Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Revealed: How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars (ZDNET)

Revealed: How one Amazon Kindle scam made millions of dollars (ZDNET)

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: COOL STUFF TO MAKE YOU SMARTER!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: COOL STUFF TO MAKE YOU SMARTER!: See how I tricked you into reading about one of my favorite animals, bats. No, don’t stop reading, please! You’ll be so glad you did if you...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 23 Writing Contests in October 2016 - No Entry Fees

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 23 Writing Contests in October 2016 - No Entry Fee...: There are nearly two dozen writing contests in October. All are free (no entry fees). Some of the prizes are in the tens of thousands of d...

J. Kingston Pierce: Bleeding Balls and Second Lines: Crime Lovers Descend on NOLA (Kirkus Reviews)

J. Kingston Pierce: Bleeding Balls and Second Lines: Crime Lovers Descend on NOLA (Kirkus Reviews)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Blood-Red Pencil: My Rant: Is Editing Ever Elective?

Blood-Red Pencil: My Rant: Is Editing Ever Elective?: Earlier this month, Diana Hurwitz posted a great article entitled " Do You Need an Editor? " Supporting her contention that all wr...

Guest Post: Jeanne on Library Donations in Memoriam

Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library is back today with a deeply personal post on the subject of donating books to the library…

When I was growing up, one of the only acceptable ways of paying respects to the dead was to send flowers to the funeral. One also sent food to the living, attended the wake, and of course the funeral.  The standard time between death and the funeral was at least three days, to give enough time to notify relatives and friends, and for them to have the chance to travel to the funeral.

Things have changed quite a bit in the past few decades.  For one thing, the wake—also known as “sitting up with the dead” in my region, a reflection of when such things were held in the family parlor—is now largely visitation (“The family will receive friends..”) and since a jumble of relatives don’t usually descend for the week, folks have cut down on the food offerings a bit.  Some funerals have taken place within a day of passing or else been held up for weeks as a memorial service has taken the place of a traditional funeral with a body in a casket.  Death notices in the newspaper have become less of a given, now that many papers charge for such notices.

Another change is the floral tribute which, I am sure, has been very difficult for the florists.  Instead of automatically accepting flowers, many notices carry a list of suitable places to make donations in honor of the deceased.   I have to say that is a change I applaud; while I always appreciated seeing the flowers, knowing that one can help defray funeral expenses for the family or contribute to a charity near and dear to the person seems a much more useful way to express one’s sympathy.

For me, that has become donating a book to the library in memory of the person.  In fact, twice a year I make a donation to the library back in our home town in honor of my mother, a voracious reader who would have loved having a library at her disposal.  When she was growing up, there was no county library; when I was growing up, there was a library at the county seat but not in our town. My mother was on the Regional Library Board and advocated for a library for our town. We did finally get one just about four years before we moved away.  It was in the town hall, above the jail, in a room not exactly designed to held thousands of pounds of weight.  The floor bowed in several places. One always had the feeling one could go in for a book and end up in a cell.

The library now has a new home on a ground floor and has room for more books, though not the budget. With my donation, I allow the library to do the selection based on the current needs of their readers.  After all, there’s little reason to select a book that will just gather dust on the shelves.  I do give some broad guidelines.  For example, my mother had a love of history and genealogy, so books about our region are good choices. She also loved mysteries and historical sagas, so things in that genre—especially large print, as that was her salvation when she developed macular degeneration—are excellent choices.  When the books are selected, a plate goes inside with her name on it.  I like to think that some reader picks the book up and takes a moment to be grateful that Negetha G. Powers is remembered in that way. 

I know that’s my reaction with the collection here.  There are any number of books with memorial plates or “In honor of” plates.  If it’s a subject I especially enjoy, I feel a bit of kinship to the person named.   A few years back, we lost a wonderful patron who was a devoted knitter, especially of socks.  With the donations we bought a number of knitting books, adding greatly to the collection.  Not long after a patron came up, looking a bit puzzled.  She too is an avid knitter and had been through most of the books in our collection.  She pointed to the plate and said, “What does this mean?” I explained, and her face lit up.  “Ah, what a nice lady!” she said.

So this is my pitch for the day. It comes about as we have lost a long time staff member, one who was also an omnivorous reader.  My choices for her were easy:  I just chose the books she had put on reserve but which were not yet published at the time she passed. I know she was itching to read the next Mike Lawson and Lee Child.

At a time when books, authors, and libraries are feeling the pinch, when many readers have had financial setbacks and are living on limited incomes, giving a book to a library pays it forward in so many ways. 

The views expressed herein are my own and not those of other person or instititution.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Phillip Thompson -- Outside the Law (February 2017 Release)

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Phillip Thompson -- Outside the Law: Outside the Law  is an original novel, not a reprint.  (Brash Books is doing a lot more originals these days.)  It's set in a rural Miss...

Craig Johnson at The Poisoned Pen

Craig Johnson at The Poisoned Pen


FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: My Take: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016): Let me get it out of the way right up front: I liked this film a lot. It has flaws and some plot holes you could drive a Humvee thr...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 09/26/16 (The Practicing Writer)

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 09/26/16 (The Practicing Writer)


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 9/26-10/2: Bookish events in Texas for the week of September 26-October 2, 2016:  Special Events: Banned Books Week , nationwide, September 25-Oc...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Skeleton Haunts a House -- Leigh Perry (Toni L...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Skeleton Haunts a House -- Leigh Perry (Toni L...: Sid the sentient skeleton detective is back for another adventure.  I reviewed one of his earlier cases here .  Sid can see although he does...

KRL This Week Update for 09/24/16

Up this weekend in KRL a review & giveaway of "All the Little Liars" by Charlaine Harris, along with a fun behind the book interview with Charlaine.

Also upa review & giveaway of "Death of a Pumpkin Carver" by Lee Hollis, along with a fun guest post & recipe

We also have a review & giveaway of "Pumpkin Picking With Murder" by Auralee Wallace.

And a review of the Aurora Teagarden Mystery movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel, based on the books by Charlaine Harris

And reviews & giveaways of 4 more fun mysteries from Penguin authors-"No Farm, No Foul": A Farmer’s Daughter Mystery by Peg Cochran, "Cancelled by Murder": A Postmistress Mystery by Jean Flowers, "Digging Up the Dirt": Southern Ladies Mystery by Miranda James, and "Paint the Town Dead": Silver Six Crafting Mystery by Nancy Haddock

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions column from Sunny Frazier, along with giveaways of books by Lea Wait, Jean Flowers, and Leslie Langtry

And a mystery short story by Judy Penz Sheluk

Lastly, on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Whispers Beyond the Veil" by Jessica Estevao

Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: “The Magical Mystery Book Tour” (by Jenny Milchman)

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: “The Magical Mystery Book Tour” (by Jenny Milchman...: “The Magical Mystery Book Tour” (by Jenny Milchman) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN : Jenny Milchman’s first professional publication was in ...

Do Some Damage: Brokeback Writer

Do Some Damage: Brokeback Writer: By Steve Weddle If you've felt a disturbance in the Bookternet this week, you might have been surprised to find that Franzen isn't...

FFB Review: BLUNT DARTS (1984) by Jeremiah Healy (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books. Make sure you check out the list over at Patti’s blog after you read Barry Ergang’s review of Blunt Darts by Jeremiah Healy. Amazon says this is the first book in the John Cuddy series. I am pretty sure I have never read any of the series.

BLUNT DARTS (1984) by Jeremiah Healy

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

After working as a claims investigator for Empire Insurance Company for eight years, John Francis Cuddy was appointed head of claims investigation in Boston. Shortly after his wife Beth’s death after a long illness, Cuddy was approached by a colleague and asked to sign an investigation report of a claim that was never probed by the Boston office, and he refused. This resulted in his dismissal.
Paperback Blunt Darts

“Six years earlier the company had required all of us to obtain and maintain private investigator licenses from the Department of Public Safety. I knew three or four semi-reputable guys in the trade who could tell me how to get started and maybe even refer me a few clients. I decided it was time J.F.C. became his own man.”

When he receives a call from Valerie Jacobs, whom he met while at Empire because at the time she was dating a claims adjuster there, Cuddy agrees to meet her for lunch. A schoolteacher, Valerie is concerned about a former student, Stephen Kinnington, and wants Cuddy to meet with Eleanor Kinnington, who lives in the town of Meade and who is the mother of Judge Willard J. Kinnington, “one of the youngest men ever to go on the bench, and his family has sort of, well, ruled Meade since long before I arrived,” Valerie explains. “Anyway, Stephen’s mother, Diane Kinnington, killed herself about four years ago by driving her Mercedes off a bridge and into the river. Apparently she boozed it up a lot, so no one knows whether it was accidental or suicidal. It hit Stephen pretty hard, as you can imagine.”  Hard because he was catatonic when he went into and spent time recovering in the sanatorium Willow Wood.

Hardcover Blunt Darts--Import
Convinced that the young man has run away rather than been the victim of a kidnapping, his grandmother, Eleanor Kinnington, wants Cuddy to find Stephen and bring him home to resume a normal life. She has a strong sense of where he might have gone, and Cuddy sets out after him—but not without complications. Among the latter are Judge Kinnington and his court officer and right-hand man, a brutal giant of a disgraced cop named Gerald Blakey, neither of whom want Cuddy’s intrusions.  

While dealing with personal issues, not the least of which is his relationship to wannabe-lover Valerie Jacobs versus loyalty to his dead wife, Cuddy’s quest to find and bring Stephen home results in revelations about the Kinnington family, among them the judge’s brother Telford, who died in Vietnam while leading “his company in a counterattack from an American position against a much larger Vietcong force.” The overall quest is not without violence and disclosures, plausible if unexpected, by both Cuddy and the reader.

Blunt Darts is the first novel in the John Francis Cuddy mystery series and the second one I’ve read, the other being Swan Dive. Like the latter, Blunt Darts is a stellar example of economical prose that conveys a powerful, fast-moving narrative and character-delineating dialogue. I look forward to reading still more in this exceptional series and would not dissuade other hardboiled mystery fans—at least, those who aren’t squeamish about occasional moments of street language—to do the same. Jeremiah Healy is an author well worth a reader’s time.

© 2016 Barry Ergang

Some of Derringer Award-winning author’s Barry Ergang’s work is available at Smashwords and Amazon