Fiction

A Passel of Hate

Title: A Passel of Hate
Author: Joe Epley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Edward Cox

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1461075939

Gripping, visceral, and full of intensity, A Passel of Hate is as historically fascinating as it is emotionally satisfying; capturing the heartache and triumphs of a war that brutally pits brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor in the western Carolina frontier in 1780. “The first link in a chain of evils…the loss of America” is how Sir Henry Clinton, Britain’s commander-in-chief in the Colonies, describes the decisive American victory at the battle of Kings Mountain. This fact-based novel brings the events leading to that battle into sharp focus through the highly personal experiences of families and individuals who shaped its outcome. Through the eyes of Jacob Godley, A Passel of Hate brings to life the hardships and challenges of frontier living where there is a constant threat from Indians, roving raiders and British invaders. Without government orders or formal training, mountain and piedmont patriots join together with their own weapons and horses to expel a British led Loyalist army that plunders the western Carolina countryside, delivering harsh retribution to those supporting rebellion. Jacob and his 15-year-old brother enter the savage fighting with the Liberty Men, but with a dread of having to face their three Loyalist brothers. The overwhelming victory at Kings Mountain is bittersweet for Jacob who suffers a crushing personal tragedy on the battlefield. In addition, his nemesis, the notorious Tory raider Rance Miller escapes, and Jacob, consumed by hatred, tracks the terrorist through the Carolina backcountry to seek the revenge he so desperately needs. A battle Thomas Jefferson called “the turn of the tide of success,” Kings Mountain has a devastating impact on the British Army’s goal of quashing the rebellion in the south. Brutal in its depiction of the harrowing nature of war and the price paid by our revolutionary ancestors, A Passel of Hate is a powder keg of highly charged personal feelings and military significance.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Epley, Joe

Tying Up Water and Other Stories

Title: Tying Up Water and Other Stories
Author: Ross H. MacKenzie
Genre: Short Story Collection
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B007K1VMYU

A helicopter crash leaves Stuart adrift with unreliable memories, foggy recollections, and bittersweet realizations. Through this catastrophic experience, Stuart must rely on his strength, his family, and his faith to try and persevere. Sensual passion, exhilarating rock climbs, and tender hope for a legacy combine to define this remarkable story as not only a harrowing adventure, but also a touching love story.

The collection delivers other stories equally captivating in arenas varying from Australian rock climbing to high-sea Navy adventures. Ross H. Mackenzie is an award-winning author best known for his Patriot Kids children’s book series that positively impacts military families every day.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
MacKenzie, Ross H.

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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