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Rosemary for Remembrance

Rosemary for Remembrance, an alluring book by Nikki Broadwell, is a fictionalized account of a war-torn love story. The author tells readers the story of a couple who has to face many troubles due to the World War. The conditions soldiers are forced to live in and how the soldier wives lived back home are shown. In this story, our protagonists, Rosemary and Dylan, wade through the waters of war, trauma, and distance between themselves to conquer their fears and insecurities.

The writing style of this book is fast-paced and captivating. Readers are drawn into this story from the beginning. I could finish this in a single day because the storyline was engaging, and each chapter left the reader wanting to know more. The natural and supernatural events filled the narrative with suspense and anticipation of what thrilling event will come next.

The mental exploration of the Prisoners of War and their post-war trauma has been explained in detail. From Rosemary’s point of view, we can witness the struggles and problems of the soldier’s family left behind without any contact with their loved ones. This book also explores the impact of soldiers’ traumas on their families and relationships. Fallouts and Divorces were common, but no one was to blame.

The journal entries by Dylan from the Prisoner of War camps made me feel the pain and anguish which coursed through those soldiers. The helplessness and cruelty of the war are being laid bare through those journals. As the author has mentioned, those journal entries were the actual journals of their grandfather. This makes them more realistic and horrific to read.

There is a parallel plot running in this book. In that story, the eighteenth-century dilemma and struggle for love are shown. The condition of women at that time has been described in a way that left me uncomfortable and angry. The story of Rebecca and Edgar reflects the story of Rosemary and Dylan, yet they are drastically different.

This book took me into the midst of the horror that was felt by the soldiers as well as their families. The simple and captivating writing style paired with a headstrong female protagonist makes this book a brilliant read. Some mature topics are presented in this storyline due to the brutal nature of the time and war. I recommend this book to people who want to read about the conditions of war and a love that’s being tested by time and troubles.

Pages: 286 | ASIN : B0711FL8T8

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The Very Dead of Winter

The Very Dead Of Winter by Miles Watson is a work of historical fiction revolving around the Battle of the Bulge and is set during World War II. This interesting story centers around the three main characters with intermingled storylines, Halleck, Breese, and Cramm.  

In The Very Dead of Winter, Miles Watson explores the very concept of war. The author addresses how war affects the mind, morality, and the relationships of the soldiers involved, in addition to the cruelty and horror of the subject matter in which enemies actively murder each other in an effort to advance their personal cause. 

Each of the main characters in this book is complex, and we see in his writing how Watson brings each to life in the pages. Though the characters are different war officers, Watson portrays them in such a way that they are convicted by their morality, each one striving to do the right thing.  

Watson has written a book that is sobering but intriguing. If you are looking for a book with rich characters, an enticing story, and significant historical context, this book is for you. It will make you think, empathize, and put yourself in the shoes of those men and women in the military, specifically those in active combat. This book is well worth the read and will give readers a brand new perspective. I highly recommend it. 

The Very Dead Of Winter is a complex and thought-provoking historical war fiction novel. This captivating book can unmask the stereotypical idea of what the average citizen thinks a soldier looks like. The author’s storytelling abilities allow readers to get to the heart of the matter in distinguishing the humanity and moral choices people in the armed forces make in their daily decisions.

Pages: 380 | ASIN : B0B35N4S4D

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Ascension, by Marc R. Micciola, is the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga. This story follows the leaders of Midstad as they fight to gain control of the empire.

The novel begins with Otti and The Black Light. Otti is determined to get her beloved, Kemryr, back from imprisonment. She works with Iver to bring people to their forces, The Black Light, and gain control of the kingdom. Einar, Prince of Hestferd, and Elouera, the Queen of Skedia, work together to protect the kingdom from The Black Light. When Karina, Queen Eloueras’s daughter, is targeted by an assassin, the Hestferd rulers help the family hide with elves. Her family’s safety is instrumental in maintaining control of the kingdom and preventing The Black Light from taking over.

The writing style in this book is excellent throughout. Multiple POVs give depth to the story. Each character has its own development and storyline. Having numerous POVs allows the reader to understand the overall plot. The development behind Einar’s character was the most interesting to read and essential for the story to move forward.

This captivating book had a lot of varying elements for the first installment in an upcoming series. I wish there was more background information and world-building given to the reader so there is a better understanding of the world the author has built. There were bits and pieces of background given with each character’s POV, but it’s like putting together a puzzle.

Ascension is a riveting adventure and dark fantasy novel that gives readers a sense of nostalgia for similar worlds that are seen in Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time. As the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga, it pulls the reader into the world created by Micciola, and they will be waiting for the next installment to see where the action leads next.

Pages: 303 | ASIN : B08BTMF46Z

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The Light Reapers

The Light Reapers: Fight for a New Beginning is an intense, action-packed, military sci-fi novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. We follow the Light Reapers, who set out in a post-apocalyptic world to battle the infected. The story picks up right where the previous book left off, but it seems the infected are becoming more intelligent and have turned to torture the uninfected. The Light Reapers must decide to save the world or save themselves.

Author Gary Hickman doesn’t disappoint with this sequel as the action begins from the turn of the first page. We follow the same characters that were in the first book with the introduction of new characters. I appreciated that Lia is tough and can handle her own. Priest, tough on the outside but soft on the inside, especially when it comes to Lia. The descriptions of the battle scenes are gory and unapologetic, and  Hickman does an excellent job of immersing the reader in the action.

The infected are described so well that I felt like I was watching a movie and genuinely afraid of them. This book is similar to the Walking Dead in the sense that the characters are tactical and must survive off the land, but also identical to the Ghost of Mars, where the infected look and act crazy and are not like your typical zombies. The plot and characters are unpredictable, and it’s hard to get attached to a surface because you never know if they will survive. This speaks volumes about the author’s writing style.

The Light Reapers is raw, gritty, and unfiltered and will have you wondering just what will happen next. This is one book that you will not be able to put down and will have you in awe until the very end. However, this book is not for you if you are sensitive to blood and gore.

Pages: 361 | ASIN : B09XVLXK7P

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Arlen’s Gun

Arlen is a young man who enlisted in the Air Force to dodge the Vietnam War draft. Unfortunately for him, he was nevertheless sent to Vietnam, where he was assigned to be a gunner in an aircraft code-named “Spooky 45”.

Spooky was shot down during flight. Arlen and the other survivors were stranded on an island, waiting for assistance from another army unit. He was so attached to his assigned aircraft gun that he removed the undamaged mini-gun from the wreckage. Even though he was chastised for ‘stealing’ it, he fantasized about returning it to his hometown. Arlen demonstrated his devotion and proficiency with the mini-gun in a way that gained him respect from his comrades that he wasn’t used to.

Arlen’s Gun, written by author Edgar Doleman is a story about a young man who learns that he and his mates need each other after they all suffered the devastating loss of fallen comrades in battle.

This story is excellent because it was told in vivid, credible detail while avoiding gore but still presenting a fast-paced thriller with a sense of warfare’s horror. That is a remarkable achievement in and of itself, but it is only reasonable considering Doleman’s background as a two-tour Vietnam veteran and a military man. In addition, he is regarded for exhibiting tremendous empathy for his characters and a thorough understanding of the subject of his writings.

This brilliantly written story was depicted as fictional but is clearly rooted in stark realism and also talks about the agony of philosophical and moral dilemmas these soldiers must have faced every step of the way. This novel is a masterful accomplishment in terms of its illumination of the soldier’s mindset during the chaos of combat and the fascinating reflections in its aftermath. This book is a tribute to the average Americans who served in Vietnam.

This would appeal to those interested in the military and war literature, but because it’s so brilliantly written, readers of action novels will also enjoy this book. Edgar Doleman’s Arlen’s Gun effectively illustrates that the sense of connection of facing difficult decisions is often what forges the bond between combatants.

Pages: 299 | ASIN : B08PXTQL61

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Dogs Don’t Cook 

In Dogs Don’t Cook by author Catherine Alexander, Thomas ‘Hatch’ Hatchfield was an artist. It was all he dreamed of being from the time he picked up a crayon. Then came the Vietnam war. Returning from the war as a veteran, he was scarred by his experiences and struggled with homelessness and alcohol addiction. Judged by society and all but abandoned by what’s left of his family, Hatch’s only real friend is his dog, Bud. Dog lovers won’t be surprised to know that Bud is a loyal straight-talker and doesn’t shy away from telling Hatch honest truths about things even when it is painful.

With no family that wants to help him, Hatch eventually stumbles into meeting the practical and kind-hearted Rosa, who becomes his real family. She gives him a place to live and work and inspires him to get back on his feet and start to create art again. The relationship between Hatch and Rosa is beautiful and shows that kindness is still out there in the world.

Hatch is a very clearly drawn character with a distinctive voice written from a first-person perspective. You are immediately drawn into his world and can’t help but find yourself firmly on his side right from the beginning. The Vietnam war period sets the backdrop for Hatch’s journey, and it provides a timely and poignant commentary on the war in general. I felt that in a couple of instances, elements of the story seemed to be dropped in for convenience without being fully developed or resolved, like the handling of Hatch’s brief love interest. There is a stark contrast in the portrayal of Hatch as a hopeless drunk vs. him sober, without a lot of transition between the two stages. Watching Hatch emerge from his drunken fog and reclaim parts of his former self is heartwarming.

Dogs Don’t Cook is a moving story of love, loss, family, and triumph over considerable adversity. This historical war fiction novel captures the emotions many returning vets felt and shows some of the challenges they endured once returning to America. Hatch is the character who stays with you long after you finish the book.

Pages: 266 | ASIN : B09NCZJ4Q6

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The Smiles and Tears of Love

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The Smiles and Tears of Love, written by Ray Cantan, follows Mabel Fox’s life. Starting with devastating news as an adult, the author changes directions and takes us back in time to right before Mabel was born. We get to read about Mabel as she grows up as a small child living with her parents in Tullow, Ireland. As she gets older, she moves in with her aunt in Curragh, where she learns to become a lady.  As the story goes on Mabel marries the soldier of her dreams. Life brings her many ups and downs as she navigates life as a military wife. Mabel even has a steamy fling with a married man.

I want to say first that the overall story was spectacular. I really enjoyed reading about Mabel’s life from right before she was born to where it ended. It is rare to read a book that starts off with so much information at the beginning. I feel like it really builds up the character, and you can get to know their personality very well. Her character was very well developed, and it felt natural. I would have thought I was reading about a real person if it wasn’t stated that it was a work of fiction.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the story and plotline of this interesting book, I felt like there wasn’t much of a description of what Mabel looked like. I had a hard time envisioning her appearance. I know the styles of the Victorian and Edwardian Era, so the outfits were easy to picture in my mind. I feel that the story would benefit from another editing and proofreading as well to correct some grammar, incomplete sentences and some repeated chapters.

The Smiles and Tears of Love is, overall, an exquisite family saga. Once the author polishes up the manuscript this will be a wonderful novel that readers of historical fiction will be drawn to with its attention to detail of the period and strong relatable characters that readers will feel like they know personally.

Stories Of Experiences

Ted Kissel Author Interview

Betrayal in the Casbah follows a military attaché as he sets out on a rescue mission to save a downed pilot being held by terrorists. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Most of my inspiration in writing the book came from my military background and experiences while serving for almost three decades. Being a fighter pilot experiencing combat, a base commander in NATO, leadership roles at the highest levels at the Pentagon, and the intrigue of being a military attaché in an extremely unstable country in North Africa. But actually, I combined events of my last two years as a military attaché in Algeria in writing the book. The attempt to rescue a downed American pilot was an actual mission and I used much of what happened while attempting to accomplish that mission in the fictionalized story.

What is your background and experience in writing and how did it help you write Betrayal in the Casbah?

I have always loved the written word and periodically would write little stories of experiences in my life, but nothing serious. Most of my previous writing was of a military nature. Briefings, reports, after action documents, evaluations, etc….. The only formal background would be my bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Terrorism in North Africa, Al-Qaeda, the Barbary Coast pirates, and ancient Roman cities in Algeria.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Escape from Algiers, which is the sequel to Betrayal in the Casbah. Hopefully it will answer many questions that persist after reading my first book. I anticipate the sequel being available at the end of this year or early 2023.

Author Links: Website | Instagram

It’s the early 2000’s in the US embassy, Algiers. US military attaché and decorated fighter pilot Colonel Mitch Ross needs a dose of reality and relief from the constraints of the diplomatic life. He catches a break of sorts when he survives a brutal knife attack one evening after attending a diplomatic reception.

Nursed to health by the beautiful and mysterious Abella, Mitch returns to duty and is approached by the CIA with a covert mission: to rescue and bring home a downed American pilot being held by terrorists in Algiers. As he plans and prepares for the mission, Mitch and Abella become confidants and lovers, and Mitch discovers she is more than just a nurse working in a military hospital. Together with longtime friend and French colonel Yves Dureau and Mitch’s assistant, Army Warrant Officer Dave McQueen, Mitch and Abella will risk their lives to bring the American POW to safety.

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