Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis

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Always remember–

Pacific Paratrooper

D-Day from Dixon

(By The Associated Press)

A dramatic 10-second interval preceded the official announcement today that the invasion had begun.

Over a trans-Atlantic radio-telephone hookup direct from supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force, to all major press services, and broadcasting networks in the United States came the voice of Col. R. Ernest Dupuy, Gen. Eisenhower’s public relations officer.

“This is supreme headquarters, allied expeditionary force,” Dupuy said. “The text of communique No. 1 will be released to the press and radio of the United States in 10 seconds.”

Then the seconds were counted off — one, two, three . . . and finally ten.

“Under the command of General Eisenhower,” slowly read Col. Dupuy, “allied naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.”

Thus, officially, the world was told the news which it had been awaiting…

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72nd V-E Day

Pacific Paratrooper

WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies

On May 8, 1945, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to celebrate the World War II surrender of Germany on what came to be known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day. At 2:41 a.m. local time the previous day, representatives from the victorious Allied nations met with German officials in Reims, France, to sign the official surrender documents but, in accordance with an earlier agreement between leaders in the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom, the news of the end of hostilities on the continent was withheld for 24 hours and announced simultaneously on the 8th. In London, spotlights in the form of a “V” for victory were turned on over St. Paul’s Cathedral—although it took some time to get them working again after nearly six years of wartime blackouts. In the United…

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Moving Along

This past weekend was a busy one.

Sure, there was the usual cleaning house and running a few typical errands (no grocery shopping, though!), and a little relaxing.

That relaxing part was pretty important. I’ve been pushing a lot of activities, well, they’re really necessary home-type-tasks, but I found myself lately not taking time for myself and activities I enjoy to unwind. It became time this weekend to set aside those moments.

I finished up adding books to my Kindle that I want to read. It’s upwards of 400+ books as of now. I plan to keep writing my reviews and sharing them here on this blog, and on Goodreads and Amazon, too. There are sure to be surprises there, just like my discovery of John Philip Sousa’s books.

The amount of books in my Kindle might seem daunting, but I don’t have nor watch television. That leaves a lot of time to read. I do have some DVDs of good old shows that I either remember watching years ago and old ones I newly discovered. Putting on an episode here and there while I’m crocheting or folding laundry is OK with me.

The Internet service where I live is unreliable, and I’m trying to figure out the best times to post and research on the Internet. If it’s storming, though, forget it. It’s down with little hope of coming back until the storm passes. It’s something I have to work around for now.

I’m still working on my book, and thankfully I don’t need the Internet for now while I’m writing.

As I was straightening out my bookcase, I found a bunch of old paperback books my dad had. They’re all World War II history books and novels, and are part of my to-read list. Some of those paperbacks were a whopping 50 cents when he bought them.

It’s good to be busy. I just need to remember that relaxing is a good balance.

November 14, 2016
©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


BOOK REVIEW: Drowned by Corn

BeFunky_51NYmV2jNLL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpgBOOK REVIEW: “Drowned by Corn” — By Erika Hayasaki

Review by Susan Marie Molloy

This short work is a both a synopsis of a grain accident that took place in Mount Carroll, Illinois in July 2010 and the story of the lone survivor, Will Piper, in the years following.

Grain bin work is extremely dangerous. If workers do not follow certain, exacting precautions serious injury and death are guaranteed. This story outlined that well, and the author, Ericka Hayasaki, appears to have done her research in being able to clearly show how a person can be sucked into grain (specifically corn) and how the grain can draw the body deeper into the bin and cause suffocation, crushing, maiming, and more often than not – death. Hayasaki used correct medical terminology and explained the physics how grain moves and does its damage when workers are not cautious.

The author focuses heavily on the survivor’s life in most of the book. She reports that after the accident, Piper increased his drug and alcohol use, she recounts his exploits in selling drugs, and describes how he made crack and meth. We discover how he was caught and sent to a rehabilitation center where he was surprised to meet his uncle. In an almost unbelievable turn, we learn that this uncle was using illegal drugs until he, too, was “saved” by treatment. Together, the two attend Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, and all turned out well in the end. As of the beginning of 2014, Piper is working regularly and appears to have his life on the straight and narrow.

Although this book is written coherently and Hayasaki obviously did her research, the overabundance of the use of vulgarity removed a lot of credibility from her work. From the first “F”-word she plopped down on the page, she seemed to find a much-too-easy use of it throughout the pages, and she even sprinkled in the “S” word where she could not find a better word. Certainly, she used vulgarity when sharing the characters’ thoughts and conversations, however that use is unnecessary in telling the story. To fall into a base form of writing as this leaves a bad aftertaste to an otherwise interesting story.

This book is available on Kindle.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


BOOK REVIEW: Red Clay and Roses

rosies-book-review-team-1Summer is in full swing and what better way to relax after a sizzling day than with a book about the Deep South and family secrets and surprising discoveries. This is third in my series of book reviews; I hope that my recommendations inspire you to read these books. . . . .

“Red Clay and Roses” by S. K. Nicholls is an honest look into the joys and ruthless realities of life in the Deep South during the 1950s and 1960s. The novel predominantly delves straightforward into lust, rape, murder, criminal abortion, lies, adoption, denial, and love, and particularly how race and gender relations intermingled within those ruthless realities of life.

The author presents this story as roman à clef; that is, as a novel based on a real life overlapped with fiction. She skillfully wrote to give the reader an interesting, eyes-wide-open view into the foul side of human attitudes and behavior, mirrored with the sweeter side that life can bring. Not only does she present to the reader the ugliness of lust, rape, abortion, et al, she also lays out the misery of mental illness, financial chicanery, and the protracted goals for women’s rights and civil rights in general.

It is obvious that the author researched well, as not only were the historical events correct, but also were the everyday things of life: Hair styles, clothing, language, place names, popular singers, and product names, for example. She is meticulous in describing things, sometimes to the minute detail. The reader, if familiar with places in the South, will recognize such places as Rexall Drugs, Kay Bee Jewelers, the Chattahoochee River, and Merritt Pecan Company. Even the late Freddie Hubbard, an American jazz trumpeter, was spun into the story early on.

What also makes this novel real is the author’s expert use of medical terms and medicine in general. As she is in real life a registered nurse, her knowledge becomes an excellent asset to the descriptions of the characters’ experiences with hospitals and their nefarious involvements. She uses medical terms and medicine in such a way that the reader is at ease; the descriptions do not come across at all as dry nursing class lectures, but almost as a matter-of-fact professional descriptions that the reader accepts.

S. K. Nicholls writes with ease and clarity and gives the reader rich, full scenes to imagine with the simplest of words, such as in the telling of “ . . . my first kiss in the midst of the rain of swirling pink crabapple petals . . .” She proves that simplicity paints a masterpiece.

She also effortlessly shows the soul of a building where it “reeked of chemicals and pain.” With just those five words, the reader feels and smells the repulsion of what once existed in one room. Even the real, but imaginary, “fairy babies” with their stinging “insect-like tails” that Ms. Bea fears almost materialize within the novel’s pages.

The author is adept at using dialect to give her characters a real life to their voices. Though a different dialect than those utilized by Mark Twain and Charles W. Chestnut, S. K. Nicholls nonetheless hears dialect well. She also employs the use of early twentieth century and mid-century slang to a T. “Slap me some skin!” was my thought as her characters, particularly Moses, spoke easily with words and phrases common decades ago.

“The word from the bird” is this: S. K. Nicholls’ “Red Clay and Roses” is a well-written, factual fictional novel that will grasp the reader’s attention from start to finish. I would place it among other well-known historical fictional novels (such as, for example, those written in the vein of Anthony Trollope and Margaret Mitchell) to be used as, perhaps, required reading in both high school and college English and American history, and social studies courses.

I highly recommend this novel.

© Susan Marie Molloy and all works within. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and any works here on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.