Bruce's Author Blog

Stay up to date on what is happening with my writing
including the latest books, stories, projects, and other thoughts, as well as an occasional book or movie review
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Shattered Lives - Available Now

posted Mar 2, 2019, 12:54 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Mar 13, 2019, 7:48 AM ]

Yesterday, I published the eBook version of Shattered Lives. This morning, I published the paperback version (398 pages).  

Shattered Lives is a story of survival and a young man’s determination to keep his promises.

In August 1942, the Germans enter Wiejca, a small village in Poland, and rip fourteen-year-old Jakub Balinski and his father from their home. At Treblinka, Jakub's father becomes a forced laborer breaking rock into gravel. Even though the Germans give Jakub a uniform and call him a guard, within days he learns he is nothing more than the commandant’s Polish slave boy. 

At first, Jakub refuses to cooperate, and is punished for his disobedience. The daily atrocities shred Jakub of his innocence and expose him to a level of hatred he could never imagine. One tragedy after another mold him into someone he does not want to be and Jakub questions if his survival is worth the price. Whatever choices he makes, he knows he must live with their consequences for the rest of his life. 

While Shattered Lives is a work of historical fiction, Treblinka, the largest Nazi death camp, is not. The camp was critically important to Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Over one million men, women, and children were taken there and ninety-seven percent died in the gas chambers within three hours of arrival. 

Find the eBook and paperback at Amazon and GoodReads.

You can also find the eBook at 


 , and 

My Latest Short Story

posted Jan 5, 2019, 12:34 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Feb 21, 2019, 1:40 PM ]

An imaginary friend is losing a child who is growing up. I hope you enjoy it. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

posted Dec 24, 2018, 4:21 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Dec 24, 2018, 4:22 PM ]

Who Packs Your Parachute?

posted Dec 20, 2018, 1:20 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Feb 21, 2019, 2:01 PM ]

My brother sent me a story about U.S. Navy pilot Plumb. I found it fascinating and looked online to confirm the story. Kare Anderson wrote in Forbes a good synopsis of Plumb, his story, and his question to all of us.

About Charles Plumb
Author Unknown

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

The story about Charles Plumb is a strong and interesting true story that has been shared with many people over the years during lectures and leadership courses. 

Who Packs Your Parachute

"...I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor.”

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?’ or anything, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the man hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Who has done something that has helped make your day safer – or easier or more pleasant – or who have you witnessed “packing” for someone else?

Each of us are touched by individuals who provide what we need to make it through the day. Some help inadvertently. Praise that person anyway. You are supporting the kind of behavior you respect – making it more likely to happen again.

This is where during Plumb's talks he asks his audience, 

“Who’s packing your parachute?”

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. 

Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory. He needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important.

We may fail to say "hello," "please," or "thank you," congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment or just do something nice for no reason."

As you go through this week, this holiday season, and this coming year, recognize people who pack your parachute.

The above story is also a lead in for me to say, THANK YOU.

Thank you for being there for me, for believing in me, and for reading my stories and books. You "pack my parachute."
Happy Holidays!

Shattered Lives - Nearing completion

posted Oct 3, 2018, 1:00 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 1:01 PM ]

The story is written and editing is 70% done. Unfortunately, it is a slow laborious process. If anyone wants to be a beta-reader, please let me know.

I hope to publish the book around the end of the year. To read a short description of the book, follow this link:  Shattered Lives

Real experiences are often the best stories

posted Oct 2, 2018, 7:51 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Oct 2, 2018, 7:52 AM ]

A while back I found a hummingbird on the floor of our garage bound tightly in a spider's web. "Fragile" is a short story recounting our adventure. 

Who Am I?

posted Sep 25, 2018, 11:23 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Sep 25, 2018, 11:24 AM ]

Another short story I wrote a couple of months ago might also be of interest to my readers. "Who Am I?" After her father passes away, a daughter discovers her parents' dark past. How will she process and deal with the information she learns? 


When Pigs Fly

posted Sep 25, 2018, 11:15 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Sep 25, 2018, 11:16 AM ]

My latest short story is, "When Pigs Fly." It is a story about a father and daughter dealing with family matters including traditions, guilt, loneliness, and death. I hope you enjoy it. 
  Image: When Pigs Fly

We Must Never Forget

posted May 26, 2018, 9:56 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated May 26, 2018, 9:59 AM ]

Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. Originally called Decoration Day, it was first celebrated one year after the Civil War ended. Americans in various towns and cities held springtime tributes to the countless fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day.

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Freedom is never free

Please, take a moment this weekend to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Also, remember to thank those who serve today.

Quoted Text:  History Channel

Photos: Eagle and Flag

Flag and Quotes

Who Am I?

posted May 7, 2018, 7:17 AM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated May 12, 2018, 7:35 AM ]

My latest short story. I hope you enjoy it. 

After her father passes away, a daughter discovers her life might not be what she thought it was.


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