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Title: Panorama – The Missing Chapter from the Memoir Views from the Cockpit
Author: Ross Victory
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 120
Genre: Real Life Stories/ Relationships & Sex

BOOK BLURB:

After a friendship ignites and morphs into a curious tale of parallel souls with a Brazilian-American soldier serving in the U.S. military in South Korea, Panorama reflects on the author’s contemplations to return to a crumbling family life in Los Angeles or to endure his life in Seoul for an end-of-contract cash payout.

With a thought-provoking storyline that covers eating live octopus, philosophical debates about the gender of God, a pregnancy, and bisexual erasure in men, Panorama delivers a page-turning cerebral adventure. Ending with prose that simultaneously bites and soothes, Panorama suggests readers stand tall in their unique intersections of relationships and sex. Reminding us that as daunting as the vicissitudes of life, and no matter the view from the cockpit of life, the human spirit cannot, and should not, be restrained. While truth may be the bitterest pill of them all, the effects of our truth can bring us closer to an unbroken life.

PRAISE

In this small book are two masterpieces, a riveting remembrance of several life-altering experiences and relationships the author began in Seoul, South Korea, and an essay, let’s call it part tirade, part profound reflection on our view of men, masculinity, sexuality, and romance. You cannot stop until finished because there is no midway, no stopping point as you become a part of his world. After nearly every sentence you scream with or at his observations either with critical reflections or ecstasy. Ross has his pulse on his generation and the most precarious issues confronting sexuality and romance.

–Dr. Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Ph.D. –Cornell University & ​​​Author of “Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity among Men”

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Book Excerpt:

I found myself in a local bar called Panorama, skimming through my work contract. I contemplated my ability to continue this working abroad disaster and considered walking away from a large end-of-contract payment, or perhaps I was simply waiting for an explanation from “God” about why everything falls apart. I read the pages over and over, searching for what I needed to do to end my contract and still get the cash. Panorama was a quaint, local bar that Koreans escaped to to enjoy horrific karaoke and shots of throat-burning Soju, the equivalent of cheap vodka. Americans were not interested, nor did they notice this dingy place.

Tonight, it was fairly empty. Alone on the stage stood a Korean ahjumma, or aged woman. An ahjusshi, or aged man, also Korean, sat in flooded tan trousers on a short stool next to her, holding a large cello. The woman had a gray, shoulder-length poufy perm with a slight purple tint. She wore a hanbok—a traditional Korean dress—her face covered in thick, pasty-white makeup. With clarity, passion, and purpose, she and the cellist performed as no one but me watched. The song had a simple, memorable riff with a reflective chord progression. The woman had turned off the karaoke television screen and sang from memory as the cellist supported her.

She sang as if this were the last song she would ever sing. Her soul flickered between every note, with presence and awe. Like she was going somewhere and would never return. As the woman sang, she reached into the spotlight that lit her, pulling the light closer to her chest—like she and the light had established a deep state of devotion. As the ahjusshi played the cello, hidden in the woman’s shadow, particles of dust floated through the light and disappeared into the darkness, like floating glowworms. I could not recognize her words but recognized the source of them. This woman must be singing to me… I thought. I fantasized about hope as she sang.

The four soldiers sat at the empty bar, near the stage. I sat in an oversized, black leather booth near the entrance. One of the soldiers went back outside, propping the door open momentarily. The glacial breeze returned. The soldier strode back in and took a detour toward my booth, warming his hands. I turned away but could see him approaching from the corner of my eye.

“Ey, excuse me, bro. Restroom around here?” He shivered.

“Behind the bar…” I pointed.

After a few minutes, as I began to pack up, I heard a voice. “Ey, can I sit here? You look normal…” I looked up, confused. It was him again. He chuckled and shivered.

“Yeah, I’m headed out…all yours. Has a good view of the stage.” I snickered to myself.

“Man, this woman can sing. I wonder what she’s saying. I’m Alveré,” the soldier continued, “Alvín in English. What you drinkin’?”

I motioned to my waiter for the check.
“Let me guess. You’re from the West Coast,” he said.

Alveré quickly made it clear that he had plenty of time to chat and was looking for a new friend. He removed his hat, placed it on the table, and rolled up his sleeves; he began flipping through the beer menu. Someone new in my life is the last thing I wanted.

Alveré had a slightly grown-in buzz cut and a naïve presence. He was dressed in army fatigues with coyote brown boots. He was covered in crisp snowflakes; Somehow, I could see the hexagonal and octagonal crystalline structure of the ice. His face was stuck in a half-smile, on the verge of a chuckle. He was nearly six feet tall with perfect posture and the typical, stiff, herculean stance of a military person.

He wore a forearm tattoo on his left arm of an Admiralty ship’s anchor wrapped in chain links. The anchor transformed into a thirty-petal rose at the eye of the anchor. There was a hummingbird feeding on the rose, its wings curled in and up.

“Yep, from California—L.A. I’m Ross.”

“Ross from Cali…” He seemed to contemplate this and quickly mumbled something in Portuguese. “Nice to meet you, Ross. I’m from New York, born in São Paulo, Brazil, though.” “Moved here when I was thirteen.” Alveré excitedly corrected himself, having momentarily forgotten that he was now in Korea. “You know what I mean…moved out there.” He laughed.

“Brazil? How’d you get into the U.S. Army?”

“Long story. My unit just got here. I just met these idiots—FML.” He continued. “You military? What are you doin’ all the way in Korea…by yourself?”

“I’m actually an English teacher in a work-abroad program,” I responded.

“You signed up to come here? Who does that?!”

I pondered, squinting my eyes. “I guess I did? What a dumbass.” We laughed. “And I’m honestly sitting here regretting every moment.” I held my contract up.

“Respect. Wow.”

For the next several minutes, we spoke about the absurdities of Korean culture. Every time I glanced at Alveré to size him up, his eye contact felt like a Cyclops beam, at least for the fraction of a microsecond our pupils met. In these moments, the details of his eyes were apparent. His eyes were thalassic, deep, abidingly blue, with a thin chestnut lining. While intense and notably awkward, something about Alveré seemed familiar, like a puppy’s gaze.

As we spoke, Alveré was wringing his hands on top of the table. He would rub his hands on the side of his pants and laugh randomly between longer gaps of silence, uttering, “Interesting!” at the end of most of my sentences. One of the other army guys tumbled into my booth.

“Hey, bro!” a drunken soldier said to Alveré.

“Ooh, he’s sexy, Alvin! Did you get his number?” the solider drunkenly joked while reaching out and twisting Alveré’s nipple. Alveré pulled away, embarrassed.

Another soldier interjected, “Alvin, you going tonight, bro? Rampant Korean p*$$y, bro…free flowing like mas agua.” The soldier began to do the robot dance.

“Alvin’s our new resident Brazilian model to attract that tiger pussy… Look at this face.” The soldiers exploded into gut-wrenching laughter, grabbing Alveré’s chin and squishing his lips. “F$g#@t,” one soldier joked. “We’re headed to this joint in Hungdae.” Hungdae was Seoul’s party capital. A night in Hungdae would mean we would be out until 6 a.m.

“You should join us…” The solider glanced over at me. “I’m Connor.” Connor reached out to shake my hand. He continued, “I hear they just let you…” The soldier paused, then wiggled his middle and ring finger around in quick circles. “And the girls just start makin’ out with each other.”

“You wanna roll through or…” The soldiers looked at me as Alveré hesitated. He whispered to me, “Don’t leave me with these idiots. Please, bro, pleassssse!”

I explained to the soldiers that I was an English teacher and that my class started early. They became distracted and began to chatter drunkenly to each other.

“Please, Ross from Cali… Don’t leave me with these douches—we vibin’, right?”

I continued to pack my bag.

“I’ll text you the address. Let me get your number. Just a few hours; never been to Hungdae…”

“Nice to meet you, Alveré, but I’m out…”

“My mom calls me Alveré; friends call me Alvin—you can call me Alví, though, if you want…” He continued. “You can tell me about L.A. I’ve always wanted to go there.”

I laughed. I stared at my contract. My passport looked back at me from the bottom of my bag. I looked back at Alví.

All right. I’m in, let’s go.

About the Author

Ross Victory is an Award-Winning American author, singer/songwriter, travel geek and author of the father-son memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son (2019) and Panorama: The Missing Chapter (2020). Ross spent his early years collecting pens, notepads and interviewing himself in a tape recorder. With an acute awareness for his young age, Ross was eager to point out hypocrisies and character inconsistencies in children and adults through English assignments. If he weren’t keeping his English teachers on their toes for what he would say or write next, he was processing his world through songwriting and music.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://www.rossvictory.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rossvictoryofficial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rossvictoryofficial

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Title: VIEWS FROM THE COCKPIT: THE JOURNEY OF A SON

Author: Ross Victory

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 268

Genre: Memoir

BOOK BLURB:

Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son by Ross Victory is a memoir born from pain. Intimate journal entries morph into a phenomenal dialogue of tender father-son memories, loss, strength and turbulence in a young boy’s life on his journey into manhood. When the author discovers that his father is terminally ill and a victim of elder abuse, he embarks on a journey of reflection and discovery which soars and nosedives, chapter by chapter. Decorated in airplane analogies, with writing you can feel, Views from the Cockpit serves as a catalyst for readers to take perspective of their lives from the highest point. Views is a narrative that provides emotional assurance that readers’ unique experiences of pain, love and loss cannot be recreated or erased, but can be processed in order to not lose sight of their life journeys.

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★

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 Barnes & Noblehttps://tinyurl.com/y2ydegrg

Book Excerpt:

Dried diarrhea and urine were splotched across the carpet of the bedroom floor. Sections of bed sheets were stained in indistinguishable yellow marks and unknown fluids. The final stages of his disease were in full bloom. Bowls of half-eaten split pea soup, days-old Cream of Wheat, and withered apple cores lay abandoned throughout the room. A crusty, half-full, portable urinal with traces of blood crowded his side table. The room was stale and reeked of body odors. This is how I found him—in a crime scene of filth and neglect.

He had been living for nearly six months in a home nestled in the hills of Northern California. He rented

two rooms in the home of an Iranian used-car salesman. Serene views of San Francisco Bay illuminated the backyard patio every night. The home was encircled in blooming shrub roses, in shades of yellows and ruby reds, with an overgrown tomato garden along the property border. A giant oak tree and three dusty used cars greeted visitors as they approached the large double doors. The double doors unveiled a living room with a cream-colored chaise lounge and matching love seat. Oversized Persian paintings leaned graciously against the white-washed walls. A tangerine sunset sparkled o the bay and beamed through the pane glass doors of the lavish, unused living room. The smell of Persian spices and beef kebab filled the home. Mysterious gray soup bubbled in the kitchen next to large bags of rice, plates of Chinese pan-fried pancakes, and frozen bags of what appeared to be thawing chunks of flesh-colored meat.

I walked down a narrow, dimly lit hallway that connected his room to the living room and bathroom. Shoes and blankets tumbled peacefully in the dryer. A ray of light flickered from underneath the bathroom door.

“Dad?”

About the Author

Ross Victory is an American Marketing professional, travel enthusiast, and author of the new memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son. He spent his early years collecting pens, notepads and interviewing himself in a tape recorder. With an acute awareness for his young age, he was eager to point out hypocrisies and character inconsistencies in children and adults through English assignments. He delighted in provoking a reaction from his English teachers with writing that seemed to wink and smile.

He enjoys writing non-fiction and fiction projects–stories of captivating, complex characters expressed in all their dimensions usually on a path to self-discovery through suffering. After the loss of his father, Ross has married his love for writing to create a compelling memoir to inspire the world. Ross received his B.S. in Business Administration & Marketing Management.

Website: http://www.rossvictory.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rossvictoryofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rossvictoryofficial/

 

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