After launching a digital campaign last week, Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story, landed on the TOP 100 Kindle Best Sellers list.
From Publishers Weekly (10-05-15): Landon J. Napoleon’s heartbreaking account of Karen Perry’s tragedy will grab readers right away, particularly readers with children. On Thanksgiving Eve of 2011, Perry, an accomplished aviator, put her three children on a plane with their father Shawn (also a pilot), and two other trained pilots, for a short routine flight. The plane crashed into the side of Superstition Mountain in Arizona, leaving no survivors. Perry struggled to cope in the wake of indescribable tragedy and started to ask for answers, which were not forthcoming from the Federal Aviation Administration or the airplane’s owners—though a series of decisions leading up to the flight begged the question: could it all have been avoided? In order to fully comprehend Perry’s life leading up to the accident, Napoleon looks at her childhood, her determination to become a pilot when it was not a friendly industry to women, her acceptance of not having children until she was surprised with late motherhood, and then the struggles she faced raising special needs children. Learning every part of Karen’s life makes readers even more drawn to her and more devastated by her loss. While ultimately Napoleon glosses over the resolution of Perry’s lawsuits (due to confidentiality agreements), the end result is still haunting, yet inspirational.
From Kirkus Reviews: On the evening before Thanksgiving, an airplane shuttling Perry’s ex-husband and three small children crashed into a mountainside, killing them instantly. This biography charts Perry’s journey to, and eventually beyond, that “agonizing night.”
Perry, herself an aviator, became a national figure following the 2011 crash, first as the object of sympathy and later as a model of resilience whose grieving process was captured by an Oprah Winfrey Network film crew. It’s a credit to Napoleon’s diligent reporting (Burning Shield: The Jason Schechterle Story, 2014) that readers here are treated to a much fuller portrayal of Perry.
After starting her pilot training at age 19, Perry spent nearly two decades breaking barriers to pursue a career in the male-dominated field. Then, at age 38, she discovered she was pregnant, an instant “game changer” for a woman who thought she was unable to have children. Perry and her husband, Shawn, welcomed daughter Morgan in 2002; sons Logan and Luke came along soon after. But along with its joys, motherhood introduced new strains. Both Morgan and Luke were autistic. The family was told that Morgan, who also suffered from epilepsy and developmental delays, would never be able to live independently. Perry and her husband divorced in 2010. A little over a year later, the crash occurred, leaving her utterly heartbroken and in search of answers.
Napoleon has a knack for capturing and distilling minutiae, a skill on display as he dissects crash reports and court documents. But the real beauty here is when he uses those same skills to render Perry and her children as more than just tragic victims. Although Napoleon’s use of aviation metaphors is at times a bit heavy-handed, his portrayals of Perry and her children are genuine.
Along with a collection of black-and-white family photos, his vivid details help readers experience the clan’s happier times. We see Morgan snuggle in the lap of a family friend, learn Luke was a prodigious photographer, and laugh along with Logan as he delights in his Easy Bake Oven.
An absorbing read that serves as a reminder to cherish every moment.
Beginning July 31, the ebook edition of Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story will be available for pre-order exclusively on Apple iBooks.
“I read Angels Three: The Karen Perry Story with a heavy heart. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had concerns with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airspace changes before this tragedy occurred. I applaud Karen for her bravery in writing this book and sharing the lessons to be learned. By telling her story I am hopeful the memory of the six victims—including her three children and their father—will make a difference by educating pilots and policymakers so this kind of tragedy never happens again.” • Mark Baker, President and CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
This gripping biography of Jason Schechterle’s battle for life and justice celebrates the resilience of the human spirit while condemning corporate greed. In the telling of Schechterle’s story—from his becoming a Phoenix police officer to the March 26, 2001, auto accident that nearly killed him—Napoleon offers up suspenseful prose replete with all the crucial elements of a legal thriller. Schechterle’s accident—a taxi hit his police cruiser, which inexplicably burst into flames—turned out to be part of a nationwide spate of similar auto explosions. Legal crusader Patrick J. McGroder, who worked with Schechterle in his case against Ford Motor Company, is depicted as a feisty, down-home everyman.
This enthralling biography injects the intimacy of fiction into a true story of human endurance. Readers are continuously reminded that Jason Schechterle is flesh, bones, and blood, not a fictional character, and they are invited to experience his terror, frustration, and ultimate triumph.
—From Publishers Weekly, June 27, 2014
• February 26 Casa Blanca Book Club: Scottsdale AZ
• March 2 Feature profile as “The Arizona Republic Recommends” selection
• March 12 & 13 Corporate Event: Baltimore, Maryland
• March 26 National Public Radio “Here and Now” 11-noon: KJZZ Phoenix AZ
• March 28 Worldwide Launch, Changing Hands Bookstore: Tempe AZ
“This book is a powerful, inspiring story of one man’s will to survive and to thrive in the face of horrific injuries. It is also a keen look into the workings of our police men and women and the close bonds that knit them together. We admire them, and we especially admire Jason Schechterle.”
Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Governor (2002-2009) and Arizona Attorney General (1998-2002).
“Sad, exciting, life-changing and emotional, Burning Shield: The Jason Schechterle Story is an amazing story of one man’s triumph over tragedy with the support of an entire community.”
—Jack Ballentine, former homicide detective and author of Murder for Hire