Warrant Officer. He's travelled to over 40 countries, run with the Bulls in Pamplona, and had incredible adventures. His last Special Forces Mission to Afghanistan was captured in the Award-winning National Geographic Documentary RETROGRADE, which was nominated for 6 Emmys and made it on the Oscar Short List, and Jacek is featured as "Chief Jack."

Some of Jacek's stories are pure fiction while others are rooted in near-truths. Whatever the genesis, he loves creating, discovering, and challenging the people (and characters) within these stories to bridge the gap between fact, fiction, and you.

Editorial Review:

A little yellow Finch lands on a balcony’s railing. Its feet are too small to fully clasp the wrought-iron rail, and it balances just so. It is a serin, the smallest of the Finch birds.

I landed here. Now what?

It chirps—once out of habit, and the second time in deliberation. It then turns its head back to the date orchard from where it had come. Its other friends fly between the feathery leaves of the date palm trees. They tweet in cheery play and are completely unaware that one of their own has flown off. It is only this single serin, quietly perched, that is alone.

It then remembers why it came.

"Midnight in Syria", part of the Special Forces Connection series, is a gripping, Pentagon-approved tale that beckons readers into the tumultuous environment of the Syrian Civil War, all while weaving a delicate thread of romance amidst the chaos. It is a fictionalized history inspired by real-world events.

From the first chapter, Mystery Hotel, we are delivered a colorful story that leaps off the page and fills the senses. It has action, suspense, romance, and characters that will feel as if you truly know them.

Waliszewski excels in crafting a captivating narrative centered on Dakota, a driven journalist, who embarks on a treacherous journey to Syria with hopes of producing a monumental story. Unexpectedly trapped amidst a raging war, Dakota's survival becomes intertwined with a mysterious Special Operator. Their riveting journey showcases a compelling blend of war's brutal realities with an unexpected romance.

The sun dips behind the high-desert mountains, and turns blood-orange, causing the date tree shadows to grow long. The warm air surrounds Dakota as she paces the roof terrace, and she looks over the edge at the town below. There’s been intermittent gunfire and thick pillars of smoke from tires being burned in neighborhood protests, but no more devastating explosions.

A rat-tat-tat of gunfire comes from a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, and she steps to the edge of the roof and looks down the hill. A small blue Opel careens out of a side alley and slides sideways as it makes its next turn. The car is covered in dust, the wheels spin faster than it can go, and the windshield looks as if the wipers have never been used. The engine whines loudly as it comes up the hill, and a moment later, the car slides through loose gravel as it takes the corner by the hotel courtyard.

Syria is currently one of the most dangerous places in the world to be, and Dakota could not have realized this before coming here. We are experiencing it all through her eyes. We feel her fear and trepidation as she feels it, adding to the suspense of the story.

As far as editing and formatting go, it’s all well done and doesn’t take away from the story or have any mistakes that pull you out of the moment. The book is meticulously edited with a fluid structure, ensuring an uninterrupted reading experience. It balances detailed descriptions with brisk pacing, a challenging feat mastered here.

Some of the strongest parts of the story are in the character development of our MC. Dakota's evolution from an ambitious journalist to a woman caught in the midst of unparalleled adversity is deftly portrayed. The Special Operator remains mysterious, yet there are layers of him that are unraveled as the story progresses.

Our main character who was once seeking headlines, now seeks hope. And in the mysterious eyes of her savior, she finds more than a story, but a shared humanity in the middle of unimaginable devastation.

Owen and Dakota, sunburnt and tired, walk side by side, but say nothing more. They stagger and stumble with sore feet for hours in the trail of the camels’ footprints and occasional droppings of dung, while the train glides effortlessly through the dunes ahead of them, seemingly getting further away. Ahead of them, a rider stops on a crest, then patiently waits for them to catch up. It takes them the better part of an hour, and when they approach, the Bedouin, who hasn’t moved, slowly points to the other side and encourages them to keep walking.

They pass him with slight trepidation, then crest the rise and see a vivid pop of color against the sand. The Bedouin camp is tucked beside a rocky canyon and sits like a long-awaited oasis. Several white and tanned camels roam around a dozen basketball-court sized tents. The edges of the flaps are flat and low, and tall poles hold the heavy fabric doors open. A fire has been started in a dugout sand pit in the center of the camp, and Owen and Dakota look back to the camel rider, who nods yet again, indicating they should approach it.

Through this story, we also learn about another culture, the people, and their customs. Throughout the painful experiences, we also see people come together in the most beautiful ways. The story is also well written in terms of continuity. Despite the chaos inherent to its backdrop, the story stays on track, just as it should be. The plot unravels cohesively, with every twist and turn falling into place seamlessly.

Without revealing too much, the ending is both poignant and satisfying. It resonates deeply, leaving readers contemplative about the larger realities of war and the individual stories ensnared within it.

Another part that I loved about this book was the uniqueness of the story. While war-tales are not uncommon, the blend of real-world politics, personal struggles, and an authentic romance angle sets Midnight in Syria apart.

And it’s also really well-written from a craft perspective. Waliszewski demonstrates a masterful command over language, painting vivid imagery and evoking intense emotions. The prose is both eloquent and engaging, keeping you hanging on page-by-page, and thinking about the book even after you walk away.

Overall, the story follows a well-structured arc, beginning with Dakota's ambitious drive, plunging into unexpected perils, and culminating in an ending that's both unpredictable and deeply impactful.

Midnight in Syria is more than just a tale of war and love. It's an exploration of human resilience, the complexities of global politics, and the intimate moments that shine even in the darkest of times. As the reviews suggest, it's a fast-paced adventure interlaced with genuine emotions. Highly recommended for those seeking a profound narrative experience.


“Midnight in Syria” by Jacek Waliszewski receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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