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Author-Historian Jo-Ann Power honors Women Warriors in New Book. More than 10,000 American Nurses Faced Violence and Inequality on the Battlefield in WWI

In Heroic Measures (The Wild Rose Press, 2013), award-winning author and historian Jo-Ann Power pays homage to the brave women who served our country during World War I as members of the US Army Nurse Corps. Power brings their bravery, thoughts, and emotions to life with main character Gwen Spencer, a young nurse who joins the Army Nurse Corps to serve on American front lines.

For Gwen, fighting battles is nothing new. An orphan sent to live with a vengeful aunt, Gwen picks coal and scrubs floors to earn a living. But when Gwen decides to become a nurse, she steps outside the boundaries of her aunt's demands and into a world of her own making. After leaving her hometown for France, Gwen helps doctors care for thousands of brutally injured “doughboys” under shocking conditions. As she faces bombings and the madness of men crazed by the hell of war, Gwen is stunned to discover, above all else, love.

“Prior to researching this book, I had one narrow view of heroism. As a former Army wife, I considered fighting on the front lines to be the ultimate form of courage,” Power says. “Now I know heroism during war wears many faces. The soldier who volunteers. The medic who carries a wounded soldier from the field while under fire. The doctor or nurse who sees the most horrific destruction of the human body and pushes away the repulsion to find the quickest, most efficient way to repair the soldier’s wounds.”

Fascinated by what she calls their “grace under pressure,” Power began researching this group of women in 1985. At that time, few records were catalogued or available in any organized form for a researcher; she sifted through hundreds of boxes of jumbled letters, photos, and artifacts to make sense of the nurses’ experiences.

Power explains, “Many times, the records I had access to contained nothing more than a date or a hastily scribbled note. Pictures had no descriptions; letters were missing pages and envelopes. But as I researched these nurses’ experiences, I found a remarkable story that was missing from most textbooks. These women were supremely heroic for their time and circumstances.”

The result of Power’s research is a riveting and historically accurate novel. At the same time, Heroic Measures illustrates concepts still very relevant today, including:

• Examples of heroism, loyalty, and patriotism in times of war

• Gender inequality as it relates to the work place, rank, and competitive pay

• “Modern” warfare, PTSD, plastic surgery, and military healthcare

• The rapid rate of medical advances and how they impact everyday people

“For women in this day and age to agree to not only go abroad, but also to volunteer to go to the front lines and see the horrible wounds these men endured, seems an enormous commitment of heart, hope and love,” adds Power. “I want Heroic Measures to help readers fully appreciate how much these women sacrificed to perform a service above and beyond the call of duty.”

Jo-Ann Power is an award-winning author known for immersing herself in the worlds she brings to life in her books. Publisher’s Weekly praises her ability to “cleverly weave politics, murder and romance, creating intense, breath-catching suspense.”