New books!

Blue Ear Books is proud to publish two extraordinary new books long in the works.

The Leadership We Need: Lessons for Today from Nelson Mandela is the fruit of several years’ hard work and could not be more timely or important. Its author, Andrew Russell, is also the editor of the updated and expanded edition of Christo Brand‘s memoir Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend, published in 2022 by Blue Ear Books.

Nelson Mandela was a unique leader, whose accomplishment of a peaceful transition for South Africa from forty years of apartheid and authoritarian rule was virtually unprecedented and unparalleled. Now, more than ever before, we need to remind ourselves of what qualities he possessed, and how we can learn from his example and become better people and leaders ourselves.

And the indefatigable Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin (USAF, ret.), author of Stories from the Front: Pain, Betrayal, and Resilience on the MST Battlefield, has completed her next book, Latina Warrior, an autobiographical collection of poems accompany by the visual art of her fellow combat veteran Major Christina Helferich-Polosky (USA, ret.). Lisa and Christina will be doing several launch events around in Texas in November; visit Lisa’s website for details.

Ethan Casey, Seattle, October 22, 2023


In these current times of global strife and uncertainty, we need role models we can turn to for inspiration, guidance, and genuine leadership. Now more than ever, we need to take stock and push the default setting button. The default setting for global leadership in modern times is Nelson Mandela. His is the leadership we need.

To be published 1 December 2023. Pre-purchase The Leadership We Need.

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Andrew Russell will be touring the USA in November 2023 along with Christo Brand, author of Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend. The two South Africans will be speaking to groups in Boston, San Antonio, New York, Princeton, and Detroit. If you want to learn more about this visit, or how your group might engage with Andrew and Christo on another occasion, contact Ethan Casey at

“Men like Warrant Officer Brand reinforced my belief in the essential humanity even of those who had kept me behind bars for the previous twenty-seven and a half years.”

– Nelson Mandela

“Brand had the bigness of heart to see beyond Mandela ‘the terrorist’, ‘the communist’, the convicted prisoner. Seeing that Mandela treated him with kindness and respect, he responded in kind. Brand may be seen as a milestone in Mandela’s political mission: his first white convert.”

John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy (made into the film Invictus) and Knowing Mandela

The updated edition of Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend by Christo Brand with Barbara Jones is available in the United States directly from Blue Ear Books and via Amazon worldwide. To purchase copies in South Africa or to book an in-person or virtual visit with Christo, contact Andrew Russell at Visit this page to read about Christo Brand’s planned November 2023 speaking tour of the USA.

Latina Warrior is a collection of poems, prose, and art in which Col. Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF (Ret.) weaves her journey in deeply personal, intense, explicit, and sometimes humorous expression. The book is in four major parts: Early Years y Familia, The Military and Combat, Life after the Military, and Healing and the Road to Authenticity.

Accompanying Lisa’s story expressed through poetry is the diverse art of Major Christina Helferich-Polosky, USA (Ret.). Included in a Reflections section are glimpses into the creation of each poem and art piece, demonstrating the unique collaboration between Lisa and Christina. Cover design by Sean Robertson. Christina used a photo of Lisa in a helicopter in Iraq as her inspiration, to honor both her Latina heritage and her military experiences.

Available mid-November 2023. Pre-purchase Latina Warrior for $34.95 (unsigned) or $39.95 (signed) plus shipping direct from the author.

Also by Lisa Carrington Firmin:

On our Substack


Read an excerpt from The Leadership We Need: Lessons for Today from Nelson Mandela by Andrew Russell on the Blue Ear Books newsletter on Substack.