Excerpt from Chapter 2

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

GÖPPINGEN, MONDAY AFTERNOON,
12 JUNE 1978

“Yeah, but I felt bad for her. She was embarrassed and apologized, saying
that she doesn’t usually do things like this. She’s nice, but a bit tightly
wound. What about Trish?”

“Well, she was waiting for me, and no mishaps today, but yeah, she’s
pretty intense. It’s like having a two-year-old following you around, asking
incessant questions. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no bother, and it’s natural
for her to have lots of questions; it’s just really a lot of work to make sure
she stays on schedule and knows where to go. I’m hoping by the end of the
week, I’ll have explained enough that she can work on the project I’m going
to give her tomorrow, with just a bit of supervision.”

“Yeah, I guess I didn’t think about how much work it’d be, to keep her
busy. When I looked at the training schedule I devised for Lori, I realized
she’ll probably have a lot of questions this first week and I won’t get much
work done, which is a bit problematic, because we’re doing an ORT next
week and I’ve never done one, so I need to bone up on a few things to make
sure I don’t screw up.”

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

COOKE BARRACKS, GÖPPINGEN, GERMANY,
MONDAY 12 JUNE 1978

“I’m fine, ma’am. The coke and banana’ll hold me ‘til lunch.”

After entering the headquarters, they jogged up the stairs to the top
floor. Maura punched in the entry code on the keypad to the right of the
red metal door and entered the ops center yelling, “Uncleared personnel in
the area!”

“Morning, ma’am!”

“Mornin’, Master Sergeant Smith,” Maura replied cheerfully and
turned to Lori. “Cadet Nelson, this is Master Sergeant Smith. He’s the
Operations Sergeant. He’ll help you get started with your in-processing
paperwork. I’ll return in a few and take you to staff call.” Turning to Master
Sergeant Smith, she added, “Take good care of her. I’ll be back at 0845.”

“Check, ma’am. C’mon, Cadet Nelson. There’s some paperwork I need
you to sign before you go to staff call.”

Excerpt from Preface

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Excerpt from Preface:

THE GUARDIANS OF PEACE series begins in 1976 because that
was a watershed year for the changes the military would make over the next
thirty-nine years regarding women in the military. The impetus for our historical
fiction series was our desire to entertain readers while providing an
accurate depiction of women in the Army.

Volume I, Refined by Fire, recounts the experiences of Amelia, Maura,
and Anne as they transition from college students to newly commissioned
second lieutenants with initial assignments in Germany, along with the trials
of Lori, Cate, and Trish, three of the first female cadets to attend the
United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and
become members of the Long Gray Line.

Trailblazers Review #6

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Trailblazers Review #6:

“This novel is a harrowing story of four women’s journeys in the U.S. Army in the 1970s. Never having been involved in the Military, I did not know what to expect with these women’s stories, nor was I prepared to understand the type of friendship that developed. This is a brilliantly-told work of fiction that portrays the careers and relationships of these women as they navigate their way from college to lieutenants, while women were first being integrated into the U.S. Army. Although it is fiction, while reading the pages of this book, I often felt like I knew these women. The rich descriptions and dialogues make every bit of these stories real; as if you are right there with them.”

– Kelly C. review on Amazon, March 21, 2015

Trailblazers Review #5

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Trailblazers Review #5:

“I found this co-authored book to be very well written, the characters were real and honest. The authors personal experiences gave strength to their characters. The point of view in which it was presented made you feel empathy for those brave first women who put up with impossible and never ending challenges; bravely paving the way for future female military officers to follow. Their presentation style was so realistic, it triggered several emotions through my mind- always being proud of them, and gaining more respect for each character as I learned what they went through to rise above and persevere.This book is about so much more than just telling the stories of 4 women starting their military careers; it was about forming strong friendships and sharing common bonds with others, learning to support and encourage each one to continue and rise above, finding strength in their fellow army comrades. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down – I wanted to know what their next new challenge and experience was going to be.I am glad that Ruth and Yvonne collaborated to share their stories with everyone. The ending left me wanting for more – I look forward to reading the rest of the Guardians of Peace Series. Thank you for sharing and teaching others what it really was like for the first women to go where no only men had gone before.”

– Cheryl Londroche review on Amazon, October 11, 2014

Trailblazers Review #4

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Trailblazers Review #4:

“Excellent read.  An interesting, historically-based story that follows the journey of the first women at West Point.  This book gives invaluable insights into how large institutions effectively adjust to change.”

– BG (Retired USA) Anne Macdonald, West Point graduate, Class of 1980.

Organizations We Support

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Organizations We Support:

Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA)
United Service Organization (USO)
Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association (WACVA)
Women Are Veterans, Too
Armed Forces Foundation
Wounded Warriors
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
American Legion

Questions for You from the Authors

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Questions for You from the Authors:

1. How is the title, Trailblazers, echoed throughout the book? What does the phrase mean to you?

2. How does the book make you think about women in the Army and breaking through male-dominated jobs?

Trailblazers Review #3

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Trailblazers Review #3:

“Trailblazers” and “Refined by Fire” are written from the perspective of the
small group of female Army lieutenants and cadets who were integrated
into the active duty Army and West Point, during the 1970’s. Their motivation
to join and serve varies by individual to include service to the nation,
educational opportunities, unit cohesion, travel and friendship. These reasons
are still relevant today. Having served in the Army during this period,
the series expertly captures what it was like to be a cadet/young officer in an
Army that was struggling with massive organizational and social change. I
look forward to the next book.

—Colonel, U.S. Army retired, Mary Brown

Trailblazers Review #2

Trailblazers: Book Two in the Guardians of Peace Series by Yvonne Doll and Ruth VanDyke

Trailblazers Review #2:

Trailblazers is an attention grabbing read that I couldn’t put down. Having
attended and graduated from West Point in 1977 and served in the Army
during this period, the imaginary characters all ring true and this historical
fiction series offers accurate insight into the way things were. I can’t wait to
read the next volume in the series.

—Major General, U.S. Army retired, R. Mark Brown