About the Author: M.J. Mollenhour

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At age 17, I tried to enlist in the Army...

A buddy and I skipped high school, caught the bus to Memphis, took the tests, and imagined we were quite the adventurers already. I never learned why the Army rejected me for military service. I have finally decided that the examining Army Captain doctor looked at the 145-pound, scrawny kid before him, and decided I could wait a year to fly off to die in Viet Nam.

Not to be deprived of the chance, I finished high school, started college, joined ROTC, and joined the Army as a Second Lieutenant. The day I graduated from college in 1973, I was commissioned with the gold bar rank insignia my father wore as an Air Force officer 30 years earlier. I achieved my dream: I wore the Ranger tab and reported for duty with the infantry of the famed 101st Airborne Division.

However, and much to my surprise, the war I had grown up with during the ‘60s—the Viet Nam War—wound down and somehow ended before I finally made it into the Army. All dressed up with no place to go!

I spent four years, made Captain, and trained with the 101st as it continued to improve its helicopter-borne, “Air Assault” tactics. I was honored to be assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 506th Infantry Regiment—the "Currahee" regiment you may have seen more about in the production of "Band of Brothers." I met fine soldiers, spent many nights in the field training with them, and remain grateful for the opportunity to serve in such a unit. Still, I found myself somewhere never expected: in the peacetime Army. Perhaps I was immature and shortsighted, and I respect those more farsighted soldiers who stayed in, endured those years, and stood by until their country needed them. However, I resigned at the end of my four years and re-entered civilian life in 1977 unsure of just what to do. I arranged for graduate school and pondered how to spend the summer.

I had read newspaper accounts of yachts pirated by drug dealers. With time to kill, I briefly entertained signing on as a bodyguard on yachts off the Florida coast before university coursework began. Instead, I traveled the country, then studied in graduate school, and later worked as a manufacturing plant manager. I charted a new course, completed law school, and settled down in Knoxville to practice law. My wife and I raised and taught our four children.

The Islamic terrorist attacks culminating on 9-11-2001 burned new passion into the vision of writing Arcturus. I had always wanted to write, but found a more urgent purpose.

The Islamic world is in civil war. The stakes are the souls of millions of Muslims. The jihadists are determined to impose their authoritarian, legalistic religion on the rest of the Muslim world—and then on us. We—in the West—are unwillingly but inescapably—caught up in the overflow of Islam’s civil war. You are at war, whether you want to acknowledge this terrible fact or not. Arcturus thrusts upon you this grim reality.

If you picked up Arcturus as an easy beach-read, well, I hope you adapt and “get into” the story. It’s going to be deeper, more involved, and more profound than the usual publishing-house paperback. Arcturus tells the tale of one clash in this epic, thousand-year-old battle between two alien worlds. However, it accomplishes this through the gritty adventures of one soldier-of-fortune and patriot, Jack McDonald. By telling Jack’s tale, Arcturus honors those who walk “The Road to Come What May” in the service of their country.

God save these United States,
M. J. Mollenhour