Friday, November 30, 2012

Medical Update---The Latest on Sandi's Feet/Legs

Sandi had another appointment today with the podiatrist. He has diagnosed two additional problems involving her right foot and leg. He did not choose to boot her left foot as he is thinking it is being over strained by her inability to walk correctly or normally thanks to the right side problem. He agrees with the physical therapist and has stopped all physical therapy for now.
He also has extended her unpaid medical leave to at least January 12, 2013 because of everything.
Sandi now has an MRI without contrast scheduled for Tuesday morning. She is supposed to see the podiatrist to go over the results on Friday, December 7, 2012. If surgery is needed, as is expected by everyone at this point, the plan it to try and do it before the end of the year. Not only will she have a 3500 dollar deductible next year under her Wal-Mart insurance, she will also have a different insurer so things will get weird insurance wise after the first of the year for awhile.
Next week is going to be rough. She has the PET SCAN on Monday and bloodwork. MRI Tuesday morning. At this point she is off Wednesday. Late Thursday morning we meet with the cancer doctor and go over results. Friday morning is the podiatrist.
Of course, if the worst has happened and the cancer is back, that will be the focus and any foot surgery will just have to wait as they will need to start chemotherapy and anything else they want to do as fast as possible. One hopes that she will get good news on all this stuff with no cancer and no need for any surgery.

FFB Review: "FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel" by Terry W. Ervin II

It is Friday and that means it is time for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott.  Having literally just finished the powerful sequel BLOOD SWORD, it seemed fitting to again cover the excellent first book, FLANK HAWK.  I can’t recommend these books highly enough.

Zombies are never a good thing.  Souled zombies, ones that can independently think and act, are even worse. Then there are the goblins, ogres, seers, wizards, and more in this time nearly 3000 years in the future where magic is prevalent, dragons fly, and the evil necromancer king seeks to rule the world.  The good people and creatures are far outnumbered by those bent on war and conquest. Those that can harness the most magic can turn the tide of battle –at least for now.

For Krish and his cousin Guzzy, the recent battles outside of their small village have been more then the annual minor attacks designed to disrupt the yearly harvest. The young men fight to defend their village, Pine Ridge, and to protect all they hold dear. With swords and spears protected by magic and salt, they fight on as the enemy in many different forms continues to press the attack and people they know die around them. Back up is on the way as kingdoms make alliances in order to slow the advance of those loyal to the evil necromancer king. One such alliance allows Prince Reveron of Kreese to eventually take over and lead the small group Krish is part of into battle. Krish becomes noticed not only by the Prince but by others and gradually works his way deeper and deeper into the circle of those that Prince Reveron trusts. While Krish may not have had formal military training, he acquires battle skills at a rapid rate and has certain other skills that he continues to try to keep hidden from those around him.

Nearly any fantasy story has to have an epic quest. The one Krish is sent on is huge and could mean the fate of the world as well as what is left of humanity, forever changed in our times, could massively change again. That is assuming he can survive and complete a quest that is nearly impossible from the start. The good thing is he will get some help. The bad thing is that the little help he gets most likely will not nearly be enough.

Blending a fantasy line set nearly 3000 years in the future heavily reliant on magic with a modern day cold and dispassionate tale of technology mercilessly doing exactly what it was designed to do resulting in horrific results, is not easy. Author Terry Ervin makes it look easy as he captivates readers for 288 pages in this very complex book.

Filled with interesting characters, this fully formed world is strangely different and yet at times very relevant to our modern day world of today. Krish is a man who develops throughout the book while never losing his awe at what forces are arrayed against him. Nor does he lose his own sense of purpose and place despite realistic periods of self-doubt and contemplation. The same core values that come across in the first few pages are still there at the end in a smarter more seasoned character.

In a world where nightmares and worse of a child are very much real and life does not last long, Krish battles and delights readers. It is a world that could happen. May even happen as technology spreads and is always vulnerable to use by those bent on power and greed.

The book is highly recommended as FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization Legacy Novel is a mighty good read.

FLANK HAWK: A First Civilization’s Legacy Novel
Terry W. Ervin II
Gryphonwood Press
July 2009
ISBN# 978-0-9825087-0-1
Paperback (also available on the Kindle)
290 Pages

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

Kevin R.  Tipple © 2011, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New From The Library

Fiction is up first with....

and for non fiction I have.....

Lots of good and interesting reading once again thanks to the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System. What I don't have is enough time.....

Review of Mind Slices

One of several positive reviews the book has received, the one below is from Jan Christensen who created a great synopsis as well....

This intriguing collection of short stories, which range from mystery to horror with a dash of mainstream and fantasy thrown in, give the reader a fascinating up-close look into most of the main characters' thoughts and feelings.

We travel through hell with Dante's distant grandson, look for answers about heaven and hell with another young man who may not like what he finds, and learn about how a sheriff and a private company guard spend some of their time. There's the beleaguered dad, "a sober country and western song" who finally loses it. Or does he? A strange Christmas tale with an even stranger Santa, the unappreciated wife and mother who makes a life-altering decision, and the bookstore clerk who can't convince the current management that books are more than mere products. Will solving crimes with new devices make things easier in the future? Why is Mike receiving those strange packages with even stranger contents? One of the most satisfying may be the one about how the old man finds a unique solution for solving a critter problem. And then there's the plane crash with no survivors, until . . .

The range of stories is wonderful. We totally understand the characters' motivations and feelings with never a boring moment. Highly recommended. 

The book is available at Amazon 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The next big thing is a blog project designed to help authors get the word out about their projects. Normally I don’t do these sorts of things, just like I don’t host blog tours for authors and books I have not read, but when Bill Crider asks, I say yes. I just am not going to tell the legendary Bill Crider no on anything and was tremendously honored that Bill thought of me. So, I did this one though I don’t have a next book yet. I also did my best to find five more authors to tag, but nearly everyone said they had already done this. Still, I did find a few of us who hadn’t and they will be listed at the end of the blog.

What is the working title of your next book?

Until You Scream My Name is the title of the book I have been working on and off--mostly off- for the last several years.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

From my twisted subconscious. It is a dark and messy place that several therapists have found to be way too depressing to deal with. I would also point out that if you have been divorced three or more times you should not be allowed to call yourself a “marriage counselor.”

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery. I am hoping that when the book is finally done I can figure out a way to claim to have invented a new sub-genre so I can claim to be unique in over bearing and pompous marketing materials that I will send out all and asunder several times a day.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I truly have no idea. The actors that I like, such as Tommy Lee Jones, are all too old and the young ones are playing sparkly vampire types. Besides, Hollywood is weird. When Tom Cruise can play Jack Reacher in a movie anything can happen.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Hero’s best friend is killed and hero is very upset and wants answers/justice.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Agency if at all possible. Assuming agencies still exist and we have not all died off to due to zombie fueled sharks with laser beams on their heads that manage to come out of the sea laying waste to cities everywhere…..

How long did it take you to write a first draft of the manuscript?
Still writing first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

All of them. Except the ones with dead hookers who have hearts of gold. Also, any PI book where the detective drinks, solves cases, and has a secretary he secretly loves.

 Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The therapists say I should not talk about this in public.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

There will be bullets, things blowing up, and decapitations---not necessarily in that order. Also--twisted jokes.

The following have agreed to participate as this deal rolls forward crushing all in its wake. Mary Adair, Caroline Clemmons, Travis Erwin, Hunter Shea, and Glen Walker.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Medical Update-- The Lastest on Sandi's Feet/Legs

Sandi had another therapy appointment today with the physical therapist and the news was not good at all. The therapist has now stopped all therapy at this point because he believes it is doing absolutely zero good for her. Nothing at all has changed for the better. She remains in nearly constant pain except for the occasional periods of numbness that seem to be happening from time to time. She is still experiencing swelling at odd intervals that, so far, none of us have been able to relate to anything.

Going forward the therapist believes that both feet need to be fully booted as soon as possible, not just her right, and that she needs an MRI to determine the extent of the injuries and damage in both feet and both. He is going to stress all of this in his report for the foot doctor.

Sandi is supposed to see the foot doctor Friday morning.  She is also supposed to have her PET SCAN and blood work on Monday to determine if she is still in remission.

How long they have to wait after her PET SCAN to do an MRI I have no idea, but I would think there has to be some time because they use some sort of dye deal with the PET SCAN. Seems to me they would need that to flush out of her system before they could do an MRI.

Obviously, things could easily be worse and we know that. But, not knowing exactly what is wrong and if it can be fixed is frustrating her quite a bit. You would think after all we have gone through over me the last two plus years, and everything with her as well from heart attacks and strokes to cancer, she could catch a break on this.

Meet Randy Rawls

I had the privilege several years ago back when the mystery conference Hardboiled Heroes and Cozy Cats was around. Randy Rawls is one very cool dude and one heck of a writer. The below message appeared on one of my lists and I am taking the liberty of pasting it here....

Randy Rawls Signs Hot Rocks:
at Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
Friday, November 30 at 7 PM

Randy Rawls is a son of the south with two main hobbies: reading and writing mysteries or thrillers. When he's not at the computer, fleshing out the next story, he's curled up with a good book, many of them by South Florida writers. He's read many hundreds and had eight published. Randy Rawls lives in South Florida. Come to Murder on the Beach to meet and hear Randy Rawls.  Free refreshments!

Hot Rocks
  When private eye Beth Bowman is knocked unconscious in a South Florida hotel room, the good news is she gets to meet the charming Dr. David Rasmussen. The bad news? She's wanted by the police for murder. Not to mention, several unknown parties are trying to kill her for reasons she doesn't understand.Signed by the author: 14.99


Joanne Sinchuk
Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
Pineapple Grove
273 NE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33444
Phone: 561-279-7790


A frequent complaint when I run my cookbook reviews over at Epinions is that I haven't tried the recipes. In the minds of some there  the fact that cooking is very difficult for me, to be polite about it, doesn't matter. If you haven't cooked anything from the cookbook, your review is pretty much meaningless in their minds.

Which requires me to point out again that nobody ever asks me if the murder method worked or if the body disposal was done correctly in my mystery reviews.

Nobody asks me if the griffin was accurately depicted or if the lamenting soul would really glow that way in the fantasy novels I review.

Even more important, nobody has ever asked me to verify the sexual antics in any book I have ever reviewed.

Research is important and I do get that. But, there are limits. The fact that I have not done what is done in many books I read and review does not make the reviews worthless or inaccurate.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Becuase I think This Is Funny

Amazon and Cyber Monday

If you are planning on shopping Amazon for your deals anyway, please consider going through one of the many links on my blog to surf the site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies for each sale. Those pennies do add up. Quite honestly, we could really use all the help we can get these days. Not only will it help us, it also won't cost you, the buyer, one cent.

So, if you are going to buy from Amazon please go there from here first.

Thank you!


Review: "From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post Hospitalization"

Published by Home Care Assistance, Inc., From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post Hospitalization is designed to provide readers the information they need for a variety of situations when a loved one needs help to stay in his or her home. This book is designed for readers who are totally unfamiliar at any level with the process so readers with this knowledge will find little in the book to assist them. The book is in sections that relate to those involved in the discharge process, dealing with various diseases, and resources available to you from the company publishing the book.

After an opening chapter outlining a typical scenario involving an elderly man and his fall requiring hospitalization, it is on to Chapter 2 where the various people who play a role in what happens next are discussed. Whether it be the patient, family members, doctors, nurses, discharge planner, social worker, therapist, etc. everyone has a role and the various roles are covered here.

A key competent of this is the discharge planner who is the subject of “Chapter Three: Helping the Discharge Planner.” The need for communication by all is stressed as is the need to verify everything with the discharge planner.

“Chapter Four:  Where Do Discharge Patient Go?” follows with brief explanations of what is a skilled nursing facility, hospice, etc.

Chapters Five through Ten cover various situations and concerns “Post-Discharge.” This can be pain for the patient, safety issues such as falls, burns, etc. or mental health issues such as depression, anger, anxiety, etc.  Dealing with these issues as well as exercise and mobility and personal hygiene are covered here in simple to read short chapters. Like the entire book, a lot of what is in these chapters reflects various situations where the names have been changed to prove anonymity for the patient being discussed.

“Chapter Eleven: Acute Medical Problems” begins on page 74 and covers such issues as Pneumonia, shingles, dehydration, bowel-related problems, among others.  Each situation is explained in detail before advice is rendered in short sub-sections titled “Home Care Considerations” and “Emotional Considerations.”

Things can just happen and that is the theme of “Chapter Twelve: Accidents and Surgeries.”  Soft tissue injuries, fractures, knee replacement, and abdominal surgery, are covered here.

Chapters Thirteen through Twenty-Three (pages 94-154) go through various specific diseases and their unique situations. Whether it be Cancer (Chapter 14, pages 99-104), Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (Chapter 17, pages 115-123), Kidney Disease (Chapter twenty-One, pages 140-145) and others are covered here. Like the other chapters the information presented is of a general nature giving readers a wide overview of the situation.

“Chapter Twenty-Four: Transition from Hospital to Home” returns to the early pages of the book by outlining 7 steps to make things as successful as possible. Communication with everyone, preparing your home, having medical equipment delivered, etc., are just a few of the helpful suggestions in this chapter.

“Chapter Twenty-Five: Summary” is a two page chapter that follows with a strong point made throughout the book. The home care giver must take some time for him or her. Taking care of yourself is vitally important and some suggestions as to how to do so are included here. As this reviewer well knows from direct personal experience on multiple occasions, this is way easier said than done. But, vitally important, especially in long term situations.

The book closes with a one page ad for the company that had the book published and brief bios of the three company members who wrote this book. There are also six blank pages for “Notes” at the very end.

Written in very general terms From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post Hospitalization prepares those who have never gone through any situation like this for what will happen when it is time to discharge the patient who still needs help.  Chapters are short and general in nature designed for readers who have never been through any of this experience. Readers who have a need for deeper knowledge will need to look elsewhere.

From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post Hospitalization
Kathy N. Johnson, James H. Johnson, and Lily Sarafan
Home Care Assistance, Inc. (Home Care Press)
January 2012
ISBN# 978-1-4675-0180-4
Paperback (also available as e-book)
166 Pages

Material supplied by the publisher 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. Contributor to the Carpathian Shadows, Volume II anthology available in print and e-book.