Monthly Archives: November 2018

Wednesday Briefs: November 14, 2018

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Denied: Chapter Fifty-seven by Cia Nordwell

I held onto the table that separated us, staring at the thing. It. Him. Danie. Whatever it was. My stomach roiled when I touched the ports in my head. “Like… mine?”

“What?” Freska’s eyes widened. She whipped around the table and pushed my hand aside, exclaiming when she saw the ports. A light flicked on and flared past me. She nudged my head this way and that, mumbling. I gripped the table with both hands, my knuckles white, and stared at my hands.

What was I? What had Captain bound himself to?

“Freska, stop it. You don’t touch people like 

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Book Review: Missouri’s Forgotten Heroes by Ross Malone

Missouri’s Forgotten Heroes    

Author: Ross Malone

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

American release date: June 28, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/non-fiction/236 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

There are many books about the famous people in history, the heroes whose lives we study in school, the people we grow up knowing about, famed in song and story. But there are many more unsung heroes we never get a chance to appreciate. This book is about some of those people. And they are all from Missouri, which is a definite plus to me, as I am a native of the state myself.

Missouri’s Forgotten Heroes has many interesting stories to tell. Some of the names may be familiar to residents of Missouri as place names, but the people behind the names are greatly unknown. For example, Albert Lambert (Lambert Airport), John O’Fallon (O’Fallon, Missouri & Illinois), John Mullanphy (various places in Florissant, MO) and Paul Henning (of Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction fame).

There are stories about athletes and stories about pioneers, people who endured great hardships and persevered despite the odds against them. These people are not perfect, many of them have flaws, and they are all human. But that doesn’t matter. In some way, they were all heroes.

This was an interesting book from start to finish. I enjoyed reading about unsung heroes from my own state. I love history, and love to read about it, and this book is a great addition to my library. As a bonus, I received an autographed copy, how great is that? This is my first time reading Ross Malone, but it won’t be my last time. He has a wonderful way of telling a story that makes you feel as if you are there, listening to him. I would love to attend a class taught by him, or a lecture.

The only criticism I can make is that the book would have benefited with a little more editing, but that is not an authorial flaw, and I won’t ding him on that. I’ve seen so-called professional books with similar problems.

If you like history, if you are from Missouri, or if you just like to root for the underdog, this book is for you.

 

 

Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 5

Blue Exorcist, Book 5    

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: December 6, 2011

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/202 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Well, the cat’s out of the bag, and all the ex-wires know Rin’s secret—namely that he is the son of Satan. They have mixed feelings about this revelation, understandably. But no time to dwell on that, Yukio and Rin are off to deal with an emergency situation. The trouble began when someone stole the Left Eye of the Impure King from the Deep Keep. A senior exorcist named Todo, along with an elite force, pursued a masked man but he’s taken a child and is using him as a shield. To make matters worse, a terrible gas has been released, and the hostage child has received severe exposure. The child’s mother begs for help, and when Yukio tries to explain that they might not succeed, Rin rashly promises to rescue her son. The brothers and Todo and his elite force are off to the rescue! But not everything is as it seems.

Meanwhile, back at True Cross, Suguro, Shima, and Miwa are concerned that they are unable to contact friends and family back home. Mephisto unexpectedly turns up in the ex-wire classroom and announces they have earned the right to go on a real mission—to Kyoto! To say that Suguro is less than thrilled would be an understatement.

Rin thinks he’s being sneaky but Shura catches him practicing in secret and tells him to pack, he’s going to Kyoto. Apparently the Right Eye of the Impure King is also in peril. On the train to Kyoto, Rin discovers the other ex-wires are going as well, but nobody seems particularly happy to see him, much less sit with him.  Shura tells them all to behave so she can get some sleep, but how likely is that?

On arrival in Kyoto, the ex-wires go to the inn where they are to stay, only to be met with some surprising information that a certain someone would wish to remain unknown. As they settle in, they get to know the okami (female innkeeper) and her family. Suguro realizes there is a problem there. He has to take charge  or two quarreling families will tear everything apart!

The ex-wires are unsure how to handle their new knowledge about Rin, and it shows. Rin is becoming frustrated because he thinks nothing has really changed, he’s the same guy he was before, but how can he convince them of that? In this new volume, Rin is as headstrong and determined as ever. He’s a good boy at heart, who’s found himself in a difficult situation, and still has some maturing to do. And he’s still determined to defeat Satan one day. Also in this volume, we get some background information on Bon Suguro, which helps to flesh out his character and make him more likeable.

I’m really interested in finding out more about these stolen Eyes. What’s so important about them that someone wants to steal them? Will Rin’s fellow students ever get over his satanic birthright and accept him for who he is? Will Rin ever find the courage to admit he likes Shiemi? Enquiring minds want to know! Good volume, looking forward to the next one.

 

Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 4 by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist, Book 4              

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: October 4, 2011

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 Summer camp isn’t exactly idyllic for the ex-wires, who’ve been sent on a strange mission involving a lantern. Through trial and error, they discover that the only way to accomplish their mission is to actually work together, despite their first impressions that they needed to work alone. Shura is convinced that Rin will expose himself to the others (no, not like that lol) and when she sees the blue flame, she is convinced she was right. But appearances can be deceiving, especially at night. Matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of Mephisto Pheles and Amaimon, unbeknownst to the others.

The lantern in question turns out to be more than the ex-wires anticipated, and getting it back to camp will be no easy task. They’ll have to utilize everyone’s unique skills to get the job done. In other words, it takes team work to make the dream work!  At least until Amaimon throws a wrench into the works!

Back at the academy, they are met by someone new – Arthur Auguste Angel, a senior exorcist first class from Vatican Headquarters. He has nothing but criticism for both Mephisto and Shura for having failed to carry out their mission properly, as evidenced by Rin’s presence among them. Will Rin suffer the ultimate punishment for being his father’s son?

And then an emergency summons takes the gang… to Kyoto?

I’m enjoying this series more and more. We are learning more about the characters as they interact with one another, and some backstories are starting to be told. There’s never a dull moment, especially when Mephisto is around. Although he is mostly cool and contained, the same cannot be said for his brother Amaimon, who is a hot mess, and that is being kind. I love the artwork. My only real complain is the need to constantly expose more of Shura’s chest than I’d care to see, but I guess we can chalk that up to fanservice, and the fact that this series is probably aimed at young teenage boys.

The action is moving right along, and I can’t help but wonder where it’s going. I’m glad I’m along for the ride. Another great volume, looking forward to more of the same.

 

Wednesday Briefs: November 6, 2018

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Adrift : Chapter 13 by J. Alan Veerkamp

Torrins evacuation command continued to repeat through the ship, the urgency heightened by the blaring alarm loud enough to signal the end of days. Metal shifted behind the walls as the airlock cycled. The crew were about the escape and leave Arad behind sitting dumbfounded on the deck.

He wanted to kick himself for not seeing it sooner. He should have seen it coming. But now was not the time for recriminations. The corporate flagship still had its guns aimed at the Midas Ascending while Torrins and the rest were going to flee in a cloaked ship leaving him the sole occupant.

The word scapegoat came to mind.

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