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Love and Sabotage

Love and Sabotage by [Martha Tolles]

Love and Sabotage follows Marty Gregg, a new graduate beginning her first job. She is a female journalist in what is still a man’s world. To further complicate Marty’s life, her fiancé is away at war, stationed in the pacific during WWII.

This is a story that is easy follow, which is certainly a benefit in a mystery novel as riveting as this one. The novel is narrated by our captivating young protagonist Marty, and we follow the trials and tribulations she faces working in a male dominated industry whilst constantly awaiting word from her fiancé. As she follows a breaking story readers are treated to glimpses of the quaint town she lives in, and the complex relationships she has. There are delightful descriptions of the town, including many descriptions of the houses and buildings, as well as the gardens and trees. Author Martha Tolles cleverly integrates several community features such as the library that makes the setting feel realistic and like a character on its own. Set during World War Two, most of the references to technology, clothing and speech are consistent with this time period, which allows the reader to be immersed in the story.

I enjoyed the main characters in this story and felt that they were well developed. Marty, the young female journalist pinning for her fiancé Eddy who is away at war, feels like a trope but its given much more dimension with Marty’s unique personality. She is clearly dedicated to her job, this is shown by her thoughts, her conversations with others, and actions. However, it is clear that being a young female journalist during the war can be difficult in what is still essentially a man’s industry. We see her hesitation in dealing with her employer’s sexual overtones, as well as other men who are not accustomed to working with women. Understandably, her fiancé Eddy is never far from her mind, however we never really learn much about him. Another complex relationship is the relationship between Marty and her friend Grace. Their relationship encompasses both a personal friendship and a working relationship. We see Grace authentically try to support her friend from her employer’s advances, whilst still maintaining her own professional relationship with him. It’s a relationship that I thought was intriguing and wanted to see more of.

Love and Sabotage is a mystery novel that is easy to read and, because of that, is easy to get wrapped up in. The setting descriptions allow the reader to immerse themselves both in the town of Rye and the circumstances for civilians living in WWII. Fans of historical fiction will find plenty to enjoy in this compelling novel?

Pages: 182 | ASIN: B07MHQXKJT

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The Korean POW Experience

John N Powers
John N Powers Author Interview

Finnegan Found is a fictional account of the true horrors of Chinese POW camps from the Korean War. Why was this an important book for you to write?

When I met and became friends with the men called the North China Marines, men who were captured in China on 7 Dec 1941, I found something very unsettling to me. Their wives and children knew very little about their time as POWs. I came along at a time when they were finally willing to talk to someone willing to listen. My background as a Vietnam veteran and a history teacher, with at least a beginner’s knowledge of the POW experience, meant those men were willing to give me the details. I found it unacceptable so little was known to the public about their experiences. As a result, I created northchinamarines.com for family members to discover details they had missed. I then did some writing for the American EX-POW organization and found the same set of circumstances existed for families of our POWs from Korea and Vietnam. Those details went into the creation of the book, more a document than book, Bean Camp to Briar Patch-Life in the POW Camps of Korea and Vietnam. It is the only single source of information on all the major camps in both of those wars. The Korean POW experience especially bothered me. They came home to find themselves blamed for their own captivity. The media made them out to be weak, not the caliber of our veterans from other wars. When Bean Camp to Briar Patch was ignored, I decided to turn to fiction as a means of getting the Korean War POW story in front of the public. I believe the novel accurately presents the story. Now my job is to get that story recognized. Those men have gone long enough without the recognition they deserve.

I appreciated the candid and accurate nature with which you relayed POW experiences. What were some aspects you felt needed to be accurate and what did you take liberties with?

It was important to me to be highly accurate throughout the story. As a history teacher, the historical part of the novel is the story. The only liberties I took were in some of the actions of Swede. The sinking of the B-29, the burning of the records, the taking of the photographs of radar equipment, and his rescue of Mike Randall were completely fictional. As I explain in an addendum, details throughout the story are based on facts. Some characters in the story were real people, utilized to tell the facts of their story. To be honest, I glossed over some aspects of the treatment the men received. I have found some people will not believe what is sometimes required to survive horrific circumstances. Or they will be so upset by the facts they will put the book down and never pick it up again. So at times I just hinted at what took place.

What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?

Most important to me was historical truth, even if that meant portraying an individual or group in a negative light. I have never written a novel before. I really did not sit down and decide on specific themes I thought might give the story more appeal. I simply wanted to tell what I feel is an important story. I also wanted to correct a wrong inflicted on those men by a military and government that did not want to face their own shortcomings.

Paul Larson is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?

I needed a character I could like to help tell this story, a character with a built in strength to carry him through. A character who had been raised by strong characters. “They” say you should write what you know. I know mid-West farm culture. I knew the details of the story from my research on my first book. I needed characters that I “knew” to help in telling the story. Many of the main characters have a combination of traits of people I served with during my time in the military, again both the good and the bad.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

A story untold. Left in the dark. For seventy years. This novel tells that story, shines a light on that darkness.
They were beaten, starved, and kept in cages with little medical care. The Chinese POW camps of the Korean War brought out the best, and the worst, in men. Young Swede fights for himself and his fellow captives, determined to survive with his pride and honor intact.
First, he has to survive the deathly cold of the first winter, when half the prisoners die. Once he is allowed to join the other prisoners, he teaches them to resist, becoming one of the worst of the men the Chinese fear – the Reactionaries.
Described by readers as “hard to put down,” and “riveting.” “I thought Finnegan Found was a towering novel” that “takes its place alongside the great war novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Forgotten for seventy years. Now is their time to be remembered.

Finnegan Found: Surviving the POW Camps on the Yalu

Finnegan Found: Surviving the POW Camps on the Yalu by [John N. Powers]

The Korean War was fought between communist North Korea supported by the Chinese and the soviets, and South Korea supported by the United States. Known as “the forgotten war” for its lack of media coverage, The Korean War was incredibly bloody; but the main thing the war is known for is its enormous amount of American prisoners of war and the brutal treatment they received while under communist captivity.

Finnegan Found by John N. Powers is a historical fiction novel that follows the story of Paul Larson, also known as “Swede”. A nineteen year-old boy born and raised on a farm in Minnesota, who joined the Army in order to broaden his limited opportunities and save for university. When he is captured as a POW and sent to the war camps along the Yalu River by the North Koreans, Swede must endure terrible death marches under dangerous weather conditions where many soldiers died, physical torture, and eventually go through forced “mental conditioning” which consisted of lessons where soldiers were taught to hate capitalism. His resolve is tested countless times and the reader really gets to feel the emotional stress that he is under. His perseverance is one of the things that was truly amazing and I appreciated how well his character portrays this trait while still feeling authentic even under some stressful situations. This is a character driven story, and one with impacts that we can see today. This novel does a fantastic job of relaying the harsh realities of a dangerous time in a exotic location.

It’s amazing how author John N. Powers managed to collect so many real testimonies from those who lived the war and morphed them to form a single experience that realistically portrays the brutal treatment of POWs in the Yalu prison camps. While the topic approached throughout the novel could make for a very heavy read, with all the context needed beforehand. The author managed to write beautiful descriptions that make the situation understandable for any reader no matter how limited their knowledge on the Korean War. He captures the essence of life as a prisoner of war as described by the survivors who have opened up about their past.

Finnegan Found has incredible descriptions and a thrilling plot. It is highly recommended for historical fiction fans or really anyone interested in learning more about the Korean War or the long battle between communism and capitalism.

Pages: 445 | ASIN: B08BC2F76C

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Imelda’s Secret

Imelda's Secret by [Liza Gino, Miho Kim, Jeannie Celestial PhD LCSW, Judith Mirkinson]

Imelda’s Secret written by Liza Gino is a book based on true stories and events. It is a book that tells a story about two women, cousins Gloria and Imelda, both survivors of World War Two. Through the war, they were people known as, ‘comfort women’. Although they are now living in San Francisco, they both struggle with the trauma. Gloria is the one who steps forward and tells her story, but with some hard and painful consequences for her two sons. But Imelda was keeping it a secret to protect her family. What happens when they find the courage and the strength to gather all different women and stories about their suffering? Together this becomes a story of the survivors and women’s rights.

As we know, Liza Gino is not only an author. She is also an advocate and change agent, as we may recognize in her writing. The story written here is more than just a passionate testimony. It is a powerful testament that war is dangerous and deadly for everyone. It tells a different kind of story, one that is often hidden. Years ago – it was taboo for those survivors to take a stand. But, Imelda’s Secret is an illuminating book that speaks volumes to those that were blind to these situations and those seeking justice.

I enjoyed this book immensely, and the straightforward chronology helped keep me on track. But I felt that the dialogue was sometimes sensationalistic in a book that otherwise feels grounded. As we see in the book, it is hard to speak up, but raising your voice can help you and others. Imelda’s Secret is a candid story about ordinary but giant women whose secrets should be heard by the world. As a true believer in a passionate fight, and taboo uncovering, I highly recommend this book thought-provoking book by author Liza Gino.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B08LB5XG64

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The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland

The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by [Lucia Mann]


The Little Breadwinner by Lucia Mann is about the Civil War that destroyed and raged in El Salvador. Thousands lost their lives, and those left behind were terrified, lost, alone, and wondering what future they would have after such horrors and tragedy. Going beyond telling us about the war, the author lets us go more in-depth and get a more personal account. In doing so, we feel a personal connection to the characters that make this a story that needs to be told. One woman, in particular, is Estella. She suffered and was brutally traumatized by soldiers. Throughout the story, you find yourself wondering, will she too be lost before the war ends?

The war was brutal, and I wanted to weep throughout this story. I feel that this is the reaction that everyone will have reading this heart-wrenching book. It’s a good thing for people to read because many people don’t know their history or any other history, and we don’t learn or evolve by staying ignorant. Don’t think that this is a book for you to enjoy (at least not that way). This book is meant to teach you something and draw attention to how awful things happen to good and innocent people in war. You can feel the author’s emotions, and the writing was done so well that you won’t have any difficulties understanding the message she wanted you to see.

I felt like I was inside the story because of how well the author wrote it. I also felt like my heart was breaking as I continued reading because I imagined the war and the people’s suffering. As a sensitive person, I did have to stop a few times, but that was only because I felt so sad that this was based on real events. The author is someone I will read again because of her powerful descriptions and writing ability—notably, the ability to connect you to characters like Estella. I also appreciated that there were facts because I wanted to be as informed as possible and felt that that was something the author had done successfully.

Pages: 272 | ASIN: B08JMCZ7VR

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Keep Forever – Trailer

Now that Paul O’Brien has returned from serving in Vietnam, he wants nothing more than to piece together a meaningful life. But the war-spawned, guilt-driven nightmares won’t stop haunting him. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, Paul is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his family amidst his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As his life unravels from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth is committed to helping him overcome the obstacles in their path. Determined to live in love, they struggle a lifetime with the burden that Paul brought home. However, in spite of the darkness he carries, he still manages to create a legacy of light, compassion, and understanding that Elizabeth and their children will keep forever.

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Loving Two Women

LOVING TWO WOMEN: A gripping story of love, duty, sacrifice and determination by [Matthew Lutostanski]

Loving Two Women By Matthew Lutostanski is a captivating story of love passion, and tragedy. Tadeusz thought he had lost his first love Ella during the Holocaust. Having moved on and building a new life with his wife Maria, decades later he finds out Ella is still alive. Will he be able to choose between his past love and his present love?

This alluring story is a perfect blend of romance and historical fiction. The memories that Tasdeusz, Ella, and Maria carry with them are heart wrenching and tragic. The author has written a fascinating story that brings in the drama of Tasdeusz, his two loves and the history of the holocaust. Lutostanski has done his research and it showed in each scene portraying the indescribable suffering people went through during the Holocaust. Beautifully written with vivid imagery and such detail that you feel like you are in the story.

I was invested in each character and their backstory but more so I was anxious to read more about the war. I can see this being made into a movie, the kind which the world needs right now  because of the pure true love and the chance to say all the words you wanted to say that most  people never get the chance too. Loving Two Women a romantic thriller that uses its true story roots to tell a fantastic historical romance story.

Pages: 127 | ASIN: B08DYCFXJP

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The Second Truth

The Second Truth: Korean War by [John Viola HM2]

Everyone has a second truth in their lives. There is always some choice which can be made that will lead to suffering. We often do not know what these choices will lead to until it is too late. There are many people who do not fully understand what is entailed by their choice to protect and serve others, especially the suffering that can easily result from this choice. In the case of the Korean War, many of these sacrifices went forgotten by people back home, with a lack of recognition, this war, and the people who fought it began to fade into obscurity.

The Second Truth written by John Viola is a riveting personal account of his time spent in the military during the Korean War. This intriguing memoir gives incisive and thoughtful insight into what service men and women actually experience during their tours of duty. There is a matter of fact feeling to the book that tells it like it is.

While I enjoyed this memoir immensely, I would’ve like to have had the military terminology explained a little bit more so that readers who have no direct relation to the military could better understand what is being discussed. However, the book had a natural feel to it as well as an integrity to it that I found very satisfying and authentic.

If you are looking for a memoir that provides a candid view of the military during the Korean War then I would highly recommend The Second Truth by John Viola.

Pages: 62 | ASIN: B0794RTL9M

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