Book review: Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling

Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling: Faith Persistence and Progress in the Army Chaplaincy During the Early Integration of Women in the Military (Paperback) by Chaplain (Colonel) Janet Yarlott Horton US Army (Ret)

Hawthorne Publishing (2017)

Janet Horton was one of the first women chaplains in the military, and she had to cope with hostility and harassment. She dealt with the military mindset and fellow chaplains, and she persevered with strength--and spiritual support. This is not a strictly chronological book, though it begins with the historical background of chaplains in America and ends with the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 (photos of the Pentagon are included) and her retirement, along with her thoughts about her journey.

She covers the ongoing resistance to women chaplains, sexual harassment, rape, and other issues. At one point--and this was at the Pentagon earlier--after a series of incidents, she asked if "... someone was giving all the men testosterone shots at the door." She dealt with ethical issues and women's uniforms. She realized skirts weren't practical after the helicopter incident and switched to pants; she had a Korean tailor (she was in Korea at the time) design the pants to match her jacket She had to get an accommodation, and this helped other service women too.

Fascinating historical background. We've come a long way, and yet... Worth reading though sometimes annoying and unbelievable what women endured. I was impressed by what she accomplished. She retired as a colonel in the US Army, but there's more to her career than that. She helped make changes and hopes to see more in the future. (See the Afterword.) The book includes a glossary of military terms and color photos and a drawing of the Pentagon layout...

Joy's western novel: Detour Trail

Detour Trail:  After being dumped by the wagon master of the train she and her murdered uncle were traveling with, Lorrie Emerson must form her own wagon train; she recruits those needing her help–a brother and sister, a family, and a couple of escaping slaves. Lorrie and her party slog through mud and mountain passes before taking a detour. Because the family desperately needed help, Lorrie must leave the trail with her small group of wagons, fighting off thieves, storms, and ambushes along the way. Finding supplies isn’t easy either, especially during blizzards. However, she makes friends along the way, and Jake, the heroic mule, joins her train too.

Later, Lorrie rescues Barrett Lee. After this man from the wilderness recovers, he and Gray Cloud the wolf leave–with a push from her. Will he return? Will these two independent people make room for each other in their lives? And would he let her keep her independence as she continues to take on more adventures? Detour Trail


Joy's SF books: Strike Three

Joy’s SF books: Strike Three

Strike Three: Who would have thought that anyone was so ignorant that they’d want to start WWIII? How could we prepare? Would we survive? And if we do, will there be anything left to rebuild with when so much of the planet has been destroyed? After WWIII, will there be a US? Were our leaders among the few who escaped? What about our service men and women? Is anyone left to rebuild? How will we start over? Can we? And what about the rest of the world? How close is WWIII now? In Strike Three, North Korea is mostly to blame…

Are you prepared for WWIII or another apocalyptic event? Check out the survival tips in Strike Three.  And I had fun playing with setting up a new US government in Strike Three, though the old regime wasn’t happy with the changes–and some readers thought I was too harsh in my judgments. You haven’t fantasized about having a simpler setup?

Strike Three is available in paperback or as an ebook:


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Joy's SF books: Sugar Time

Joy’s SF books: Sugar Time

Sugar Time: Her name is Sugar. Sugar Sweet. When her Uncle Max falls ill and his collaborators disappear, he asks her to investigate the old Victorian mansion where he conducted his research. Now Sugar must act quickly to unlock the secret of time travel so she can protect her uncle’s research. Uh, aren’t those cats awfully big? What are they doing in the house? How dangerous are they? And then Sugar has to use her uncle’s time machine to dispose of bodies. (How could she explain them?!) So she packs the time machine with food, water, weapons, her new companions–and other necessities. Way back when, the sabre tooth tigers are merely curious as they sniff around, but the Neanderthals want in. Must move faster. And what if collecting souvenirs affects time?

Sugar Time collects Joy V. Smith’s Sugar Sweet stories into one volume: Sugar Time


Joy's SF books: Cold New Planet

Joy’s SF books: Cold New Planet

Cold New Planet: What mysteries will the colonists–and the consortium backing them–uncover on this slowly thawing planet? Are the colonists alone? This planet was supposed to be theirs; their backers, who have their own agenda, have paid enough money to ensure that. What lies under the snow and ice? And where did all these humans–and aliens–come from? Are they all trapped here now?

Keeping the livestock warm and fed is a first step–after finally arriving via the point to point ship. Then we must deal with the aliens and the other colonists who aren’t supposed to be here. Can we use the domes? Will the inhabitants there let us? And what happened to our explorers? Join the explorers and colonists on this captured planet: Cold New Planet

Note: oino sakai wrote the scifaiku that introduces Cold New Planet


Joy's SF Books: Hidebound

Joy’s SF books: Hidebound

Hidebound: Not long after Anfissa meets Ferenc, a strange humanoid bodyguard, on the space cruiser, St. Catherine, she is forced to flee with him, his menacing boss, and another bodyguard in a lifeboat during an attack on the cruiser, to a planet where even the grass is deadly. What danger lurks on Snakebite? But that’s just.the beginning of Anfissa’s adventures. Travelling across the planet to find a small relay station, Fissa nearly succumbs to dehydration and insect bites until Ferenc offers her help unique to his home planet.After crashing on Snakebite, Ferenc saves Fissa’s life using an ability unique to his planet–a planet under interdiction; his other abilities made him valued as a bodyguard. Can she protect him after they’re rescued. (Contest winner twice.)

Note: Adult content.

Available on:  and


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Joy's SF Books

Joy’s SF books: The Doorway and Other Stories

The Doorway and Other Stories include fourteen of my favorite stories (reprints), and since my favorite genre is science fiction, they are mostly SF except for The Princess Quest, a tongue-in-cheek sword and sorcery epic, and Old Rex, a ghost story.  They’ve all been  published elsewhere, except for Royal Guardians; this is its first time in print.  If you like reading about aliens, time travel, symbiotes, and humans searching for a home, family, their own bodies, etc., I think you’ll enjoy this collection of characters and their adventures.

Stories include symbiotes (Pilot’s Course), time tunnels (The Doorway), attacking aliens (Too Tight), friendly aliens (Freeps), mermaids (Well Met by Water), trading bodies (Stray Cats), royalty (Royal Guardians),and genetic engineering. The Doorway and Other Stories is available on Kindle:


The Eternal Cycle (book review)

The Eternal Cycle/Collected Stories and Poems
April 07, 2017
This collection of stories and poems is a combination of fun and harrowing stories about humans that we can relate to--with satisfying or scary endings that make you think and possibly cringe; they include science fiction, fantasy, and real life horror stories that are on our doorsteps now.... I enjoyed the striking ideas and beautiful imagery in the poetry also. Highly recommended.
Available at The Book Patch: