Ohio author to discuss historical novels in WJ

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North Canton author Mike Johnson will discuss the “story behind the stories” of his historical novels, Warrior Priest and Fate of the Warriors at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library in West Jefferson, 270 Lilly Chapel Road.

Warrior Priest, named by the Akron Beacon Journal as one of the best books of 2006, tells the story of World War II in ways not familiar to most Americans.

Readers learn about WWII through the eyes and actions of a young Polish lancer (horse cavalryman), two young women Resistance fighters (one in Warsaw and the other in a French village), a young priest who becomes an airborne chaplain, the first U.S. Army nurse in Europe, a deck fireman on the legendary aircraft carrier USS Hornet, and a German occupation officer. The airborne chaplain, Army nurse and deck fireman all were from Ohio.

This meticulously researched book weaves together the lives of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances with renowned historical figures such as generals Jimmy Doolittle and George Patton and Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame shortstop Lou Boudreau.  

Fate of the Warriors, newly released, provides a different and broader perspective on happenings from the 1940s into the 1970s. World War II, the Korean War, a real-life movie actress and The Mickey Mouse Club bring together two families—one from a small Ohio town and the other from bustling Los Angeles—over more than 25 convulsive years.  

Along the way, readers are at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, in New York’s Central Park, on the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica, at Disney Studios and at the 38th Parallel in the Korean DMZ.

 As with Warrior Priest, Fate of the Warriors weaves together the lives of fictional characters with those of real-life historical figures including a United States vice president and a spy ship captain.  

Johnson is an Ohio native who has traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia. From the 1960s onward, first as a soldier, he has journeyed often to Korea’s DMZ, visited Nazi death camps and walked the streets of towns and villages once occupied by the Wehrmacht.  

His library program will include items that inspired the books, vintage photos and research materials. After his program, he will be available to inscribe and sign copies of both of his books. For more information, call Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library at 614-879-8448.

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