Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Many Genres One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Title: Many Genres One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction
Author Michael A. Arnzen, Heidi Ruby Miller
Genre: How-to
Reviewer: Terry L. Shoptaugh

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0938467085

Well-known authors affiliated with Seton Hill University's MFA program offer advice on how to write successful genre novels.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Arnzen, Michael, ed.
Miller, Heidi Ruby

Military Fly Moms: Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope

Title: Military Fly Moms: Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope
Author: Linda Maloney
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction
Reviewer: Barbara Peacock

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0978736974

Military Fly Moms is a gorgeous coffee-table book with a collection of true stories by seventy women who shared the same two dreams—becoming a military aviator, and being a mom. The first few women, who, in the seventies, took their places in the world of all-male military aviation, paved the way for other women to follow. From flying during the Cold War to rescue missions during Hurricane Katrina to flying in combat during the current war on terror, these gutsy women—our nation’s sisters, daughters, neighbors, friends, and, yes, even moms—have done it all. Illustrated throughout with 75 stunning color photos, Military Fly Moms depicts women aviators in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard alongside their helicopters, transport aircraft, or fighter planes, as well as highlighting their families. These stories and their accompanying photographs weave a beautiful tapestry, passing on a lasting legacy to inspire future generations to reach for their dreams

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Maloney, Linda

Rich Man's War Poor Man's Fight

Title: Rich Man's War Poor Man's Fight
Author: Daniel Thompson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005OAWJYQ

Rich Man's War - Poor Man's Fight, is the story of two Scot - Irish families who left Ireland for the promise of a better life in America. While accurately set in time and place, this is not a battle by battle account of Civil War history. It is the story of a determined people who were pressed into a war by a country who spurned their kind and used them as pawns so their wealthy sons could be kept out of harm's way. One family, a young man who hoped to use his family trade as a sword smith entered through the port of New York in 1862. New York was in the midst of the conscription riots as Abraham Lincoln's cabinet desperately fought to fill the ranks of an Army to hold the Union together. A second family left Dublin for New Orleans. They arrived as organizers tried to convince young Irish men that the South's fight for independence from the federal government is a struggle that the Irish should understand. Fate brings the young men together on opposing sides of a Virginia battlefield where they collapse in exhaustion and come to realize the irony of their meeting and the cruel circumstances that brought them together as enemies.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Thompson, Daniel

Your Gift to Me

Title: Your Gift to Me
Author: Bonnie Bartel Latino, Bob Vale
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B0087THD24

Set primarily in Hawaii, this Military SuperRomance celebrates the redemptive powers of love and laughter.

Nearly ten years after Emily Ann Meade’s husband died in a fiery Special Operations helicopter crash in the Gulf War, grief continues to follow her like a second skin shadow. Still single and emotionally guarded, she clings to her vow never to get involved with another man committed to a dangerous profession … until she meets charismatic F-16 Viper pilot, Colonel Ted Foley, in Hawaii. Although she is attracted to Ted, he is assigned to a fighter wing that has recently lost two pilots in unexplained air crashes.

Ted finds the elusive Emily to be like smoke--smoke that surrounds and envelopes him, but that he can't quite grasp. He is intrigued by the first woman who has made him feel alive since his wife died of breast cancer.

Allowing her mind to wander through fields of dreams on which she can't afford the emotional mortgage, Emily lowers her barriers and discovers Ted’s greatest virtue. He makes the ordinary feel sublime! Healing in shared confidences solidifies their relationship.

As Emily becomes the vivacious woman she was before her husband’s death devastated her spirit, her worst fear resurfaces. Ted’s squadron suffers a third mysterious F-16 crash. Terrified that his life could be in danger, and she will be left to suffer the emotional consequences, she pushes him away . . . again. Their relationship shatters.

Emily must find a path through her emotional minefields or risk never discovering that she is rejecting the only type of man to whom she is genuinely attracted . . . and a man whose life could be in danger!

Ultimately Ted and Emily discover that grief, like joy, is finite, but love is infinite.

Written from alternate he said/she said points of view, the captivating story will appeal to anyone, age eighteen to eighty, who requires both entertainment and substance in their leisure reading.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Latino, Bonnie Bartel
Vale, Bob

Rich Man's War - Poor Man's Fight

Title: Rich Man's War - Poor Man's Fight
Author: Daniel Thompson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005OAWJYQ

Rich Man's War - Poor Man's Fight, is the story of two Scot - Irish families who left Ireland for the promise of a better life in America. While accurately set in time and place, this is not a battle by battle account of Civil War history. It is the story of a determined people who were pressed into a war by a country who spurned their kind and used them as pawns so their wealthy sons could be kept out of harm's way. One family, a young man who hoped to use his family trade as a sword smith entered through the port of New York in 1862. New York was in the midst of the conscription riots as Abraham Lincoln's cabinet desperately fought to fill the ranks of an Army to hold the Union together. A second family left Dublin for New Orleans. They arrived as organizers tried to convince young Irish men that the South's fight for independence from the federal government is a struggle that the Irish should understand. Fate brings the young men together on opposing sides of a Virginia battlefield where they collapse in exhaustion and come to realize the irony of their meeting and the cruel circumstances that brought them together as enemies.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Thompson, Daniel

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