Tom MacMillan has a problem. He’s a philandering, self-confessed coward caught in the middle of World War Two as an American fighter pilot.
Meanwhile British nurse, Molly Masterson, has a problem. She can’t stand the Yanks- particularly Yank fighter pilots. And, Tom is the epitome of what she detests most in Americans.
Shoved together by circumstances, the two forge a love fired by a desperate need to escape the horrors of war. Molly becomes Tom’s first true love, a reason to fight his way home after every mission and to escape the Nazis after he is shot down over Belgium.
But life is not fair, and war is not choosy when dishing out death. Who does a person become on
THE OTHER SIDE OF COURAGE?
4 **** Stars!
|I was pleased with this book, even though I was taken on a emotional roller coaster ride. Tom and Molly (the two main characters) both faced heartbreaking tragedies. As one reads the compelling story, a person can see the manifestation of how they were impacted in every way by their pain. They both must make difficult decisions as to whether to allow their respective pain swallow them and into their misery, or push beyond it. Not to say that is an easy thing to do…. at times that can seem to be a Herculean task, and giving in would be so much easier, but they managed to struggle through it and found hope and happiness in the end. I think the book was wonderful at illustrating priorities, the importance of hope, and had an inspiring underlying message of the value of not giving up, that perseverance eventually will pay off, and that the hardest people to love are often the ones who need it the most. I feel Mr. Matlock has written a thought provoking book well worth not missing!
I received this book in exchange from the author for an honest review. Thank you Mr. Matlock!
4 **** Stars!
This is a touching story about love and loss, set in England during the turbulent time of World War II. The story focuses on the lives of Major Tom MacMillan, a philandering American fighter pilot who is wounded in battle, and Millicent Masterson (otherwise known as Molly), a nurse with a passionate dislike for Americans who takes care of Tom at the hospital. Tom is attracted to this nurse who coldly spurns him, and makes it his goal to win her over. She dislikes his American cockiness… and yet is inexplicably drawn towards him. Will love blossom amid the backdrop of blackouts, bullets, and bombs?
I found the book very good, and would highly recommend it to anybody interested in romances, historical fiction, or World War II literature. I gave it four stars instead of five, however, for only one reason: much of the story was cliché, and I’ve read several WWII books that had, for the most part, a very similar plot.
This still does not take away from the fact that this novel was very well-written, nicely researched, and emotion-stirring, and I do not BY ANY MEANS think that simply because of a few clichés should somebody not read this book. Authors face a tough situation these days. There is nothing new under the sun, as the Bible says, and to think of things that have not been written a hundred times before, especially in books within the confines of historical fiction, must be quite an undertaking. Even so, the book redeems itself from these clichés with a very original ending that, I must admit, I did not expect.
Interview with Joe Matlock:
twogalsandabook: Did you always want to be an author?
Joe Matlock: I don’t think of myself as an author, just someone who has lived life
and learned a few things.
twogalsandabook: . At what age did you start writing?
Joe Matlock: I’ve always played with words in poetry since my youth, l but as for
writing a book Rosen Publishing asked me to write a self-help titled
“Living in a Foster Home” in 1994.
twogalsandabook: . What ambitions do you have for your writing career?
Joe Matlock: I am approaching 70 so pursuing another career is not likely.
twogalsandabook: . Are you an avid reader, and if so, have you always loved reading?
Joe Matlock: Reading was one of the few forms of entertainment when I was a child
so I do not know a world without it.
twogalsandabook: . Do you think any books you have read have influenced your writing style any?
Joe Matlock: My literary taste ranges from Auston to Grisham, so I am not sure if
any or all influence my style.
twogalsandabook: . Do you have any favorite books/ authors/ poets?
Joe Matlock: Again, being a bookworm I read most everything but not much science
fiction or horror, though I have enjoyed some of Michael Crichton and
Steven King. I can re-read a book many times and discover more each
twogalsandabook: . What else would you care to share with us about yourself?
Joe Matlock: Though “Tom” is not me, I can identify heavily with him and know where
he is right and wrong. I know psyche-altering fear, anger, hate and
twogalsandabook: . Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any favorite
writing rituals or atmosphere?
Joe Matlock: Alone, with white noise in background. Darkened room helps. Early
morning is best for me.
twogalsandabook: . Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Joe Matlock: Try to live and comprehend a little of what you want to write; it will
help you present a realistic story.
twogalsandabook: . How do you deal with writer’s block?
Joe Matlock: Since I’m retired old guy, I don’t have the pressure of that.
twogalsandabook: . How do you deal with negative reviews or criticism?
Joe Matlock: Most reviews and comments are learning opportunities. Some people do
not like The Other Side of Courage’s cover art. I can understand that.
I’m still learning to paint. Also, my degree is not in marketing
twogalsandabook: What inspired you to write “The Other Side of Courage”?
Joe Matlock: Veteran suicide is a real problem. There is a psychological cost in
killing. I’ve had to deal with two of my Vietnam buddies who have been
on the brink of suicide more than once – probably would have killed
themselves if I hadn’t jumped in. And there’s been worse. Once I
decided to write this work, it needed to be entertaining and
twogalsandabook: . How much research was needed to write this book?
Joe Matlock: Research took about three years. The bibliography alone was some 58
books. It seem every time a question was answered the answer created
two more. In September and October of 1998, I interviewed seven people
in Europe and many here in the states. All research and key portions
of interviews can be viewed at www.JoeMatlock.net.
twogalsandabook: How historically accurate is “The Other Side of Courage”?
Joe Matlock: When I was in Holland interviewing a man who served with the Belgian
resistance and was interrogated by the Gestapo I realized I couldn’t
create anything better than what he was telling me. The Other Side of
Courage is a vast collection of information compressed into a single
story. Some tidbits are blended in, like PAPER auxiliary fuel tanks.
After the Kirkus editing, I realized that some would be curious about
odd facts, including some I didn’t think of, like why did the Brits
call the Nazis ‘Jerries?’ So, there is a Q&A page on the website.
twogalsandabook: Were any characters in the book based on actual historical figures?
Joe Matlock: None of significance. However, I interviewed Kenton Ross and Raymond
Rosenbusch and their stories are stand-alones blended into the novel.
That’s why their real names are in the book.
twogalsandabook: Did you ever hit a snag while researching/ writing this book?
Joe Matlock: What to leave out: before free-lance publishing at Create-Space,
Kirkus edited and we pared it down from 125,000 to 89,000 words. This
probably explains why no agent was interested in it. Too much
twogalsandabook: The book appears to have a message. Could you expound on it for us?
Joe Matlock: Compared with other feelings, love is an astounding force disguised as
meekness. It is as natural and unconditional as consciousness and
death, as real as air and earth. It gives unceasingly, yet asks
nothing. It is not so simple as a state of mind, and to trifle with it
carelessly is to court great disaster.
twogalsandabook: We loved the twist of fate at the end. Without any spoilers, can
you elaborate on why you decided to end the book the way you did?
Joe Matlock: There were only two choices for an ending. Tom is struggling with
option one and option two is redemption. Only love can redeem a
twogalsandabook: You seem very knowledgeable about the various aircraft described
in the book. Do you have any personal experience in this area?
Joe Matlock: Besides a career in the Marines as a pilot (skyhawk, phantom &
hornet), I was a member of an air museum, the Confederate (now
commemorative) Air Force. I flew the P-51D Mustang, P-47N Thunderbolt
and Fi-156 Storch.
twogalsandabook: Has a trailer been made for the book?
Joe Matlock: Yes. it is on this page
twogalsandabook: If “The Other Side of Courage” was adapted into a movie or t.v.
series, who would you like to see play the main characters?
Joe Matlock: I have not thought of it, but IF The Other Side of Courage was made to
film, you’d be witnessing a real miracle! Still, the actors I’m aware
of are probably too old. I’m such a dinosaur that supermarket tabloids
flaunt people I never heard of.
twogalsandabook: What other books have you written?
Joe Matlock: The Dance, Twilight Of Fury and a self-help Living in a Foster Home.
twogalsandabook: Are you working on anything now? Can we expect to see more in the future?
Joe Matlock: There are two books: one is a sequel titled “Taking Wing,” and another
that is untitled. The Other Side of Courage cost 7,000.00 to edit at
Kirkus, so publication hinges on certain factors….
twogalsandabook: Is there anything else you’d like to share that we haven’t discussed?
Joe Matlock: Mortimer J. Adler once said, In the case of good books, the point is
not to see how many you can get through, but how many get through to
twogalsandabook: Are there any social media platforms where readers could connect
with you that you’d like to share?
Joe Matlock: I am on Facebook, GoodReads and there is a Q&A email link on the website.
They have nothing in common. Focused and content with their lives as active single people, Sharon Hollingsworth and Toby Eisler turn up on the dance floor of life.
He’s a country-boy coast guard pilot, flying harrowing rescues and chasing drug smugglers in northern California. She’s an heiress, tending to her isolated existence outside the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, involving herself with friends, social events, classical music and humoring her over-protective father.
With Sharon’s father undermining their encounters, the couple struggle with a long distance relationship, knowing that in a heartbeat, reality can steal everything away.
Stacy’s Review of “The Dance”:
4 **** stars!
|I really liked this book, though at the end, I was angry, and cried…. not angry with the book, or the characters, but at fate, as it was so true-to-life and how life can play such cruel tricks on people. Of how nothing is guaranteed, and sometimes the people who a person thinks really deserves a break, and can find a bit of happiness gets robbed of it. The Dance is the tale of two unlikely people meeting and falling in love. People that would normally never meet unless chance or the Divine Hand intervened, and as usually happens, opposites attract. Against numerous obstacles they are determined to defy and persist for their love, and are optimistic about their joint futures on the bright horizon, and then the unthinkable happens. Mr. Matlock has written another wonderful book about what is really important in life, values, and to savor every minute with our loved ones as we never know what tomorrow could bring.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Again, I thank you Mr. Matlock!
Joe Matlock Bio:
Joe Matlock never thought of himself as an author but holds an interest in social sciences. Sharing life experiences though writing, his only desire is to entertain while educating the mind and feeding the soul.
Joe is a retired Marine Pilot and enjoys reading, traveling, cooking and oil painting as well as writing. During his flying career, he was a member of the Confederate (now Commemorative) Air Force. Joe has about a hundred hours in the P-51 Mustang. See video on author profile page.
Today, he maintains a small farm in south-central Texas and is a member of the Kingsbury Aerodrome, a group that restores and preserves pre-1930s airplanes and artifacts.
Other Books by Joe Matlock:
Giveaway: Win a signed copy of “The Other Side of Courage and a signed copy of “The Dance” by Joe Matlock!
twogalsandabook.com would like to thank Joe Matlock for the interview and the giveaway!