It is that time of year again for the Preditors And Editors poll. From now until January 14, 2013 you have the opportunity to vote in a number of categories. Again this year, "Kevin's Corner" is in the reviews category.
The Cowboys could not finish the deal. While many will call for Romo to be dumped and Garret to be fired, I don't and won't. Too many injuries on both sides of the ball, an incredible nearly non-stop blitz, and an inability to shut down RGIII or Morris cost the Cowboys tonight. Gotta give the Redskins credit. They got the job done in all phases of the game.
Mavericks don't have the talent to make the playoffs after blowing up the team on hope. Rangers could not get the job done and got bounced out in the elimination game. Now the Cowboys--again.
is Karl's birthday and he is 25. Rather boggles the mind. 25 year ago
Sandi had an emergency cesarean to save her life as well as his. I
remember well sitting in the neonatal ICU unit and watching the monitor as his
heart would stop every few minutes until a nurse came over and lightly touched
his chest to restart his heart.
Karl has come quite a long way. We all see the gamer face below quite a
Tom Jefferies has done a lot of things over the
years. He used to be a member of Special Forces and still maintains links to
his old group. He used to be a Dallas cop. A cop with, according to some, a rather
checkered history though nothing was ever proved. These days he is a private
investigator in Broward County, Florida.That means he hands out a lot of business cards with his signature and the
slogan--“If I can help, call me.”
The young dead woman in the morgue was found with
such a card between her fingers. No doubt a final indignity given by those who
raped her and beat her to death.While
the cops have his card, they don’t have her identification or much of anything
else. PI Tom Jefferies is in no rush to help them either as he has another way
of getting justice.
Mary Lou Smithson was her name and she was in that
often difficult time between a young teenager and womanhood. Found in Coral
Lakes, the woman was the daughter of old friends Charlie and Lonnie Rogers.
Seventeen and sure she knew what she was doing, she was hanging around with a punk
boyfriend who sported a certain kind of tattoo. Her parents tried everything to
stop her escalating dangerous behavior with no effect. Now, she is in the
morgue dead and Tom Jefferies wants answers and justice. That tattoo is going
to be a major piece of the puzzle.
What follows is a far more complicated story than
your typical vigilante style book. Far different in style and tone from the ACE series, author Randy Rawls has created a much harder character who isn’t
bound by what law enforcement would consider permissible. While there are the
occasional inside nods to readers familiar with his other series based in
Texas, Tom Jefferies has very little in common with ACE.
He also has little time for outsiders no matter
their intentions as he is on a mission for Mary Lou Smithson. A mission
increasingly jeopardized by solid police work, a romantic entanglement, and
other issues including the toll the quest is taking on this heavily conflicted
Published by L & L Dreamspell, this is the powerful
start no doubt of a new series from Randy Rawls. Dark in tone with occasional flashes
of humor and romance, the 264 page read takes readers on much more than a vengeance
ride. Thorns On Roses is a good one and well worth your time.
Books on knitting sweaters, hats, etc., abound and
are everywhere. As the subtitle makes clear 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers – 6
Beautiful Projectsis not one of those kind of books. The
intricacy and beauty of these knitted flowers is simply amazing in this book.
The book is broken down into basically three parts
and a multipage appendix. The untitled first part contains a preface and
introduction regarding knitted flowers and the inspiration behind the work of
author Norma J. Bellows. Then the first section moves to practical advice on
techniques, materials needed and used, explanation of the difficulty levels of
the various flowers as well as projects, techniques used, abbreviations in the
pattern instructions, and other information. Plenty of pictures detailing the steps
are present along with the text. A text that, while using black ink, is a
little light for older eyes.
Next is “The Flowers”
starting on pages 34-35. After a picture and accompanying introductory text,
this section starts with “Angel’s Tears Daffodil” on pages 36-38. Along with
the Latin name, difficulty rating, several pictures both large and small, there
are instructions on how to make the various parts of the flower, materials and
tools needed, and a tip to finish the item off.39 flowers follow in color and complexity whether they are the simple “Chicory”
(pages 45-46) and “Pom-Pom Chrysanthemum” (pages 110-111) or the difficult “Hollyhock”
(pages 78-80) there are plenty of choices to be had.Each one is a clear work of art that will
result in a striking and very realistic flower.
You could arrange the
completed flowers in a vase of some type. Or you could attach them to something
else.That is the purpose of the section
titled “The Projects” that begins on pages 138-139.There are six projects here such as “May Violets
Fingerless Gloves (pages 140-143), the “Forget-Me-Not Pillow” (pages 143-145)
and four others.The six projects allow
you to accessories your outfits when you are out and about so that you can make
a colorful and unique fashion statement.
The book closes with a
multipage appendix on topics such as “Felting Basics” (pages 160-163) “Yarn
Information “(page 168), “Resources” (page 169) and other useful information. A
two page index at the end of this section brings the 176 page book to a close.
distinctive Noni Flowers:40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers – 6 Beautiful
Projects by Nora J. Bellows has an idea for any level of knitter. If
you are looking to do something different than the normal run of the mill hat,
sweater, gloves, etc., this book just might be perfect for you.
Friday means Friday's Forgotten Books. Barry Ergang is back with the review below to close out the year. For the complete list of books, authors, and reviewers, please surf over to Patti Abbott's excellent blog..........
THE MURDER BOOK (1971) by Tage la Cour & Harald Mogensen
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
Despite its title, The
Murder Book is not a primer full of methods about how to commit the
ultimate crime. Subtitled "An Illustrated History of the Detective
Story," the book uses photographs, paintings, movie stills, cartoons, sketches,
book and magazine cover art and interior illustrations, along with limited
amounts of text, to give the reader a broad overview of the genre's development
rather than an in-depth examination of the sort one finds in, for instance,
Howard Haycraft's classic Murder for
Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story.
As the prolific mystery writer and critic Julian Symons says
of the authors in his brief forward, "Tage la Cour is a bibliophile with a
crime fiction library containing several thousand volumes, most of them in
English. He is famous in Denmark
as a critic and anthologist of crime fiction. Harald Mogensen, the literary
editor of 'Politiken,' has an interest in the crime story which is both
emotional and analytical.
"The two of them are in the forefront of an immensely
well-informed Scandinavian group of writers and critics who are interested not
just in reading the latest books, but in discussing the background and history
of the crime story."
As one would expect, the book opens with Poe, "the
father of the detective story," and ends with Georges Simenon and his
Inspector Maigret. In between, also predictably, are pictorial and textual
discussions of such luminaries, among others, as Charles Dickens, Wilkie
Collins, Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Erle
Stanley Gardner, and Raymond Chandler.
Besides Simenon, other noteworthy French authors such as Emile
Gaboriau, Gaston Leroux, Honore de Balzac, Eugène Sue and Maurice LeBlanc are given the attention they
deserve. Other countries' contributions are given space as well, so the reader
learns something about authors and, sometimes, characters, from Argentina, Austria, Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Lesser-known
authors from the United
States, England and elsewhere also get
their share of recognition.
One can argue that the book's subtitle is a misnomer because
not every book mentioned is, at its core, a detective story. Various subgenres
are given consideration, among them supernatural tales, stories of terror, and spy
There are a few typos here and there throughout the book an
editor should have caught, as well as a few spoilers. I was amused by the
authors' references to Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels as being set in the
"87th District" and "Station 87."
An attractive volume that is fun to browse through, The Murder Book is more suited to, and
more likely to be found in the library of, the hardcore aficionado/student of
mystery fiction than that of the casual reader.
For some time 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 crowd 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 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 December
2012 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers……
Texas author Jan Christensen is back with another
mystery novel well worth your time. Set in late 1987 the book features a
religious cult preparing for the end of the world, a murder mystery, and a
dysfunctional family under tremendous stress. After two long years Kirk is back
home though he isn’t ready to talk about why the cult, known as Celestial
Village, or why he left, but they don’t care about that right now.Thanks to a murder and a kidnapping, soon
Kirk is back in Texas with the cult and the future looks pretty bad.
A good story that shows the dark side of religious
extremism and mental disorders, Revelations: A Darker-Side Mystery moves
at a rapid pace to its climax. The mystery of why Kirk left is what drives the
majority of the book before being morphed into what the cult leadership is
planning for the remainder of the book. Though the novel is set in twelve days
in late 1987, this fiction read could easily happen today, next year, or at any
Devil To Pay: A Bill Travis Mystery
print length 141 pages
The fourth book in the “Bill Travis Mysteries”
series opens with Walt Cannon needing Bill’s help. Walt is a Texas Ranger with
a thirty plus year career in the elite law enforcement agency who just might be
arrested for murder any day now. Walt swears he didn’t kill Phil Burnet, though
he certainly had a good reason to kill him. Bill Travis knows Walt is telling
the truth when he says he didn’t do it. But, something is wrong with Walt and
he won’t come clean about it.
All Walt wants is Bill’s help in clearing his
name.One thing that will help Bill is
that the guy who found the body of Phil Burnet is Perry Reilly. Bill has known
Perry since way back in the day before Bill was married with kids. Before long,
Bill and Perry are in a dangerous case that will take them back and forth
across Central Texas chasing a killer.
Devil To Pay is another fast moving read in the
series showcasing the obvious talents of the Texas author George Wier. While
you could read The Devil To Pay as a stand alone it would be better if you
read this series in order starting with The Last Call.
We are home and know nothing. No mass in either right chamber of her heart
according to the doc today and there was nothing swinging in the current
to get. He has no idea what the docs saw last week as none of that is
true according to him. He says the thing is totally on the outside of
her heart and pressing on the right side. Says he has no opinions on
treatment and that we need to get back with the cardiac surgeon when he
is back sometime late next week.
So, while the news is good that nothing is internally in her heart, we are no closer to getting that needed sample for pathology. We are also not sure, based on what this guy today said, whether the whole other surgery plan of stopping her heart, putting her on the heart/lung machine, etc., is now necessary.
Thought we were going to have to go back to the Hospital on Monday when Sandi suddenly developed a fever for the day. Got that under control and we didn't have to. Today, we do.
Assuming we can get down the ice covered stairs without killing ourselves, and we can get a car to start, we are to be at the hospital at 9:30 for her deal later today. Around noon she is scheduled for this deal to go in and snag a piece off the thing in her heart.Hopefully this all works the right way as she does not need any more complications and issues.
I will update when I can. But, with no cellphone or laptop with me it is going to be far later today.
from all of us here in North Texas where thunder rolled while rain and hail fell overnight. Poured all morning and it is still pouring rain ow. Supposed to switch to sleet and then snow over the next couple of hours. May the day and the season be special for you and yours.......
Earlier this evening Sandi took her first shower since pre--hospital. Her five incisions and chest tube hole all look pretty good all things considered. No signs of infection or any issues different than what we had been warned we would see.
Sandi is still in considerable pain--especially with her right shoulder where they ran an IV line as well as a chest drainage tube. While she had an IV line in her right hand, during surgery they had to put in a second separate line through her right shoulder and into a major artery because of the complications that were happening. Among other things, apparently the chemo has left her blood vessels brittle so they tend to not work right when a needle is inserted into them for an IV. What will happen to them when she has chemo again, not to mention the radiation, is something that concerns me quite a bit.
While many years we would have loved to have a white Christmas this is one year we really would prefer it did not happen. Normally this sort of thing happens for New Years but apparently it is coming a week early this year. Current forecast seems to be for some sort of light accumulation of snow and ice starting some time on Christmas day and going into the evening. Considering the staircase we have that is always dangerous whenever it gets anything on it as well as the drive to the hospital the next day, we would really prefer that the snow and ice miss here.
On behalf of Sandi, myself, and the boys thank you for your thoughts and prayers expressed in public and in private. We most assuredly appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. It means a lot as we go through this nightmare yet again.
First, I am sorry I was not in the shape to update things here the last couple of days. It has been a hard roller coaster experience. That fact and how hard things are for me physically now meant I wasn't in the shape to be coherent and update folks here when I finally got home form the hospital each evening. I am sorry. It was not deliberate. It was sheer exhaustion and pain.
Thursday afternoon the cardiac surgeon operated on Sandi. The procedure itself went fine though it went in an unexpected way. Right after he got through the scar tissue in her lung and into her chest cavity he found a large mass. A large mass that turned out to be some sort of fatty tissue thing. While it was in the right spot according to the PET Scan and the CT Scan, this fatty thing should not have appeared the way it did on the tests. The cardiac surgeon was not convinced this was it.
After he got the fatty thing out of her, he went looking around trying to find the real deal. He didn't find anything besides what looked like a small spot on the surface of her heart. He could not biopsy that as the only way to take a sample from the heart is by stopping the heart and using a heart/lung machine on the patient. They were not geared up to do that, so he backed out and closed her up.
He came out and talked to me and overall things looked fairly good. The mass was out and it wasn't cancer. The spot clearly bothered him, but the cardiac surgeon wasn't sure whether or not it was anything to worry about. The expectation at that point Thursday afternoon was that most likely it, like her thyroid, would be something that would be watched for suspicious activity on some sort of regular basis. About three hours later she made it through recovery and was in her room. I hung around awhile longer and then went home with the understanding that at some point, probably in January, they would do some sort of detailed echocardigram to look at the spot.
Friday morning when I got to the hospital Sandi was sitting up, in tremendous pain, and a very unhappy patient. They had allowed her to order breakfast and then intercepted it at her door. The new plan was to do this deal where they would put her out and then run a camera thingy down her throat. They would run this camera probe thing down into her heart and go looking around. The spot deal had taken on greater significance overnight and it had been decided this was something that absolutely had to be checked out before she could go home.
What was supposed to happen at 1 ended up finally being done at 3:30 after booting me from her room as this was something they had portable equipment to do. I went down the hall to the waiting area and updated the boys before sitting back and watching the clock. This deal was only supposed to take about ten minutes. I knew the way the nurse was looking at me when she came to get me in the waiting room 45 minutes later the news was very bad. She was trying to be upbeat as she escorted me back and chatted with me, but it was obvious. So too was the doctor who was standing outside her room finishing up the paperwork. After he got me to sit down he delivered quite a shock.
Sandi has a large tumor of some type in the two right chambers of her heart. The thing is growing from outside of her
heart, through the heart wall, and into both the right chambers. In
one chamber there is a free floating piece barely attached to the main
mass. That piece is hanging down and swinging back and forth in the her blood stream as
her heart pumps.
They are as sure as they can be without a sample that this thing in her heart is her cancer back again. They believe this is what was causing the
heat signature on the PET Scan --also matches the size deal according to
the Pet Scan too and the CT Scan---and was partially obscured by the giant fatty thing
they took out of her Thursday.
Apparently what the spot is on the surface of her heart that her cardiac surgeon saw is just the tip of the iceberg that is inside her heart.
The current plan is that next Wednesday morning she goes back to the hospital and checks in at ten am. Around noon they will move her to the catherization lab to
try and get a sample of the free floating piece. They will do this by
running one thing down her throat and through the lung to the heart. The
other deal will go up her leg and head for the heart. They think they
can get the tools in there from each side. Once they get them in place bracketing the piece as it swings back and forth they will to do some sort of pincer move and snag it. Once they have it snagged and not moving, they will try to remove the swinging piece for a pathology sample.
This assumes that they can get to it and actually snag the thing as it swings back and forth in her blood stream. Once they retrieve it, the piece has to be big enough for pathology sample purposes. At this point, having measured it yesterday, they think while small, it would be enough to get the confirmation they need for treatment.
This deal is risky because trying to do this the way her heart is very tricky. There is also a major risk of perforating her heart. If they accidentally do that--basically put a hole in her heart--they would have to start emergency procedures to save her life by cracking her chest, getting the heart/lung machine going, etc. There is a definite risk to this procedure, but the only other option is much riskier and harder on her long term.
If this cardiac catherization plan for getting the sample does not work, the only option would be be to go in for major cardiac
surgery sometime in late January. They would crack the chest wall, stop
her heart, and while she was on a lung/heart machine, totally remove the
entire mass and rebuild the right side of her heart. That would take
roughly six or seven hours to accomplish. Assuming she lived through all
that, she would face several months of rehab to get strong enough for
the chemo and radiation.
Based on what she was told about six last night, chemo and radiation are
both definite once they know for absolute sure if it is another lymphoma. If they have to go the other way, she probably won't be able
to do chemo or radiation before May. Obviously, beyond the risks of surgery, removing the thing that way raises the risk of further cancer spread at the time of the operation as well as giving whatever cancer she has elsewhere that is starting a lot
more time to grow and try again to kill her.
We are told that at this point she is not at a higher cardiac risk because currently the thing is not blocking the blood flow. They don't think the piece will just break free on its own. Theoretically, if it did--either because it broke free on its own or they lost it during the procedure--it would not do anything from a heart attack or stroke deal. What it would do is shoot through her heart and vanish into her body to lodge somewhere. Of course, that would give the cancer yet another foothold in her body somewhere.
Finally late yesterday evening we made it home. She is home for Christmas and that is good. A Christmas that certainly isn't as bright as we thought it might be Thursday evening. Right now, neither Sandi or I know what to think as we both are flat out stunned. While I had thought that maybe she was growing a spot of cancer on her heart, I never thought that she had a tumor growing through her heart.
Again, I am sorry it has taken me so long to update folks. I am working on e-mails so if you are awaiting a response to something you sent, please be patient while I catchup.
This is Friday and normally that means Friday's Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbot over at her blog. A normal Friday would mean that there would be a review from Barry Eergang, Patrick Ohl, or myself running in this space. But, unfortunately, this is not a normal Friday.
Sandi is in the hospital with all that entails.
So, please understand why I didn't do anything for today. Please go over to Patti's blog for the list and review links. Thank you.
The day never seemed to get here, but finally it is Thursday. In less than an hour from now we will head over to the hospital to get Sandi checked in. Sandi's cardiac surgery to go in and see what the thing is that is pressing on her heart sac is set for 1 pm.
If it is cancer---as we all expect--the doctor intends to leave the thing in place and back out of there. Removing it would raise the risk of spreading it as may have happened when they had to do so many biopsies last November. At that time several tumors in various places were removed. If it is cancer he will also put another port back into her chest and hook it into the main artery to her heart in preparation for more chemotherapy.
If it is not cancer, I am not sure what he will do. While I do understand why it should not be removed if it is cancerous, it seems to me anything pressing on the heart sac like this is should be taken out of there. Apparently, if it is not cancer, it still might stay in depending on what it is.
If everything went perfectly today, Sandi could be back home tomorrow. The odds for that happening are very low. Not only does Sandi have a history of heart attacks and strokes, there is considerable damage in her right lung still visible on the CT Scan from last November. While the fluid is not present in the lung, the scarring and damage it left behind is still very visible and a surgical obstacle. Not only does the doctor have to work around that, depending on how much he has to do, it may be necessary for a chest drainage tube again. If that happens, she definitely will be in longer.
So, that is where we are this Thursday morning. Hopefully, for once, everything will go smoothly and there won't be any complications. No matter what happens, today is going to be a very long day. I will update everyone when I can.
Normally I try to get a couple of these sorts of things up today because by midweek we all could really use a laugh or two. With Sandi going in the hospital tomorrow morning for her cardiac surgery I wanted to get out a couple reviews today as, at this point, who knows when I will be back writing reviews again. But, I could not let the day escape without posting at least one thing I found funny.......
It is worth noting that many of the reviews give
away most, if not all, of the details behind the story. This review absolutely does
not. This review, unlike many others out there at Amazon and elsewhere, is safe
to read without ruining this very good novelette.
Far different in style and tone from the Bruce
KohlerSeries written by author Elizabeth Zelvin is Shifting
Is For The Goyim recently released by Untreed Reads. Emerald Love is a
singer and a good one. Thanks to Michael, her boyfriend and fellow musician, she
has had several number one hits. Immensely popular she is now one of those one name
artists such as Cher, Madonna, etc.She’s come a long way from her home in Pumpkin Falls, New York.
With crowd leaving for their homes she is now on the
way to her family home for Passover. She’s missed the last five by way of being
on tour, but there is no missing this one. For many reasons she will wish she
had in this tale of the paranormal, death, faith, and family relationships.
This is a sometimes dark story of pain and loss for
different from the often humorous Bruce KohlerSeries. It is also
incredibly good and features a complicated character, Emerald Love, who is very
worthy of her own novel series. One hopes that such might be in the works based
on this very complicated and very short mystery tale.
Bruce didn’t want to go to the Aquarius Institute,
but Barbara wasn’t to be denied. She had set things up for her and Jimmy to
attend some sort of couple’s workshop with a well-publicized relationship guru
named Melvin Markowitz. Barbara was sure that veggies, meditation, and yoga in
the morning would help Bruce too. Bruce doesn’t want any part of this new age
nonsense that Barbara has involved Jimmy and her, but can’t get out of it
The place maybe located in a beautiful setting, but
for Bruce there is no getting around the fact that being out in the country
somewhere instead of New York City isn’t natural. He is a city boy and needs
the sounds of the city as nature is far too quiet. Being a recovering alcoholic
means that the no booze requirement is no problem. The no cigarette requirement
as well as the no caffeine requirement are major issues. Another issue are his
fellow residents. That includes his obnoxious and pretentious roommate JoJo.
While the place many preach peace and light, many
are having issues, and somewhere in the gathering of clients and stuff lurks a killer.
Finding the body means that Barbara, Jimmy and Bruce are once again involved
way more than they want to be in a murder case. A case that Bruce Kohler
increasingly feels compelled to solve in this latest read from author Elizabeth
Suspects abound in Death Will Save Your Life: A Bruce
Kohler Mystery novella from Books b Nimble. Bruce, Jimmy and Barbara
provide sarcasm and occasionally biting commentary while working their way
through a long suspect list in this fun and fast read. Unlike the novels in
this series that tend to slow the action down for psychology and treatment
issues, this novella proceeds at a rapid pace while providing plenty of mystery
and the occasional joke.
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my
It is deep in the night October 5, 1897 when Sheriff
Sylvester Tilghman is awoken by someone throwing small rocks at his bedroom
window. Doctor Mariner has sent a young boy, Simon Hinkle, over to wake the
sheriff.The good doctor sent for the
sheriff because he is treating a man that has been stabbed. Local resident Ollie
Cramer found the man stabbed out on the road by the new bridge on the south
side of town. A man that the doctor and almost no one else in the small town of
Arahpot, Pennsylvania seems to know.
Not only does the sheriff know the name the man of
the man, he had seen him earlier with Valentine Deibert. Both men seemed to
know each other and had words with Valentine Deibert looking absolutely
terrified at the end of their meeting. When Sheriff Tilghman asked him about
it, Valentine Deibert totally denied everything and claimed to not know the
The same thing the man had claimed when Sheriff Tilghman
tracked him down at Buchner’s livery. The man told the sheriff he didn’t know
Valentine Deibert and was just passing through town.Sheriff Tilghman didn’t believe him then, but
couldn’t really do anything about it.Now that the man, who called himself Conrad Runkle, is a victim of a
criminal assault Sheriff Tilghman can investigate and ask questions. Since Mr.
Runkle can’t answer any questions as he lost a lot of a blood and is
unconscious, Sheriff Tilghman will start with Valentine Deibert and his family.
While Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman has lots of
questions, he receives very few answers in this complex mystery. His situation
with the Runkle case is almost as confusing and complicated as is the target of
his romantic intentions, Lydia.A story
willed woman who seems to welcome his romantic interest, frequently has him
over to meals and clearly enjoys his company, but for unknown reasons of her
own continues to turn down his marriage proposals. A mystery of its own that
has confounded the good sheriff for some time. One that will have to take a
backseat to solving what happened to Conrad Runkle.
This is an engrossing and complex mystery that
quickly pulls readers into the world of Sheriff Tilghman. A world populated by
fully developed characters in all walks of life that give rise to side stories
and details. A world that is slowly changing before readers eyes as these are
the warning days of the telegraph, gas lights, etc. A world that is full of
history and mystery as well as the occasional funny moment.
From Grace by R. R. Lindermuth is a complex
mystery full of twists and turns.Authentic to its time, the read from start to finish has a deeply
western frontier type feel to it though the setting is Pennsylvania. The result
is a very good read and one that works on all levels.
Scott's test procedure at a local area hospital is now completed. It took longer than planned, but it is now done. Hopefully the results will confirm the diagnosis on his gastrointestinal issues so that his treatment will become fully successful.
While we still do not know our food stamp status and Texas Medicaid has still not paid the cancer doctor for part of the treatment for Sandi from way earlier this year, I received today the official form to request help from TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN
SERVICES with Medicare Part B. As expected, the nineteen page form duplicates information they already have had for us going back over two years. It also duplicates every single thing the Social Security Administration requested and verified.
Took two hours for me to complete and another hour plus to copy all the records so they could have them again. The postage paid envelope they sent is way too small for the application, let alone the supporting documents, so it took some doing to get everything in there. Finally did it with Karl's help. It now sits on the kitchen table waiting to go out tomorrow on its journey to Midland, Texas in the far western side of the state. With the holiday next week, I doubt if it will make it to anyone's desk until late next week.
Hopefully, once they get it, it will move right through the system and is quickly approved. I need every penny I can have of my disability check so being approved would be a big help.
The idea of the “paranormal” or the “woo-woo” element
is strikingly popular these days. If such books bother you, or you find them
offensive, The Third Gate by Lincoln Child is not for you.The paranormal as well as the idea of near
death experiences play a major role in this novel.
Professor Jeremy Logan bills himself as an
“Enigmologist” and is quite successful at it in addition to being a professor
of Medieval History at Yale.What really
drives him is explaining the unexplainable---whether it be spiritual or
scientific. It is precisely that aspect of his life that, after considerable
cloak and dagger, will have him stationed in the legendary “Sudd.”
region thousands of square miles across, not so much swap as a labyrinth of
papyrus reeds and water logged trunks. And mud. Mud everywhere, mud more treacherous
than quicksand.The Sudd isn’t deep,
often just thirty or forty feet in places, but in addition to being horribly honeycombed
with braided undergrowth, its water is so full of silt, divers can’t see an
inch beyond their faces. The water’s full of crocodiles by day, the air full of
mosquitoes by night.’” (pages 45-46)
It is in this wet and foul place treasure hunter
Porter Stone has assembled a team of scientists and workers of all types and
placed them on a floating multiarmed station with any equipment they need. They
are to locate the tomb of King Narmer. The pharaoh that many believe united all
of Egypt thousands of years ago long before the birth of those who built the
pyramids in Egypt.Time is of the
essence as the Af’ayalah Dam is near completion near where the team is working.
When the dam is completed it will not only destroy a legendary ecosystem, its
deep waters will flood the area making it impossible to find the tomb.
Not only is time running out to find it there seems
to be a curse on the project. Beyond the fact that every tomb has a curse on it
of some type to protect it, there are very strange happenings at the isolated
station. Scientists and others report hearing voices chanting ancient texts,
figures appearing out in the marsh, floating lights, and various other strange
occurrences are happening.As the days
progress and some sort of entity makes its presence known more and more
survival becomes an issue for Logan and others as they work to discover the
tomb and true history of King Narmer.
Despite its heavy use of the paranormal and near
death experiences, at its heart this is an adventure story featuring modern day
scientific explorers pushing the envelope in their quest for knowledge. In this
case it is a legendary King of Egypt, an inhospitable place with difficult and
dangerous working conditions, and a group of folks who will start to crack in
various ways under the increasing pressure of isolation. Add in the element of the strange using near
death experience – little of which can be revealed without undermining the book
and is not mentioned on the jacket copy for good reason- and all the elements
are there for quite the thriller.
As the author notes he has taken considerable
liberties with Egyptian History to tell this tale.A tale that borders on the fantastic by the
end while still being utterly believable.The Third Gate, while a little bit more out there than some of
his other books, is still a very good one. Not only should it appeal to mainstream
readers, it should also appeal to those who deliberately look for a bit of the
strange or paranormal in their reads.
Having fallen yesterday and seriously still hurting today, I spent much of this day stretched out across the den floor watching football. By the time the Cowboys were coming on, Sandi had moved outside to the creek side porch. Truth be told, I think she needed her space today and it was a good day to be outside. Thursday and what it all means is weighing very heavy on both of us. Late this afternoon, Duncan, wandered outside to join her.
It may be hard to see, but, Duncan is in the back of the other chair. In front of Ducan is a thing of blue yarn and a completed hat that will be donated to the infusion room for a cancer patient to have for warmth.
A better picture of Duncan hanging out in his frequent feline torpedo position....
Often he gets a bit straight than he is in this picture. Kevin
In the wreckage of the S&L crisis of the late 80s and early 90s, Ed Earl Burch works as a private detective. His office located near Mo...
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In my wife's memory and honoring a promise I made to Sandi, the blog continues...at least for now. If you would like to make a donation of support, you can do so at the links below. Most of the donated funds go to the purchase of various short story anthologies and collections which eventually are read and reviewed here.