Daddy Left with Mr. Army: A Child's View of Military Deployment by Chandelle Walker

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 Living as a military child can often be challenging. Have you wondered what a military deployment is like from the eyes of these children? Have you thought about what they might be feeling, and do you question how to help them get through it? In Daddy Left with Mr. Army, author Chandelle Walker offers insight from a child's perspective to help you understand the emotions your child may be feeling as separation occurs. Based on Chandelle's personal experiences in a military family dealing with deployments, Daddy Left with Mr. Army helps both children and parents open a conversation about the time away. Through rhyme and illustrations, this picture book shares the challenges of deployment but also the joys of serving the United States in the military.

ISBN/ASIN: 1480868051
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Children & Young Adult—Picture Book
Number of Pages: 30

Invisible Hero: Two Boys and an Exciting Tale of Honor and Valor by R. A. Sheats

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 From a small-town childhood to the bloody shores of Iwo Jima and a flag-raising that would be seen around the world, follow the exciting true story of Ernest “Boots” Thomas and Jim Sledge in this action-packed adventure of bravery and self-sacrifice. "Invisible Hero" captures the thrilling and dramatic story of two boys and their lives and adventures in the Second World War. Follow Boots Thomas and his best friend Jim Sledge and experience what life was like growing up in a small town in the shadow of the Great Depression, and then see firsthand how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and World War Two transformed these boys’ lives forever. In this gripping tale of valor, self-sacrifice, and supreme love that lays down everything for a friend, learn the true meaning of loyalty, responsibility, and the solemn duty of honoring those who have fallen. The history of Platoon Sergeant Ernest “Boots” Thomas has inspired people of all ages for generations. His small-town childhood, the unswerving dedication he brought to every task, and his heroic desire to protect his family and home—joined with the wartime fame of raising a historic flag on the bloody sands of Iwo Jima—make the story of Boots Thomas an exciting and inspiring tale for young and old alike. As a young man who refused to glamorize his part in a justly historic battle and who bestowed all credit on his comrades instead of himself, Boots Thomas truly encapsulated the words of Solomon: “let another praise you, and not your own mouth” (Prov. 27:2). The history of his short life provides a stirring model for children of all ages. Thomas’ diligence in even the little things, his responsibility in positions of authority, and his willing acceptance of the difficult tasks laid before him are all examples from which generations of children can learn. As his company commander Captain Dave Severance said of him on Iwo Jima: “I know of no more appropriate praise than to say that [Boots Thomas] was a credit to his parents who raised him.” Alongside the history of Sergeant Thomas flows the story of Jim Sledge, Thomas’ closest friend. Raised in a little town in rural Florida, the two boys grew up together like brothers. When their paths diverged with college training and the coming of World War Two, they remained in contact through letters and visits. Boots joined the Marines and Jim enlisted in the Army Air Corps. After the war, Jim returned to Monticello alone. Boots’ death on Iwo Jima at only twenty years of age could easily have been regarded as the last tragic scene in a tragically short life, but for Jim Sledge the solemn duty of honoring the memory of his fallen friend drove him to a lifetime of preserving the history of Boots’ life and work and the lessons it provides to the rising generations. Jim’s selfless dedication of keeping alive his friend’s memory for over seven decades of life beautifully captures the truth of Solomon’s words: “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). Within "Invisible Hero" the history of Sergeant Boots Thomas and Jim Sledge (previously published under the title "Call Me No Hero") has been condensed and rewritten for a younger audience. Though the story has been greatly abridged, the facts remain the same, preserving the historicity of the book for younger readers.

ISBN/ASIN: 1720050813
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Children & Young Adult—Young Adult (fiction or non-fiction)
Number of Pages: 175

The Motive by Joseph Badal

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 The Motive is a 106,300-word thriller novel, and is the first in a 3-book series titled The Curtis Chronicles.

New Mexico physician Matthew Curtis flies to Hawaii to bury his sister, Susan—a reported suicide. Shortly after his arrival there, Matt suspects Susan was murdered. He collaborates with his sister’s best friend, Renee Drummond, in a search for the murderer and his motive. Their search uncovers a criminal conspiracy that involves Lonnie Jackson—the head of organized crime in Hawaii, Nathan Ballard—the senior partner of the law firm where Susan worked, and Dennis Callahan—the homicide detective in charge of the investigation into Susan’s death.

Matt does not want to believe Susan killed herself, but the evidence, at first, seems irrefutable. He is distressed because he believes an argument he recently had with his sister and her boyfriend might have contributed to her being depressed and committing suicide.

Matt meets Renee, who challenges him to search for the truth.

He learns from the coroner that, although Susan died in a fall, she had a lethal level of a narcotic in her system. Matt knows Susan abhorred drugs.

He meets with Dennis Callahan, the Honolulu detective in charge of his sister’s case. Callahan tries to convince him that Susan’s death was a suicide and that he should get on with his life and return to New Mexico. What Matt does not realize is Callahan is a dirty cop, on Lonnie Jackson’s payroll.

Matt learns that one of Susan’s neighbors, Muriel Goldstein, left her apartment moments after Susan’s death. He tracks here down at her daughter’s home on Kauai. She confesses to having seen Susan pushed off her balcony.

Matt’s old Army buddy, Esteban Maldonado, and two of Esteban’s friends, Richie and Angelo Caruso, who live on Oahu, ally with Matt and Renee after three men attempt to ram Matt and Renee’s car over a cliff.

Lonnie Jackson, aware that Susan Curtis, the in-house accountant for Nathan Ballard’s law firm, was suspicious about the imbalance between Ballard’s personal income and his spending, orders Dennis Callahan to murder Susan. Fearful that Susan had shared her suspicions with her friend, Renee Drummond, Jackson orders Callahan to murder Renee after the first attempt on her life fails. Callahan also fails and is severely injured in his attack on Renee. Jackson is frustrated by the two failed assassination attempts and sends heavily armed hitmen after Matt and Renee. Matt, Esteban, and the Caruso brothers repel the attack and capture one of Jackson’s men. The captured hitman incriminates Jackson.   

The police raid Jackson’s homes and businesses. They acquire evidence that Callahan injected Susan Curtis with drugs on Jackson’s orders, in order to prevent her from disclosing Nathan Ballard’s role in Jackson’s drug smuggling operation. But it wasn’t the drug injection that killed Susan. Nora Dunning, the mother of John Dunning, a young attorney at the Ballard law firm, pushed Susan to her death. John Dunning is Lonnie Jackson’s half-brother and Nora Dunning is Jackson’s mother. When the police try to arrest Nora, she leaps to her death from a cliff into the Pacific.

Jackson is about to flee the country when he hears of his mother’s death. He becomes unhinged and goes after Matt and Renee himself. He shoots and severely wounds Renee. Matt fights with Jackson, but Jackson escapes and flees to Brazil with tens of millions of dollars.

An Asian drug dealer, in retaliation for Jackson stealing a heroin shipment from him, murders Jackson’s half-brother, John Dunning.

Matt and Renee fall in love. She follows him back to New Mexico, where they marry.

The deaths of his mother and brother unhinge Jackson. He blames Matt and Renee for the deaths of his mother and brother and vows revenge against them. The second and third books in the series, Obsessed and Justice, continue the conflict between Jackson and Matt and Renee.



ISBN/ASIN: B01GQTS3LQ
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 392

Borderline by Joseph Badal

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

BORDERLINE is a 74,300-word mystery. The story is inspired by actual events.

Two homicide detectives, Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez, are assigned a case where the female victim, a narcissistic borderline personality, has made a lifetime game of destroying people’s lives. The murder case becomes more complicated as the list of possible perpetrators grows.

Barbara Lassiter, a thirty-four-year-old homicide detective, is mourning the recent death of her husband. She poorly deals with the daily harassment meted out by a male co-worker, has found refuge in alcohol, and fights weight and depression problems. Her partner, Susan Martinez, a thirty-two-year-old world-class beauty with brains, guts, and an irreverent sense of humor, has marital problems.

The detectives must put aside their personal issues to try to solve the brutal murder of the wife of one of New Mexico’s richest and most powerful men. The victim, Victoria Comstock, had a narcissistic borderline personality disorder and collected enemies like most people collect coins. The detectives find themselves enmeshed in a helix of suspects with opportunity, means, and motive—and question giving their best efforts to solve the case the more they learn about the victim’s hideous character.

Their job gets tougher when Victoria’s psychiatrist, Nathan Stein, is murdered, and videotapes turn up that show the doctor had serial sexual relationships with a large number of his female patients, including Victoria Comstock and Connie Albans, the daughter of Marge Stanley. Marge had been Victoria’s best friend until she discovered Victoria in bed with Marge’s husband. Marge divorced her husband, who subsequently committed suicide. Victoria not only destroyed Marge’s marriage and contributed to Marge’s husband’s death by suicide, but she also had interfered with Marge’s relationship with her daughter.

A private detective, Shawn Navarro, who investigated Victoria Comstock on behalf of Marge Stanley, volunteers to share information with the detectives. Barbara develops feelings for Navarro and is motivated to stop drinking alcohol and embarks on a fitness program. For the first time since her husband’s death, she has a positive outlook about her future.

Victoria Comstock’s husband pulls political strings and gets Barbara and Susan taken off his wife’s case. But the detectives disobey orders and work the case on the side, convinced they are close to identifying Victoria’s killer. When Susan’s estranged husband critically wounds her, Barbara must continue alone. She is convinced Marge Stanley, the prime suspect, is not the murderer. But the path to the killer appears to go through Marge and her daughter, Connie. Both murder victims, Victoria Comstock and Nathan Stein, had given Marge plenty of reason for her to hate them, but Barbara is sure Marge is innocent. She comes to believe that someone who loves both Marge and her daughter, Connie, is responsible for the murders. She zeroes in on Marge’s father.

But things are not as they seem. It turns out that Navarro was in a long-term relationship with Marge Stanley. He is playing Barbara in order to learn about her progress with the case and to try to steer her away from Marge, because he believes that Marge actually murdered Victoria. Navarro also believes, based on what Marge has told him, that he is Connie’s father.

Barbara, with Susan’s help from her hospital bed, proves Navarro actually murdered Stein and Marge’s mother murdered Victoria.

Susan recovers from her wounds and returns to work. Barbara, whose heart has been broken by Navarro, realizes that, in actuality, he has helped her get her life back on the right track. Barbara and Susan’s success in solving the crimes earns them promotions.

The story offers an interesting cast of characters, two heroic female detective-protagonists, a diabolical villain, plenty of suspense, and an ending that will surprise and shock the reader.

ISBN/ASIN: B00YZSAHI8
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle, Audiobook
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 298

I Grew Up In War Housing. . . The History Of The Defense Housing Projects In East Alton, Illinois 1941-1954 by Phillip Walkington

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 During WWII, two government defense housing projects were built in East Alton, Illinois. These projects became known as the “defense area,” where author Phillip Walkington lived from birth through high school. War workers flocked to our small village seeking employment with Western Cartridge Company and though jobs were to be had, there was nowhere for the influx of workers to call home. Multiple tiers of government worked together to build the defense housing projects under the Lanham Act, which provided federal funds to defense-impacted communities where the population had soared and local facilities were overwhelmed. Only now does Walkington fully understand the unique set of conditions in which he grew up. He says, “Those conditions created an unintentional experiment in social reorganization and a broad and ongoing lesson in community identity.” Written to praise the war workers who in-migrated throughout America to support the war effort --- and for his father, who was one of those workers --- Walkington's "I Grew Up in War Housing" is a firsthand account of an exceptional place created during an unparalleled time in history.

ISBN/ASIN: ISBN: 978-1-64112-005-0
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 189

Saving Lou by Linda Loegel

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 Lou Dyson spends a lifetime comparing himself to his dead twin brother, and comes up short each time. If his family can't help him appreciate his true worth, will the United States Navy be able to? World War II brings Lou face to face with two formidable enemies--a kamikaze pilot intent on destruction and his biggest enemy of all, himself. Join Lou aboard the USS Enterprise as they sail full speed ahead into the heat of battle.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1548534219
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle, Audiobook
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 238

Hope in The Shadows of War by Thomas Paul Reilly

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 Since 1981, Tom has traveled globally sharing his content-rich message of hope. Tom literally wrote the book on Value-Added Selling. Tom has a B.A. in Psychology from St. Louis University and an M.A. in Psychology from University of Missouri in St. Louis with a special emphasis in motivation theory. He spent four years in the United States Army. Tom served with the Americal Division and 1st Aviation Brigade in Vietnam from 1969-1970. He honed his leadership skills as a Drill Sergeant. Tom is a prolific writer and researcher. He is a recipient of the Northeast Business Editors Silver Award, author of sixteen books, and editorial contributor to several magazines. Tom is an avid golfer, Harley-Davidson rider, and fountain pen collector. Tom’s writings cover a wide range of topics: patriotism, war, inspiration, humor, short stories, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

ISBN/ASIN: B07HDCWRNT, 1633937046, 163393702X
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 278

A Special Breed of Warrior by Joseph Mujwit

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 Zip is a military working dog destined to serve in the U.S. Special Operations Forces. Uniquely trained, he joins a SEAL Team and is deployed in Afghanistan's dangerous Korengal Valley with his partner and best friend, Petty Officer Todd Mitchell. Todd, the team, and their new K9 have their skills continually tested by the sinister influence of the Taliban leader dwelling in the mountains. As they battle the insurgents, the team defuse IEDs, uncover caches of weapons and withstand harassing enemy attacks. Eventually, they face dire circumstances when pursued and ultimately trapped where they make a desperate attempt to escape. The circumstances of the ensuing battle and extraction cause the team leader, Lieutenant John Kelly, to make an agonizing decision that tears at Todd's dedication to duty and his devotion to his K9 partner and friend. Can Todd and the team carry out their orders knowing that it will probably cost their most beloved member his life? Elements of Tom Clancy and Jack London come together as A SPECIAL BREED OF WARRIOR chronicles Zip’s training from his time as a pup and the special people who shape him into a highly skilled military working dog; to the orientation with his SEAL Team and their trying ordeal while deployed in Afghanistan. The novel is a tribute to the dedication of those that serve our country under the most extreme circumstances and the astonishing attributes of their K9 partners.


ISBN/ASIN: B01M0YI6SQ
Book Format(s): Kindle, paperback
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 175

Deliberate Deception by Joe Porrazzo

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MWSA Review Pending

Author's Synopsis

***** BOOK CRITIC ACCLAIM *****

“Readers looking for a thriller that grabs hold and doesn't let go will find Deliberate Deception just the ticket for a superior and satisfying blend of psychological detail and suspense.” - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“…excellent story…fast paced, action packed…adrenaline pumping and heart-pounding…”

- The International Review of Books

“Politics, terrorism, and greed together create a story that is filled with unexpected twists and turns…a fast pace and engrossing plot. Once begun, it's nearly impossible to put down.”

- D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“The narrative voice is clean, making the story easy to read and follow. Excellent word choices and visual pros made for an amazing read like I was really there in the midst of the action.” - The International Review of Books

“Joe Porrazzo's attention to detail flushes out Alex's personality, motivations, and conundrums to create not just compelling action scenes, but a character who is completely realistic and likeable.” - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Description:

Following the award-winning mystery thriller, SOLEMNLY SWEAR...Alex Porter is back…and the stakes just got higher!

Things are heating up in Tucson, Arizona. A greedy corporation rigs a multi-million dollar raffle creating false hopes for ticket buyers. They're not winning, they’re dying! What comes next will shock the world!

DELIBERATE DECEPTION heralds the return of Alex Porter; retired United States Air Force OSI agent turned private investigator, in another heart-pounding Joe Porrazzo suspense thriller.

Seven months after leaving New England, Alex, still grieving the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter, gets a call from his friend Joe Prater. Prater’s old army buddy has gone missing from his home in Tucson, and Joe wants Alex to check it out.

HEADLINE NEWS: Tragedy in Tucson

While investigating, Alex gets too close to the truth and finds himself caught in the deadly crosshairs. He finds himself teamed with the very person hired to kill him as they race against the clock to prevent a mysterious group from striking in Tucson and shocking the world.

Don’t miss the nonstop action. The deception is deliberate. The results are deadly.

ISBN/ASIN: ISBN-13: 978-0578422626 ASIN: 057842262X (Kindle ebook ASIN: B07KPV4L46)
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 408

Winged Brothers by Ernest Snowden

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 Winged Brothers recounts the service exploits of two brothers over more than forty years of naval aviation history in both peace and war. They were deeply committed to each other and to advancing their chosen profession, but due to the vast difference in their ages and the fourteen years between their respective graduations from the U.S. Naval Academy, they experienced carrier aviation from very different perspectives. The older brother, Ernest, entered naval aviation in an era of open-cockpit biplanes when the Navy’s operations from aircraft carriers were still taking form, when Fleet Problems were still the primary means of determining aviation’s warfighting utility and proving its merits to the fleet. Macon’s story guides the reader through the Navy’s transition from piston-engine aircraft to jets. For the entirety of their time in uniform, the one constant was a close fraternal bond that saw Ernest as mentor and Macon as devoted admirer and protégé, only to see those roles recede as the younger brother’s achievements transcended those of the older brother. Through personal letters, official reports, first-hand accounts, and first-person interviews, their symbiotic relationship is revealed to the reader.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-68247-296-5
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 222

Call Me No Hero: Two Ordinary Boys and a Tale of Honor and Valor by R. A. Sheats

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

"Call Me No Hero" is the true story of Ernest "Boots" Thomas and his friend Jim Sledge, two young boys whose lives were dramatically changed by the arrival of the Second World War. Born and raised in rural Florida during the days of the Great Depression, Ernest and Jim's boyhood dreams and aspirations were quickly forgotten when their nation entered World War Two. Jim entered the Air Corps after graduating high school while young Ernest enlisted in the Marine Corps, pledging to do his part in protecting his family and his home. During the American drive against the Japanese in the Pacific, Ernest found himself catapulted into national fame as he and his platoon landed on the volcanic shores of Iwo Jima and raised a flag that would be seen around the world. With the use of letters, journals, and first-hand accounts, "Call Me No Hero" brings to life this captivating tale of valor, self-sacrifice, and the solemn duty of honoring those who have fallen.

ISBN/ASIN: 1938822552
Book Format(s): Hard cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 322

Fighting Cavaliers: The F-105 History of the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron 1963-1967 by W. Howard Plunkett and Jeff Kolln

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 This history of the 421 Tactical Fighter Squadron, the Fighting Cavaliers, tells much more than the story of a single F-105 squadron in the early to mid-1960s. The 421st was only one Thunderchief squadron during this period to become combat ready in the Air Force’s newest fighter-bomber. Its history is intertwined with the histories of sister squadrons in the 355 TFW at George AFB in California and McConnell AFB, Kansas, as well as in the 388 TFW at Korat Air Base, Thailand. You can read about Cold War alerts with nuclear weapons in Turkey, Korea, and Okinawa and understand how pilots in a new unit developed their combat skills in a new aircraft to prepare them for flying their planes in the hot war over North Vietnam. Read also about destroying SAM sites with the Wild Weasels, as well as successes and failures of squadron pilots during Rolling Thunder bombing missions. There are airborne battles with MiG-17s and MiG-21s as well as stories of pilots flying high-risk missions and earning high awards - Air Force Crosses and Medals of Honor. During the four years they flew the Thunderchief, the Fighting Cavaliers lost 32 of their supersonic jets to accidents and combat. This book details each loss in context with the mission and how the pilots were rescued, became POWs or died. This book covers all these topics and many more based on solid historical research together with combat stories from the F-105 pilots themselves.

ISBN/ASIN: 9781986882743
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 414

Kato's Grand Adventure by Jasmine and Jim Tritten

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

 An adventure story written from the perspective of lost kitten. Kato is the cutest little gray/black striped young male cat with white paws and a rusty colored nose. He sets out to look for his missing sister. In the process he gets lost in the woods by a rushing stream. With the help of a rabbit, then an owl, and finally a coyote he overcomes many obstacles on his journey. Assisted by newfound friends, Kato is reunited with his sister and arrives safely at home. Kato’s Grand Adventure is a perfect to be read-aloud to children and grandchildren at an early age. It can then be a first chapter book for anyone with a 4th or 5th grade reading level. Original illustrations by the author.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1722769222; B07FRNLSCQ
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Review Genre: Children & Young Adult—Chapter Book
Number of Pages: 60

Mysterious Mike and the Hmong: Secrets of the Secret War in Laos by M H Burton

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Author's Synopsis

In June of 1960 Mike Bauer is a naïve idealistic 22-year-old Minnesota farm boy with a freshly-minted Agronomy Degree who wants to do good in the world and have some adventures while doing it.  “Those faraway places with the strange sounding names” are calling him.  He signs on for two years at $75 a month as an agricultural advisor with a missionary society supported by his church and hits the jackpot.  Laos is almost exactly half way around the world from New Germania, Minnesota, can’t get farther away than that.  Xiengkhouang and Naxaithong and Lhat Houang sound exotic enough for you?  Those are just some of the places.  How about the people?  Is Prince-General Phongphasansak Inxixiengmai enough of a mouthful?  Mike gets what he signed up for, and a lot more. Finds himself posted to a mission at Lhat Houang which is in middle of a war his superiors hadn’t told him about-possibly because they didn’t know about it themselves. That’s just beginning of the craziness, danger and adventure.  He soon begins to call Laos “Alice in Wonderland”.  Things just keep getting “curiouser and curiouser”…for sixteen years.

But long before those sixteen years are up in 1976 and Mike returns to his native Minnesota he has become “Mysterious Mike”.  A CIA master spy?  An international drug Lord?  The “Lawrence of Laos”?  A bloody-handed war criminal?  An unsung hero?  Or is he just what he says he is, an agricultural advisor to the Hmong mountain people. The brave men and women (and children) who fought so long and hard and skillfully against the Communist takeover of Laos.  They needed much more than advice on how to improve their crops.  They needed help surviving…and in the end they needed help escaping the Communists and finding a new home…in Minnesota.  Mike Bauer did what he could to help them.  With all of that! 

Genre Historical Fiction, Subcategory Vietnam War or Southeast Asia

Onishiwan, 1945 by David Andrew Westwood

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Author's Synopsis

 Too old for the draft, Gil Rossiter spends his days in a basement of a Seattle newspaper typesetting articles about the war. His wife, a Japanese American, is incarcerated with her family in a Wyoming relocation center, her ethnicity the reason for his lack of advancement to reporter. Meanwhile, Ray Ingersoll has been sent back Stateside for sentencing after shooting Japanese prisoners on Iwo Jima. Because he has an otherwise exemplary record, the authorities decide to assign him guard duty at the same internment camp. But Ray has been damaged more than just physically by the fighting, and he brings his hatred of the enemy to his new job. When one of the paper’s combat correspondents is killed, Gil is offered the chance to finally write for the paper, but on what will become the arena for the last battle of WWII, the Japanese-held island of Okinawa. Gil flies out, and follows a unit of Marines around the island until they are stopped at the hideous battle for the south. He watches as one after another of his new colleagues is killed. But there is a larger destiny in store for Gil, one that affects his wife back home.

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
ISBN/ASIN: 978-1520932354

Kanaga Diary: Lost in the Aleutians, 1938 by Estelle Lauer

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MWSA Review

Kanaga Diary—Lost in the Aleutians, 1938 by Estelle Gibson Lauer is a moving tribute compiled and written by a daughter in memory of her father. Lauer’s father, Navy Chief Pharmacist's Mate Royce Rainey Gibson, unexpectedly and inexplicably disappeared into the wilderness after setting out for a hunting trip on January 18, 1938, while serving on a remote outpost in Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain.  Relying primarily on her father's letters and his diary entries, she documents the details associated with her father's final days and months.

A combination of Lauer's observations, as well as her father's various writings, provide an interesting look into the pre-World War II time frame in general.  The book also provides a thorough accounting of Gibson's experiences—both during his years of Navy service and while braving the barren wilderness in the middle of the Aleutian Islands.  The author’s description of how her mother, sister, and she came to grips with the loss of a well-loved husband and father are particularly poignant.  

Although the specifics of Gibson's disappearance will likely never be unraveled, the reader will certainly get a detailed look at one man's struggle to deal with the elements, boredom, and the challenges of family separation.  Perhaps more importantly, you’ll appreciate how one family learned to cope with loss and move on with their lives.

Review by John Cathcart (August 2018)


Author's Synopsis

It’s the winter of 1937-’38. World War II is brewing. At a remote duty station on Kanaga Island, Alaska, in the middle of the Aleutian chain, eight men are engaged in a U. S. Navy mission whose aim is secret even from them. Six of the men record weather data and monitor radio communications between Japanese fishing boats. A seventh is the cook. The eighth man, the medic, Chief Pharmacist’s Mate Royse Gibson, has little to do — no one in this small contingent gets sick, no one is injured. There will be no mail in or out for months, and radiograms, the only other means of communication with home, are expensive and difficult to arrange. So Gibson keeps a diary in the form of letters to his wife and two young daughters, to be mailed if ever it’s possible. Then one day Gibson and the cook go seal hunting, and disappear without a trace. Gibson’s letters, finally delivered to his family months later, comprise half of "Kanaga Diary," detailing his daily routine and his far more interesting spare-time activities on the island. The other half of this “double memoir” is his daughter Estelle’s story of the family, struggling, eventually moving on, but keeping his memory alive. In 1995, fifty-seven years after the loss of her father, Estelle and her husband set out on a long-planned visit to Kanaga, to investigate her father’s disappearance and to finally say goodbye.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-99700-328-4
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Memoir, Nonfiction, History
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 132
 

Land of Wolves: The Return of Lincoln's Bodyguard by Tj Turner

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MWSA Review

T.J. Turner’s Land of Wolves is in some ways alternative history. In his first book of this series, Lincoln’s Bodyguard, Abraham Lincoln does not die at the hands of an assassin at Ford’s Theater. Instead, his half-Indian bodyguard, Joseph Foster, manages to kill John Wilkes Booth. Then Joseph and Lincoln team up to stop a Consortium of industrial magnates who are trying to seize control of the U.S. government to benefit their own financial goals. Land of Wolves jumps forward in time to the 1870s, only to find that the forces of the evil Consortium still pursue Joseph and the “Old Man,” Lincoln. Now their evil designs also threaten to steal the Great Plains from the Native American tribes who live there.

The storyline of the book is in every sense a “thriller.” Without too much emphasis on characterization or settings, the author relies on non-stop action—bloodshed, violence, torture, rape, brutality, and revenge dominate the pages. One life-threatening event follows another until the reader must surely believe all is lost. Plot twists change the outcomes with dizzying frequency. The same lost and stolen knife keeps cropping up whenever the hero needs it. A child faces serial kidnappings and emerges bravely from each one, scarred but unbowed. The faithful woman saves the day—again and again. This is the stuff movies are made of. 

Review by Carolyn Schriber (Aug 2018)


Author's Synopsis

Land of Wolves finds Joseph Foster with Molly as they settle into a new-found life in the hills of Tennessee. But Abraham Lincoln’s former bodyguard, the man who saved the President’s life, cannot escape the Consortium as they come roaring back, killing his mother, abducting his daughter—all to coerce his Congressional testimony on their behalf.

Instead, Joseph and Molly strike the Consortium in their own safe haven of New York City. In a Bonnie and Clyde-like twist, they rob from the Consortium to draw out their leader—General Dorsey. But the hidden plan reveals more than they counted on, exposing the true intention to steal the Black Hills and the gold underneath from the Lakota Sioux. Land of Wolves traverses the American landscape, where only a full reconciliation with Joseph’s native heritage and a cast of characters ripped from history—including Lincoln—can bring true peace and stop General Dorsey and the evil Industrial Consortium.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-60809-202-4
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 336
 

Into a Dark Frontier by John Mangan

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

If you're a person who loves reading a thriller where the main character often enjoys near-superhuman powers—where the "bad guys" are unbelievably bad, and the "good guys" tend to be a bit shady—you'll probably want to give John Mangan's Into a Dark Frontier a try.  Mangan takes the reader on a dangerous journey, filled with nonstop intrigue—and plenty of action and violence.

In the book's early chapters, its main character, ex-Navy SEAL Slade Crawford, is forced to confront enemies who used to be his friends and brothers-in-arms.  He quickly jumps out of the American pan and into the African fire—where civilizational norms have broken down to the point of pure evil and savagery.  Slade's journey will prove to be an exciting and page-turning experience for the reader… as long as he or she is not too squeamish.

Review by John Cathcart (August 2018)


Author's Synopsis

In the near future, Africa collapses into an enormous failed state, leaving the continent lawless and severely depopulated. For most, the breakdown brings horror, but for others—the outcast, the desperate, the criminal, and the insane—it allows unparalleled opportunity: a new frontier of danger and unlimited possibility. 

In America, ex-Navy SEAL Slade Crawford, emotionally crippled after twenty years of frontline combat, the dissolution of his marriage, and the accidental death of his son, is falsely accused of terrorism. Slade flees to Africa to build a new life and escape his past, but he is captured by an enigmatic American colonel, Gary Kraven, and blackmailed into tracking down a blood cult that is rampaging across the sub-Sahara. Struggling to stay alive and to free himself from Kraven’s grasp, Slade pursues the cult across the lawless African frontier. He soon learns that nothing is as it seems and that he is standing at the epicenter of a global struggle that will determine the course of history. Slade must decide whether to fight for his life or his honor—he can’t have both.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-60809-261-1
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 356
 

Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life by Ginger Harrington

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Let’s face it—holiness is no easy topic to write about! The whole concept of holy can feel esoteric, unwieldy and largely irrelevant to our daily lives. We tend to think of holiness as something that resides in the realm of the divine rather than the rough and tumble of daily life, right? 

Well, not exactly. After all, the Word is clear, “Be holy, as I am holy.” But how?

Perhaps this is what makes Holy in the Moment work. Ginger Harrington is no advocate for pious perfectionism or holier than thou religious endeavor. Holy in the Moment aspires to practical life strategies and meaningful moments that create patterns of holy living and right alignment with God. Harrington’s approach to holiness is less about religion than real life choices and meaningful relationship.

Holy in the Moment is a reminder of Richard Foster’s powerful insight into what he calls the principle of indirectionWe do not become holy by trying to be holy; we only become holy by growing into right relationship with God (Celebration of Discipline). God takes our small daily offerings of ourselves and makes something that far exceeds our wildest expectations. 

Harrington translates the spiritual disciplines into something less about regimen than real life choices and faith in action. Through her own journey of discovery, Harrington offers simple reminders and holy habits to enable us to live less self-centered and more God-centered lives.

Get real with God about your true feelings. Set the atmosphere in your home. Choose holiness over legalism. Count the cost of perfectionism. Make the sacred choice to forgive. Call someone else's unrecognized gift to the surface. Extend the gift of invitation. Get rid of toxic attitudes.

This pragmatic approach to holiness lays out a road map of intentional moments, daily behaviors, and practical decisions that reorient our lives and put us on the path to deeper relationship with God. Holiness is fruit--the supernatural byproduct of incremental change, daily surrender, and simple obedience. Only God can make us holy.

“Sacred simplicity is a secret to a life well lived,” the author writes, “when we make the most of all our moments for God to change our lives one spiritual choice at a time.”

Review by Dana Tibbitts (August 2018)


Author's Synopsis

Enjoying life (zoe) in Christ comes in the choices we make moment-by-moment. Transparently sharing her struggles with anxiety, fear, and insecurity, Ginger Harrington invites women to discover how intentional choices made in the moment can become holy habits that open the door to healing and freedom. With a refreshing perspective, she shows that holiness isn’t a rigid standard to keep but a gift to receive through a vital relationship with God, who makes us whole. Holy in the Moment explores the practical power of choices to grow in holiness without the pressure of perfectionism. Through gentle encouragement, biblical insights, and applicable ideas learn to discern feelings and overcome distractions and shame, adapt God’s equation for obedience, live a praying life, discover methods for practicing holiness in parenting and the importance of rest, embrace biblical love and forgiveness, and understand how work becomes holy. Find healing and wholeness with simple choices to love God, embrace truth, and enjoy every moment of life with practical ways to be holy by choosing to trust God, rely on his wisdom, and live from his resources.

ISBN/ASIN: ASIN: B074KM3D2W, ISBN: 978-1501857805
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Religious/Spiritual
Review Genre: Collections—Religious/Spiritual
Number of Pages: 227