*** Books ***   by Kathleen Shelby Boyett


Iwo Jima Changed Everything

 My Father's Story

"Well written, well researched, well everything!"

Bill Norberg, World War Two veteran

A daughter discovers a father she has never known - noted Author and Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett honors her father in this book by sharing his World War Two story - F. G. Shelby was a Base Intelligence Officer on Iwo Jima for the last part of the War in the Pacific and for the Occupation - and by sharing his dreams after the war was over.  Learn that a veteran can remake his life after wartime horrors and find meaning in life again. Learn that a veteran can experience deep heartache during wartime and learn to love again. A 1944 Air Intelligence School Manual supplies details of Shelby's duties, and a cache of photographs of Iwo Jima not seen for 70 years makes this book a real treasure.

"The real story of a man's overseas duty during World War Two, and his life in general, both before and after the war. Poignant and bittersweet, Ms. Boyett weaves a touching tale that only a daughter can, finding out in retrospect how those experiences on Iwo Jima shaped her father’s heart and influenced her life. A touching testimony to the veterans of that terrible war, Iwo Jima Changed Everything is well worth reading."  Bryan Boyett, Military Biographer


Life and War


Veterans of World War Two

"My siblings and I understand our parents better because of your book. Thank you!"  Daughter of Nell Mertins

I am honored without measure by this comment:

"I had the book on display at the funeral home and several people read it. Everyone told me that it was a well-written story." Widow of John Ballard

We owe a debt of gratitude to our parents and the millions of other men and women who served in World War Two -- members of what has been called "The Greatest Generation." Noted Author and Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett honors six veterans of the war in this book by sharing their stories -- their stories of life and of war, and of their dreams after the war was over. Come battle through Italy with Warrant Officer Elmo Brock, and see tragedy strike him just after he came home; parachute into Europe with Major Fordyce Gorham of the 82nd Airborne; tend the wounded soldier across Europe with Army nurse Captain Nell Mertins; fly through the flak-filled skies of the Pacific Ocean with Lt. Leo Horvath; and lay communication lines across the Himalayas with Private John Ballard. Come and honor these special veterans.


Life and War Book 2

Veterans of World War Two

"Written so well. That is why you are an author. Thanks for doing

        such a fine job on my husband's family."  Bobbie Corzine

"I read the chapter on Dad when I got home - it was perfect. Shelby you summed it up so well. These books you publish are priceless. Dad would be so proud to be a part of this current book." Jenny Oxendine D'Entremont


We owe a debt of gratitude to our parents and the millions of other men and women who served in World War Two: members of what has been called "The Greatest Generation." Noted International Author and Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett honors eleven veterans of the war in this book by sharing their stories of life and of war, and of their dreams after the war was over. Come build roads with Engineer Ray Brasaemle; lead the Army's 7th Cavalry Band with Sergeant John Corzine and learn of the service of his father, Martin L. Corzine, in WW1 and his son, John E. Corzine, in the Cold War; escort "Bockscar" to Nagasaki with Ray Tarte; spend time in a German POW camp with Harold Frank; make the ultimate sacrifice on Okinawa with Harold Gonsalves; fly in India with one "unknown veteran"; sail on the USS Enterprise with Bill Norberg accompany MacArthur back to the Philippines with pilot Ralph Easterling; and liberate a concentration camp with Airborne Native American, Jesse Oxendine. Come and honor these special veterans.


Flying Fearlessly

“We didn’t really consider the dangers – not really. I was just doing my part.”

John H. Moore was a Naval Aviator in World War Two. He flew the “Bent Wing Bird” – the Corsair – the aircraft he dreamed of flying. Journey with John through his youth in the 1920’s and 30’s; his pilot training; his thrilling time of military service in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, including his ocean crash; and through his continued commitment to our country in his Naval Reserve service. Come fly with a young man who flew fearlessly to preserve our freedom. Included in the book is a diary written by Moore himself, as well as a glossary of all the planes he flew.


Keep 'em Flying

The Diary of Walter Mauritzen

As a Crew Chief in the Army Air Corps, Walter Mauritzen saw almost every plane the Air Corps flew. He maintained the P-40 Warhawk, the B-26 Maurader, the A-20 Havoc, the C-46 Commando, the C-47 Skytrain, the B-29 Superfortress, the P-47 Thunderbolt, and the P-38 Lightening in his service with the 12th Air Force, 33rd Fighter Group, 59th Fighter Squadron. He was also detailed for the attack on the Kenitra Kasbah in Mehdia, Morocco and so had heart-stopping ground combat experience. Walter saw North Africa, Italy, China, and India in his war travels. His diary entries from 1943, when he was stationed all over North Africa, still survive. Come follow Mauritzen's fascinating Air Corps career in this three-part book including Walter's story, his diary, and a glossary of the aircraft he maintained.



Letters from a Wounded Soldier

Sergeant Darrell Jennings Brock fought in the trenches of the World War Two European 

Theater. After stepping onto Utah Beach in the famed Normandy landings, Brock was 

twice wounded by enemy fire and required several surgeries and months of convalescence. 

Constant thoughts of home kept him positive and encouraged. His letters describe what

it was like for a "farm boy" from East Tennessee to face battle without forgetting what

he was fighting for - his loving parents and brothers and sisters back home.


      Letters of a Reluctant


John Calhoun Birdwell's letters, written home to his wife, Adaline,

during the Civil War, reveal his deep love for his wife and children.

The letters also reveal that he was not entirely happy about serving

in the Confederate Army. After all, he was thirty-three years old

and had a wife and five children with whom he wished to be

spending his time. Adaline's letters to John give the reader a glimpse

into the problems entailed in running the family farm in the

husband's war time absence. Then, at the end of December 1862, John's letters abruptly stop. Discover what happened to John Birdwell

with International Author and Personal Historian, Kathleen Shelby   Boyett, as she tells the Birdwell’s story.

Echoes from the Great War

The voices of the soldiers of World War One echo down through time to those of us living today. Their stories are waiting to be heard, and the men are waiting to be remembered.  In this volume are stories from American, British, New Zealander, and German soldiers who fought in The Great War. Come and meet these men who hoped they were fighting in the war that would end all wars.

Destiny on the North Sea

    British Naval Lieutenant William Henden's World War One diary tells how he joined the H.M.S. TREGARON in 1914.  A fairly circumspect officer and a teetotaller, he only admits to the occasional dance with the ladies. He describes the Battle of Jutland, near misses by German U-boats, surviving rough weather, and other exciting facets of life onboard ship.

    German Naval Lieutenant Erik Von Rall's World War One diary describes his confidence in German Naval superiority, his supreme assurance in his own superiority, and his love for a woman. Then Rall's tumultuous love affair takes a surprising turn and he discovers what really matters in his life.

    These two very different men will be drawn towards each other as if by Destiny - on a Collision Course to understanding the commonality of all men.

Shelby's Movie Companion Book for the movie, Free State of Jones:


The man held his shotgun close to his body as he darted through the woods. Branches and vines slapped at his face and arms, leaving small cuts in their wake. His heart was pounding, and his breath came in short gasps, barely able to keep up with the pace of his legs, which churned at the top speed the dense woods would allow. He could hear the bloodhounds barking behind him. They seemed to be getting closer...

For a number of years now, the hunt has been on to find out the real truth about Newt Knight and his compatriots, and about the Free State of Jones.  Who was Newt Knight – a cowardly deserter and a murderer, or a hero who stood up for his beliefs? As with all long-told stories, the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.  Discover the truth about Newt's story, and discover interesting parallels to Newt's story in the lives of other men in the Southern states during the Civil War: men who supported the Union from within the Confederacy, who escaped to the Union lines, and who chose to defy convention with interracial relationships.

Free State of Jones: the True Story

This book has the story of Newton Knight without the parallel stories, and with a few extra additions.

Thus, it can be offered at a reduced price!

If you don't have this book in your collection yet, now is the time to add it.

Patriots, Hessians, Refugees & Spies

These are the stories of the author’s own ancestors in the American Revolutionary War. They came from different backgrounds and they took different parts in the conflict. Join Samuel Meals as he patrols hostile waters with the Virginia Navy, chasing and eluding British ships. Spend time in a British POW camp in New York and a Whig jail in Virginia. Face danger and intrigue as an American spy. Charge up Kings Mountain and then attend a "lynching." Walk the refugee trail, leaving your home behind forever. Desert in the Colonies as a hated Hessian soldier. Spend the winter at Valley Forge. Stand by a mass grave and mourn a fallen soldier. Witness the victory at Yorktown. Feel the excitement of the American Revolution!


Secrets of a Backcountry Cemetery

Nestled on a hillside, down a lonely, rural country road, lies a once almost-forgotten cemetery which has held its secrets for over 200 years. This cemetery could be in your own community.  Maybe you have always wanted to know the secrets it contains.  Using a unique format, this artful book tells the secrets of the lives of cemetery inhabitants in the Carolina Backcountry who lived during the period of the American Revolution. The reader is presented with short stories told from the woman’s point of view; with poetry and narrated sequences; and with the documented facts from which these were derived.

   This book includes the stories of Adam Alexander & Mary Shelby; David Williams & Phebe Calhoon; Patriot Samuel Gilkey & Loyalist Walter Gilkey; and Isaac Williams & Mary Emory Williams Davis. Let celebrated author and Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett help you to experience the American settlers’ experience in the dramatic days of the fight for independence. The secrets of American cemeteries are waiting to be revealed. Are you ready to hear the truth?

Women of Pioneer Spirit

The author's own pioneer ancestors grace the pages of this book. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, these pioneer women come alive through their stories. The accounts of their lives on the American frontier in the 1700s shed real insight on the frontier period and on the hardships and difficulties that women endured. The women in the Civil War period faced the most devastating time in our nation's history. The author's more ancient ancestors faced vastly different challenges on different shores. Their courage, their fortitude, their endurance, their determination, their strength, and their loving hearts are all qualities that the twenty-first century reader can appreciate and emulate. Their ability to find joy in the beauty around them and in their loved ones can be an encouragement to each of us as we face our everyday lives. If these pioneering women had the spirit of surviving well, no matter what they faced, then certainly we can have it as well.


            John Markham: The Origins of Virginia's Pirate 

John Markham operated a mercantile business in Alexandria, Virginia from the 1680s through the early part of the eighteenth century. To fill his coffers, he traded back and forth with his native England for goods that the Colonies needed and vice-versa. He was said to be a daring, greedy rascal who did not mind hurting others to get what he wanted. Handsome and dashing, he was also popular with the ladies of the period. Then one day in March of 1683, he turned a corner in his privateering career, a turn that led him into outright piracy. Yet, there are those who say John Markham never existed. Who is telling the truth? Here for the first time, the family stories are told and analyzed so as to get as close to the truth as is possible. Was Lewis Markham, respectable sheriff and associate of the Washington family, the father of Elizabeth Markham? Or was her father John Markham, the devilish pirate?  Set sail on the high seas and discover the answer with noted Family Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett.

                ON BOTH SIDES - The Second Book in the Civil War Series

Noted Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett had ancestors on both sides of the Civil War conflict. One ancestor walked or rode over 8,000 miles in the little-discussed New Mexico Campaign, which was the Manifest Destiny dream of the Confederacy. If not for a thunderstorm, Ms. Boyett wouldn't be here to tell his story.  Another ancestor was a Confederate spy.  Just like Newton Knight, who founded the “State of Jones” in Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War, two of Ms. Boyett’s ancestors with Union sympathies found themselves trapped in Confederate-held territory. Like Knight, they kept their allegiance with the Union. Why did one of Ms. Boyett's wealthier ancestors in Alabama support the Union to the tune of over $4,100 worth of horses and food?  What determination of spirit led to the harrowing story of the ancestor who escaped Confederate-held Tennessee on the Underground Railroad, piloted over the mountains to Kentucky during the dead of winter, only to be captured later in the Cumberland Gap?  On a humorous note, Ms. Boyett postulates at the end of the book that perhaps her ancestors' varied decisions are the reason she sometimes cannot make up her mind!

                  FALLEN SONS - The First Book in the Civil War Series 

                          *Featured on the Veteran's Voice Radio Program*

This is the story of the Hill family - a family that gave the ultimate sacrifice for a cause they believed in: a free nation with the right to determine its own destiny. The problem was that the men of the family felt that this would be accomplished by fighting on opposite sides of the national conflict. The family sacrificed for both the Confederacy and the Union, giving up its sons in the process. With their family torn apart by a brutal war, and their home raided, the women at home suffered almost as much as the men. Travel back in time with noted Family Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett and experience the Hill family’s dramatic story of guerilla warfare in northwestern Arkansas and the battles in the southern theater during the Civil War, including the Siege of Vicksburg and the Atlanta Campaign. You will be reminded of the sacrifices people have made for our country, and this story will touch your heart.

Secrets of the Williams Cemetery

                                                 A Civil War Story 

Down a lonely stretch of country road in the rural South lies a once-neglected cemetery which was founded just before the Civil War.  This book tells the deepest secrets of the Thomas Williams family members buried there and describes what life was like for a pioneer family who suffered more than their fair share of sorrows and losses. The "investigative reporter" unveils the hard-hitting truth about the ravages of the Civil War and the fate of the slaves in the Williams household. Where was the head of the household after the war, and why didn’t he come home? And most importantly – Who was the father of the family’s slaves? The answers to these questions are all part of discovering the Secrets of the Williams Cemetery. Are you ready to learn the truth?

The "Uprooted" Series

Infused with subtle humor, the Uprooted Saga is written in an easy, conversational style, as if Ms. Boyett is speaking directly to you, the reader. Not afraid of the truth, she tries to get to the heart of family traditions, proving some and disproving others. Using Y-DNA evidence, she peers into the distant past to find the deep ethnic origins of some family surnames. In many instances, the narrative reads like a detective story, where you, the reader, get to make discoveries along with the author. You will experience both touching moments and exuberant ones as you trace these families from the Mediterranean and the European continent to America.  Noted Personal Historian Kathleen Shelby Boyett takes you on an exciting journey of discovery into the past, wherein you will find the very foundations of our American story told in the lives of the men and women who lived it firsthand. 

"Uprooted" Volume One

In this volume, the reader will meet a Civil War POW; a Bluebeard in Brittany; a man who wrote a diary of his wagon train trip west; a Seaman in the Virginia Navy during the American Revolution; a family who was run out of their home country losing their citizenship and all their possessions; connections to a Confederate President; a friend of George Washington; and an actual pirate of the Caribbean. Volume One includes the surnames: Coon, Power, Meals, Coffman, Kneissle, Williams, Lovell, Marshall, and Markham.

"Uprooted" Volume Two

In this volume, the reader will: experience two shootouts in the old west; ascend Kings Mountain during the American Revolution with the patriot militia; attend a hanging by torchlight; discover ancient DNA; meet Vikings on the Isle of Man; start the first settlement in eastern Kentucky; and visit Scottish royalty. Volume Two includes the surnames: Nuner, McMinn (Menzies), Gilkey, Boyett, Phillips, Birdwell, Looney, Harman, Allen, and Cunningham.

"Uprooted" Volume Three

In this volume the reader will: experience planter life in South Carolina; feel anger at the destruction of a family cemetery; try to solve the mystery of the Vaught men; discover a Swiss family with Middle Eastern roots; take a steamboat journey; settle in early Georgia on Creek lands; make your home in a cottage on the green in Kent; meet a Tudor loan shark and Lord Mayor of London; and sip tea with British Royalty.

Volume Three includes the surnames: Hill, Vaught, Tobler, Winder (Del Feigenwinter), Deans, Herrin, Gresham, and Henden.

Books Edited by Shelby

A Path of Lasting Tranquility


This little book presents the idea of Secular Buddhism

as one choice for those who have left regular mainstream religious practice.

After a short explanation of Secular Buddhism, the Eight-fold Path is explained.

Next comes a text, thoughtfully adapted from the Dhammapada,

a central Buddhist teaching. This book is suitable for a person of any faith,

or of no faith, to find truths and useful proverbs.

The Paiute Princess - Shell Flower's Story

This book presents an often-unheard voice, that of a Native American woman, in

"Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims," written by Sarah

Winnemucca Hopkins – Shell Flower – in 1882.  When the book was

published in 1883, Sarah Winnemucca was credited with having published the

first known autobiography written by a Native American woman. She worked as

an interpreter and assistant teacher for her people on the reservation, and then served as

a translator, scout, and messenger for the U.S. Army. Sarah even lectured across

California and Nevada on the plight of her people, and her book was a part of this

effort. Shell Flower was indeed a noble and heroic woman.

Captured in Colonial America

Colonial America endured a clash of cultures. Editor Kathleen Shelby Boyett has gathered captivity narratives from the Colonial period in America, choosing each for its variety in the genre. Here the reader will find stories of men, women, and children, some told in first-person accounts, some told by relatives, and still others told by early Puritan ministers. One story is even told with poetry. Some of the captivities were blessedly short and others became the whole of the captive’s life. Some escaped their captivity through a harrowing journey, and others were ransomed or simply allowed to leave. Some captives were embittered by their experience and others gained a new understanding of the Native Americans who captured them; while one even found love in her heart for her captor.  The forward in this edition makes it clear that this work is meant to present both sides of the story; both the brutalities of captivity for which European settlers were unprepared and the provocation that caused the Native Americans to resort to the capture of settlers. The accounts in this volume are highly descriptive of life in the Colonial period in America and are dramatic enough to be an exciting armchair adventure into the past.

Captured on the Prairie

The expansion of white settlement onto the prairies of early America and Canada created a clash of cultures. Kathleen Shelby Boyett has gathered captivity narratives from the prairie, choosing each for its variety in the genre. This volume differs from the previous two "Captured" books in that, here in this book, two women each tell the story of a particular incident. One of the accounts is quite controversial - it was apparently stolen! The forward in this edition makes it clear that this work is meant to present both sides of the story; both the brutalities of captivity for which the European settlers were unprepared and the provocation that caused the Native Americans to resort to the capture of settlers. The accounts in this volume are highly descriptive of life on the prairie and are dramatic enough to be an exciting armchair adventure into the past.

Courageous Women of the American Frontier

Come and hear tales of courageous women!  Learn of early American women who did battle for their men and children. Rejoice in a long-lost love story.  Then be a witness to the woman who "came back from the dead!" As John Frost said in 1875, "The heroic deeds of these noble American women are full of instruction. They teach us what women are capable of; they show us how dearly the blessings we now enjoy were purchased by those who went before us, they furnish abundant themes for meditation and study in the mysteries of human character, and they present to us, by the strong contrast of past times with the present, occasion for thankfulness.  The Heroines of the West will always maintain their unrivalled place in the annals of our country, illustrious, revered, and alone in their glory." Beware, however, that there are probably some "tall tales" in this volume!

Bold Men of the American Frontier

This volume, suitable for teens as well as adults, brings together in one place the stories of some of the most famous American heroes - the men who tamed the wild North American frontier in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Kit Carson (whose entire life is detailed), Benjamin Logan, George Rogers Clarke, Chief Cornstalk, Chief Blackbird, Chief Messhawa, and of course, Daniel Boone, whose own account of his life is featured. The Native American story is also vital to our understanding of early America. There are surprising moments in early works (1860s – 1880s) where the authors took the side of the American Indians; for example: “Cornstalk was possessed of a noble heart as well as a genius for war and negotiation. He was ever anxious to maintain an honorable place with the whites and they returned his friendly inclination by putting him to death.”   Calling this “an atrocious deed,” the author was careful to note that the Indian’s reaction had justification.  Kit Carson is described as always being honest in his dealings with Native Americans and as no one being a truer friend than he. Come and enjoy a time of exciting adventure, when there were new trails to blaze and a land to tame - and one to protect from intrusion. Beware, however, that there are probably some "tall tales" in this volume!

Women of the Revolution 

   These special editions tell the stories of women who lived during the American Revolutionary War period. Enjoy these thrilling adventures of real-life women who participated in the founding of America; some told first hand - some told by their grandchildren. The women's stories have been conveniently organized by state. Shelby hopes that the reader's experience will be that of one taken back to the time just after the Revolutionary War when it was still possible to interview those who had lived through that time period - back to when the stories were fresh and unquestioned - and that the reader will feel the amazement and pride that the early readers of these books felt in their Revolutionary history. Beware that there may be a "tall tale" or two in these volumes!

 Grandchildren have a way of making their grandparents appear larger-than-life.

   Women of the Revolution contains the stories of women from the more southern states, and More Women of the Revolution contains the stories of women from the more northern states.

Backcountry Beginnings

This book is a compilation of the reflections and remembrances of Dr. John Brevard Alexander: a brief history of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina from Settlement through Reconstruction, including important personages; the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; and a list of Mecklenburg soldiers in the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Discover who the most important historical figure in Mecklenburg County actually was - it might surprise you. This book has been edited with sensitivity toward the modern twenty-first century reader, but is also honest in its recording of how a man of the early twentieth century felt about the events in his county's history.


Born in the Waxhaws

The Boyhood Story of Andrew Jackson


President Andrew Jackson had what one would consider a difficult childhood. He never knew his father, who died just before he was born. He was orphaned at fourteen when his mother died while tending ill prisoners away from home. He was dependent upon the kindness of relatives in order to have a home during his boyhood. The Revolutionary War disrupted his family, his neighborhood, his entire childhood life. He was forced to develop traits of self-reliance and persistence in order to survive and make his own way in the world. Yet, he still had time to take part in boyish occupations such as athletic competitions and the mastery of hunting, shooting, and other skills. He later became a man of war (the War of 1812) as well as a man of peace (at home at the Hermitage outside of Nashville), and rose to the height of a boy’s imagination – becoming the President of the United States. Come walk down the paths Andrew Jackson trod in the Carolina Backcountry and see how he grew into the man who would become President.


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