Category Archives: Book Reviews

ULR Feature: Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War

fighterpilotsFighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor’s unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life—as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father—reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the ways they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, to college in Paris, and to the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s.

A personal narrative braided with scholarly, retrospective reflections as to what that narrative means, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter zooms in on a little girl with a childhood full of instability, frustration and unanswered questions such that her struggles in growth, her struggles, her yearnings and eventual successes exemplify those of her entire generation.

From California to Georgia to Germany, Lawlor’s family was stationed in parts of the world that few are able to experience at so young an age, but being a child of military parents has never been easy. She neatly outlines the unique challenges an upbringing without roots presents someone struggling to come to terms with a world at war, and a home in constant turnover and turmoil. This book is for anyone seeking a finer awareness of the tolls that war takes not just on a nation, but on that nation’s sons and daughters, in whose hearts and minds deeper battles continue to rage long after the soldiers have come home.

Available in Hardcover

About the Author

mary

 

Mary Lawlor grew up in a military family during the Cold War.  Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, they had shifted homes fourteen times. These displacements, plus her father’s frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad.

As Mary came of age, tensions grew between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the countercultural sixties. By the time she dropped out of the American College in Paris in 1968, she faced her father, then posted in Saigon, across a deep political divide.  Inevitably, the war came home.  The fighter pilot, without knowing it, had taught his daughter how to fight back.

Years of turbulence followed.  Then, after working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College.

She and her husband spend part of each year on a small farm in the mountains of southern Spain. More information is available at http://www.marylawlor.net.

Visit Her On Amazon

Available in Paperback

Book Review

I so related to Mary Lawlor’s book. As an American Army Brat growing up in Okinawa, England and Germany, I always felt like an outsider and longed to put down roots and be a “normal American”. Ms. Lawlor captures so beautifully that feeling of wanting to be part of a tribe that is continually shifting. Her descriptions of the Cold War events that shaped her youth are vivid and engaging. Ultimately, one finishes the book realizing that “home is where the heart is”. I loved this book!

Available Now on Kindle

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ULR Feature: Radio Sphere by Devin terSteeg

radiosphereFree on Kindle Unlimited!

Two hundred years into a post-apocalyptic world, humanity struggles with diminished resources and shrinking ambitions. Radiation has poisoned minds as well as matter, and people are running out of the critical supplies of civilization.

Meanwhile, a mysterious alien race observes the ruins of humanity and tries to make sense of what it sees.

Like others of their generation, Elizabeth, resourceful and determined, and George, dreamy and kind, struggle to find meaning in the madness around them. Together they will leave the relative safety of Boston, seeking answers. Something has waited for 200 years to provide those answers.

Will Elizabeth and George survive their journey into the forgotten past? Or are some questions better left unasked?

Blending humor, science, and philosophy, Radio Sphere is a unique and compelling journey into the nature of humanity, in the grand tradition of Vonnegut.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Available also in paperback!

Book Review

It’s not often that I run across something as original and imaginative in the sci fi genre as author Devin terSteeg’s “Radio Sphere”. The story of Elizabeth, living in a post-apocalyptic world that is now controlled by aliens. Humans are now living to be older than two hundred years old yet many are committing suicide because they are going mad. Elizabeth’s brother tries to search for the truth about their history and this doesn’t end well for him but it does lead her to some answers. This was an incredibly surreal and well-written dystopian story. Definitely recommend.

ULR Feature: Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War

fighterpilots

Available in paperback, hardcover and on Kindle!

Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor’s unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life—as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father—reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the ways they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, to college in Paris, and to the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s.

A personal narrative braided with scholarly, retrospective reflections as to what that narrative means, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter zooms in on a little girl with a childhood full of instability, frustration and unanswered questions such that her struggles in growth, her struggles, her yearnings and eventual successes exemplify those of her entire generation.

From California to Georgia to Germany, Lawlor’s family was stationed in parts of the world that few are able to experience at so young an age, but being a child of military parents has never been easy. She neatly outlines the unique challenges an upbringing without roots presents someone struggling to come to terms with a world at war, and a home in constant turnover and turmoil. This book is for anyone seeking a finer awareness of the tolls that war takes not just on a nation, but on that nation’s sons and daughters, in whose hearts and minds deeper battles continue to rage long after the soldiers have come home.

Available in paperback, hardcover and on Kindle!

About the Author

Mary Lawlor grew up in a military family during the Cold War.  Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, they had shifted homes fourteen times. These displacements, plus her father’s frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad.

As Mary came of age, tensions grew between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the countercultural sixties. By the time she dropped out of the American College in Paris in 1968, she faced her father, then posted in Saigon, across a deep political divide.  Inevitably, the war came home.  The fighter pilot, without knowing it, had taught his daughter how to fight back.

Years of turbulence followed.  Then, after working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College.

She and her husband spend part of each year on a small farm in the mountains of southern Spain. More information is available at http://www.marylawlor.net.

Available in paperback, hardcover and on Kindle!

Reviews

Mary Lawlor’s memoir, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War, is terrifically written. The experience of living in a military family is beautifully brought to life. This memoir shows the pressures on families in the sixties, the fears of the Cold War, and also the love that families had that helped them get through those times, with many ups and downs. It’s a story that all of us who are old enough can relate to, whether we were involved or not. The book is so well written. Mary Lawlor shares a story that needs to be written, and she tells it very well. (The Jordan Rich Show)

Mary Lawlor, in her brilliantly realized memoir, articulates what accountants would call a soft cost, the cost that dependents of career military personnel pay, which is the feeling of never belonging to the specific piece of real estate called home. . . . [T]he real story is Lawlor and her father, who is ensconced despite their ongoing conflict in Lawlor’s pantheon of Catholic saints and Irish presidents, a perfect metaphor for coming of age at a time when rebelling was all about rebelling against the paternalistic society of Cold War America. (Stars and Stripes)

ULR Feature: Angel’s Prophecy by Kira Shay

angelprophecy

Available Now In Paperback! Click Here.

Ryan Gregory shouldn’t exist. As the only known progeny of two angels, he is considered a blasphemy and extremely dangerous. With both Heaven and Hell out to kill him Ryan has spent his entire life on the run with his eccentric Uncle Azra. One would think that dodging Fallen Ones and hiding from the Heavenly Host would be enough to keep anyone busy, but there’s also the small matter of Ryan being the harbinger of an angelic prophecy predicting the end of the war between Heaven and Hell. The problem? Ryan needs to find a specific human to help him fulfill his destiny and he has no idea where to start. Enter the mysterious Stella Evangeline. Ryan finds a powerful connection with her even as she throws everything he thought he knew about the prophecy into question. The discovery of a heavenly weapon hidden on earth has Ryan’s time shortened and his list of enemies growing. To keep either side from finding the weapon, he must chase after his destiny and save the world in order to prove that he should exist after all.

Available Now In Paperback! Click Here.

Book Review

“This book had me hooked on page one. Loving on Azra . Kira Shay is an amazing writer. I was able to see each character as if I were watching a movie. I got angry, I got flirty, I got hurt, and I laughed. A lot. It’s got action, fantasy, love, and everything in between. You gotta read it. I can’t wait for the next book. Step aside Twilight there’s a new series in town.”- Amazon Reviewer

Available Now In Paperback! Click Here.

ULR Feature: The Adventure of the Beryl Anarchists: A New Sherlock Holmes Mystery (New Sherlock Holmes Mysteries Book 14)

theadventuresAvailable now on Kindle and in paperback!

A deeply distressed banker enters 221B Baker St. His safe has been robbed and he is certain that his motorcycle-riding sons have betrayed him. Highly incriminating and embarrassing records of the financial and personal affairs of England’s nobility are now in the hands of blackmailers – the Beryl Anarchists they call themselves – all passionately involved in the craze of motorcycle riding and in ruthless criminal pursuits.

And then a young girl is murdered.

The anarchists are suspected. But so are the sons, and the sisters, and the malaproping maid.

Holmes and Watson must find the real culprits and stop them before more crimes are committed – too horrendous to be imagined. To do so they must not only outwit the murderers but they have to master the beautiful art of motorcycle riding themselves.

This new mystery was inspired by “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet” and borrows the setting and some of the characters. And, of course, our beloved Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are there, just as they are in the original Canon.
Are you a devotee of the great motorcycles of the past? The Norton and the Triumph? Or maybe the fabulous Brough? Are you a fan of the anarchist sub-culture of motorcycle gangs? Whatever … buy, read and enjoy.

Available now on Kindle and in paperback!

About the Author

craigElementary, my dear reader. What else, after fifty years of enjoying the stories of Sherlock Holmes, is a recently retired gentleman to do with his time but write more stories about the world’s most beloved detective.

Craig Stephen Copland confesses that he discovered Sherlock Holmes when, some time in the muddled early 1960s he pinched his older brother’s copy of the immortal stories and was forever afterward thoroughly hooked. He is very grateful to his high school English teachers in Toronto who inculcated in him a love of literature and writing, and even inspired him to be an English major at the University of Toronto. There he was blessed to sit at the feet of both Northrup Frye and Marshall McLuhan, and other great literary professors, who led him to believe that he was called to be a high school English teacher.

It was his good fortune to come to his pecuniary senses and abandoned that goal and pursued a varied professional career that took him to over one hundred countries and endless adventures. He considers himself to have been and to continue to be one of the luckiest men on God’s good earth.

A few years back he took a step in the direction of Sherlock an studies and joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada–also known as the Toronto Bootmakers. In May of 2014 this esteemed group of scholars announced a contest for the writing of a new Sherlock Holmes mystery. Although he had never tried his hand at fiction before, Craig entered and was pleasantly surprised to be selected as one of the winners. Having enjoyed the experience he decided to write more of the same, and is now on a mission to write a new Sherlock Holmes mystery that is related to and inspired by each of the sixty stories in the original Canon.

He currently lives and writes in Toronto, New York, the Okanagan Valley, and Tokyo, and looks forward to finally settling down when he turns ninety.

Book Review

The newest novel in Copland’s New Sherlock Holmes Mystery series is a riveting tale of theft, blackmail and the battle between the have’s and have not’s. The Adventure of the Beryl Anarchists is another gem in a collection of great novels with a slightly surprising twist in that the tale unfolds from Watson’s perspective leaving you wondering what Sherlock knows or will uncover next.
Copland has delivered another solid story with a plot filled with twists and turns holding your attention until the last page.

ULR Feature: 2 Sides of a Penny by Carlton M. Brown

2sides

Available now in Paperback and on Kindle!

Losing both parents to the cold Bay Area streets and a brother to the system, Jason can’t help but shake the fear of being taken next. In his struggle to stay alive, and keep his brother Savion from being America’s nightmare, he must also worry about Gooney’s underhanded plans. Along with the love of his life Sheila, Jason moves heavy weight with the dreams of one day settling down and raising a family.

A few blocks over, Italy is abused daily by her crack-addicted mother and longs for the love of her deadbeat father. Finally crossing paths, Jason proves to be a blessing and a curse to Italy, giving her a dose of reality on more than one occasion. As Italy’s life spirals out of control, she’s reminded of Jason’s teachings but the boosting and drug dealing lifestyle has her trapped.

What will it take for Italy to give up the street life? Will Jason reach his goal and retire from the game? 2 Sides of a Penny is a roller coaster ride through triumph and loss, love and hate, power and revenge, deceit and mutiny to see who will be the last breathing survivor.

Available now in Paperback and on Kindle!

Book Review

Carlton Brown’s “2 Sides Of A Penny” was an all around five-star read. One aspect of his writing that I love is how developed the characters are. He makes you feel the struggles of Jason, losing his parents and having to face the cold world alone. If you want a novel that is relateable and hits on points often ignored in other literary works, “Two Sides Of A Penny” is definitely for you. Great job Mr. Carlton!

ULR Feature: The Power & Intelligence of Karma & Reincarnation by Dharma

karmaimage

Free on Kindle!

In the distant past, life was pretty harsh – most work was manual labor, medicine was primitive and there was little law & order – the perfect opening to religions that promised an easy afterlife. Life was mocked as sin, “up there” awaited a magical land of plenty. These religions kept us weak, God made in the image of the local King reduced followers down to slaves/servants, down on their knees begging for mercy and seeking pity. This book asks for a paradigm change – are we still weak? Do we still think we can just run away from problems? This book is for the Strong, the Warrior, for those who see Life as a Great Gift from God, God as our Teacher, as we build the paradise right here on Earth and make Her Proud of us! Create & build a great Future for all life on earth. Only Reincarnation gives us such an opportunity.

Free on Kindle!

Book Review

“I believe in reincarnation and in karma and I’m a Christian. This book actually made me take a step back and observe my life. We all have lessons in each of our lives we need to learn. In some lives we do not learn those lessons and they carry on into the next one through karma. I actually never thought about it in the way the way the author talked about it.

I also never thought about what I could do for God. We all think about what He can do in our lives and in many ways we forget to ask Him about what we can do for Him. Take a look at this book and open your mind to cleaning out the negative and bring in the good karma!” – Amazon Review

Also Available in Paperback!