THEY FOLLOWED THE CALL ISBN-10: 1948390655 ISBN-13: 978-1948390651

The second edition is now available

They Followed the Call by Al Lohn follows a young mother who is torn between her son and her call to defend her country on the battlefield in Iraq. As a medic, Marissa faces danger at every turn. Her son’s pleas to come home and hug him, tear at her heart. This emotionally moving story will grasp you from the beginning and take you on a tense and dramatic journey. Al Lohn handles the subject matter with caring, compassion and insight. One Kindle reader said, “They Followed the Call is the kind of novel that whispers hard truths in your ear.”




The Hunt for Cell-X

Terrorists attack, sinking an American cruise ship, and start an eruption of multiple terror attacks impairing peaceful life in the US, leaving mass destruction in their wake. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Hajji Al’ Hajji, selects Special Agent Jim Vandergelden, the deputy director of the CIA and a retired Marine Corps Colonel, as the commander of the Special Homeland Security Force. Jim is a battle hardened ex commander and a proven CIA operative. He picks his team members from the best the world has to offer. Colonel Vandergelden’s mission is to locate and destroy a secret Isis cell names Cell-X. They have infiltrated the USA and a reliable source alleges that Cell-X is developing weapons of mass destruction on US soil. The hunt is on…


Chapter 1

     The Cruise-Ship, Carnival’s Swale Jammer, sailed towards Malta with two-thousand passengers aboard. Ida and Allen Goldberg, a newly retired couple, relaxed on Deck watching the sun going down on the horizon. And what a sunset it was. When the blood-red sun dipped into the water, it transformed the skyline into an inferno that burned up the powder puffy clouds.
They were enjoying their long awaited dream, a Mediterranean Cruise. Allen had spared no money. He had booked the most expensive stateroom in first class.
Ida nursed her Piña Colada, and Allen enjoyed his Crown Royal on the rocks. They planned to get dressed up after the sunset and go to dinner. Sipping away on their drinks, the sun slid below the water leaving a spectacle of a full moon rising surrounded by a star-studded night.
“Okay sweetheart, let’s go and get dressed for dinner, and then we dance the night away.”
“That sounds like a plan Darling…” She was unable to finish her sentence. An earsplitting explosion rattled the ship. People tumbled around on the deck as the stern and bow rose out of the water and the deck started to sink below the water at amidships.
The turbulence had smashed Allen’s head against the wall of the bridge, and Ida slid down the deck disappearing below the waves. He lay lifeless on the deck. Children screamed and panicked, mothers called for their little ones, and Men, bleeding, searched for their families as the ship slid faster and faster below the water.
The crew tried their best to throw life vests into the crowd and inflatable rafts overboard. It was not possible to make use of the lifeboats because the ship was going down too fast. Strong swimmers jumped overboard and women pleated “Please catch my baby.” It was other chaos.
In less than ten minutes, the ship was gone. Debris, bodies, rafts overloaded with people floated in the calm water. The moonlit waves exposed a spine-chilling picture of death and pain. Surviving mothers tried to quiet down their babies.
Allen lay unconscious in a raft. The steward that had served them while they were on board saved his life. Now he tried to keep Allen alive. He was fond of this generous man that had treated him as if he were his equal.
Suddenly, Allen opened his eyes and looked bewildered. He grabbed the Steward’s sleeve, “W…what…what happened?” With fear in his eyes, he looked from side to side, and asked, “Ida…Ida…where is my Ida?”
“Sh-sh-sh…Mr. Goldberg, lay still. There was an explosion on the ship. You slammed with your head into the wall of the bridge when the ship broke apart. It sank; I was able to pull you out of the water. Help is on the way.”
“But where is my Ida? Is my Ida okay?”
“I’m sure Mrs. Goldberg is in one of the other rafts. She is going to be okay. She is a strong swimmer, I saw her doing laps in the pool this morning.”
A smile came over his face as he said, “Yeah, she was a big athlete in her youth. She won many swimming meets. Not like me, I swim like a led duck.” Trying to get up, he said, “What is she doing in the pool? We have to get dressed and go to dinner, I promised her to dance the night away.”
The Steward pushed him gently down. “Mr. Goldberg, please stay down. You are badly hurt. I am sure a hospital ship is on its way. They will take care of you.”
Again, he tried to get up. “But Ida, my Ida, where is she?”
“I will find her for you, I promise. As soon as they are going to pick us up I will look for her.”
Admiral Lloyd, commander of the 6th Fleet, stood on the bridge of his flagship admiring the sunset. As soon as nightfall would take over, the fleet would leave the homeport and sail into the open sea.
The com officer, storming into the bridge, suddenly interrupted his state of awe. “Admiral, Sir, I received an SOS from a cruise ship on course to Malta.”
“All right Lieutenant, let’s see what you got.” The Admiral took the print out and read aloud. “SOS from the Carnival’s Swale Jammer-Big explosion-ship is breaking up-sinking fast-requesting rescue-over.”
The Admiral whistled and ordered, “XO, prepare fleet for immediate departure. Dispatch at once the hospital ship including a rescue team, a two destroyer escort, and a patrol boat. Make sure that the Seahawks are ready for takeoff at a moment’s notice. Lieutenant Commander Maxwell is in charge of the operation.”
“Aye, aye, Sir!” The captain picked up the microphone and bellowed into the PA system. “No hear this, prepare to set sail at once.”
The proficiently drilled sailors hustled and bustled and thirty minutes later two cruisers, a rescue vessel, and a floating hospital ship left the port and sat course for the Carnival’s Swale

SECRAD BLOOD Second Edition

5.0 out of 5 starsThe Human Aspect of War

on August 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Al Lohn does a masterful job of showing the human aspect of war, with very interesting stories of each war the U.S. participated in. He emphasizes the humanity while showing the suffering, and it is this common humanity which really makes one think about this method of settling differences. The soldiers, in the midst of all of this, also question the wisdom of their causes after seeing and experiencing what happens. Families are torn apart, causes are questioned, love is experienced, and international brotherhood is experienced. The horrors of war are made personal is a way the reader can easily identify with, as we all have common needs and desires. Were the causes being fought for worth the death and horror and suffering, and were the leaders’ motives legitimate? Very interesting reading!


Honor our men and women in uniform for they gave us liberty and keep us safe.

Veterans flag


The Prize of Freedom!

Freedom, I gave you my husband,
You gave me a neatly folded flag.
Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, I gave you a courageous heart,
You gave me a few well-chosen words.
Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, I gave you the love of my life,
You gave me a medal on a blue ribbon with thirteen white stars.
Oh, what a trade!

They played taps and lowered his body into a cold grave,
Oh, what a price to pay for freedom.

They called him a fallen hero,
They called me the fallen hero’s widow.
They called his child the fallen hero’s son,
Oh, what a price to pay for freedom!
Al Lohn

Why do writers write?


Why do they? For the money?

I am sure some do. Patterson, Steven King, J K Rowling, Grisham, and others, all make a good living. These four became multi millionaires from their writing.

Yes, some writers make a living from their writing. However, according to the writer’s guild, 80% of all writers are starving artists. Their royalties amount to a few miserly dollars. They have day jobs and write whenever they can find some time. Some write after work until late in the night. There are young moms that write whenever their little ones take a nap. Others start writing when they retire because now they have the time to do so.

However, if the writer’s guild is correct, only 20% make a living from writing. Does that mean that 80% of all books are trash? No, not necessarily, off course I grant you, there is a share of rubbish floating around. However, a large percentage of books are a good read and don’t get the recognition. The reason for that could be that they self-published and do not have the PR or circulation. Many writers use small-press publishers that do not have the retail circulation that the major ones have. Do to downsizing most publishers leave the marketing and advertising in the hands of the writers who have neither the knowledge nor the time to handle the marketing end of the business. So, why do writers put so much work into a book for a next to nothing-monetary reward?

A book is like an iceberg. When a reader looks at a book, all he/she sees is the tip sticking out of the water. Seven-eighths of it is the work hidden below the water; like Editing-rewriting-more writing-thinking-researching-ideating-and dreaming. Oh yeah, writers dream a lot, even with open eyes. If you ever see an author’s mouths moving, and you hear no words coming out of it, don’t lock them up. They are not crazy. They are just conversing with the characters they created.

So why do they write? If you ask them, I am sure their answers vary greatly. Do some hope to strike gold with their book? I am sure there are those that do. Is it the love of the craft for others? I am positive that many love the writing process. For me, writing a story is like watching a movie. To find the answer, we have to examine when, and how, they decided to become writers. I am sure, some were avid readers in their teenage and young adult years, and advertently became fans of authors that they wanted to emulate.

Others might have majored in writing and started from there. Maybe some picked it up later because they fell in love with the written word. And some got into it by accident as I did. In my case, I never gave writing a thought. In fact, I hated writing in school; I absolutely despised it. So why did I start writing you ask?

I retired in 1998 after a fifty year carrier in corporate life and bought a computer. I played around with it, and after crashing it often enough, I learned how to use it. Creating a family tree was my first project. Since my wife and I are both German immigrants, our children and grandchildren would not know where to find the information of their ancestors. In the process, it dawned on me that the names on the piece of paper would not mean much to them without their ancestor’s stories. That is when I started to write the stories of our ancestors down in a novel format. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the writing process. So I gave writing a try.

Since I experienced the horrors of WWII, spend two years in the US Army, plus two in the Army Reserve, I could spin enough yarn to fill a few novels. My extensive travels during my carrier to more than 50 countries, gained me an inside into many cultures, and getting to see many sites allows me to write convincingly. That is how I became a writer.

I believe the passion to tell stories is ingrained in human nature. From the time of the earliest human, back in the caves, people had a burning desire to create stories and share them with others. Evolution has not dimmed that need as more authors are stepping forward, attempting to be published.

Albert Camus (Pronounced= al-BAIR_ka-MOO), the French Algerian author, journalist and playwright, who won the 1954 French Nobel Prize for literature said it best.

“Writers write, because they must.”