Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sandi This Evening--8/17/17

Nothing really new to report since this morning other than multiple rehab therapists have been in to talk to her--usually by waking her up first and then rushing through what they have to say while she is not awake enough to comprehend---and then leave her a bit confused as to their plans. Apparently, one of them went so far as to complain to one of her nurses about Sandi as he rushed off to leave for the day, so that nurse took it upon herself to come in and chew out Sandi without knowing the facts. Needless to say that did not go over well.

This summer there have been no end of problems at Medical City Dallas. Why--we don't know. They do seem overwhelmed with patients and short staffed so that may be part of it.

It seems their main focus right now--despite the fact she is still hooked up to all sorts of monitoring and pumping machines, running high fevers, and all the rest of it---is the  idea of sending her to rehab for an unspecified period of time  as soon as possible. While they are justifiably concerned about her falls and preventing them, we both are far more focused on what the infection is and how to get that damn thing cleared up.

And speaking of falls, I also fell here earlier this afternoon while in the garage. It was a spectacular one witnessed by no one. Nothing broken, but I am very sore. Hopefully, with five falls here between the two of us (I now have the lead 3-2) the HOUSE GODS are appeased and no more falls will be required. If more are required, I think we should have warning like they always did on Star Trek with the fight music so we would know what was coming ahead of time.

Sandi This Morning-- 8/17/17

Talked to her for a little while and she hurts and is not a happy camper. As expected, they put in the catheter and have done the x-rays of her chest and right side rib cage. She is also on some oxygen support though she does not think she needs it. She does. They also added heart monitoring equipment overnight due to her erratic heart rate. She does not want that either, but having seen her erratic heart rate happening yesterday for most of the day, I am very glad they did that. Antibiotics of various types continued overnight and are underway this morning. She continues to have a significant fever, but not quite as high as it was several times yesterday.

So, things are under control as best as they can be right now. She does not want us coming up there as she says that all she is doing is sleeping. She is also worried about me and what I went through the last couple of days. So, for now, I have agreed that we willl stay home and do some things here as we can.

Will update as I know more.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sandi Hospitalized

After a full day at Texas Oncology where they worked on her and did a lot, Sandi was hospitalized this evening. There are multiple issues at work and numerous tests are being done. All we really know at this point is that she has a very high fever, something infectious is doing very bad things, and there is a strong possibility she broke ribs on her right side when she fell here yesterday evening. So, it has been a bad day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tough Evening

This has been a very tough evening here. Sandi fell here a couple of hours ago for the second time since she came here. Had one hell of a time getting her back on her feet. I thought we were going to have to call Dallas Fire Rescue. She has been safely in bed the last two hours, but I worry about not just tonight, but things going forward.

Doctor Day

Finally home as things ran exceptionally long this morning and then we went to the apartment very briefly so that Sandi could see it one final time and know that we got everything. Sandi's blood work was okay, though things are beginning to trail off so by the end of the week she probably will need platelets followed by a major blood transfusion on Monday. Today they also gave her the white blood cell shot they give as she is not a candidate for the patch you see constantly advertised on television.

In addition to the fact that the skull lesions have gone down considerably, while sitting in a waiting room this morning, Sandi realized she could hear the television from the other waiting room. This is the first time she has been able to do that since February. It is also another small sign that this round of chemo definitely did something.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers |

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers |

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders

A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders (Minotaur, 2017) is the third in the Samantha Clair contemporary amateur sleuthe mystery series set in London. Samantha Clair is an editor with an established publishing company who lives part-time with a police detective. Let me say for the record that I am more than a little tired of the mandatory police detective boyfriend in amateur sleuth stories. Yes, it makes a convenient venue for obtaining information that the general public is not supposed to have. But still, if authors are creative enough to manufacture plots and people, one of them can surely devise another way of getting information, like having a 13-year-old computer whiz from next door break into the police network. At any rate, this particular arrangement actually sounds like the kind of accommodation adults might come to. He is out at all hours and when he finds himself closer to his home than Samantha’s, he stays there, giving her some much-needed space. He does not have access to all police information either, as is the case in real life.

Initially there appears no real cause for police interest. A neighborhood organizer reports that someone in her apartment house is missing but since he is an adult, everyone assumes he will show up sooner or later. The neighbor is one of those holy terrors who can convince anyone to do anything through sheer force of character and in no time Samantha buckles to her demand to help break into the missing man’s apartment. They find nothing out of the way there and remain puzzled until a few days later when his body is found in a burned house with drugs and a large amount of cash. The police assume that he is a drug dealer caught in a fire he set to hide his illicit activities. None of the people who know him can see him as a drug dealer, but the police just point to the contraband when they protest.

On the job front Samantha is appalled to learn her company has hired consultants to reorganize their work with no real understanding of what it involves. The scene where the editors meet with the consultants spouting jargon and waving PowerPoint presentations is so true to life it’s clear the author has endured a few of these attempts at corporate restructuring. Samantha’s assistant encounters every publisher’s nightmare when she fact-checks an autobiography the firm paid mega bucks for and finds little truth in the manuscript.

The characters are a big reason I enjoyed the book so much. Nice people with recognizable quirks, we all know folks like them. Well-written and witty, the book moves smoothly back and forth between publishing crises and the murder/arson investigation and ties it all up with an unexpected resolution that could have been foreseen had I paid a little more attention to the deviously placed clues. Do add this book to your To-Be-Read list.

·         Hardcover: 320 pages
·         Publisher: Minotaur Books (February 21, 2017)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1250087821
·         ISBN-13: 978-1250087829

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chemo Round 2 Finished--Sandi Home

Sandi has finished her second round of chemo and is back home where she belongs.

Lesa's Latest Contest: Island Mysteries Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away 2 island mysteries, Linda Greenlaw's Shiver Hitch & Francine Mathews' Death on Nantucket. Details available on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

KRL This Week Update for 8/12/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Fire and Ashes" by Elaine
Viets along with an interesting guest post by Elaine about some of her
research for the book

Also a review & giveaway of "Murder at the Male Revue" by Elizabeth Perona

And a review & ebook giveaway of "Dead Storage" by Mary Feliz along with an
interesting interview with Mary

We also have a review of "Divas, Diamonds, & Death" by Sally J. Smith &
Jean Steffens & a great giveaway where you can not only win a copy of the
book, but also a great animal rescue t-shirt. And we also have an animal
rescue guest post by Sally

And a review & giveaway of "Bad Housekeeping" by Maia Chance

And we have an overview of some of the many great mystery programs on Acorn

Over on KRL News & Reviews, we have a review & giveaway of "Ruined Stones"
by Eric Reed

Happy reading,

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chemo--Round 2-Day 4

Been to the hospital with Scott to see Sandi and found her very active thanks to steroids. Chemo seems to be going fine. The guy who caught the error last time was sent to her floor specifically to do the audit check on her drug cocktail. He came to her room yesterday afternoon to assure her that all is correct this time. The fact he came and did that meant a lot to her.

As it currently stands, they will be sending her home sometime tomorrow. When is in question right now, though I suspect it will be mid to late afternoon. After that we go back Tuesday morning to see her people in the office and do blood work.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Chemo--Round 2-Day 3

Seen Sandi today and she is doing okay. Assuming things continue correctly she will be released sometime Sunday.

FFB Review: WHO’S NEXT? by George Baxt -- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

After you read Barry’s review below, make sure you check out the full list at Patti Abbott’s blog.

WHO’S NEXT? (1988) by George Baxt

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Multimillionaire Medwin Patton collects “protégés,” people whose talents he can exploit to their mutual benefit. In his case, the benefits might be, on occasion, sexual as well as financial. The latest protégé is eighteen-year-old Vanessa Clay, a ballerina who “was already acclaimed as one of the brightest luminaries in the Gotham Ballet Theatre…Haven Haskell, considered the next best choreographer to Jerome Robbins, was leaving Gotham Ballet to form his own company with financing supplied by Medwin Patton.”

Before he and Vanessa have even met Patton, Vanessa’s widowed father Jethro Clay is having misgivings about his daughter’s welfare in the company of her would-be benefactor. On the other hand, being impoverished, he understands Vanessa’s desire for a big career break and its attendant wealth. An inventor who does “free-lance work as a patents specialist,” he has in the past done some work for the movie industry, creating for films “all forms of infernal machinery with which to astonish and then horrify the teenage audiences who mostly patronized the junk.” Among those films was The Scarecrow, based on the best-selling novel by Lilith Manley, now Mrs. Medwin Patton.

Lilith and Medwin have developed an open marriage so that when, at a lavish party at the Pattons’ Westchester estate, Lilith and Jethro meet and exchange sparks, Medwin could care less. What he does care about—and intensely—is Vanessa as an object of his lust. When the two are alone in the library and he makes a pass at her, the instantly repelled young woman bolts from the room and the house. Medwin has the habit, when angered, of jumping into his Volvo and driving maniacally off the estate to settle himself. On this particular evening, Vanessa flees along the driveway as Medwin decides against slowing down. Besides Jethro and Lilith, there are seven of the many party-going protégés on the estate’s grounds who witness what they all subsequently testify to as an accident, despite recognizing it as purposeful murder lest they lose any sort of personal celebrity status and, more importantly, Patton monetary benefits.

Jethro is determined to avenge his daughter’s death, but realizes he would be the suspect investigators would look at immediately and most intensely. Lilith is the one witness who sided with him, and their mutual attraction, along with her hatred of Patton, leads them to devise a plan for Jethro’s phony suicide coupled with murder methods appropriate to the professions or personal quirks of the witnesses. What follows is a well-paced, absolutely improbable, often absurd tale of retribution.

It’s also pretty funny, its omniscient narrative, along with some of its dialogue, packed with wry observations and occasional word-play. Its final couple of moments of dialogue struck me as suitably and humorously ambiguous, in a dark sort of way, though I’m sure not everyone will agree.

Readers preferring grim, ominous vengeance tales of the sort found in some Mickey Spillane novels and Clint Eastwood westerns will be sorely disappointed. Absurdities apply to some of Jethro’s murderous inventions--e.g., his method of disposing of a sculptress is one that must be accepted as something that would appear in a science fiction or horror film: just go along with it unanalytically and enjoy the ride because in real life the odds don’t favor its hurried devising if it could be devised at all. (Nowadays, who knows? It probably could be.)

Who’s Next? is good criminous comic entertainment.

© 2017 Barry Ergang

Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work is available at Amazon and