Tag Archive | war

Spatzle Speaks: Parhelion (Book Review)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Parhelion the latest release by Lisa J. Lickel but my mom was instantly gripped by the story and struggled to put the book down. She’s been busy so I’ve gotten extra snuggle time as she’s stayed up late reading in the middle of the night.

The main character, Maeve is in love with Harry, who is often referred to as Prince Harry. He is a former Air Force test pilot. Captain Harry is out of the service and has fallen for Maeve but he has a secret.  When he first made her acquaintance it was for another purpose.

Life on earth is reaching a critical stage where it might soon result in the death of billions. A few communities of select individuals have been preparing for this outcome for many years, and Meave is critical to their plan because she possesses something unique. Harry needs her to join the program but not just for how she can help – but also because he wants her for his wife and if a group leave the planet, he wants her with him on the journey.

The process of getting ready is riddled with complications within the community and from without and Maeve has a choice to make. Harry even struggles with the rules, or lack thereof for this new world, a space station, they would be populating. How does one make a choice when the end of civilization on earth is the only other option?

This book is written primarily from the points of view of Maeve and Harry in alternating chapters. It kept my mom on her toes wondering just what would happen next. Multi-layered and well-written it is a book that my mom strongly recommends. I give it five bones because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Trinity – Military War Dog (Book Review)

trinity mwdI have loved Ronie Kendig’s writings after reading her Discarded Heroes series (click on the name to see my review). I had been wanting to read Trinity for awhile and finally had my chance.

This is an intense romantic suspense. Ronie is a master at understated romance. I love the romance between Heath and Jia/Darcy and how Trinity, the dog, seemed to keep bringing them together. I don’t want to give away the plot or any of the surprises but there are some sweet moments woven into the tension of the war that the characters are involved in.

Heath was a Green Beret until he was injured and left with a traumatic brain injury. His dog refused to work with anyone else so both were dumped from service. Pulled into a moral boosting training program called A Breed Apart, Heath has to struggle to swallow his pride at the lost dreams. Heading oversees to a military base and running into the unit he used to be an integral part of only rubbed salt in the wound. He meets Jia and something seems familiar with her and he is instantly attracted to the elusive woman he nicknames “Rock Girl.” She ends up being so much more — the focus of his future as well as a ghost from his past.

I have great respect for Ronie’s deep research of the military, the way they work and the role of the often unsung canine warriors who put their lives on the line to keep others safe. Again – another wounded warrior here is finding a place to be useful once again and is willing to lay his life on the line for others. Heart-stopping action, well written and the ending left me with a smile on my face for a long time. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

Deliver Me From Evil (Book Review)

Sex trafficking in the United States is an unlikely backdrop for a story. In Deliver Me From Evil,  Kathi Macias takes the reader into the world of slave trading and gives a glimpse at the terror and pain of the victims of this crime. That would seem like a pretty dark topic to read about, but Kathi handles this with a master stroke in that she weaves together the tale with a look at various aspects of the industry from international sex slavery, to intra-national. She then adds in faith as one young man, Jonathan, is not only confronted with this evil, but his then compelled to wrestle with his role in it.

When one is confronted with unspeakable evil that one doesn’t fully recognize even exists, how does one react? Jonathan’s path is one of inner struggle and guilt over not knowing, but with the support of his family and new-found faith, results in courage unheard of in one so young.

The angle of the church is touched in here as well, the need for the faith community to take up the cause of abolition, not fear it but to enter into this battle wisely and well- informed. The reality of how few people want to engage in this ugly war is highlighted as well instead of treated as a “the church will save the world” fantasy. Oh, that it would be otherwise but Kathi Macias treats that as well with a just hand, neither excusing the church’s lack of involvement or making it something other than what it is.

I’m grateful that Kathi has helped us see beneath the staggering and mind-numbing statistics of human trafficking and does not even mention specific numbers but instead draws us into the thoughts,  fears and hopelessness of those involved.

This book should be a wake-up call for all Christians. There is real evil in this world and it is a dangerous battle that is fought first and foremost on our knees and then through wise and considered action. This book does an excellent job highlighting this without bringing the reader to a point of depression. Instead, there is hope, and one life at a time we can make a difference.

A Mood

James B. Pollard  (10/1/1920 – 1/22/89)

This piece was written during my paternal grandfather’s time in India in World War II – as part of a journal he kept. I had this read at my wedding, which he did not live to see. He was a hero, a gentle and gracious soul and I still miss him all these years later.

J.B. Pollard (WWII pic)

My Grandpa in 1944

Nightfall is once more preparing to enshroud Assam in its blanket of pitch darkness. An American soldier sits alone in his tent on the edge of his canvas cot, his heavy G-I shoes unlaced to cool his burning feet, a cigarette smoldering listlessly between his fingers.

He gazes out at the lengthening shadows in the nearby jungle. He listens to the weird cry of the small jungle wild life – and the insects. He becomes aware of the steady purr of the diesel generators which run constantly day and night supplying power for the small garrison.

Outside he hears the crunch of the guard’s boots on the gravel path as he starts his first tour of duty around the area on his long night vigil keeping his sleeping buddies from harm.

He hears the steady drone of jeeps and trucks racing back and forth on the nearby Stillwell Road. A G-I in a nearby tent is strumming a guitar and singing Western songs softly, while another next door makes a feeble attempt to blow some jazz out of a squeaky clarinet.

The generator coughs and sputters, then catches again and continues on and on with its steady rhythm.

The soldier’s eye falls to on a picture of his family, of which he has been thinking. The children’s locks of hair are in the little frame. He looks closely at it, then back at the picture. He wipes the mold from the leather frame and replaces the picture in its spot on the crude rough cupboard he has made. He continues to look at his pretty young wife and sees many things – First, the woman he is so deeply in love with. His mind flashes quickly back over the few preceding years and he is doubly homesick. He also sees the mother of his children – the financial wizard who makes ends meet somehow on a meager monthly sum. He sees the wonderful cook, who in happier days planned and prepared his menus. He sees many things in that wonderful wife. In his children he sees the happiness of days past and in those to come.

The tent door slams and the Sergeant from Tennessee appears, whistling loudly, “Flying Home.” He reaches over the rough table, snaps on the light and suddenly becomes quiet. His happy mood has been killed by the sullen expression on his friend’s face.

“What’s the matter ‘J.B.’ . . .  homesick?”

A dull reply of “Yeah. . . “ and the cigarette is ground into the concrete floor. For a moment, silence, except for the sounds of nature – and the machinery.

The Sergeant breaks the spell again, “Let’s get out of this rat trap, wander over the day-room and I’ll beat the pants off you in ping-pong.”

The door slams – the two men walk down the narrow path together, staring into the black jungle ahead. Neither man speaks. . .they are thinking. . .

It is nighttime in Assam.  . . .