Tag Archives: Review

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.

 

 

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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.

 

Review: Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

Tall, Dark, and Deported                                                                                                                        

Author: Bru Baker

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

American release date: April 1, 2017

Format/Genre/Length: E-book/M/M Contemporary Romance/236 pages

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Forced by his boss to fly to Vancouver to audit an underachieving hotel, Crawford Hargrave is less than thrilled. Not because he doesn’t want to go there, but because he’s being forced to work with his unpleasant ex-husband, Davis. His boss makes it clear that this trip is expected, if he wants to keep his job. Crawford wants to keep his job, so he acquiesces to his demands, albeit unwillingly.

Mateus is a Portuguese import, who’s helping his brother and his wife take care of their orchard in Washington state.  His visa is about to run out, and if he can get a work visa, he can stay, but the orchard won’t be financially solvent for a few months yet. All he needs is to cross over into Canada, get his passport stamps, thereby automatically re-upping his American visa for another three months, giving him the time he needs to get the work visa.

What can possibly go wrong?

Except maybe everything?

Crawford and Mateus meet at the airport, and there’s an instant attraction, so why not spend some time talking? The situation begins to unravel when their flight is canceled, and Mateus realizes he’s on borrowed time in his need to get across the border before his visa expires. He can’t afford the delay. Crawford offers to rent a car so they can drive together. Sounds good, right? Except complications set in a t the border, and when Mateus is threatened with imminent deportation, Crawford unexpectedly speaks up and says hey, that’s my fiancé.

What’s easier than getting married for a green card, just long enough to look good and go their separate ways? But life is never that easy, and the two men haven’t figured that anyone will want to follow up with them to make sure their marriage isn’t a sham. As if that isn’t bad enough, there’s the matter of Crawford’s bitchy ex he has to deal with. That and maybe falling in love with a total stranger?

What’s a man to do?

Tall, Dark and Deported is part of Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires line, which are guaranteed to be hot, romantic, and come with a happily ever after ending.

This book is no slouch in any of those departments. The main characters are sexy, and yet extremely likeable, as well as hot. While it was frustrating as hell to watch them dance around each other, denying and refusing to act on their attractions, it was also damn hot. The writing is good, the story is very pleasing, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t get to see their marriage actually consummated.

I highly recommend this, but only if you like hot sexy men and combustibility and seeing little assholes get their comeuppance!