Novels by M.J. Brett


(a.k.a. Margaret Brettschneider) 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery
A few of the "Wild Bunch" Skiers in Austria at Zigi's Ski School. (Not the main characters, though)


































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SBN  #  978-0-9748869-2-3                               Between Duty and Devotion     

      Between Duty and Devotion  is the story of a fast-track career military officer whose marriage is secretly on the rocks. As soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan even today, they find that the pressures of a military deployment can be stressful to their marriages.     
     When a man joins the service, the joke is, “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.” By the time he reaches the rank of Lt. Colonel, he is told, “If you can’t handle your wife, you can’t handle commanding troops.”     
     While millions of military families have strong marriages that survive the pressure of command, deployment separations, tension, and danger, even PTSD, some marriages, those that were weak to start with, will not make the cut.     
     But what choices does an officer have if his marriage is disastrous? A messy divorce can end his career. A love affair, if discovered, can bring disgrace and a court marshal. Staying married and “playing the game” may bring promotion and prestige, but it also breeds hypocrisy and perhaps, eventual hatred and violence.
      This novel is one of loneliness and longing, family malice, infidelity, and betrayal. But the mystery is for the reader to determine who really betrayed whom. It is also the tale of a life-long, loyalty and devotion that nothing can tarnish.     
       A gifted officer, Neil Sedgwick, becomes exhausted and lonely after years of his wife’s rejection. He tells her he wants a quiet divorce so as not to destroy his Army career. While separated, he falls in love with a woman he sees as his life’s companion and naively believes he can protect the woman he loves, his children, and his next promotion. When his estranged wife threatens both his career and his children’s custody, she declares she will “…pin on his general’s stars, or be damned sure he never gets them.”             
       He learns that command of a military unit is not necessarily command of his own life. Where can he turn when the painful dilemma is between his duty to the military and his devotion to the woman he loves?
 

Comments from Readers:
​     "I loved this unorthodox, yet eternal, love story where characters step right out of the story and become real.  I've heard their natural and sympathetic conversations in my heart. It reminds me of Bridges of Madison County, only for the military." Susan C.

      "I needed to understand more of living the military lifestyle and its joys and pitfalls. I'm marrying my Army guy next spring, and I had no idea how much he would need me to be in his corner. This book sure shows what it's like to love a soldier. I'm glad I could meet 'Neil' and realize that men, too, need emotional warmth. I thought it was just the women. Thank you."  Tanya J.


     "I feel that I know these characters, and they represent the dilemma all military couples face. I would say they probably represent all couples, military or civilian, who have somehow lost the ability to communicate." Samuel K.


     "This  dysfunctional couple could be any of us, and their decisions, good or bad, become our own."  Joan C.


     "The story has it all, malice, incompatability, longings, betrayal...all the things that can ruin your day...but it also has the hope found in eternal friendship and loyalty to one's country." Andrew W.







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About Between Duty and Devotion