MWSA Bookstore Titles: K-O

Kings of the Green Jelly Moon

by jim greenwald, James Randy Jellerson, Lloyd A. King, Mike Mullins
Published by (date): Jewelianne Publishing Company (May 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4507-1954-4
Price: $12.95
Tags: Poetry Vietnam

Synopsis:

This is a collaboration between 4 award winning authors that tell part of the story of their experiences while involved with the Vietnam conflict as seen through their eyes as they evolved from boys to men secondary to the war that raged…not only abroad but at home as well…we were a nation expanding the borders of our cradle. The format for this collaboration is a CD Audio Book

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This collection of poetry creates an American memory that brilliantly narrates where Vietnam veterans come from, who they are, and where they are going. It is poetry par excellence read by the poets themselves.

Poetry gets a bad rap from those who prefer critical thinking, factual evidence, or scientific proof. They say poets do not extend our knowledge of man or nature, they only reveal individual feelings and emotions. In short, poets do not create knowledge worth having. This criticism is based on the assumption that the poetic process is faulty and deceptive, for it doesn’t have accepted standards of measurement other than the subjective. But is this true and fair? Don’t poets in fact measure the full limits of our understanding? Don’t they teach us our limits as humans by testing the limits of our language to show us our capacities to understand the human condition? And, is there a human condition more misunderstood or immeasurable than war? The poet’s words are neither arbitrary nor objective, neither subjective nor eidetic. They are the standards of man’s confrontation with non-human realities, affirming a human presence caught within the inexplicable realities of war. They are the ultimate expressions of individual accountability and are much closer to uncovering the roots of war by reflecting on what it means to be a human being in war. There is a beautiful connection between the individual experience and the shared experience of war that, despite the limitations of the personal expression, reveals an overriding brotherhood that goes without saying in these poems. This togetherness is something Vietnam veterans will readily understand and appreciate. It is a togetherness that transcends the touching verse or favorite poem. The catchy title reflects this togetherness nicely. Kings of the Green Jelly Moon reflects on “the innocence of childhood” as well as the names of the poets, i.e., King, Greenwald, Jellerson, “Moon” Mullins. They should be commended for their efforts at a time when fewer people read poems (or buy books or go to poetry readings) than ever before (Poetry.org). This is an exceptional compilation of poetry that should be acquired by every American library as a testament to the memory of the Vietnam War.

Review by Richard Barone, MWSA Reviewer (July 2010)


The Lady Gangster: A Sailor’s Memoir

by Del Staecker
Published by (date): Cable Publishing (Feb. 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-934980-21-7
Price: $23.95 (25% discount and free shipping to MWSA members)
Tags: Non-Fiction Memoir WorldWar2

Synopsis:

The true story of WWII’s most amazing ship and her unique crew of 327 reservists from Chicago.

In a seamless blend of oral history, narrative, biography, autobiography, journal entries, ships logs, action reports, newspaper articles, illustrations, photos, and even two poems – the Lady Gangster’s tale explains how the “Chicago Boys” transformed from raw naval recruits into veteran “Salts.”
From the North Atlantic through nine invasions in the Pacific the crew of the USS Fuller heroically earned for their Lady the title of “Queen of Attack Transports.”

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A fitting tribute to a father and to a tough-as-nails ship

“The Lady Gangster” is a quick and fascinating read. Del Staecker does an excellent job framing the story of his father’s service aboard an armed transport ship during the Second World War. Officially named the USS Fuller, the ship is better known by her apt nickname, “Lady Gangster,” a name christened by her crew, made up almost entirely of fellow Chicagoans.

In addition to being an accounting of his father’s service, “Lady Gangster” is also a heartwarming story of a rapprochement between father and son. A long road trip and a broken radio result in hours of conversation and an outpouring of memories. For the first time, the young son listens to his father’s vivid and detailed recounting of his harrowing experiences serving with the Navy in the Pacific Theater. Through his writing, Staecker transports the reader from inside that car where he listens intently to his father’s story, to the various locations were his father served. Staecker intersperses his father’s reminiscences with just the right amount of family background, comments, clarifications and explanations of wartime history to keep the reader up-to-speed with the historical setting and maritime terminology.

The book is well written and includes useful maps, which help orient the reader to the action and keep up with the unbelievably savage fighting and island-hopping through places with names like Guadalcanal, Tinian, “the Slot,” Saipan, and Okinawa. The book also includes several photographs that help personalize the story and make the action that much more realistic.

With dignity and grace, Staecker pays homage to both his father’s unheralded service during the war and the equally unheralded service of a proud and effective ship, along with her officers and crew. Well done!

Review by John Cathcart, MWSA Reviewer (March 2009)

Other Reviews:

“Staecker’s superbly written voyage back in time (with his father narrating) provides the reader with an intimate and personal glimpse of what life was really like for the sailors involved in this almost totally overlooked (and very dangerous) aspect of World War II.” -Flint Whitlock, author of The Depths of Courage

“Staecker provides an illuminating glimpse into one of the Pacific War’s less publicized arenas.” – John Wukovitz. author of The Battle for Wake Island, and One Square Mile of Hell:The Battle for Tarawa


The Last Farewell: A journey of the heart

by Julia Whitman Jones
Published by (date):
ISBN:
Price: Hardback- $31.99, Paperback- $21.99
Tags: Non-Fiction, WorldWar2

Julie Whitman Jones brings to life THE LAST FAREWELL, her late stepfather’s own touching love story set during the Italian campaign of WWII.


Last Full Measure of Devotion: A Tribute to America’s Heroes of the Vietnam War

by Donald J. Farinacci
Published by (date): Authorhouse (November 2007)
ISBN: 9781434318572
Price: Hardcover (6×9) – $13.70, Paperback (6×9) – $8.70
Tags: Non-Fiction, Vietnam

There were no marching bands welcoming home returning troops from Vietnam, no ticker-tape parades for its heroes and no celebrations in Time Square. Instead, returning Vets were confronted with a range of reactions, not the least of which were indifference, silent disapproval, criticism, hostility and even contempt, in some quarters, for their lack of cleverness in not avoiding service in a war zone.

Most returning Vietnam warriors were bewildered by the reactions of their fellow countrymen; but, then how could they possibly comprehend the psychological phenomenon which was only beginning to take hold and would later be named the “Vietnam Syndrome”, a phenomenon which, at its extremes, was manifested in a revulsion to all things military? Even those who were proud of the returning servicemen and women were hardly effusive in their praise and greeted them with only muted enthusiasm.

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The author chronicles 22 individual stories of men who fought and served during the Vietnam War. The stories of these courageous men are very graphically detailed, including the first large scale test of our fighting men at the battle of Ira Drang. The lives of these men, including the stories of men who were awarded the Medal of Honor, can be summed up in a quote from the book; “Not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it”.

These are stories of men of uncommon valor. Well told.
Review by Jim Stewart, MWSA Reviewer (2007)
Other Reviews:

Farinacci does a fantastic job of bringing the action to life…I highly recommend this book.
50th Infantry Assoc. Book Reviewer

‘A Great Book.’
Robert R. McMillan, former Commissioner of the Panama Canal:


Last Roll Call

by Kenneth Tucker & Wanda T. Goodwin
Published by (date): Priority Publishing (November 2009)
ISBN: 978-0-9754749-5-2
Price: $14.95
Tags: Non-Fiction Memoir WorldWar2

Synopsis:

When he was growing up on the gulf coast in East Point, Florida during the Great Depression, Kenneth Tucker dreamed of one day flying airplanes. His daughter, Wanda Tucker Goodwin, would later dream of becoming a writer. In November of 2009, in Panama City, Florida, Goodwin’s dream came true with the release of a memoir of how her father’s dream almost came true some six decades earlier.

Father and daughter have collaborated on “Last Roll Call,” a 184-page paperback chocked full of vintage photographs of Tucker’s adventures as a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber out of Italy during WWII. The book calls itself “one of the last memoirs of WWII,” mainly because the rest of Tucker’s tight-knit, 10 man crew aboard their flying fortress have all passed away – “As I gaze at the old photographs of my crew, my eyes move from face to face, recalling each name, it’s sad for me to acknowledge that they’re all gone now, except for me. I’m the last one – the last voice – the only one left to tell our story. Sadly, I know that it’s just a matter of time before I stand, for the last time, before my crew and make my last roll call.”

A retired Air Force sergeant, Tucker, 84, wanted to record his story ever since shipping out in August of 1943 aboard a Trailways bus out of Apalachicola. More than 60 years later, Goodwin stepped in after 36 years in education. She retired two years ago. It was then that Goodwin offered to help her father record his story. What emerged was a compelling story combining Tucker’s detailed recollection with his daughter’s loving capture of her dad’s humor and insight.

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“Last Roll Call”, the story of Kenneth S. Tucker, one of the last surviving B-17 tail gunners of World War II, is a plainly written chronicle of the adventures of a special kind of American hero, the type who in our more complex society of the 21st century is in short supply. Tucker is a simple kind of patriot, devoid of ambivalence and internal conflict. He is anxious simply to tell his story – a slice of history belonging to him and his crew mates alone.

For me, the passage of the book that best tells what Tucker had in mind in writing this book in his waning years is his description of his reaction when standing in front of what his daughter calls his “Wall of Honor”, on which hangs his World War II medals, photos and memorabilia:

“I’ll have to admit: I often pause before the display and marvel at how the years have passed. My attention always drifts to the old photographs of those brave young men…As my eyes move from face to face, recalling each name, it’s sad for me to acknowledge that they’re all gone now, except for me. I’m the last one – the last voice – the only one left to tell our story. Sadly I know that it’s just a matter of time before I stand, for the last time, before my crew and make my last roll call.”

No passage in the book captures Kenneth Tucker, the man, better than this one. Without actually stating it in so many words, Tucker conveys to his readers and perhaps to himself as well, that he considered the writing of this book – the telling of his story – to be an extension of his duty as a soldier and as an American. By this passage, he has come full circle from the civic and national pride instilled in his heart and mind as far back as his third year of high school in Apalachicola, Florida, through all of the dangerous bombing missions in which his first priority was the well-being of his fellow crew members. One cannot help but conclude that Tucker viewed this book as his final mission – one in which he endeavored to remember and honor his fellow airmen and his country.

For aficionados of air combat and long-distance bombing missions, “Last Roll Call” has plenty of that kind of action. The depictions of the many missions flown by Tucker’s B-17 crew over France, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia are gripping.

But, if one is looking for Tucker’s thoughts, inner feelings, insights, emotions, opinions or observations as to the incredible and unique experiences he had in well over a year of uninterrupted bombing missions, he will not find it here. It seems at times written more by a witness than a participant in an epic of major historical significance.

The reader is, however, treated to a richly detailed story of adventure, danger and valor, even though one never really gets to know the protagonist, until near the end of the book in his genuine and touching reaction to his “Wall of Honor”. Perhaps that is because this brave and humble man, like so many of his generation, simply did not like talking about himself.

Review by Donald J. Farinacci, MWSA Reviewer (October 2010)
Other Reviews:

The volumes written about strategic bombing by the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II often neglect the personal experiences of thousands of young men whose patriotism, courage and selfless devotion to their crew made the final victory possible. In the fall and winter of l944-45, the bloody skies over Europe were the arena where Ken Tucker, a B-17 tailgunner and his crew fought for survival – one mission at a time.
This book is Ken’s personal story, but it is also the story of ten young Americans molded into an efficient bomber crew by rigorous months of training and bonding like brothers by the tragedy and crisis of aerial combat. In the end, it was only their pride in themselves, their crew and their country that enabled them to face another day of fatigue, brutal cold, German fighters and deadly flak. Ken Tucker would adamantly deny any claim to hero status, but I urge you to read this compelling story and decide for yourself.

Raymond B. Tucker
Lt. Col. USAF Ret,
(No relation to the author)


The Letter

by Jerry Yellin
Published by (date): Total Recall Press (June 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-59095-733-2
Price: soft cover $19.95
Tags: Fiction Other

Synopsis:

A powerful fundamental End Time Christian Senator, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic, discovers that his birth parents were Catholic and Jewish through a letter written by his dying Catholic mother to the Jewish father who knew nothing about having fathered a son.

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From the get-go, the reader is drawn into the story by a letter written by a woman from Bellingham, WA, right before she passed away. Her attorney has been instructed to deliver the letter to a Samuel Davidson, an eighty-two year-old judge residing in FL. But instead of mailing the letter to Judge Davidson, the Seattle based attorney first contacts the judge’s son, Rabbi Mark Davidson, of New York City. It’s important to note that the dying woman was Catholic.

The letter is a revelation to all concerned. Can a chance encounter between a dashing young P-51 fighter pilot and a pretty USO girl on Iwo Jima in 1945 have repercussions sixty-one years later? Throw in a former priest and a powerful Fundamental Christian Senator and you’ve got a delightful tale.

“The Letter” is well written, entertaining and enlightening. There is a redemptive quality to Jerry Yellin’s prose. He is a gifted storyteller and a visionary. He pulled off the same thing in his remarkable memoir “Of War and Weddings.” The dialogue in “The Letter” is spot on, and even though his characters sometimes talk for extended lengths of time, it all seems to work. The author manages to juggle the subjects of war, religion and politics without sounding preachy. Not an easy feat. He can make the complex seem simple and the simple complex. The reader looks at all angles of a subject through the eyes of different characters. While the subject of Intelligent Design (Creationism) versus science (Nature) comes up, somehow Mr. Yellin is able to do this without sounding heavy handed or judgmental.

The hint of violence is always on the back burner, and kept me turning the page. My favorite line in the book: “This is where grown men come to cry.” A deep compelling story that will keep you awake at night, wondering about the future of this planet, the human family and where we came from.

I highly recommend this book. Five stars!!!

Review by Kathleen Rogers, MWSA Reviewer (July 2010)

Other Reviews:

Most human beings have the bad habit of defining themselves by nationality, religion, or both–divisions which lead to violent disagreements and, ultimately, death. Jerry Yellin took on the first in his books Of War and Weddings and The Blackened Canteen, in which the transcendent power of the human spirit heals the wounds of war. Now he tackles the second, as a powerful U.S. Senator who considers himself a Christian fundamentalist learns, after reading The Letter, that his bloodline is quite different–that he may, in fact, be just what he hates. Highly recommended for those who believe in the ultimate brotherhood of man, and for those who seek to exorcise their own demons.
— Neal Stannard: Author of Now and Then, the Movies Get it Right


Lockheed Blackbird Family: A-12, YF-12, D-21/M-21 & SR-71 Photo Scrapbook

by compiled by Tony Landis
Published by (date): Specialty Press (March 2010)
ISBN: 9781580071512
Price: $19.95
Tags: Non-Fiction PhotographyOther History

2010 Gold Medal for Artistic – Pictoral

Synopsis:

Still the world’s most popular and most exciting aircraft, the Lockheed family of A-12, YF-12, D-21/M-21, and SR-71 Blackbirds are to this day the highest-performance jet-powered airplanes ever flown. They have set numerous world speed and altitude records for manned aircraft powered by air-breathing engines that theoretically may never be broken. Although no longer operational, A-12s and SR-71s flew for nearly three decades at speeds in excess of Mach 3 and altitudes of up to 90,000 feet.

Expanding on the successful sales of all Specialty Press Blackbird publications is this natural extension of our product line created by compiling many never-before-published photos coupled with new declassified information recently released by the CIA, including black-and-white and color photos of A-12 cockpits, early camera installations, and never-before-seen special camouflage schemes.

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Did you know that there were only fifty Blackbirds ever produced? Tony Landis tells us “In a fitting tribute to this remarkable vehicle, the Blackbird family remains the only operational aircraft to have had all surviving airframes still in existence after retirement, either placed in storage or put proudly on display in a museum. Not one single airframe was ever scrapped.” I found that very interesting. You know what else was interesting? The fact that this was the first book that appeared at our home that I couldn’t get back from my husband so that I could read it in order to write a review! So I let him know that he was going to have to participate in giving me feedback for this review.

This book includes more than 100 “never-before-published” photos and even recently declassified images from the CIA. That really impressed us along with the technical information being enjoyable to read and was also very understandable to someone like me that has little background knowledge on the Blackbirds. I appreciated the engineering sketches that were included which were very helpful in learning about more aspects of these planes.

This book is great for both the expert and novice when it comes to learning about the Blackbird. It is very impressive and well-worth adding to your book collection, especially for readers who love photo journals with lots of information. Tony Landis did a superb job of putting together this photo scrapbook Lockheed Blackbird Family. To sum it up, my husband was thrilled to find out he was going to get to keep the book!

Review by Joyce Gilmour, MWSA Reviewer (June 2010)


Love Leaves No One Behind

by Claudia Pemberton

ISBN: 0-595-41402-8 (978-0-595-41402-4)
Trade Paperback – 276 pages
Price: $17.95

Synopsis:

A retired U.S. Army Ranger thinks that facing death was a thing of his past until confronted with his own mortality and that of the woman he loves.

A man by nature, a soldier by design, and a hero at heart–that’s Jesse Daulton. After a twenty-year career as a �high speed, low drag� Army Airborne Ranger, this soldier is looking forward to going home in search of a more normal lifestyle.

Mikayla is intelligent, headstrong, and loving with an unwavering devotion to family and friends.

Jesse and Mikayla are brought together by an act of kindness on his part, and within hours of meeting, the two form an unlikely union as they are drawn to one another by an undeniable attraction that neither can deny.

When a sadistic killer, know only as the “Night Crawler,” unwittingly crosses the Range’rs path, Jesse proves that acts of heroism are a part of the man–not the job.

What ensues is a captivating lesson in life, love and courage, providing absolute proof of the human spirit’s ability to triumph over all types of adversity.

Reviews:

… The professional craftsmanship of the author is evident; phrasing and narratives are well done with a nice mix of dialog. The book is truly gripping. This book will appeal to many people for different reasons. It has an adult themed story that may make some people feel uncomfortable. It will have a profound and powerful impact on the reader. You cannot just read this book and walk away untouched emotionally in some way. This book cannot be ignored and it will find a readership base that will
love it! … – W.H. “Bill” McDonald, Past President and Founder of Military Writers Society of America

First-time author Claudia Pemberton has written a credible and interesting crime novel, set in the Alabama mountain background of a retiring Army Ranger and the lady he learns to love. As heroine Mikayla Mitchell leaves her hometown for a new job in California, she is devastated by the death of her beloved grandmother, Granny Mae. A chance set of circumstances leads her to meet Army Ranger Jesse Daulton, and it is their budding relationship, intertwined amongst the horror of a serial killer, that makes her book so interesting. Pemberton’s deft writing combines violence – patriotism – sexual tension – love- and some old-fashioned Alabama backwoods wisdom in her well-written novel. – Midwest Book Review

… Claudia Pemberton has captured (in print) the very essence of what my experiences confirm is an Army Ranger. She has woven a remarkable yarn of love, courage, strength, and compassion that defies ample description by this mortal. The prologue will leave you wondering, “What has this to do with love!” You will then find that the prose flows smoothly and gently at a nice southerly pace and then WHAM, a calamity hits like a bolt from the sky. After the turmoil, the southerly pace returns only to be shaken again by a more thunderous bolt than the last. … – Ranger Bill Spies, Executive Secretary, Worldwide Army Rangers, Inc. (WAR)


Madam President and the Admiral

by Carl Nelson
Published by (date): New Century Press (2008)
ISBN: 978-1-890035-66-2
Price: $ 16.95
Tags:

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A female president (widowed) with a boyfriend problems in the Middle East, an energy crisis, a surging and aggressive China, a harbinger of our upcoming November presidential elections?

Not exactly, but “Madam President and the Admiral” brings a spirit and liveliness to American politics and presidential-Pentagon relationships that might make the reader wonder what could have happened if a different Clinton was elected in 1992?

Abigail Cass Steele is the unlikely POTUS (president of the US) in the midst of several crises — China is threatening to disrupt the world oil market, her son has a mental disorder, her love life is in disarray, and there is a potential revolt in the Pentagon against her.

Nelson is a good writer, and brings an air of authenticity to these situations. Madam President Steele is well-named, and the reader will both recognize the problems arising, as well as empathize with her. A president with whom one can associate and sympathize? What a concept for November, and a good book to read this summer as the campaigns drag on and on.
Review by Andrew Lubin, MWSA Reviewer (2008)


The Making of a Soldier

by Lt. Col. George Powers
Published by (date):
ISBN:
Price: $15.80
Tags: History, Memoir, Vietnam

Synopsis

The Making of a Soldier is the life story of a man who believed, from his youth that he was gifted as a soldier to rise to the highest rank as a Commissioned Officer; who volunteered to learn his craft through Ranger School, Airborne School, and the John F. Kennedy Warfare School, eventually becoming a Master Parachutist; who was called upon to serve thirty months in combat in Vietnam as an Infantry Officer; whose life was dramatically changed by encountering his God in flight above the Delta en-route from Can Tho to Saigon in an Air America aircraft. God spoke to him in an unmistakably direct, though inaudible voice, an invitation to change the focus of his life career. The book seeks to show how God is at work developing many of us into spiritual soldiers, warriors who are invited to serve in His Army, often with far less prestige and fame than is experienced in the military services. And amazingly, as the author discovered, God uses much of the lessons learned by the military in a parallel spiritual application to advance His Kingdom on the earth.


The Marathon Murders

by Chester Campbell
Published by (date):
ISBN:
Price: $14.95 (33% discount available)
Tags:

Missing records from 1914 give “cold case” a new meaning when a body is pulled from a lake near Nashville. What secret from the long-defunct Marathon Motor Works has set of a murderous rampage? PI’s Greg (retired Air Force OSI agent) and Jill McKenzie must find some answers or be numbered among the victims.

REVIEWS:

“A skillfully woven tale that shows detective fiction wannabes how it’s supposed to be done . . . This reader eagerly awaits the next instalment in the McKenzie series. A must read!” Roundtable Reviews

“Campbell weaves a complicated tale of purpose and cross purpose as the interesting cast of characters show us their motives for doing what they do. . . lots of action, a well written tale to hold your attention.” New Mystery Reader

“This fourth instalment of the Greg McKenzie Mysteries is proof positive the series remains strong and fresh and is a major contender in the mystery venue . . . the not-so-easily-guessed mystery one readers will enjoy.” Midwest Book Review


Margaret Mahler: A biography of the psychoanalyst

by Alma H. Bond
Published by (date): McFarland & Company
ISBN: 978-0-7864-3355-1
Price: Softcover: $45
Tags: Nonfiction, Biography

Margaret Mahler was from a young age intrigued by the theories of Sigmund Freud and Hungarian psychoanalysts such as Sandor Ferenzci, with whom she became acquainted while a student in Budapest. Forced to flee Europe and rising anti-Semitism, Margaret and her husband, Paul, came to the United States in 1938. It was after this move that Mahler performed her most significant research and developed concepts such as the ground-breaking theory of separation-individuation, an idea which was given credence by Mahler’s own relationship with her father.

This volume details the life and work of Margaret Mahler focusing on her life’s ambition–her psychoanalytical work. Her experiences with the Philadelphia Institute and her definitive research through the Masters Children’s Clinic are also discussed.

USA Book News Best Books Award Finalist and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist.

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From a young age, Margaret Mahler was intrigued by the theories of Sigmund Freud and Hungarian psychoanalysts such as Sandor Ferenzci, with whom she became acquainted while a student in Budapest. Forced to flee Europe and rising anti-Semitism, Margaret and her husband, Paul, came to the United States in 1938. It was after this move that Mahler performed her most significant research and developed concepts of separation-individuation, an idea which was given credence by Mahler’s own relationship with her father.

This book details the life and work of Margaret Mahler focusing on her life’s ambition — her psychoanalytical work. Her experiences with the Philadelphia Institute and her research through the Masters Children’s Clinic are also discussed.

The book does not paint a pretty picture of Margaret as a person. She was egotistical, self-centered, and manipulative, deferential and respectful of her superiors and peers, while insensitive, spiteful, and cruel to her employees. She married later in life and had no children. The marriage ended in a messy divorce.

During her productive years, she was respected by the psychoanalyst community. Later her work was dismissed by newer theories. Her work is now studied to show the growth of the field of study.

The author worked for the doctor and initially got along well with her, especially while working as an unpaid assistant. Later she too had a falling out and eventually left –very hurt by Margaret. Margaret died alone without many friends. She made many people believe she would remember them in her will. She gave the bulk of her inheritance to the Gray Panther’s.

Alma Bond is an outstanding writer with 13 other books to her credit. The book is thoroughly documented, well edited and footnoted. The book would find it’s best audience in people interested in the history of child psychology, early feminist in the field of medicine, and those interested in stories of survivors of the Holocaust.

Reviewed by H. B. Buddy Cox, MWSA Reviewer (August 2009)


Memories of Me

by L.M. Romagnoli
Published by (date): PublishAmerica (Feb 09)
ISBN: 1-60836-084-9
Price: $24.95
Tags: Fiction Children Iraq/Afghanistan

Synopsis:

With the help of her Mom, one child gifts her Dad with a glimpse into the year he’s missed.
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A vividly illustrated rhyming book about a girl who keeps a journal during the year her Dad is overseas on a tour of duty in the military. Of course, only a few of the 365 days apart can be revealed, such as birthday parties, horseback rides, trips to the zoo and the like, however, it’s a lightly told tale with a profound message: keeping your memories so you can share them when your loved-one gets home.

While the subject and impact of an examined life is a tad heavy for kids, it’s not for the adults who care for them. When this Mom gives her daughter a spiral notebook and a box of colored pens and tells her to write about what all she does while her Dad’s away, she has set her child on the path to thinking about her life and her family.

The genders could just as easily have been switched: a son with his Mom away on duty, and perhaps that will be this author’s next book. A splendid idea and well done!

Review by D. H. Brown, MWSA Reviewer (April 2009)

Other Reviews:

“Memories of Me is a heartwarming story of a girl’s love for her father. I found it incredibly touching. This book will hit home with families of military. The message of this book is that even though the military person in your family may be far away, love will always keep you connected and bonded. I very much enjoyed Memories of Me and guarantee that children and their parents will both love this book and find it a great read….”
Terra Ann Pitre, author of Isla’s Redemption


Mercenary’s Tale: Fighting Fidel Castro

by William Heuisler
Published by (date): BookSurge Publishing (2008)
ISBN: 9781439211908
Price:
Tags: Action/Adventure, Military

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This is a true story told in first person from a former Marine who was recruited by the CIA to train Cuban refugees on raids into Cuba during the early sixties. The author wants his audience to discover the truth about Fidel Castro and the Cubans, as his experiences proved to him. The book takes the reader right with William Heuisler through combat, shipwreck, starvation, and many intense and even horrifying experiences.

Mr. Heuisler has a gift for writing and is able to take the reader into the depths of this portion of his life. He describes his characters and scenes so artistically that one can easily become involved and feel part of the story. Some have said that they couldn’t put the book down, but I found at times I needed to do just that to be able to think through the events, but always wanted to get back to reading to see what twists and turns would be next. This book definitely is not for the faint of heart. Realizing that all of the events really happened, but knowing the author was telling the tale, allowed me to continue reading through some of the horrors presented.

This book gives a perspective on a time in our history that some readers may never have been able to imagine. It will be different for people who lived through that period of time than for others who are too young to realize. Either way, Mr. Heuisler brings to light a perspective that may not be found in history books. What was happening in Cuba and just how were the refugees being treated? What was happening between the U.S. and Cuba? What was happening to the anti-Castro Cubans during his rise to power? What happened to those who found out the truth and wanted people to know? William Heuisler will give you insight into that time period and how the U.S. mercenaries were treated.

This book is an intense true adventure, well written, and is a page-turner. Anyone wanting to read a small portion of history, or wants to read about bravery, betrayal, heartache, or how some gave the ultimate sacrifice during the anti-Castro time period of the early sixties, should definitely read Mercenary’s Tale: Fighting Fidel Castro. Mr. Heuisler lived this history and feels compelled to share the story. He’s done an excellent job of doing just that.

Review by Joyce Gilmour, MWSA Reviewer (June 2009)


Mere Chance

by David G, Bancroft
Published by (date): Virtualbookworm (December 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-60264-498-4
Price: $24.95 hardback
Tags: Fiction Thriller History WorldWar2 ColdWar Other

Synopsis:

We go about life everyday doing mostly what is planned or expected. Then out of nowhere something good or bad happens that changes one’s life in some way, but without being consciously aware of it . . . That is “Mere Chance”.

And that is what happens in Mere Chance to the brilliant, handsome Bryan Ashford in his passionate, relentless drive to succeed . . . starting with his discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps and release from his role with the top secret Manhattan Project in 1946.

“Mere Chance” unfolds with a brutal brush with one of the Mafia families headed by the ruthless, deadly Angelo Martino. This episode in Bryan Ashford’s life sets the stage for a subtle but relentless plan by Angelo Martino against the unsuspecting Bryan, who builds his electronics business into a world corporate power.

Intermixed with Bryan’s quest for corporate success and the behind the scenes manipulation of Martino is Bryan’s recall into government service for national security reasons, giving birth to political intrigue that involves the highest levels. It also adds another element to Martino’s cat and mouse game with Bryan’s life.

Other interesting and supporting characters add to the action that grabs the reader from the start, never letting go!

Mere Chance also gives today’s younger generations a wonderful glimpse of the dedication, passion, resilience, and the other remarkable qualities of America’s greatest generation as exemplified by Bryan Ashford and other characters.

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David G. Bancroft is the founder and owner of www.usa-patriotism.com, a web site dedicated to love and pride in all things American, especially our Armed Forces. He is also the author of the novel “Mere Chance,” a story about a guy who returns home after WWII to make his way in the competitive world of electronics. Upon discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps and his involvement in the top secret Manhattan Project, former Lieutenant Bryan Ashford, along with his best friend Craig Desmond, a former Marine injured during the war, set out to become business partners in the growing world of electronic pinball machines. No sooner have the two entrepreneurs established A & D Enterprises, then a past scuffle with a childhood bully named Benny Fatch comes back to haunt them just as they are starting to see success. Before they know it, the two business partners are caught up in the gripping claws of the powerful and mean-spirited Angelo Martino, a Mafia boss who will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who gets in his way. Throw in a beautiful Hollywood actress, the constant threat of fear and death by intimidation, and political intrigue that involves the highest levels of government.

Note to reader: graphic violence and sexual content throughout text.

Review by Kathleen M. Rodgers, MWSA Reviewer (June 2010)
Other Reviews:

“You won’t want to put it down… Mere Chance is one of those books that once you start, you won’t want to do anything but find out what happens next. This is a GREAT American story with characters developed so well, you feel like you know them. Behind the intelligent plot, it’s got intrigue, love, sex, violence, and a modern-day struggle between good and evil. I don’t bother reviewing anything that doesn’t impress me, and this impressed me. Interesting, little details and a fast pace make this a gem of a read. “Mere Chance” is a great escape that you’ll be thinking about a long time.”
— Matthew Fitzgibbons

“David Bancroft, already an accomplished writer of many articles and poems, has now extended his talent in a new novel, Mere Chance. The earthy, sometimes sensual story of lives intertwined in a deadly match of wits, makes for a good read. This is one you will want to have in your briefcase or duffle bag!”
— Steve Newton, Author of the Old Sergeant Series


The Midnight Mile

by Denis W. Flood
Published by (date): Word Association Publishers (May 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-59571-393-3
Price: 18.95
Tags: Memoir Vietnam

Synopsis:

When Marine Corporal Jackie Carroll’s body comes home from Vietnam, the family and townspeople of Peekskill, New York, try to cope with the loss of a son and star athlete. The author captures the spirit of a town filled with quirky and endearing characters whose animosities and friendships bring about an unexpected celebration. A fast moving story that both charms and disarms. The Midnight Mile is a vibrant tale with a surprise ending that will move the reader to tears.
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Novelist Denis W. Flood’s action thriller “The Midnight Mile” will make you laugh, cry, be on edge, maybe even angry, but it is always entertaining. His characters come across strong and vivid in your mind as you read his narrative. His book does not take the normal easy path with his story telling – this tale is fresh and totally new.

This would actually make a great action movie – with just enough edgy humor and drama mixed together with enough action to satisfy those who like good plot movement. A good book to sit down while on a airline flight or while stuck at the airport. It will be well worth your investment of time.

As a Vietnam Veteran myself, I could see how well the realities of that war and of those veterans who fought there were captured by the author’s creative writing style. This book is for more mature readers.

Review by Bill McDonald, MWSA Reviewer & former President (July 2009)

Other Reviews:

“A wonderful read with unforgettable characters, The Midnight Mile would make a fantastic film.”
–Anita Busch, former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, former editor of Variety.