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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Running With Cannibals by Robert W. Smith - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Robert W. Smith and his new book, “Running With Cannibals,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Bob and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

Running With Cannibals

by Robert W. Smith


GENRE:  Historical / Fiction / Thriller



On the run from a hangman’s noose, a young man joins the army in search of anonymity, but lands in the Philippines in the closing phase of the war (1901), where his life intersects with a beguiling and mysterious young Filipina, a disillusioned Catholic priest and an American “Negro” deserter. They join forces, each in his or her own way, to hold back the tide of greed and colonial barbarity from a ravenous Eagle. At great cost, the young soldier will find his place, his people and himself. But to end his running, he must endure the last battle and the dark jungle beyond that holds the key to his fate and future.

One will die in the fight. One will learn that truth wears no flag and must be pursued and safeguarded, no matter the price. The other two will live forever, legends in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people.



A sick feeling churned in his stomach, like that of a man who’d blindly taken his first step over a cliff in the dark. The unfortunate soul could almost feel the soft blades of grass drooping teasingly over the ledge, only inches from his outstretched hand as he mourned a fatal mistake, but the inevitability of his fate cruelly mocked the effort.

With his coat buttoned up and the saddlebags over his shoulder, the man reached for the old newsboy hat on the table before leaving. The wavy, chestnut hair would be a dead giveaway for anyone searching by description, and he tucked it in the best he could under the cap. In the same instant, the flimsy door to his room imploded from its hinges as a parade of uniformed police poured in behind it, and the man with no name faced his rendezvous with destiny. With two friends surely facing a hangman’s noose, surrender equaled slow suicide. In a split second, he chose the cliff over the noose.

Just maybe, he thought, he could fly. The window was barely large enough to accommodate his slender frame, and he proved it the hard way, headfirst through shattering glass. Like the man grasping in vain for the ledge, he reached instinctively back for the window, knowing this was his last mistake and praying only for instant death.



World-building can be the most important element of your book.  What media outlets, role-models and real-life inspirations did you draw from while writing this book?

This question strikes directly to the heart of my Running with Cannibals and I’m tickled pink to tackle it. The short answer is that, in researching this subject matter, I discovered the true story of two remarkable people from opposite ends of the earth, divided by language, culture and a brutal war of colonial aggression, but united by a love of justice, compassion and one another. I found it irresistible.

In school I heard in passing something about the “Philippine Insurrection,” a brief and minor conflict in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, a subject steadfastly ignored in U.S. History books. With a little digging on the internet, I uncovered a completely different version of the so-called “insurrection,” a version based on facts and more fairly represented by Filipino historians and official U.S. Army records. Filipinos more accurately call the conflict, “The Philippine-American War.” Ultimately, the conflict held lessons that might have altered the course of history, specifically the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

As my research deepened, I explored America’s Age of Manifest Destiny, a time during which powerful forces pushed the McKinley administration into a policy of colonialization modeled on the British experiences in Africa. The policy was motivated partially by a perceived need to control valuable trade routes and raw materials in the Far East and resulted in the U.S. “purchasing” the Philippines from Spain after vanquishing her meager forces in battle. Some historians simply attribute the entire policy to greed.

The result was accurately predicted by no less than Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, in his famous essay, “To the Person Sitting in Darkness.” U.S. forces occupied the seven thousand Philippine Islands, formed a military government and embarked on a brutal war of aggression against the Filipino people. I was struck by the parallels to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and to the general ignorance of history that certainly contributed to the initial acceptance of U.S. policy in Southeast Asia.

Delving even deeper into that time and place, I leaned the true love story of a Filipina, Casiana Nationales (Geronima) and Sgt. Frank Betron of the U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment and the so-called “Balangiga Massacre” in which villagers rose up in defiance of their occupiers, killing some fifty American soldiers. Filipinos call it the Battle of Balangiga.

Geronima is a national heroine in the Philippines, a strong and beautiful woman of inexplicable influence who fell in love with Sgt. Betron and yet opted to side with her people against the Americans. Little is known about the details of their love affair. Those details of their love are fictionalized, the product of my imagination, but the romance is not.  Betron lived the rest of his life in the Philippines and raised a family. To me, bringing real characters to life in a fictionalized, plausible story is the most exciting achievement for an author.



Bob was raised in Chicago, enlisting in the Air Force at age eighteen during the Vietnam War. Following a year of intensive language training at Syracuse University, he served three years as a Russian Linguist in Security Service Command, a branch of the NSA. Upon return to civilian live, he attended DePaul University and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on the G.I. Bill while working as a Chicago Transit Authority Police Officer. Thirty-odd years as a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago ensued. His first book was Immoral Authority (Echelon Press, 2002) followed by Catch a Falling Lawyer (New Leaf Books, 2005) and The Sakhalin Collection (New Leaf Books, 2007, hardcover)













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Bob will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Bob ~ Good morning!! Welcome to FAB!! It is so great to have you here!! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour!! :)

  2. Rita, wish I could buy you a drink lol. You saved me from a shutout here this morning.

  3. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt is great, Running with Cannibals sounds like a fascinating read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic day!