Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween, Y'all!

I truly feel this way.....

Medical Update-- Scott

Yesterday was another day where we kept doctors and nurses employed. Scott and Sandi were at a local surgical center at 8 am. Scott had to have a third colonoscopy as the first one a couple of months ago and the one last week didn't go as well as they needed to so that things could be seen and assessed. Yesterday didn’t go as well as it could have either with the day not ending until they were back from an emergency run to the doctor’s office in McKinney because of bleeding and a trip to Wal-Mart for meds.

Even though this is Halloween, what Scott went through Monday night and yesterday was very rough and way too gruesome to share here.  A very long story short it ultimately took four more hours of prep work at the surgery center before Scott was ready to be scoped. Finally, after so much work, they could see what they needed to see.

The news at this point is a mixed bag. The preliminary diagnosis is they “think” Scott does not have Crohn’s Disease.  He does have extensive diverticulitis, widespread polyps (some of which were sampled again for cancer biopsies), at least one ulcer for sure, and some other issues that await test results.  He has a follow-up appointment late in the morning next Wednesday to go over the results and talk about where we go from here.

That will require him to miss at least one class next Wednesday. He also missed classes yesterday in a day that never seemed to end.  I know all of this, as well as what we have been through in the past year, is nothing compared to what the folks in the path of Hurricane Sandy have experienced.  Still, for us, it all has been way too much.

Enough already.....Uncle…..I give.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: "Edible Dallas And Fort Worth: The Cookbook" Edited by Terri Taylor

Edited by Terri Taylor Edible Dallas & Fort Worth: The Cookbook showcases the regional cuisine of the local area.  Like everything else, the local cuisine reflects the spirit of competition between the cities as well as the traditional image in the local and national media. Whether it is the Western roots of Fort Worth known as “Cowtown” and where the West begins, or the cutting edge new wave of whatever is about to be hip in Dallas, there should be something for everyone to enjoy in this  173 page book based on the magazine “Edible Dallas & Fort Worth.”

The book opens naturally enough with “Starters.” Here in Chapter 1 you will find “Grilled Watermelon Salad (page 6) and “Peach Pico De Gallo” (page 9) as well as “Fried Squash Blossoms With Herbed Goat Cheese” (page 29) among others. Most of the starters are geared towards the warm weather months. Each recipe features a little history behind the item as well as a tip regarding preparation, storage, etc. Most recipes also feature a picture of he finished dish. Unfortunately, there is not nutritional information at all for those who might want to make healthier versions or substitute ingredients.  

Chapter 2 starts on pages 28-29 and is all about “Soups, Sandwiches, And Such” with the items involved featuring a Texas twist. Here you will find the “One-Ball Squash Sandwich (page 31), “Swine Blue Tacos” (pages 40-41) and “Spicy Corn, Crab, and Black Bean Salad” (page 47) among others.

Greens, variations of potato salads, and lots more can be found in “Chapter 3: Sides.” Dishes like “Aunt Mabel’s Rutabaga Casserole” (page 62), “Warm Roasted Potato, Bacon, And Blue Cheese Salad” (page 70) and “Swiss Chard Lasagna” (page 89) among others are here. Like in the other chapters, interspersed between the recipes, are informative pieces tied into the very local eateries, food suppliers, and cultural history of each city.

As everyone knows, Texas is cattle country. But, there is far more than beef for dinner in “Chapter 4: Mains.” Starting on pages 94-95 with “Chicken Roulades With Goat Cheese And Spinach” and ending with “Stuffed Artichokes” on pages 126-127, and variety is present here as it is throughout the book. It is not just about various steaks, chicken fried steak, and chili con carne though those are here as well.

Based off of local peaches, figs, berries, and more is “Chapter 5: Desserts and Drinks.” Whether you want a desert like “Texas Baklava With Figs, Pecans, And Sherry-Poached Asian Pears (pages 130-131) or “Texas Grapefruit Pie” (pages 134-135) or a drink such as “Lavender Mint Gimlet” (page 152) or the “Texas Two-Step Sipper” (page 157) there is something here for you.

This colorful 175 page book closes with a five page resource section, an acknowledgement section and a five page index.

While the complete lack of nutritional information is a definite drawback, overall Edible Dallas & Fort Worth: The Cookbook edited by Terri Taylor, who is also the editor of the related magazine, is a good cookbook.  Filled with photographs, Texas history as well as regional information, and plenty of recipes, this is a solidly good cookbook that presents very well and is filled with plenty of good meals.

Edible Dallas & Fort Worth: The Cookbook
Editor Terri Taylor
Sterling Epicure (imprint of Sterling Publishing)
October 2012
ISBN# 978-1-4027-8556-6
175 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blantant Plug for Mind Slices

Mind Slices: A Collection of New and Previously Published Stories-- These sixteen scans and dissections of the author's brain reveal that he's afflicted with Genre Versatility, the work displaying his aptitude for fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, and mainstream fiction, with some stories blending genres. The diagnosis?  Your reading enjoyment. 

The book opens with the first two stories ever published before moving forward into more recently published and new works.  Included in the book is “Burning Questions”  which was a honorable mention winner” in  Mysterical-E’s “Skeletons in the Closet” contest in the fall of 2007 as well as several pieces that were published at the mystery e-zine “Mouth Full Of Bullets.”  In total, the book contains 16 stories in a variety of genres.

The book is available at Amazon 

The first review is in at Randy Johnson’s blog at   with author Kate Thornton seconding on Amazon with her own five star review of Mind Slices.

Hope you will consider buying a copy.


Seems Like A Good Idea

Review: "SLOW FALLING: A Bill Travis Mystery" by George Wier

A man covered in dirt from head to toe looking like he just barely crawled out of a grave is never a good thing. It gets worse when the guy dies on the oak floor in a bar. Not that Bill cares one way or another right then what Sonny, the bar owner, is talking about as Bill’s wife, Julie, is in labor and Bill has more important things to think about and do.  Like getting to the hospital in time and in one piece.

He makes it to the hospital just in time to see his latest addition to the family, Michele LeAnn Travis, arrive in the world.  When he comes out of the delivery room he finds Sonny waiting for him. Sonny isn’t worried about why the guy died in his bar. What is bugging him is why the guy distinctly said “The Falling” right before he died.  Sonny isn’t going to let it go so Bill reluctantly agrees to ask around about it.

His first act is to call a friend of his, Patrick Kinsey, who works as a Sheriff’s deputy. Patrick and Bill go back a few years so Patrick knows about Bill’s tendency to get himself into the middle of things. After warning him to stay out of it over the phone and being ignored, Patrick comes to the hospital to tell Bill directly. He has good reason to tell Bill to stay out of things as The Nuclear Regulatory Commission people have taken over every aspect of the situation. Of course, Bill is not about to stop poking around in a case that will take him and others out to far West Texas and a fantastic discovery.

With a clear nod of appreciation to the legendary pulps he grew with, Texas author George Weir blends technology, archeology, and plenty of action into this fast paced mystery tale. A story that barely slows down at all for the addition of more back story further developing the Bill Travis character. A character that can’t stop poking around despite his steadily growing family.

In a series that began with the very good The Last Call and continues here in Slow Falling, Bill Travis once again lives up to his namesake. He also manages to have some fun along the way in this latest mystery.

SLOW FALLING: A Bill Travis Mystery
George Wier
Flagstone Books
March 2012
(Estimated print length 160 pages)

Material provided by the author some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012
Author of the e-book short story collection Mind Slices available at Amazon and Smashwords in a variety of formats.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Sunday Funny

Short Stories---MIND SLICES

My short story collection Mind Slices: A Collection of New and Previously Published Stories features 16 short stories in a variety of genres. Some tales lean towards the science fiction side, some lean towards mystery, and almost all of them lean towards suspense. Most stories also contain more than one genre. The e-book is currently .99 cents and is available online at:

And yes, in case you wondered, the background on the cover is part of my MRI done back in September 2010. Somehow, it seemed appropriate to use it.

The first review is in at Randy Johnson’s blog at

I hope you will consider buying a copy.


Sunday Funny

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: "Death on the Pedernales: A Bill Travis Mystery" by George Wier

It was supposed to be a simple flying lesson when Bill Travis and Denise Lipscomb lifted off the runway in Austin for the short flight to the small town of Trantor’s Crossing fifty miles away.  The plan is to practice touch and go landings at the small airport there and then fly back home. Twenty minutes later the flashing red and blue lights at a small airport hangar indicate something is wrong.

It isn’t long before it is clear why the police are at the hangar in such force.  Legendary local Edgar Bristow is dead after being struck repeatedly in the face by a crowbar. For Denise, who had a personal and long history with Mr. Bristow, the murder is a shock. For Bill Travis, despite his obligations at home, the murder and the hunt for the killer are about to be his latest problem.

Unfortunately for Bill Travis, Sheriff Leroy wants his help. Media stories of Bill’s saving the governor’s life and also clearing the name of Texas Ranger Walt Connor means the good Sheriff knows just some of what Bill has done. More than anything, he knows Bill Travis gets the job done. While he wants to help, Sheriff Leroy wants to control everything.  Easier said than done with Bill Travis who tends to be a bit unorthodox at times.

Book five of the series finds Bill once again away from his wife Julie and the family because he manages to get involved in one deal after another. While readers of these novels don’t see that much of the family man side of Bill Travis beyond his amazingly supportive wife Julie and occasional glimpse of Travis with his daughters, more backstory of the Travis character is revealed in this fast moving novel. Along the way there are plenty of observations on Texas life and history as well as plenty of mystery.

Death on the Pedernales continues the solid series that began with The Last Call. Blending lots of action, plenty of mystery, and interesting characters, Texas author George Weir has created another good one in the series.

Death on the Pedernales: A Bill Travis Mystery
George Wier
Flagstone Books
January 2012
(Estimated print length 200 pages)

Material provided by the author some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

FFB: "BEAST IN VIEW" by Margaret Millar (Reviewed by Patrick Ohl)

Patrick is back today for a second appearance as part of  Friday’s Forgotten Books.   If you have not seen Patrick’s blog, At The Scene Of The Crime, you are missing a lot of good stuff.  Very much worth your time....

Helen Clarvoe is terrified. A girl named Evelyn Merrick has been harassing her and making veiled threats, all while carefully treading a legal line that ensures her victim can’t call the police and have something done about it. But soon, Evelyn decides to expand on her work instead of limiting her victim to Helen Clarvoe. She begins to terrorize everyone connected with Helen, starting with telephone calls and escalating into more and more vicious behaviour…

And so Helen turns to her lawyer, Paul Blackshear, who makes it his mission to track down Evelyn. But things aren’t quite as simple as that might sound. Half of the people who know Evelyn describe her as an insane girl who will destroy herself one of these days. The other half is shocked at the first half, and describe Evelyn as a saint who would do anything for a friend and whose kindness knows no limits. What is the secret behind the enigmatic Evelyn Merrick?

It’s the plot of Margaret Millar’s Beast in View, a 1955 novel that won the MWA’s Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1956. And you can tell why. This book is quite simply groundbreaking, but it has one of the most difficult endings to describe. The ending has since been extremely overused, especially by Hollywood. It has become one of the most cliché endings imaginable, and just one adjective can quite easily give it away (as it did for me). From page 1, I was convinced I knew the ending. So did that make the book less enjoyable?

Oddly enough… no! I was absolutely amazed at how Margaret Millar manages to pull off such an unconventional ending while playing perfectly fair with her readers. She never directly lies to us, you see. The only deceptions that are played out are those legitimately played out on the investigator, Paul Blackshear. And when the ending comes, you can really see why people back in 1956 were so astounded by it. It is one of Margaret Millar’s trickiest bits of misdirection, and even if you know the ending you can admire her for inventing the ending in the first place, and then for the clever misdirection with which people were fooled back when this twist was new.

And even though this twist now seems as old as the Great Wall of China, there is plenty of emotional resonance to the ending nonetheless, with an absolutely perfect last sentence that encapsulates the book’s beauty and tragedy. It really is a shame that, thanks to its overuse, this twist will likely not fool modern readers. I envy anybody who can read this book and be surprised by the ending.
Paperback coming September 2016

But that’s not all. I was also genuinely shocked to see the topic of homosexuality discussed quite openly in the book. To be fair, the words “homosexual”, “gay”, and “lesbian” are never used (although the derogative term “fairy” is used once), but it’s quite clear that these things are going on. At one point, a lesbian makes a pass at another woman. Before she does so, another woman leaves the room sneering that she prefers the “normal ones”. The lesbian, Bella, runs an indecent abode, is overweight, ugly, and generally repulsive. She only appears for a handful of pages. Yet Margaret Millar manages to somehow turn her into a compelling character. Bella admits that the world has been cruel to her, and so to cope she began to eat, and eat, and eat, until she became the woman that we see in the present day. Although we see all the ugly things about Bella, this painful monologue shows that there is far more to her than meets the eye. There’s another homosexual character who is very important to the story, but describing this person and his backstory would give major spoilers for something that happens well into the book. (While Bella appears near the end of the book, her inclusion is only minor and I have used it to demonstrate just how talented Millar was at writing characters.)

All this proves yet again that gosh darn it all, Margaret Millar could write, and her work really has been unfairly forgotten. The characters in this story are among the most memorable you will come across in any novel ever written. The atmosphere of menace and dread in this story are absolutely top-notch, and it really tackles some risqué subject matter for the 1950s. The ending, although original at the time, has unfortunately become cliché since then through overuse, but that doesn’t take away from its emotional power. But even if you know the ending, like I did, you will undoubtedly find much to admire in Beast in View. This is another masterpiece from Margaret Millar and has reminded me once again why I love her stuff so much.

Note: Beast in View has been reissued by the Orion Publishing Group under their Phoenix imprint. More information can be found at the publisher’s page here. U. S. residents can easily order the book from The Book Depository here.

Patrick Ohl ©2012

At 19 years of age, Patrick Ohl has already read the complete works of Agatha Christie and has almost done the same with John Dickson Carr. His taste in mysteries is very comprehensive, including the intellectual challenges of John Rhode, the psychological suspense of Margaret Millar, and the violent world of master thief Parker. He currently plans to write his autobiography, tentatively entitled I can’t stand postmodernism, and to sell millions of copies worldwide, gain international fame and influence, and use this to get some attention for criminally neglected authors such as this one. His reviews can be found on his blog, At the Scene of the Crime.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sandi's Foot--Update

Sandi just got out of the doctor's office with no changes. Four more weeks of physical therapy and continued use of the heavy boot when she is not working. These things take time and being a diabetic means everything takes longer for her.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Senior News--October 2012 Column

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 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 October  2012 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers……

Baby Shark’s Showdown at Chigger Flats
Robert Fate
E-book (estimated print length 256 pages)

It is May 1960 in Fort Worth, Texas as this fifth book in the series begins. It is a calm quiet morning as Baby Shark, Kristin Van Dijk, brings around the old car she and her private investigator partner, Otis Millett, are going to use for a stakeout later in the day. Everything is peaceful until the shooting starts.

When the shooting stops Baby Shark is wounded, cars are smashed and destroyed in the street with the wreckage everywhere, and bad dead guys litter the area. In a hard hitting action tale that crosses Texas from Fort Worth to the area around Midland, the threat has to be stopped. To do that Baby Shark spares no prisoners and gives better than she gets in this violence filled adrenalin ride for justice. Over now five very good books Baby Shark has proven again and again you can’t rationalize with evil--you have to treat it for what it is and kill it.

The Feedstore Chronicles
Travis Erwin
TAG Publishing, LLC
ISBN 978-1-934606-31-5
Paperback (also available on Kindle)
206 Pages

Building on his experience working at a feedstore as a teen, Texas author Terry Ervin fictionalized those years and all involved to come up with this often funny coming of age tale. The book will strike a strong resonance with you if you are of a certain age and grew up in Texas.

It is the spring of 1989 and the young narrator, Travis, is all of sixteen. Travis has a crush on a classmate and believes having some cash from working will get him closer to her. While he works he learns lessons about life through his boss Doyle Suggs. As the months turn into years and Travis works closer and closer to High School graduation he learns the good, the bad, and the downright ugly and smelly from Doyle.

There is no great summing up of this book that is possible. No great mysteries are solved, no meaning of life is pronounced, and no great revelations are explained in this occasionally very graphic book.  A fact that was made clear from word one of the introduction. The Feedstore Chronicles is simply a fun read and an ode to a time when, as pimply faced Texas teens, we knew it all. 

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

Get your copy of MIND SLICES today!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sandi's Blog and Store

Just a reminder, as we head towards cooler weather and the holiday season, Sandi's Store is at  Lots of good handmade stuff there.

Her blog on crafts, gardening, and a few other things is at


Lesa's Latest Contest

Comes your way from Lesa Holstine....

This week, I'm giving away two packages of cozy mysteries. The first package features librarians - Jenn McKinlay's Due or Die and Elizabeth Lynn Casey's Deadly Notions. The other package has Lila Dare's Die Job and Grace Carroll's Died with a Bow. Details are available on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

My World....

I never had that good of a beard either......

Monday, October 22, 2012

Medical Monday--Update

It didn't work. They could not see what they need to see so they will try for the third time to see what they need to see next Tuesday morning.

Medical Monday-- Scott

Today is another morning where we are keeping doctors and nurses employed. Scott and Sandi are at a local surgical center this morning as I write this. Scott is having to go under a second colonoscopy as the first one a couple of months ago didn't go as well as it needed to.

The purpose this morning is to hopefully better see things in there and figure out what is going on with him. Not only do they need to see just how bad his ulcer is and if there is only one, they are also trying to determine if  Scott has Crohn's Disease. Some indications say yes while others say no. They had hoped to be able to figure this out the last time the did the colonoscopy, but could not see everything they wanted.

At least when that one was done, the biopsies they took came back cancer free. After what we had gone through with Sandi, cancer was a very real fear.  The plan this morning is to take a couple more samples while they are inside to make sure.

Scott has classes later today and is planning to go to school. Hopefully, things will go smoothly and quickly so this is over as fast as possible today.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: "The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now with Six Kinds of Whole Foods" by Janice Stanger, Ph.D.

Released in 2009 The Perfect Formula Diet is based on the life experiences and research of author Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Having dealt with her own food cravings and obesity she had to learn a new way of dealing with weight and eating. To win her battle she had to come to the understanding that the body naturally will arrive at the perfect weight with the right food intake. Her belief is that the real problem is poor decision making regarding food choices and the heavy influence of modern day food processing. As she points out in “Chapter 1: Perfect Body” and repeatedly throughout the book, those who want to lose weight have to get back in balance to allow your naturally perfect body to stabilize and heal itself.

“Chapter 2: Perfect Weight” starts sharing the research that not only do traditional diets not work, plant based diets (vegan) with no animal foods are the way to go. Regardless of genetics, race, or other factors that might tend to influence things, those patients on plant based diets lost weight according to the various studies mentioned here. A meat free diet based on plant foods not only brings more fiber into your diet, it also causes your metabolic rate to go to a higher level so that you burn fat.

Details and citations of the studies supporting the author’s statements in this chapter, or in any of the chapters, are not directly listed or cited in the book. In many cases the studies are not referenced by title, author, institution, or any identifying information. Instead, to save trees and printing costs¸ readers are encouraged to refer to the author’s website for that information.

“Chapter 3: Perfect Foods” is all about what you should and should not eat. Simplifying greatly, this chapter that begins on page 23 advises readers to avoid manufactured foods such as white flour, white rice, vegetable oils, white sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc.  Avoid all animal foods or any food that come from animals. This means avoid meats, eggs, fish, cheeses, etc. One should be eating all types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and more. 

Of course you do need protein in your food and that is the point of “Chapter 4: Perfect Protein.”   How plant proteins really work for you and how animal proteins work against you is covered here. A major point of this chapter is that too much protein can cause uncontrolled growth. That in turns leads to obesity and cancer among other things.

Nutrients are also important as noted in “Chapter Five: Perfect Nutrients.” After citing the history of numerous athletes in various fields who followed a plant based (vegan) diet, the author again makes her case for a plant based diet that avoids all animal foods.

After reminding readers again on pages 60-61 to consult with their doctor, especially critical for patients with chronic illness and/or on medications, it is on with “Chapter 6: Perfect Formula Diet.”  As the author notes, her idea is not one of those eat high/low plans, but a plan based on balance. Therefore, based on volume, your diet should by 25% of each category of vegetables, fruits, legumes/potatoes and whole grains. You want to make sure to eat two tablespoons a day of ground flax seeds as well as plenty of herbs and seasonings. You don’t worry about the size of the portions. You eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.  Also included here are some suggestions for appropriate snacking.

After a while you will notice you like some things you eat a lot more than others. But, to be most successful, you will need to rotate the foods you consume. That is the theme of “Chapter 7: Perfect Rotation” starting on page 71. Rotation of foods you consume and how the various groups work together to help you lose weight and get healthy is stressed in this chapter.  Advantages of certain treats, such as dark chocolate, are also covered here. An interesting part of this chapter is addressing what to do if you are not seeing results after a few weeks on the diet.

“Chapter 8: Perfect Start” starts on page 97 with an opening pep talk on why you should change your diet before getting into specifics. She advocates making a major shift in your eating habits one time rather than making gradual adjustments. And how to do so mentally as your mind and attitude have a role to play. Give it a month and see what happens is the idea here.

Doing this change in eating habits requires some planning and that is the point of “Chapter 9: Perfect Logistics.” This chapter tells you how to change your shopping habits, how to make it work for your job out of the home, eating out, and travel issues, among other situation. The major point of this chapter is that planning will become easier the longer you are doing the diet.

Money can be an issue and that is the point of the very short “Chapter 10:  Perfect Price.” The foods themselves should be relatively inexpensive as you are buying original foods that have not been processed. The author includes a few tips starting page 128 such as to buy things that are in season and buy canned and dried foods in large quantities when they are on sale to stretch things out further.

“Chapter 11: Perfect Evidence” is all about the evidence gathered from around the world to support a plant based lifestyle. While interesting information the placement of this chapter seems a bit odd as it would have made sense to fold much of this information into chapter two making the case for this lifestyle.

“Chapter Twelve: Perfect Health” also goes back over material covered in earlier chapters and restates the information previously provided. As explained before and again here, dietary issues cause healthcare issues and costs and other problems.

This leads into a chapter about how your body defends itself in “Chapter 13: Perfect Defenses.”  Inflammation is that defense shield for the body and can shift out of control as seen in chronic disease. This can place a huge burden on your body and lead to other issues.

This information leads readers to “Chapter 14: Perfect Balance” where it is explained how some foods-- such as animal proteins -- are foreign to the body and trigger immune system response.  By changing your lifestyle to the author’s advocated plant based diet, the immune reactions end, and the body returns to a normal balance.

“Chapter 15: Perfect Puzzle Completed” is all about hormones. Animal proteins can cause certain hormones to go out of control and that can ultimately lead to cancer and other issues.  That point and other information regarding oxygen, estrogen, free radicals and more are here.

Making the point that what is happening to each person is also happening to the planet is the idea of “Chapter 16: Perfect Planet.”  Eliminating animal protein from everyone’s diet would remove the environmental factors with raising animals to consume and would be a small positive step forward to detoxify the planet.  No matter how hard we try to avoid it, chemicals involved with animal production are in our food supply, as it stands, and therefore in your body.

While you may have made adjustments in your eating habits, you should not stop there.  “Chapter 17: Perfect Home” is all about removing the hidden threats in your home. Critically important if you are still having health issues after embracing The Perfect Formula Diet. The chapter contains a number of tips as to what to look for and what to avoid in your everyday products.

Exercise, sleep, and alternative medicine are just some of the topics briefly discussed in “Chapter 18: Perfect Next Steps.” The main point is that once you follow the diet and detoxify, your perfect body will naturally want to become more active and free of other issues.

Changing your personal environment and your role in it has been a theme throughout the book. It becomes the forefront again in this chapter titled “Chapter 19: Perfect Climate.” Repeating some of the same argument made in earlier chapters, the author encourages readers to see modern manufactured food for what it really is in terms if planet and society destruction.

Each chapter has a brief summing up of the highlights of the chapter. Those are condensed and used here in “Chapter 20: Perfect Story” summing up some of the highlights of the book.

Where to find information on recipes and other things is the point of “Chapter 21: Perfect Resources.” This leads readers on to a short reference page directing readers to the author’s website for study information and a five page index that finishes the book.

Unlike many diet books, those readers looking for specific meal plan suggestions will not find that information in The Perfect Formula Diet. Readers will find lots of interesting information--often repetitive--in this 260 page self-published book on why a plant based (vegan) diet that avoids any form of animal protein would be good for you, your family, and the planet as a whole.

The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now with Six Kinds of Whole Foods
Janice Stanger, Ph.D.
Perfect Plant Solutions
260 Pages

Material provided a very long time ago by Paula Krapf of Author Marketing Experts in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Amazon Associate

In addition to the donation widget on the left side, I am an Amazon Associate. What this means is if you click on one of the book links on this blog to buy a particular book or to shop on Amazon and you buy something, I get a few pennies on the sale. It does not affect the price you pay at Amazon or have any impact on you financially at all.

What it does do is generate a small referral fee that is paid into my Amazon Associate account a few pennies at a time. Those pennies add up each quarter. When enough pennies add up to ten dollars, usually once a year, I can cash out.

So, if you are going to shop at Amazon anyway, please consider going through me to do your shopping. Every little bit helps and I do appreciate it very much.

Thank you


Review: "The Devil To Pay: A Bill Travis Mystery" by George Wier

The fourth book in the “Bill Travis Mysteries” series opens with Bill Travis at work in his office when his friend Walt Cannon comes by to see him. Walt is a Texas Ranger with a thirty plus year career in the elite law enforcement agency. Walt is also under suspicion by some within the organization. Some believe that Walt committed a murder. Walt expects to be arrested soon. Walt swears he didn’t kill Phil Burnet, though he certainly had a good reason to kill him.

Bill Travis knows Walt and is pretty sure his friend is telling him 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. Bill seems to have a knack for investigating things and finding the truth even though his day job deals with money and all the tricks investment counselors, like Bill, use to make money grow for their clients.

One thing that will help Bill when he starts poking around is that the guy who found the body of Phil Burnet in the water at what used to be called Town Lake is Perry Reilly. The same Perry Reilly, notorious womanizer, who runs an insurance agency right next door to where Bill has his office. Bill has known Perry since way back in the day before Bill was married with kids. Before long, Bill is over at Perry’s office asking a few questions and reluctantly agreeing to let Perry tag along in the investigation. A decision that Bill will have more than one chance to regret in a dangerous case that will take them back and forth across Central Texas chasing a killer.

The Devil To Pay is another fast moving read in the series showcasing the obvious talents of the author George Wier. Bill Travis is a unique character firmly grounded in his everyman roots who gets involved in things again and again because of the people he knows. Often in this series, what starts as something relatively minor soon explodes in a major way with links to the Governor’s Mansion, political double dealing, and notorious crimes decades old.  Bill can’t help getting involved and becoming a target. It is in his nature and he can’t help it. Even these days with a wife, a new baby in the house, and lots more going on.

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. That novel was reviewed again yesterday here as my selection for Friday’s Forgotten Books.

The Devil To Pay: A Bill Travis Mystery
George Wier
Flagstone Books
December 2011
(Estimated print length 141 pages)

Material provided by the author some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

FFB Review: "The Last Call- A Bill Travis Mystery" by George Wier

Normally I wouldn’t select such a relatively new book for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. But, I just finished The Devil To Pay. The fourth book of a series written by George Wier leaves me wondering yet again for his books. Reminiscent of the Sheriff Rhodes series by Bill Crider, Weir has created a sort of everyman character in Bill Travis (an investment counselor) and throws him into various difficult situations. Like he did with the first book, The Last Call …..

Bill Travis first saw the beautiful woman while he was driving in heavy traffic on the loop near downtown Austin. The beautiful reddish blonde in the red roadster didn’t seem to mind that Bill Travis was staring at her. For a few minutes they played a cat and mouse game passing each other in the heavy morning traffic. After a smile his way and a couple of quick moves on her part in the stop and go traffic, she was gone down the interstate and out of his life. That left the nearly 40 year old Bill Travis with only one option---head to work as if nothing had happened at all.

That is until a short time later, as his first client of the day, she walks into his office.

Julie Simmons may have flirted and then cut him off in traffic, but she has bigger issues then being a sexy and rude flirt. She has crossed Archie Carpin, a North Texan Liquor Baron and legendary figure with a violent family lineage dating back to the 20’s in Texas. This is one family that you leave very well alone if you have any brains at all. Julie was desperate and took two million dollars and ran. Of course, Archie Carpin very much wants his money back.

Bill Travis, a man that helps well off people with their money problems can’t help falling for her in every way possible.  Even if there is far more to her story and he knows it from the very start.  The beautiful woman wasn’t kidding when she said her name was trouble. He just didn’t care. He should have as she was not lying about that much at least.

On the run and trying to stay alive on a trail that takes them from Austin to North Texas and back again, Texas author George Wier crafts an intriguing tale full of twists and turns. Populated with complex main and secondary characters, plenty of clues, and plenty of action this recently released novel first in a planned series is a good one. Even seasoned mystery readers will be surprised by some of the twists the complex case takes while imparting some legendary Texas history.

The Last Call: A Bill Travis Mystery
Gorge Wier
Flagstone Books
Kindle E-Book
$0.00 (as of today)

Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cool Milestone

Earlier today Sandi had a major milestone. For the first time in over a year, Sandi had a haircut.  A little over six months ago she was completely bald thanks to the chemotherapy. When her hair came back, it was very different in every way possible. While it did come back everywhere on her head, it also grows much slower than it used to before the cancer treatment.

Because her hair was/is so different now, Sandi wanted somebody who was used to working with cancer patients. So she went to "Survivor Gals" in Plano. They did a great job working with her hair and we both like the results.

Sandi's next round of bloodwork and PET SCAN to make sure she is still in remission is now scheduled for  early December. 


Book Review: "Trickster's Point: A Novel" by William Kent Krueger

Approximately a year after the events of Northwest Angle finds Cork O’Connor once again dealing with the weighty issues of family, friendship, and survival in the wilderness of the North Country of Minnesota. It took Jubal Little three hours to die. Plenty of time for a man to confess his sins, make peace with the past, and more while siting against a rock at Trickster’s Point.

Cork O’Connor may have thought about killing Jubal Little. He may have gone to the site for a lot of reasons – including having it out with the man who might have been the first Native American elected governor of Minnesota. But, Cork O’Connor didn’t kill him. Even if others don’t understand why he stayed there with Jubal and watched him die without going for help. Even if the distinctive handmade arrow in Jabal’s chest indicates Cork did.

Cork is being set up and knows it even if most members of law enforcement don’t see it that way. Jubal Little had a long list of public adversaries because of who he was and what he planned to do as governor. There are also private adversaries that not that many know about. Ones that go back to childhood when Cork and Jubal, both fatherless, grew up together and formed a bond that still connected them deep into adulthood.  The list of potential real suspects is long and Cork has to investigate on his own to clear his name while law enforcement finds more and more evidence against Cork.

Shifting in time through the extensive use of flashbacks, author William Kent Krueger tells a complicated tale of past friendship, murder, and political advantage in his latest book.  A book that also shows the Cork family changing in so many ways.  Things are moving forward with his expanded family and yet Cork continues to get himself into situations that his son would prefer he stay out. Cork can’t help it. It is in his blood.

Another good book in the series, Trickster’s Point is a complicated and often highly atmospheric read as it moves slowly forward.  Much is made of the always present Indian heritage as well as past history of several characters. While this twelfth novel in the series could be read as a standalone those who have read the proceeding books starting with Iron Lake will get considerably more out of this latest effort.

Trickster’s Point: A Novel
William Kent Krueger
Atria Books (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN# 978-1-4516-4567-5
Hardback (also available as e-book)
329 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012