The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 51

The Poetry of Life II
Walter N. Davenport Jr., Strategic Book
Publishing, 2013, $14.50/paperback,
$9.99/Kindle, 190 pages.
Walter N. Davenport Jr. describes his sec-
ond collection of “Poetry of Life” (the first
volume appeared in 2001), as representing
his search for answers to life’s questions.
“Sometimes emotional, sometimes playful,
it is based on my personal feelings, observations and experi-
ences in my life and travels. It is a book about everyday occur-
rences, such as love, relationships, hunger, poverty, war, nature
and death.”
The poem titled “Memory,” for instance, describes lovers who
are separated by time and distance, but whose love nonethe-
less remains strong. “Lover’s Prayer,” “Lover’s Thanks,” “Lover’s
Questions,” “Response” and “Soulmate” all address the openness
between two lovers, while “Celestial” tells of a love that is unat-
Born in New Orleans, Walter N. Davenport Jr. is a U.S. Army
veteran who also served with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan
police force. He was a member of the State Department Foreign
Service from 1976 until 1997. Married to a Dutch national, Dav-
enport resides inThe Netherlands.
The Perfect Pathogen
Mark M. Atkisson and J. David Kay,
Rhino Air, 2014, $12.95/paperback,
$6.99/Kindle, 334 pages.
In this futuristic thriller, a dormant
pathogen has been awakened and is kill-
ing millions around the globe. Dr. Katie
McMann, a specialist in the field of aging
and longevity, finds herself at the heart
of an intense research effort that turns into a race against time
for the human race. As she and a team of international experts
struggle to track down the source of the killer disease and find
a cure, Katie is forced to confront her own mortality and that of
those dearest to her.
An intense and fast-paced read,
The Perfect Pathogen
the potential cost of human intervention and mismanagement
of our planet and its resources, combining a scientific perspec-
tive with a deeply personal one. This debut novel, the first of
a planned trilogy, was written while both authors worked at
Embassy Baghdad.
behind J.B.’s life, they come across some very fascinating and sur-
prising information.
Africa’s Release
is an intriguing tale of African culture, develop-
ment and exploration. Despite being a work of fiction, the book
offers many practical development ideas.Through his vibrant char-
acters and vivid description of Africa’s lush surroundings, Wentling
weaves a captivating tale that leaves you wantingmore.
MarkWentling is a retired Foreign Service officer who began his
international career with the Peace Corps in 1970. Since then he has
been fortunate enough to travel to all 54 African countries, which
inspired him to write his “African Trilogy.”This is the second install-
ment, with the last volume,
Africa’s Heart
, due to release in January
2015. Wentling was born and raised in Kansas, but says he was
“made” in Africa. He currently lives and works in Burkina Faso.
Maggie Minds Her Business: From
Serpent Cults to Secret Files, Maggie’s
on the Trail of Murder in the Steamy
African Nation of Wahwa
Allie Simms, Amazon Digital Services,
2014, $2.99, Kindle, 229 pages.
Maggie is a dutiful diplomat in a collaps-
ing African country, where an evening of
glad-handing at the Fourth of July recep-
tion ends with a corpse in the garden. Assigned to tie up the
administrative details, Maggie learns that the dead woman’s
work gave her access to many of the embassy community’s
embarrassing secrets.
As she decodes the murdered nurse’s coded medical
records, Maggie still has her day job to do: rescuing an anthro-
pologist held hostage by a serpent cult (Maggie hates snakes),
saving kidnapped schoolgirls and taking a spoiled congres-
sional wife shopping as rebel rockets fall. A surprise encounter
with her old lover, underground since a fling with terrorism
in the 1970s, brings her closer to the truth behind the killing.
When insurgents close in, Maggie is trapped with the killer,
and both are forced to choose between desire and duty.
Allie Simms is the nom de plume of a retired FSO and
contributor whose 28 years in the Service were spent mostly in
the Balkans and West Africa. “Allie” explains: “Like most writers,
I draw inspiration from real people and real places I knew. In the
tiny world of the Foreign Service, readers may be tempted to try
and make connections to actual events and personalities. How-
ever, Maggie is a work of imagination, not a roman a clef. I chose
to write under a pseudonym because I wanted to put some dis-
tance between myself and the fictional setting and characters.”
Fiction and Poetry continued on page 57
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