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Book Review: Naval Aviation News calls The Party Dolls “a worthy chronicle”

The quarterly magazine Naval Aviation News heaps praise on The Party Dolls in a review published in their Winter 2024 issue. “Hayward’s prose is quasi-journalistic, more in the tradition of court testimony than James Clavell. But his spare writing fits the story of ordinary Americans united by horrific circumstances and stoic bravery while split by rank, service, personality and background, all against a murky backdrop of torture, duty and spinning geostrategic wheels,” writes reviewer and historian Dr. Robert Oliver. In sum, he calls The Party Dolls “a worthy chronicle.” To read the full review, you can access the online copy of the magazine here. It’s an online PDF, and the review is on pages 58-59…at the bottom of the screen, you can change the page number to 58 to skip all the previous pages.

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Hayward guest-hosts Air Force Academy Association of Graduates’ weekly podcast

George was delighted and honored to guest-host an episode of the U.S. Air Force AcademyAssociation of Graduates weekly Heritage Minute podcast. He shared the story of his friend andformer U.S. Air Force nurse Penny Grossman, who was an active-duty nurse at Clark Air Base in thePhilippines when American prisoners of war began landing there on their way home duringOperation Homecoming. George got misty hearing the story and telling the story, and thinks you willtoo. Hear George’s guest-host episode here.

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Book Review:
THE PARTY DOLLS a special, ‘gripping narrative’

Kirkus Book Reviews is telling readers to get THE PARTY DOLLS! The review site heaps praise on the book, noting, “The dramatic event … is expertly retold in Hayward’s gripping narrative, but what makes this book special is its exploration of the POW’s struggles with moral complexities.”

A great reference for books about Vietnam POWs

If you're researching or looking to read about Vietnam POWs, here is a great reference website, a list of more than 150 titles (including THE PARTY DOLLS) compiled by an ardent reader on the topic with help from the Vietnam POW community. For the history and plight of Vietnam POWs, bookmark this page!

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Highlights from George’s recent book events

George took part in two recent events for Colorado Springs-area authors, the Pikes Peak Library District’s Mountain of Authors event May 6, and the Civility of the Book, hosted by the Community Cultural Collective, May 11-12. “It was an amazing week, meeting and listening to other authors, and engaging with readers,” George said. “I am grateful to have been invited, and I look forward to being part of both events again.” Here are some images from those events..

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George reading at Civility of the Book event 5/11

George Hayward will be one of the Celebrated Authors at the Civility of the Book, a three-day literary event promoting community, conversation and collaboration at the City Auditorium in Colorado Springs. 

The event runs May 10-12, Wednesday evening through Friday afternoon. George will be on hand Thursday (4 p.m. and on) and all day Friday, and will give a short reading from one of his books Thursday at 6 p.m. in the event’s main space.

Follow the link for info and tickets. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Community Cultural Collective

Hayward joining annual Mountain of Authors event in Colorado Springs

The Pikes Peak Library District has invited author George Hayward to be part of their 17th annual Mountain of Authors event May 6 at Library 21C in Colorado Springs. For Colorado residents, this is a great opportunity to meet George and other authors, and engage with the local book scene. Check out all the authors attending! If you're a bibliophile in the Pikes Peak region, this is a must!

See the list of participating authors and the day’s agenda here!

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Veterans Voice podcast hosts author Hayward

Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center’s Veterans Voice podcast welcomed author George Hayward to the show Feb. 14. George and host Ted Robertson talked about the escape, Operation Homecoming, and the lessons Vietnam POWs have to teach us all.


Colorado Springs Gazette: 50th anniversary of Operation Homecoming

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Odell Isaac wrote a compelling story about George Hayward and Mike McGrath’s visit with cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. “Dozens of Academy cadets and staff members were rapt with attention as McGrath, a fighter pilot who was shot down and captured in 1967, described the physical and psychological abuse inflicted on him and his fellow POWs.”

Read the full story here.


KRDO covers USAFA Operation Homecoming event

Colorado Springs ABC affiliate KRDO provided great coverage of the Feb. 13 Operation Homecoming commemoration at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Here’s a link to Scott Harrison’s TV and written reports.

U.S. Air Force Academy hosts Hayward for Operation Homecoming event

An amazing, exciting and humbling day Feb. 13, 2023. The U.S. Air Force Academy invited author George Hayward to visit cadets and talk about THE PARTY DOLLS, to mark the 50th anniversary this week of Operation Homecoming, when American Prisoners of War came home from North Vietnam. George was joined by his friend, collaborator, former POW and retired Navy Captain Mike McGrath. They got to watch the cadets' formation and march to lunch, then lunched and chatted with them, then hosted a book signing and discussion at the cadets' McDermott Library. What a fantastic experience!!!

Huge thanks to USAFA for hosting us and a great event!


Review: SOUL AFFLICTED ‘wonderfully written’

While THE PARTY DOLLS receives most of the attention and accolades, every so often someone finds the spiritual meaning behind Ariel Parisi’s fictional journey in SOUL AFFLICTED. Book blogger Julie’s Bookshelf Adventures certainly found it, writing “Ari’s mission to find himself is one that many people struggle with. The author writes in such a way that encourages the reader to soul search themselves, to ask many of the same questions that Ari faces.”

Read her review of SOUL AFFLICTED here.

Thanks to everyone who came out to George’s book signing Dec. 3 at the Colorado Springs Tattered Cover. George shared the floor with three other local writers, but George’s guest, former POW and US Navy (Retired) Captain Mike McGrath, stole the show. Mike drew the cover art for The Party Dolls, and six of the inside images are from his own book. He held visitors rapt with his stories and humor, and signed George’s books with some additional hand-drawn art. It was a great event, and we’re humbly grateful to Tattered Cover, and our friends and readers who came out.

A great event at Tattered Cover Dec. 3!

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The Party Dolls now online at Pikes Peak Library District

Great news for Colorado readers! The Pikes Peak Library District has added The Party Dolls to its online library. PPLD members can find the book at this link or by browsing their online Nonfiction catalog. And it appears that other library districts around the country can add the book, too. The Biblioboard Library says readers can ask their local library branches to add the books you want!

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Another accolade!
A double finalist!

THE PARTY DOLLS has been named a finalist in two categories of the 2022 Independent Author Network Book Awards, for History and True Story. We’re honored and humbled by this recognition. Here’s a link to the full list of winners and finalists at the 2022 IAN awards.

The Party Dolls: book signing and discussion Dec. 3

Join George for a book signing and discussion of The Party Dolls Saturday, Dec. 3, 2-5 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Tattered Cover! We'll have a special guest: former POW, author, illustrator, aviator and key character in the escape story, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Captain John Michael "Mike" McGrath.

Bring your own book or buy a copy there and get it signed by the author and one of the story's heroes!




Colorado Springs readers interested in George’s books can now skip the wait for delivery and get instant gratification! THE PARTY DOLLS is now available at two of Colorado Springs’ coolest bookstores—Poor Richard’s and Tattered Cover—and Poor Richard’s stocks SOUL AFFLICTED, too!


Both stores are downtown on Tejon Street, Poor Richard’s is a few doors south of Boulder Street at 320 N. Tejon St., while Tattered Cover is two blocks away, just north of Kiowa Street at 112 N. Tejon. Both stores feature awesome coffee and wine bars, so grab a book and a beverage the next time you’re strolling the city’s cool little downtown! 

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“Colorado Springs man details escape from Vietnam prison in self-published book”

On Sunday Feb. 6, 2022, Military Life page, George’s story was published.

KCEN TV, College Station TX

Some of the POWs interviewed for THE PARTY DOLLS have died since the interviews 20 years ago. Throughout the publication process, George and has team had been trying to reach the families of those POWs to let them know of the book and share their loved ones’ interviews with them.

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Until this story on March 31, 2021, George and his team still had not found the family of Room 6 prisoner and retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Al Meyer. However, a TV station in his hometown of College Station interviewed author George Hayward about The Party Dolls. George asked for help in finding Meyer’s family, and within two hours of the story airing, he was talking to Meyer’s wife on the phone! One of her relatives saw the story, called her, and they connected soon after. Thank you, Bary Roy at KCEN!



In August 2021, George gave a virtual presentation about The Party Dolls to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

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Inspired by George’s stories and the Ripple Effect of Humanity,

and want to learn more?

To learn more about his books, schedule an interview, or book an event:

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