Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best wishes for the new year!

I hope you have a happy and successful New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008


If you like World War II videos and books, check out http://www.bestwwiivideo.com. It's a fun little site with trailers and clips from some of the best WWII movies, including documentaries and dramatic films.

Be sure to browse the page on The Last Ridge, the PBS documentary about the 10th Mountain Infantry Division by Abbie Kealy and check out the recommended titles. ;-)

Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window isn't just about the 10th Mountain Infantry Division, but--as those who have read it know--the men of the 10th play a significant role in the story of the six Koski brothers. It makes a good companion to The Last Ridge.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Battle of the Bulge

As we prepare for another holiday season, you might take a few moments to reflect on the events of December, 1945.

By early December, the Allies seemed to be winning the war. Intelligence reports suggested that the Germans were no longer able to mount significant offensive actions, but they were very wrong.

In the early morning hours of December 16th, the Germans launched a major offensive, which was to later become known as the Battle of the Bulge. By the end of the battle in early January, the Americans suffered some 80,000 casualties with 19,000 Americans killed in action. In the first few days of the battle, two entire regiments had been surrounded and forced to surrender, the GIs marched back to German POW camps. The Germans suffered some 84,000 casualties and the loss of tanks and equipment that could not be replaced. It was a fierce battle fought in ice, snow, and bitter cold.

Carl "Art" Koski was one of the young GIs caught up in the Battle of the Bulge as indicated in the following clip from the digital version of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 7th and Pearl Harbor

It's difficult for most of us to understand how the world changed for an entire generation when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. For millions of American families, everything changed on that Sunday morning.

I'd like to thank our friends at Pasty Cam (www.pasty.com) for reminding us all of the sacrifices that previous generations.

I'd also like to thank them for featuring Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window on their Web site on this very significant day.

Visit Pasty Cam at www.pasty.com or read their special December 7th message.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas orders

Amazon.com keeps ordering small quantities of books, which sell out as soon as they arrive. I guess they're determined to minimize inventory, but it's very frustrating to me and anyone who is trying to order the book as a Christmas present.

The good news is that the main distributor, BookMasters/Atlas Books has both the DVD and the printed book in stock, ready for immediate shipment. If you order soon, via 1-800-247-6553 or their Web site, you can get the book and/or DVD in plenty of time for Christmas.

Online Ratings

I've received many very positive comments regarding Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window.

That's great! I'm very happy that so many readers found it to be a meaningful story.

However, I would greatly appreciate any readers who could post positive online comments and ratings for the book, DVD, or digital book.

To post at Amazon.com, just to go the Amazon page for the book or the video, sign in using your Amazon.com account, then rate the book and/or leave a comment.

To leave comments on YouTube, just view the clips posted on YouTube, create or log in to your YouTube account, then rank the video and/or leave comments.

If you participate in online forums, blogs, or chatrooms, please mention Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window as appropriate.

If you do mention it online, send me an e-mail with the URL!

Thanks--I appreciate your support!

Dan Oja

Thursday, December 4, 2008

YouTube Channel

In an effort to introduce more people to the compelling video content included with the digital versions of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window, I've been uploading sample videos to YouTube. We now have our own "channel" on YouTube and are getting a fair number of views.

To see the latest video clips on YouTube, just go to www.youtube.com and enter danaoja into the search line. That should display a list of all the current videos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Activate your BookOnCD for just $1.00!

Special Offer!

To encourage our readers to mention Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window online, we're making the following, limited-time offer:

1. Mention Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window and www.sixstarsinthewindow.com online.
You can add your comments to Amazon.com, on your Web site, in a blog, or as a comment at another Web site--anyplace except this blog. Be sure to mention Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window and include the URL www.sixstarsinthewindow.com.
2. Send an e-mail with the URL where you mentioned the product to support@mediatechnics.net.
3. We'll send you a special link so you can activate your Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window BookOnCD for just $1.00 (regularly $4.95).

That's it! It's quick, its' easy, and it will help introduce others to the story of this very special family.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

As part of our major effort to increase visibility, we've published the first eight chapters of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window on Scribd, an interesting digital publishing site with an unpronounceable name. If you have documents that you'd like to make available to a wide audience, take a look at Scribd.

Of course, Scribd doesn't support all of the features of the BookOnCD, BookOnDownload, or even BookOnBrowser, but it's an interesting alternative to PDF and HTML if you only need text and graphics.

Click the link below to view the first 8 chapters on Scribd or experiment with it in the scrolling window below.

OrdinaryHeroes-Front matter through Chapter 8 (page 35 of book)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veteran's Day Events at the Jacobetti Center

I just received word of the Veteran's Day events at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veteran's. State Representative Steve Lindberg was one of the speakers and he mentioned Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window during his speech.

I would like to thank Steve Lindberg, and everyone else involved, for helping us all to remember why we celebrate Veteran's Day.

Read the article from The Mining Journal Web site.

Or watch the video on YouTube.

New short version of trailer for book and documentary

I've just posted a shorter version of the trailer (1:30) on YouTube to go along with the previous longer trailer (4:01).

Please help support by linking to either trailer from your Web site.

The shorter trailer is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik9vP0t7zrA

The longer trailer is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m5hfZNEXjY

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Try BookOnCD!

While most readers focus on the "traditional" components of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window--the printed book and documentary DVD--some are starting to explore what may be the most compelling component, the interactive digital versions of the book such as the BookOnCD which is bound inside the front cover of every copy of the book.

If you've tried e-books before you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. After all, most e-books are not very exciting as they are just poorly formatted text pages or static PDF files.

The digital versions of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window are something very different. Using the technology developed for use with best-selling college computer textbooks, the BookOnCD and BookOnDownload editions utilize the full power of your computer to offer a compelling reading experience that combines the best features of books, video, and the Web.

For example, page 9 of the book shows a photo of West Ishpeming school related to Edna Mae's dream where her Johnny runs up the stairs into the arms of their mother. In the digital versions of the book, you an click the caption of that photo to listen to Edna Mae talk about that dream in her own words.

On page 27, the book includes a quote from a stirring speech by Winston Churchill. If you click the caption under the photo of Winston Churchill you can listen to the speech yourself.

The digital versions of Ordinary Heroes provide a very powerful reading experience, unlike anything you've ever tried.

If you haven't yet done so, stick that BookOnCD into your Mac or Windows computer and give it a try. You'll be glad you did!

Amazon.com listing

After some delay, the Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window book and DVD are now listed at Amazon.com, providing yet another way for people to purchase them.

The book and DVD are now available in selected local bookstores, via www.sixstarsinthewindow.com, via 1-800-247-6553, and from Amazon.com.

If you've already read the book or watched the DVD, please feel free to post your comments regarding the book or on the DVD.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Support Ordinary Heroes on your Web site

To encourage people to promote Ordinary Heroes on their own Web sites, I've posted two graphics below--one small cover graphic and a regular 468x60 banner ad.

Just right-click the graphics to save, then upload them to your Web page.

Be sure to link them to http://www.sixstarsinthewindow.com to direct users to the official site.

After you've posted them on your site, send me an e-mail with the URL and I'll drop by to visit your site.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What's so special about Ordinary Heroes?

I've been spending a lot of time contacting Web sites and organizations about Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window. As part of that process, I've had to try to summarize what it is that makes this book special and why anyone should read it.

There clearly is no shortage of books about World War II.

Many of them are historical books, full of strategy and tactics and facts. They are a great resource for those with an interest in military history, but not particularly interesting or readable for anybody else.

Others are first-person narratives, covering one individual soldier's experiences during the war. These books often make for compelling reading, but generally lack context. They don't help the reader understand why the war was being fought, why particular engagements were important, or why individual units were assigned particular tasks.

Ordinary Heroes is different in that it weaves the story of the six Koski brothers into a compelling glimpse of a world at war. It is one of the few books that details the experiences of individual soldiers against the backdrop of the larger war. This larger context gives meaning to the experiences and sacrifices of ordinary soldiers such as the Koski brothers and the men they served with.

In one sense, I think of it as similar to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The trials and tribulations of a few hobbits wouldn't have meaning if it wasn't placed against the backdrop of larger events.

In the same way, the sacrifices of individual soldiers only make sense against the backdrop of the larger war, when we begin to understand the scope of the effort and the magnitude of the stakes.

This context, this overlaying of individual stories over larger events, is one of the main reasons why I believe the story of the Koski brothers is worth reading.

It's one of the main reasons why I felt it was worth writing.

Perhaps some of you who have read the book will share your thoughts on this.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ordinary Heroes BookOnCD

I've gotten a few e-mail questions about the BookOnCD that is bound in the front cover of every books, so I thought I'd provide some additional information here.

1. The BookOnCD isn't a PDF file or static e-book. It's an interactive, multimedia experience unlike anything you've ever used.

2. The BookOnCD runs on most current computers, including Apple Macs and Windows.
Unless your computer is very old or runs Linux, the BookOnCD will almost certainly run on it. The way to tell for sure is to insert the CD and give it a try.

3. The BookOnCD does not need installation--just insert the CD to start.
On most Windows computers it will run automatically. On the Mac, just double-click MacBookOnCD to start the program. The BookOnCD doesn't put support files on your computer or make Registry entries so it won't change or harm your computer. (The technology was developed for use in college computer labs, which means it must run without installing files.)

4. When started, the BookOnCD will display a message indicating that it is running in demonstration mode. Just click OK to continue. You'll be able to run the program, but will be limited to the first eight chapters of the book until/unless you complete the online purchase and activation process.

5. If you enjoy the first eight chapters of the BookOnCD and want to access the complete content, just click Help, Pay for this Product and follow the prompts to complete the online payment process using your credit card or PayPal account. It's quick, easy, and secure.
After completing the payment process you'll receive a confirmation e-mail direct from PayPal. After receiving that e-mail, click Help, Activate this product and copy/paste or type the info into the activation window to activate the product. After the data is verified, the product will be unlocked for full use on your computer.

6. You only need to complete the payment and activation process one time. After activation the product will remain activated for future use.

7. If you switch to a new computer, you don't need to repeat the payment process. Just run the product on the new computer and click Help, Activate this product. Then copy/paste or type the data from the confirmation e-mail to activate on the new computer.

8. If you have any questions or run into any problems, let us know and we'll take care of it.
The BookOnCD technology is being successfully used by hundreds of thousands of college students, all around the world, so in the unlikely event that you run into a problem we probably already have a solution for it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Welcome to the Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window author's blog.

I'm hoping this blog will serve as a two-way communication channel between me, as the author of Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window, and those people who have read the book, watched the documentary film, or used one of the digital versions of the book.

This is your chance to ask questions and post your comments about the book, documentary film, or digital books.

For a quick introduction to Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window, watch the trailer on YouTube.

To find our more about Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window, visit www.sixstarsinthewindow.com.