Thursday, April 24, 2014

Senior News Book Review Column--- April 2014

For several years now I have been writing a monthly book review column for the Senior News newspaper. The Senior News is aimed to the 50 and over readership with news relevant to seniors regarding various issues, humor pieces, and my review column among other things. The newspaper is a giveaway at doctor offices, stores, etc. and can be received by mail via a paid subscription. There are multiple editions across the state of Texas and therefore there is some fluctuation in content in each edition.

My column every month focuses on books of interest to the Texas audience. Therefore the books selected for the column, fiction or non-fiction, are written by Texas residents, feature Texans in some way, or would have some other connection to the Texas based readership. At least two books are covered each month in the short space I am given.

Below is/was my April 2014 column ……




The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
Terry Shames
Seventh Street Books (imprint of Prometheus Books)
ISBN# 978-1-61614-871-3
Paperback (also available as an e-book)
250 Pages


Back in the day just before the first Gulf War, Jack Hardin was quarterback of the Jarrett Creek High School Panthers and he was the man. He wasn’t when he came home after serving in the first Gulf War. Blind, crippled and confined to a wheelchair, abandoned by his mom and many others, Jack primarily relies on his father Bob Harbin to take care of him. The same Bob Harbin who just died of an apparent heart attack on the street in front of his house in the opening pages of The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery arbin who has just died on the street in front of his house in the opening pages of “Thwe Last Death of JAck Harbin” by Terry Shames.

Bob Harbin’s death is just one of the many events going on in this second book of the series. As he was in A Killing At Cotton Hill Samuel Craddock, retired police chief, is the only real person around with actual law enforcement experience and training. The past may have been buried, but it coming back to life and taking a heavy toll on the town folk of Jarrett Creek, Texas in so many ways and Samuel Craddock might be the only one who can figure it out and stop those responsible.



Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects From Crocheters Around The World
Edited by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman
Storey Publishing
ISBN# 978-1-61212-042-3
Paperback (also available in e-book format)
288 Pages


As the subtitle 101 Projects From Crocheters Around The World makes clear, variety is very much at work here in this nearly 300 page book. The projects are divided up into seven categories reflecting the weight of the skein. The explanation of those weights can be found in the glossary as are explanations of the techniques needed, abbreviations used, and other helpful information.  Instead of being at the front of the book as usually happens that informative stuff is at the back so that Crochet One-Skein Wonders begins immediately with the projects.

Featuring project diversity and variety in skill levels, the 101 projects in Crochet One-Skein Wonders are sure to work for you as well as your family and friends. The projects selected by editors Judith Durant and Edie Eckman can be made for recipients of all age levels and would be treasured gifts.

Kevin R Tipple ©2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dallas is Rocking!

Dallas is rocking tonight as the Mavericks beat the Spurs and the Stars beat the Ducks. Both series are now even! Good night for the hometown guys.

Via Lee Goldberg--- James Strauss and his Fake Writing Credits

James Strauss and his Fake Writing Credits

Via Dave Zeltserman--- THE INTERLOPER now available -- paperback and ebook!

THE INTERLOPER now available -- paperback and ebook!

Via Criminal Element-- The Poor Boy's Game by Dennis Tafoya

The Poor Boy's Game by Dennis Tafoya is reviewed here.

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Genre

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Genre

Review: "The Scent Of New Death" by Mike Monson

One simply can’t judge a book by the cover. That is certainly the case here with a picturesque cover that conceals an intensely brutal novella that has, among other elements, incest, bondage, rough sex, and plenty of violence and bloodbaths on nearly every page. Overall, this read is a good one featuring a large cast of characters, a number of backstories for each one, and multiple intense storylines. However, readers are warned that The Scent Of New Death by Mike Monson is very much an adult novel that will offend and horrify some readers.  



It has been a bad June afternoon for Phil Gaines. After robbing a Wells-Fargo Bank branch in Pleasanton near San Francisco, his partner Jeff successfully drove them away from the bank and to a planned rendezvous with Phil’s wife, Paige. Then Phil’s meticulous plan went out the window and things went wrong in so many ways. Phil may practice “Zazen” (a form of mediation) and strive to live an ordered life so as to not draw attention to himself, but that is easier said than done. Zen training does not solve everything.

What follows is a hardboiled multilayered novella that is very graphic in terms of language, sexual situations and descriptions, and near constant violence.  Shifting between Phil, Jeff, Paige, and numerous other characters, author Mike Monson weaves multiple complicated backstories of the various characters into a very complicated present day situation.  An incredibly violent tale of lust and betrayal in and out of the bedroom, The Scent Of New Death builds to a dark climax that changes all who survive the final showdown.

Readers are again cautioned that storylines involving incest of a child of the age of 18, bondage, rough sex, as well as frequent brutal and bloody murders are present throughout the book. This is not a cozy style read in any way possible as everything is fully on the stage for the reader to see and experience. It simply can’t be stressed strongly enough that this is very much an adult read and only suitable for adult readers.


The Scent Of New Death
Mike Monson 
http://mikemonson.org/ 
Out Of The Gutter 
http://www.gutterbooks.com/ 
April 21, 2014 
ASIN: B00JUCXK4C 
E-Book (print also available)
$2.99
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Via Patti Abbott--- NEEDLE MAGAZINE

I never have read one of these as they have always been way more than I could afford. But, I hear lots of good things. Spring issue details here.


2014 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference

So wish I could go do this, but it is just not possible.

TONY HILLERMAN WRITERS CONFERENCE 2014

Rough Edges: Rough Edges Press Website

Rough Edges: Rough Edges Press Website: Livia's put together a website for Rough Edges Press with information on all the books we've published so far. The last time I co...

Brings Barry Ergang To Mind

Just saw this and it immediately brings Barry Ergang to mind.....


Among other books Barry has written is PUN-ishing Tales: The Stuff That Groans Are Made On available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Lady Sandra: Crochet project finished from the end of MARCH unt...

 This is her most recent stuff......

Lady Sandra: Crochet project finished from the end of MARCH unt...: I made a whole bunch of slipper for the shelter. See below and  and   I made a pair of slippers for my neigh...

Via Crime Time Preview: Poker in TV Crime dramas

 Poker used to make an appearance in CASTLE from time to time....

Crime Time Preview: Poker in TV Crime dramas: WHEN is it appropriate to reference a high-stakes poker game in a TV series? When the stakes are high, of course. While there are certainly...

Monday, April 21, 2014

CrimeFictionWriter: Published

CrimeFictionWriter: Published: My essay "Eat Fresh" appears in the May/June 2014 issue of Texas Gardener.

Ed Gorman's blog: Lawrence Block's Borderline from Hard Case Crime spelling corrected

Ed Gorman's blog: Lawrence Block's Borderline from Hard Case Crime spelling corrected

Via The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Post-Easter Bunny Edition

Bullet Points: Post-Easter Bunny Edition

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Books Every Writer Needs to Read

I admit to not having read any of these.....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Books Every Writer Needs to Read: Books Every Writer Needs to Read

Winning Writers--- Contests and Services to Avoid

Saw this thanks to a mention by C. Hope Clark this morning...

Contests and Services to Avoid

Via The Passive Voice--- Suing e-book reviewers and being a public jerk: Two bad ideas in one

I have noticed more and more authors advocating that reviewers should be sued for a review the author did not like......

Suing e-book reviewers and being a public jerk: Two bad ideas in one

The REAL Sam Houston National Forest

Last night the CBS show THE MENTALIST allegedly went to the Sam Houston National Forest to work a case. The first and most obvious problem was, upon arrival at the site, they showed land with mountains on it. Since the real life Sam Houston National Forest is just a little bit north of Houston anyone doing anything on the show should have known better.

Been there years ago and it was/is a great place. You can read more about the real place here.

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- May Mysteries from Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime & Obsidian

May Mysteries from Penguin's Berkley Prime Crime & Obsidian

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Comic Strip of the Day

 Well worth reading....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Comic Strip of the Day

Via Erika Dreifus (The Practicing Writer) -- Monday Markets for Writers

Monday Markets for Writers

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: San Jacinto Day!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: San Jacinto Day!: Battle of San Jacinto - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County...

Via Randy Johnson-- Antiques Con – Barbara Allan

Antiques Con – Barbara Allan

Your Monday Could Be Worse


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Via io9--- The Farscape Movie is Officially Happening

The Farscape Movie is Officially Happening

Little Big Crimes: Hunters, by John M. Floyd

Little Big Crimes: Hunters, by John M. Floyd: "Hunters," by John M. Floyd, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, May 2014. So, where do you get your ideas?  That's ...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: KILLING SECRETS . . .SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER LEFT ...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: KILLING SECRETS . . .SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER LEFT ...: Quick Facts                                          R elease Date:  April 17, 2014                   Genre:  Romantic Suspense ...

KRL This Week-- Easter mystery short story & much more in KRL's Earth Day & Easter issue

As posted elsewhere yesterday.....

In celebration of Earth Day Kings River Life Magazine is only featuring ebooks this week. We have reviews & giveaways of 5 mystery ebooks-"Unholy Matrimony": a Lucille Mystery By Peg Cochran, "Sketcher in the Rye": A Portrait of Crime Mystery By Sharon Pape, "The Sleuth Sisters" By Maggie Pill, "Twisted" By Laura K. Curtis and "Grand Delusion" by Matt Witten http://kingsriverlife.com/04/19/celebrate-earth-day-with-5-mystery-ebooks/

Also up an interview with one of the founders of Untreed Reads, a leader in ebook publishing & publisher of many great mystery novels & short stories http://kingsriverlife.com/04/19/digital-first-publisher-untreed-reads/

Also this morning we have a review & giveaway of another mystery ebook- "Killer Blonde" by Elaine Viets http://kingsriverlife.com/04/19/killer-blonde-by-elaine-viets/

And we have a review & giveaway of a fun enovella mystery, "Dummy of a Ghost" by Sue Ann Jaffarian http://kingsriverlife.com/04/19/dummy-of-a-ghost-a-ghost-by-sue-ann-jaffarian/

Don't miss this fun Easter mystery short story by Gail Farrelly http://kingsriverlife.com/04/16/in-your-easter-bonnet-an-easter-mystery-short-story/

Lastly this week in KRL check out this fun article by Sharon Tucker about Susan Wittig Albert's mysteries about herbalist China Bayles http://kingsriverlife.com/04/19/celebrate-the-rites-of-spring-with-three-mysteries-by-susan-wittig-albert/

As always, you can find all of these and more, including a bunch of fun Easter & Earth Day articles this week, by going to our home page and scrolling down http://KingsRiverLife.com

Happy Easter & Earth Day,
Lorie

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life http://KingsRiverLife.com
Check out my own blog at http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Att...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Att...: Amazon.com: How the West Was Written: Frontier Fiction, 1880-1906 eBook: Ron Scheer: Kindle Store : The chapters of How the West Was Written...

Via Writer Beware®: The Blog-- Take the Money and Run: Kerry Jacobson, "Book Publicist"

Writer Beware®: The Blog--Take the Money and Run: Kerry Jacobson, "Book Publicist"

Via The Passive Voice---What’s Barnes & Noble’s Survival Plan?

 In the early 90s Barnes and Noble bought the chain I was working for called Bookstop. I still remember a 7 am staff meeting where we were introduced to Riggio who, among lots of things that were flat out wrong, proceeded to tell us all that we had been doing everything wrong to sell books. All books were created equal and could be sold like potatoes as all potatoes were equal. That was when I first was introduced to his mantra--"a potato is a potato is potato and a book is a book is a book." I never thought it was remotely true about potatoes, but I knew for sure he was totally wrong about books.

It is just unfortunate that those many of us who loved books and knew something were marginalized by those in charge who wanted nothing more than larger salaries, more and more perks, and fancy job titles while they drove the company right off the damn cliff.


What’s Barnes & Noble’s Survival Plan?

Sample Sunday-- Excerpt from "Bartholomew Mortiman" in "Mind Slices: A Collection Of New And Previously Published Stories"

Since this is Easter Sunday and a small part of the story, I thought I would share a sample from “Bartholomew Mortiman” today. Some of the themes that run through a lot of my work appear in this story which was first published long ago in Starblade Magazine.

BARTHOLOMEW MORTIMAN
STUDENT BARTHOLOMEW MORTIMAN
PRESUMED DEAD, FIRE UNEXPLAINED.
  COMPILED FROM AP, UPI WIRE REPORTS. . .

Today, fire fighters recovered the remains of a journal from the destroyed apartment of Bartholomew Mortiman. Mr. Mortiman, undergraduate at City College, is believed to have perished in the intense fire, even though his body has not been recovered. While known for his odd behavior in a neighborhood famous for eccentricity, in recent weeks his personal torment had apparently grown. Fellow students said that the troubled Mr. Mortiman had caused several outbursts recently in classes. While he had always questioned the usefulness of the college experience and his course work, recently he had become more agitated and prone to wild accusations. According to classmates, his quality of work declined at the same time his comments about “something evil coming for him” grew.

Reporters were shown some of the recent artwork that Mr. Mortiman had created in the last weeks before his apparent death. The dark images seem to make use of a considerable amount of blood, gore, and a figure in various paintings that may be a representation of Satan. Neighbors and friends dispute the suggestion by Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents that Mr. Mortiman was a collector of firearms and possibly a known drug dealer and user.

However, a portion of his personal journal, released by ATF agents, seems to confirm the ATF position. ATF agents say that part of the journal was covered by a large cross and accompanying rosary, which may have protected it from burning. Despite the intensity of the fire, these few pages are almost perfectly intact and do not show any signs of singeing or water damage. The following is, according to the ATF, the complete portion of the journal that survived the fire.

Friday, April 9th

Sarah had asked me to attend her church tonight. Despite my long-standing personal misgivings about religion, I said yes. I never should have gone with her. Many questions have been answered, but the burden of such knowledge is almost more than I can bear. Now I have a responsibility to try to stop something that I may not survive. Since I have been led to this confrontation all my life, it is my hope that I will survive. Hopefully, the ancient legends and stories are true. If not, I leave this record as witness to my plans in the hope that others will follow in the battle…..



The very positively reviewed book is  available for $2.99 at the following sites….
I hope you will take a look.

Kevin

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter


Sandi This Evening

This was taken earlier this evening as Sandi sat outside enjoying the sunset....



The Education of a Pulp Writer: Despair

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Despair: Vladimir Nabokov’s Hidden Noir: Despair . A review by Edward A. Grainger (yours truly) is live now at Criminal Element. As always, I hope ...

Via Venture Galleries--- Lee Child says go ahead and break those writing rules.

Lee Child says go ahead and break those writing rules.

Via Nigel Bird-- One Man's Opinion: GRAVESEND by WILLIAM BOYLE

One Man's Opinion: GRAVESEND by WILLIAM BOYLE

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The 5-2 Blog Tour

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The 5-2 Blog Tour: I try to alert everyone when there's a new poem at Gerald So's site The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly .  It's always fun to see a new ...

Via Biff Bam Pop!--- Saturday At The Movies: Draft Day

Cracked Rearview Mirror Blog: My Newest Crime Novel: TOPAZ MOON

Cracked Rearview Mirror Blog: My Newest Crime Novel: TOPAZ MOON: My latest crime novel Topaz Moon was first released this week as an ebook. The paperback version hit the streets a short while back. The...

Rough Edges: Now Available from Rough Edges Press: Klaw - W.L. ...

Rough Edges: Now Available from Rough Edges Press: Klaw - W.L. ...: A legendary action writer returns with a novel of brutal violence and bloody revenge! John Klawson has a promising future as a gunsmith in...

The Joy of Story: JOHN LINDERMUTH STANDS UP FOR THE BAD GUYS

The Joy of Story: JOHN LINDERMUTH STANDS UP FOR THE BAD GUYS: I take great pleasure in welcoming back to my blog a writer I much admire, J. R. Lindermuth. As usual, I asked John to write something abou...

Via Bookbrowsing--- Death by Misadventure by E.E. Smith

Death by Misadventure by E.E. Smith

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: The Easter Bunny

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: The Easter Bunny

Via My Reader's Block--- Murder at the Museum of Natural History: Review

Murder at the Museum of Natural History: Review

Lesa's Latest Contest--- Sherlock Holmes fan giveaway

As posted elsewhere early Friday morning....

If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, you might be interested in this week's giveaway, two mysteries with traces of Holmes. I'm giving away copies of Michael Robertson's Moriarty Returns a Letter and The Spook Lights Affair by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini. Details available at http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com. Entries from the U.S. only, please.


-- Lesa Holstine 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Via Randy Johnson--- Glorious – Jeff Guinn

Randy reviews Glorious by Jeff Guinn here. Because of his review, I checked and the Plano Library System is going to have copies so I put a hold on one. Appropriate it is coming out next month as by then no doubt it will be 100 plus everyday and with the massive drought here, it will feel like Arizona.

Via Benjamin Leroy---A Series of Questions, a Series of Answers

A Series of Questions, a Series of Answers

The FFB List--Link Corrected

Patti took the day off again and I missed the memo. Sorry about that folks. BV Lawson has the list and links here.


Saturday afternoon update---Barry alerted to me to the fact that something strange had happened to the link since it was posted correctly yesterday evening. It has now been corrected as of 3 pm and one hopes it stays in place. My apologies.

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Free ebooks!

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Free ebooks!: For the next several days I'm offering two of my collections for free. Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, Vol.II  and The Ed...

Via Dave Zeltserman--- Now an audiobook: Julius Katz and Archie

Now an audiobook: Julius Katz and Archie

Back Home Early

Back home early thanks to massive AETNA and WAL-MART screwup. They did not fix Sandi's insurance record as they assured her multiple times yesterday they would and had. Their failure means Sandi could not see the cancer doctor or have the IVIG infusion as scheduled. Just was able to do blood work after we payed $100 to do it.

Needless to say the patient is NOT pleased. 

FFB Review: "FAST ONE" by Paul Cain (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott here. Barry is back today with his review of FAST ONE by Paul Cain.


FAST ONE (1933) by Paul Cain
reviewed by Barry Ergang


I can enthusiastically recommend Fast One to any reader who loves the hardboiled school—especially from the pulp era—but don’t ask me for a detailed plot summary. That’s next to impossible. Suffice it to say that a tough character named Gerry Kells, who is visiting L.A. from New York and who seems to know every major racket boss in southern California, is in the first chapter framed for a murder he didn’t commit, and who spends the remainder of the book either dodging or deliberately confronting cops and hoods with words, fists, and firearms. Along the way he considers trying to take over L.A.‘s rackets himself.

It’s an aptly titled book because the story roars along at a hectic pace. The pace is aided in no small measure by Cain's staccato prose style, which almost redefines “lean and mean.” But the pace and the story’s complexity are the book’s undoing because there is no characterization for readers to relate to. Most of the players—including the principal female—are referred to only by their last names. The absence of character definition reduces them to mere names on the page. It’s frequently an effort trying to recall from one chapter to another who's who and who's done what to whom.

Fast One has long been hailed as the ne plus ultra of hardboiled gangster tales by the likes of Bill Pronzini, E.R. Hagemann, and Raymond Chandler. David A. Bowman, in his introductory essay to the 1987 Black Lizard edition I have, writes: “Cain took the hardboiled style as far as anyone would want to. Fast One is the Antarctica of hardboiled writing. There is nowhere else to go.”

Forget about any insights into the human condition or any other sorts of profound meanings. Just buckle up and go along on the wild ride.

For more on this novel or the Golden Age of Detection follow the link to the GA Detection wiki. http://gadetection.pbwiki.com/Fast-One



Barry Ergang © 2007, 2014
Former Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, Derringer winner Barry Ergang's work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. His website is http://writetrack.yolasite.com/.