Upon the death of her mother, Seventeen-year-old THELMA RASTNER accepts the responsibility of nurturing an a adopted infant and tending the needs of her family of six adult men. Despite demands of maintaining a household, she finds time to piece scraps cut from her childhood clothing into the quilt her mother hadn’t had time to finish. Through her effort and her influence, the achievements and disappointments experienced by her family form a tapestry of sustained optimism.
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After forty years of excommunication from the Catholic Church, MATT GERHARD, an embittered old man, accepts absolution but places demands on his estranged son, EARL, a damaged WWI veteran. Through a series of flashbacks, a two generational father-son pattern of conflict emerges that must be overcome before reconciliation is possible.
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SONJA WEST, a retired country school teacher, maintains close relationships with three individuals; THELMA RASTNER, a former female student, MILDRED BUSHMAN, a life long female companion, and EARL GERHARD, whose proposal for marriage she rejected forty years earlier. Sonja’s latent sexuality is aroused while sharing a berth on a train with Thelma, and she begins to question her denial of a sexual interest with both Mildred and Earl.
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In his science fiction novel, LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME, Roger Storkamp abandons the Bovine, Minnesota, setting of his previous three novels for a self contained biosphere zooming through deep space. A millennium into their four-thousand-year journey to Earth’s nearest solar system, the evolved society has lost its purpose for existing. Ariel, a precocious teenager, and her friend, Albert, defy the Realm’s ban on human to human procreation. Her pregnancy sets in motion a series of conflicts that expose a thousand year old mystery.
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With his son-in-law, Roger Storkamp, as co author, Richard Leslie reveals details of his WWII combat experiences in the Philippine Islands including an unprecedented parachute drop onto Corregidor Island. He presents an honest view of courage, fear, and self preservation strategies. Atrocities committed on both sides created an emotional toll that plagued him throughout his eighteen months of combat and continued to haunt him throughout his life. War made Richard crazy, his long life healed, his melody lingers.
He asked that publication of PVT. RICHARD LEE LESLIE be withheld until his ashes “dusted the breeze.” He passed away on Good Friday, 2013.
War made Richard crazy, his long life healed, his melody lingers.
Pvt. Richard Lee Leslie is published chapter-by-chapter on this blog starting September 29, 2016. Click on the category Pvt. Richard Leslie on the top of this page.
Review by Eagletree
This was not a short book, but in less than 24 hours, it was gone, I could not stop reading. It is not at all what I expected. It does have some of the blow by blow accounts of battle that I normally crave in memoirs, but it delivered something far more important to me. This book covers the saga of what war creates for fallout, very reminiscent of my own life experiences with my father and the others in my family who lived during the depression and WWII. My father didn’t suffer as Richard Leslie did in terms of the war itself, his role was easier on a ship, but the impact was still much the same, a life attempting to somehow make what he had experienced and did make sense, and pushing him to his breaking point long after the war had ended. What Roger documented here, must have applied to the observations of many of us baby-boomers who observed the fallout just keep destroying, long after the war had ended. Again, it’s likely not the memoir you are expecting, but it is something I feel is more important in determining the real impact of war, because it starts where the glory ends. I wish each person who so freely calls themselves a patriot would read it, and get a more realistic feel for the price paid by the individuals who actually foot the bill for freedom. It’s not really about foxholes, guns and bombs, it’s about a lifetime of paying that price long after the fact. This book is actually a very important work.
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SHOWGIRL MEMOIR is an opened window into my personal and professional life as a showgirl/dancer. A small-town girl whose dream brought her two Olympic performances, ’84 in Los Angeles and ’88 in Seoul, Korea, and Jubilee Showgirl in Las Vegas. As additional dressing (and undressing) to my life’s story, I share many successes and a few road bumps along the way, exposing emotional scars as straight forward as my dancing topless.
February 15, 2015
Nearly blind from macular degeneration and advanced stages of dementia, Mom insisted my boys bring their Grams to watch me dance in Mistinguett Productions of Showgirl Follies: “Sassy.” Twenty-five years since Jubilee, I pushed my fifty-year-old body through a month of vigorous training. Just for you, Mom, and her smile said, I love you, Mikel.
I dedicate this memoir to my mother, Betty Jeanne Peterson, who passed away December 8, 2015.
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