Friday, October 31, 2014

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

NEWS RELEASE: ERCOT expects sufficient electricity for upcoming winter, spring

ERCOT expects sufficient electricity for upcoming winter, spring
Unusually severe conditions could result in tight reserves, conservation requests

AUSTIN, TEXAS, Oct. 31, 2014 –The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, expects the region will have sufficient electric supplies this winter, based on a broad range of planning scenarios in the Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) released today.

“We have more generation resources available than we did this time last year,” said Warren Lasher, director of System Planning for ERCOT. “Although some areas could experience colder-than-normal temperatures this winter, we are not expecting peak demand to be as high as we saw this past winter.”

Generation resources for this winter in the ERCOT region total more than 77,350 megawatts (MW). The forecast, based on 12-year average winter temperatures, projects peak demand at about 53,000 MW. One MW is enough electricity to serve about 200-500 homes, depending on weather conditions.

Under the full range of planning scenarios, available ERCOT reserves during this winter’s peak could range from more than 16,000 MW to less than 1,200 MW, with the latter representing a worst-case scenario of very high demand, extensive generation outages, and fuel supply limitations that would further reduce generation capacity. In that scenario, peak demand could exceed 59,640 MW, more than 2,000 MW higher than the 57,265-MW winter record set in February 2011.

“In recent years, generation providers in the ERCOT region have improved their procedures to prepare their facilities for extreme winter conditions,” said Ken McIntyre, vice president, Grid Planning and Operations. “We continue to monitor these efforts to help assess the preparedness of the system overall.”

In addition to new resources that began operations in 2014, the increase in generation capacity also reflects a change in the percentage of installed wind capacity that ERCOT expects to be available during peak demand periods. A new methodology, approved by the ERCOT Board of Directors on Oct. 14, enables ERCOT to project wind generation availability based on location (Coastal or non-Coastal) and historical performance during seasonal peaks. The winter SARA includes Coastal wind generation at 36 percent of installed capacity and non-Coastal at 19 percent, bringing the expected Peak Average Wind Capacity Contribution to nearly 2,500 MW.

ERCOT continues to caution residents in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of potential reliability challenges as transmission providers work to improve the system that serves that rapidly growing region. The SARA is a systemwide assessment and does not reflect this localized issue.

Based on input from generation owners, ERCOT does not expect drought conditions or coal transportation issues to affect generation availability during periods of peak demand this winter. To date, ERCOT also has not received reports from generation owners of expected capacity changes associated with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s potential implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which could be in place in January 2015. Although generation owners likely will wait for additional guidance from the EPA, ERCOT believes it is reasonable to expect some coal-fired units to reduce operations to comply with the new rule and will continue to monitor these developments.

ERCOT today also released a preliminary SARA for spring 2015, which currently projects adequate resources to meet expected demand. The final spring assessment is scheduled for release Feb. 27, 2015. ERCOT also plans to release its next Capacity, Demand and Reserves report, with an updated 10-year outlook, on Dec. 1.

Visit ERCOT’s website to see what Chris Coleman, ERCOT meteorologist, expects for this winter’s weather:


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to nearly 24 million Texas customers — representing about 90 percent of the state's electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 43,000 miles of transmission lines and 550 generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 6.7 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.

Media Contact: Robbie Searcy, (512) 225-7213

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IVIG Infusion Completed

It is done and we are back home. This was blood work and IVIG infusion only. In two weeks she has a doctor visit. At that point they will be looking at everything and planning out the next several months.

FFB Review: "Texas Vigilante (Ellie Taine Book Two)" by Bill Crider

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. I believe Todd Mason is collecting the links this week. If not, I will be home much later today to adjust links as Sandi has a multi hour infusion of IVIG today at Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital. For us, Fridays are not just about FFB as they are usually the days we are at the hospital for one thing or another with her cancer fight.

I’m partial to westerns. Probably because my dad was a huge fan of them and they were the first movies I remember seeing on the big screen. Dad was not such a fan of the books, but if it was a movie it was only a matter of time before we were there as a family. I had already planned to read and review this for today and had to laugh when I came across the Halloween reference.

May your Halloween be a safe one for you and yours and thank you for reading my effort today as well as this blog for the last ten years. Things are far different now than when I started all those years ago and the focus has expanded quite a bit by necessity as life has impacted me. But, books still matter and I think reviews do too.


Originally published in 1999 by Dell Books, Texas Vigilante is a sequel to Outrage in Blanco. Some of the events of the first book are mentioned in Texas Vigilante and, by necessity, in this review so you have been warned.

It has been a few months since Ella Taine took over Jonathan Crossland’s ranch after he died. These past months have not been easy. Ranching in Texas is difficult things were such that she had to go into debt to a bank in San Antonio. She didn’t like doing it, but she had and so far things are holding together. She has good help and that includes Lane Tolbert. She recently hired him as he was desperately in need of a job to support his wife, Sue, and his very young daughter. Ellie cares about Lane and his wife a lot, but she absolutely adores Lauire. That smart and beautiful little girl is the daughter Ellie never had and her presence is almost like she is her own child. One of the real pleasures is sitting down and reading with her.

Mr. Crossland had an office with a small library of books by authors such as Irving, Cooper, Melville, Hawthorne, Shakespeare, and others. Laurie is not quite ready for Shakespeare, but the other books she can handle. Their latest read features a skinny school teacher by the name of Ichabod Crane and a certain headless horseman. Neither Ellie, Laurie, or the others on the ranch have any idea that a real life horror is about to be visited upon them thanks to a prison escape and a certain prisoner bent on revenge.

Following the very good Outrage at Blanco isn’t easy, but Bill Crider does it masterfully in Texas Vigilante. Like in the preceding book, the theme of revenge is again a major part of this western as are the choices folks make as they move through life.  Ellie is, by necessity, not as much a part of everything as in the first book, but she makes herself well known in a novel that cracks with a gunshot every few pages. A mighty good western, Texas Vigilante is a good one and quite the sequel to “Outrage at Blanco.

Texas Vigilante (Ellie Taine Book Two)
Bill Crider
Brash Books
September 2014
E-Book (also available in paperback)
304 Pages

Using funds in my Amazon Associate account I picked this up to read and review awhile back.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lesa's Latest Contest-- Cozy mystery giveaway

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

 This week, I'm giving away copies of Elizabeth Lynn Casey's Taken In & Shear Trouble by Elizabeth S. Craig. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine  

Dallas Morning News Newspaper and Bad Customer Service

Just days after I paid my most recent error filled bill with the correct amount as their new billing system is an epic failure, the Dallas Morning News staff has made their final billing error. They closed my account without any warning or discussion. Having been a subscriber since 1982 as they have steadily shrunk the paper I guess I was no longer wanted or needed.

Via (My Wife) Lady Sandra: Fall Wreath

Lady Sandra: Fall Wreath: I am not a big Halloween fan; my oldest son says it is his favorite holiday. I let him do the decorations. I needed a new fall wrea...

Via The Five-Two: The Five-Two Vol. 3 Available for Amazon Kindle

The Five-Two: The Five-Two Vol. 3 Available for Amazon Kindle: Collects our third year of fifty-two poems. Featuring Austin Alexis, F.J. Bergmann, Tom Brzezina, Stevie Cenko, Ann Clark, Louie Clay, Ran...

Short Story Review: "Dead End" by Craig Faustus Buck

It isn’t the fact that Dr. Luke Vico drives a BMW worth more than 100 grand that makes him a scumbag. For ex-detective Beltran it is Vico’s public behavior this particular evening as well as what he did to Angela Landau. Vico got away with murder and nothing was right ever again. Maybe Beltran can now figure out a way to fix things.

There is quite a lot going on in this complex short story. Nominated for the 2014 Anthony Award for Best Short Story this material is currently free at the Untreed Reads Store. Dead End  is very good. Clearly, Craig Faustus Buck is an author to keep an eye on. 

Dead End
Craig Faustus Buck
Untreed Reads Publishing
16 Pages

Material supplied by Untreed Reads Publishing in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Via (My Wife) Lady Sandra: Donations to Texas Oncology

Lady Sandra: Donations to Texas Oncology: Well, I got total of 18 hats done for my Oncologist Office finished. One is what we call “Whimsical” hat which was made out of the small...

Via Writer Beware®: The Blog: Kindle Scout: The Pros and Cons of Amazon's New Crowdsourced Publishing Program

Writer Beware®: The Blog: Kindle Scout: The Pros and Cons of Amazon's New Crowdsourced Publishing Program

Review: "To Hell And Gone In Texas" by Russ Hall

Former Sheriff Detective Al Quinn is enjoying his retirement as well as his small home on the shores of a lake near Austin, Texas.  In some ways he misses his former job, but in others he is glad to be out as 25 years with the Travis County Sheriff’s Department was long enough even if he had a good boss.  His biggest annoyance these days at his isolated home is the drought.  If the unrelenting Texas sun keeps cooking the surrounding area forcing the lake level ever lower he will soon have to do some work to extend the boat dock.

The call from Sheriff Clayton of Travis County, his former boss, changes things. According to Clayton, Ali’s estranged brother, Maury, is in the hospital.  The homicide unit of Austin Police Department thinks it was a possible murder attempt. Sheriff Clayton does not know anymore more and that means Al is going to have to break the twenty year silence between them.

Al soon finds not only Maury in the hospital, but Detective Ferguson Jergens by his side. Al had known her back in High School, even taken her to the Prom, and a lot of years have passed. According to her, somebody gave Maury three tablets of Viagra, a drug he had no prescription for and should have never taken, and it almost killed him. He is still alive and is not out of the woods yet. Whether it happened at the assisted living center where Maury lives or by some other way has yet to be determined. Maury can’t talk.  It also has not been determined if, Maury, a ladies man possibly did it to himself or willingly took the pills offered by others.  According to Detective Jenkins everyone one is a possible suspect and that includes Al because he is the brother and their long history of conflict.

Al may hate his brother for good reason, but he certainly did not attempt to kill him. If he wanted his brother dead he would have done it years ago. He also may be retired and considered a suspect by the beautiful detective, but that is not going to stop him from going over to the assisted living center which is Maury’s home and start asking questions.  Before long a second attempt on Maury’s life is made, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are involved, and , and members of a notorious Mexican drug cartel are involved in a case that moves all over the Austin area as Maury, Al, and their friends battle to stay alive.

Well known for Bones In the Rain (Blue-Eyed Indian Mystery Series) and quite a few other books, award winning author Russ Hall has a really good book on his hands with To Hell And Gone In Texas. A complex action oriented mystery full of interesting characters, numerous suspects and plenty of clues, as well as lots of local color regarding the Austin, Texas area, this is a book that comes fully alive for the reader.  All of the above is a very long way of saying the book is very good and well worth your time.

To Hell And Gone In Texas
Russ Hall
Red Adept Publishing
August 2014
ISBN# 978-1-940215-33-4
Large Paperback (also available in e-book)
238 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Via Ruthless Culture-- Don’t Attack Reviewers

Don’t Attack Reviewers

Review: "The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem" Edited by J. Alan Hartman

In what has become a welcomed annual tradition, Editor J. Alan Hartman and Untreed Reads have a new edition of their annual crime filled Thanksgiving anthology. The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem features ten stories, three recipes, and tales of chaos and mayhem often with a touch or considerably more of humor. Like the previous books in the series, all the tales are set on or just before Thanksgiving so there are plenty of mentions of food to make you hungry.

After a short introduction by the editor and a recipe by his sister, Lisa Wagner, for “Breakfast Pumpkin Bread” it is on to the stories. First up is “A Foolish Fowl’s Thanksgiving/Cranberry Murder Case” by Big Jim Williams. Heavy on the humor is this tale where an ongoing argument between Herbert and Myrtle Clapsaddle as they talk with a young newspaper reporter is interrupted by a member of the local constabulary. Police Detective First Class Sedgwick Segway has received a trip there is to be a murder at the Clapsaddle farm and is there to check it out.

Life was good as Thanksgiving approached in 1970. Darcie had her PhD, she had the position of assistant professor at a public university in upstate New York, and had gotten rid----by way of divorce---her lush of a husband. Then Aunt Nozzie called and there was no escape from having to go home for Thanksgiving in “Leave It  To Cleaver” by Lesley Diehl.

“The Tater Tot Caper” by Sandra Murphy comes next. Mary is already not thrilled with the stress of cooking and all for Thanksgiving and now their girls are playing lets meet the parents with their boyfriends. She would much rather sit and read some of her new books that arrived than deal with all the relatives and their dietary issues, the new boyfriends, and all the rest of it. Her husband Jim isn’t going to be any help as usual because only football is on his mind. At least she has wine to help her deal with everything though there may not be enough wine to handle this year’s chaos and mayhem.

A Sheriff Mollie Goodall story is always a treat. Thankfully Texas author Earl Staggs gives us another with the highly entertaining “Turkey Tuesday.” Thanksgiving is six days away and 800 turkeys destined for the tables of the less fortunate in the area have been stolen from Ashburn’s Grocery Store. They can’t be replaced at this late date. The missing frozen turkeys simply have to be found and the clock is ticking.

A recipe for “Easy Bread Stuffing” by Lisa Wagner comes next. This is probably not time to admit this family uses always stuffing mix out of a box. The gravy comes from a jar. The cranberry sauce comes from a can too.

“Bogged Down” by Barbara Metzger comes next. Last year’s Thanksgiving had been pretty bad so this year’s simply has to be better. It can’t be worse. At least this year she is staying home with her new dog, new friends, and hopefully a new tradition. That is until Jann talks her into picking cranberries in the nearby cranberry bogs. They got some berries and quite a more in Jann’s desire to avoid the canned stuff.

Stan the Dentist has gone to Thanksgiving dinner with Moe Sabatini and his fellow members of organized crime before. While receptionist Mindy is horrified in “More Good Times” by Steve Shrott that Stan would go to Moe’s mansion for Thanksgiving ever again, Stan sees the mobsters as just your average run of the mill patients needing dental work. It is just business and business has been slow. Stan likes to keep his patients happy and when they are good he gives out toys. The mobster guys really like bobbleheads.

Rob Chirico comes next with his highly entertaining homage “Murder on the Side (with apologies to Raymond Chandler). It was hot that November morning of 1952 in Los Angeles. It was a Wednesday beneath the smog-laden pall. The beautiful curves walked into his Marlowe’s office.  As beautiful as she is Mrs. Mary Jones should have a perfect life. Instead, she has a problem and she wants Marlowe’s help.

The next client is also beautiful when she trots into the private investigator’s office in “Talk, Turkey” by Laird Long. The face nobody would love, but they would love her body. Tina is not only a talking turkey, she has a presidential pardon. Whoever is after her cares about neither in this amusing tale.

Just in case you were not hungry enough by this point Lisa Wagner comes next with another recipe. This time it is one for “Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.”

Joanie is at her Mama’s bedside in “It’s A Trap” by Barb Goffman. Mama wanted to die at home and she is about to get that wish as the time is near. Mama also wants Joanie to forgive Elaine. It is her final dying wish. That won’t be easy as there are numerous scores to settle from the past and present.

Having a wedding the same time as Thanksgiving has seemed to be a good idea according to her sister, Alicia. She has been married a few times before and plans on doing it again this year in “Thanksgiving in Moderation” by Debra H. Goldstein. Not that she has made good marriage choices in recent years, but the guy this year, Philippe, seems especially problematic in this final story of the anthology.

Author bios bring this entertaining installment to a close.

The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem continues the fine tradition of recipes as well as short stories featuring crazed relatives, talking turkeys as well as dead and about to be dead ones, and mayhem during the Thanksgiving season. No doubt inspired by a few relatives the writer’s involved in this year’s anthology have done very well for themselves in crafting these word feasts. The reader’s only problem is how to get through the book without feeling hungry. 

The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem
Edited by J. Alan Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing
October 2014
E-Book (Paperback available)
145 Pages (estimated)

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

My review of the second anthology is here and the third one here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Via (My Wife) Lady Sandra: More Breast Cancer applique Chemo Hats!

Lady Sandra: More Breast Cancer applique Chemo Hats!: I finished ten more chemo hats with the “Pink Garden” fabric. I did two different appliques and two different styles. Pictures are be...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Short Story Review: "Twinkle Toes: Dev Haskell Short Mystery" by Mike Faricy

Dev Haskell was still asleep when his cellphone went off in the front pocket of his jeans where he had left them on the floor. He had much rather be back asleep in the bed next to Heidi, but the woman on the cell phone just keeps talking. She gradually makes inroads into his sleep fogged brain and he slowly realizes a girl he knew from high school long ago could be in real trouble.

Zoe Lawlor, who he knew as “Twink,” was his date for the Prom. A date that, all things considered, went surprisingly well and ended in an unexpected way. 48 hours later she was gone and he has not heard of or seen her since. He soon learns that she is wanted by the cops for another matter which means the police can’t be involved according to her friend.  Among other things, Twink was doing some modeling work for a guy who, though he paid well, was apparently into some shady stuff of his own. Collette is sure something is very wrong and Dev Haskell agrees to work the case. A case that will get more and more complicated as he moves around the St. Paul area.

This is a very good short story clearly written to interest the reader in the several Dev Haskell novels. It works for that as well as well as on its own as a solidly good read tale. Twinkle Toes: Dev Haskell Short Mystery features an occasionally slightly sarcastic private investigator, a damsel in distress, and plenty of suspects in a fun read.

Twinkle Toes: Dev Haskell Short Mystery
Mike Faricy
Credit River Publishing
October 11, 2014
26 Pages (estimated)

Material was picked up during author’s ongoing free read promotion.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Via Bibliodaze--- #HaleNo, Blogger Blackout and the Non-Existent War

#HaleNo, Blogger Blackout and the Non-Existent War

Via Little Big Crimes: Milk and Tea, by Linda Michelle Marquardt

Little Big Crimes: Milk and Tea, by Linda Michelle Marquardt: "Milk and Tea," by Linda Michelle Marquardt, in Prison Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, Akashic Press, 2014. We are back for ...

Pulp Pusher: Guest Blog: Dave Zeltserman on The Boy Who Killed ...

Pulp Pusher: Guest Blog: Dave Zeltserman on The Boy Who Killed ...: By Dave Zeltserman The prolific Dave Zeltserman. When Tony offered me a guest spot on Pulp Pusher, I’d already done a number of inte...

Euro Crime Update-- New Reviews on Euro Crime: Cameron, Carson, Koch, McCreanor, McKenzie, Murray, Rowson

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

 Here are seven reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today, two have appeared on the blog since last time, and five are completely new.

NB. You can keep up to date with 'Euro Crime' by following the blog and/or liking the Euro Crime Facebook page (

New Reviews:

Lynn Harvey reviews poet David Cameron's 'The Ghost of Alice Fields' set in Edinburgh;

Michelle Peckham reviews Paul Carson's 'Inquest' set in Dublin;

Lynn also reviews Herman Koch's 'Summer House With Swimming Pool' tr. Sam Garrett;

Amanda Gillies reviews  A J McCreanor's debut, 'Riven', set in Glasgow and which introduces DIs Ross and Wheeler;

Michelle also reviews Sophie McKenzie's psychological thriller, 'Trust in Me';

Terry Halligan reviews 'Blood of the Rose' by Kevin Murray, set in London, 1986

and Terry also reviews the latest in the DI Andy Horton series by Pauline Rowson, 'Shroud of Evil', set in Portsmouth. or via the blog:

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive (

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here ( along with releases by year. NB. Forthcoming releases by category for 2015 are now available.

best wishes,
Karen M

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- "Wait for Signs" by Craig Johnson

Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson

Saturday, October 25, 2014

KRL This Week Update--- Winner of KRL's Halloween mystery short story contest & more this week

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine the winner of our Halloween mystery short story contest, "The Black Cat" by Nancy Adams

Also up a review & giveaway of "One Potion in the Grave" by Heather Blake

We also have a review & giveaway of "Midwinter's Tail", a Magical Cats mystery, by Sofie Kelly

And we have the latest countdown to Bouchercon mystery Coming Attractions column by Sunny Frazier. With giveaways of books by Joyce Ann Brown & Triss Stein

We also have a review & giveaway of "Stages of Grey" by Clea Simon

And we have a review and giveaway of another perfect mystery for Halloween, "A Spirit of Fraud" by Barry Wiley. We also have an interesting guest post by Barry where he talks about writing mysteries involving spiritualists and mentalists

We also have a fun post on superstitions and her new book "Lost Under a Ladder" by mystery author Linda O. Johnston

Perfect for our Halloween issue, up in Kings River Life Magazine this morning a review of the vampire detective TV show "Angel"

Also perfect for Halloween check out a web series called "Horror Hotel" h ttp://

For our fantasy readers, we have a review and giveaway of "The Getaway God" by Richard Kadrey

Over on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "The Corpse With the Platinum Hair" by Cathy Ace
Happy Halloween,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Via CNC Books Blog-- Giving Away Terry Shames' Newest

As posted elsewhere earlier today:
Looking for a good book? Aren't we all? Here's a treat you could win, a copy of DEAD BROKE IN JARRETT CREEK by Terry Shames---

This third in the series really is a good one and, as the reviewer notes, can be read as a standalone so don't pass up this chance to win it!


Lelia Taylor
Creatures 'n Crooks / Buried Under Books

Via The Passive Voice--- Class Action Suit against Harlequin by its Authors Moves a Step Forward

Class Action Suit against Harlequin by its Authors Moves a Step Forward

Lesa's Latest Contest-- British mystery giveaway

This week, I'm giving away copies of D.E. Ireland's Wouldn't It Be Deadly and M.C. Beaton's 25th Agatha Raisin mystery, The Blood of an Englishman. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Senior News Newspaper Book Review Column--- October 2014

For my monthly newspaper book review column in the Senior News Newspaper, I usually make sure to choose one fiction and one nonfiction book in the hopes of interesting more readers. For September I went with Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider. If you have not read his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series set in East Texas you are really missing out. For the non-fiction book I went with The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family by Katie Startzman. Seemed appropriate since winter is allegedly coming.  Longer reviews of both were run here on the blog earlier this year and can easily be found by clicking on the above book titles.

Included below are the relevant book covers for my October 2014 column…  

Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Bill Crider
A Thomas Dunne Book (Minotaur Books)
ISBN #978-1-250-03967-5
Hardback (also available in e-book form)
272 Pages

Burt Collins is just one of those difficult folks that Sheriff Dan Rhodes has to deal with on a daily basis. He has a very narrow view of the world and lots of complaints. He has also been known to do a few things. While it may not have been good enough for a court of law folks know he's behind some of the petty vandalism and crimes that have gone on in the area. So, after a number of paintings by the visiting artists are vandalized isn't surprising that Burt Collins in the number one suspect for nearly everyone.

It also isn't surprising that Burt Collins is soon very much dead thanks to having his head bashed in. It is also pretty clear that in all likelihood the murder weapon was a bust of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Find the bust and Sheriff Dan Rhodes might just find the killer.

Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery is another very good read in a great series. All the usual suspects readers love along with Rhodes are present in this latest tale set in East Texas. A member of the “Texas Literary Hall of Fame,” this award winning author has done it again.

The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family
Katie Startzman
Stewart, Tabori & Chang (imprint of Abrams)
ISBN# 978-1-61769-058-7
160 Pages

The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family is primarily organized in two parts--materials and the projects. Designed with projects for every member of the family and beyond the book represents the author’s lifestyle and how she views the world. As explained in the several page introduction, author Katie Startzman prefers to live life as simply as possible and to be as self-sufficient as possible. By following her directions and making your own footwear you can create something more special than store bought and maintain a low impact lifestyle.

After taking readers through by way of text and photographs how to choose a style, yarn, felting, sizing, shaping, and more it is on to projects. While the pictures as well as the typeface tend to be small, the information is extensive and detailed for the newcomer as well as the experienced crafter. The 160 page plus book provides plenty of ideas as well as detailed instructions so that you know how to go about creating some treasured footwear for your family.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Via I'm A Voracious Reader : FFS ~ Untreed Reads

I'm A Voracious Reader : FFS ~ Untreed Reads: Founded in 2008,  Untreed Reads  is a digital-first publisher and ebook distributor with one of the largest distribution channels in ...

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time-- Carnosaur Weekend

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time: Carnosaur Weekend (Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole Book 1) eBook: Garnett Elliott: Kindle Store : It’s a dirty job ...  Policing...

Via Salon--- Battle of the trolls: Kathleen Hale reveals the war raging between authors and readers

Battle of the trolls: Kathleen Hale reveals the war raging between authors and readers

Via The Guardian-- Inside the world of Amazon Vine book reviewers: how I ended up with a mailbox full of dog poo

FFB Review: "Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery" by Maureen Robb

Yesterday we celebrated 10 years of this blog being here. Since Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books it seems appropriate to rerun a review here that is almost as old as the blog.  Therefore, I am running my 2005 review of Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery by Maureen Robb. Near as I can tell the second book in the series never happened. That is a shame as I really liked this book a lot. You can check out the rest of the books for FFB today by heading over to Patti Abbott’s blog.

One of the things I have noticed lately is the number of books using food directly as a murder weapon or serving as a backdrop to crime, murder, and mayhem. One wonders why and one wonders if it is really safe to eat anywhere but home. Even then, one may not be safe depending on what gets recalled five months after it hit the nation’s food supply. Food and the creation of it is one of several themes in this recent release titled Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery by Maureen Robb.

Having someone you just served dinner to in your restaurant become ill and within a short time die at the hospital is pretty bad. Being accused of being the murderess or assisting in it is worse. Both things happen to Lea Sherwood in short order in this very good mystery.

Five months ago, Lea opened Panache in San Francisco. So for, critics have been kind, business is pretty good and other than the usual problems associated with running any small business, things have been going well. Her ex-boyfriend Keith Whitten also is doing well as head of Whitten Systems Corp. Just today Whitten’s company had taken over Decision Ace, run by her current boyfriend, Mr. Paul Boyd. Keith’s decision to come to dinner at her restaurant with a couple of his executives quickly becomes fatal as within hours he is dead, a victim of poisoning.

Having served him, Lea, quickly becomes the number one suspect in both the eyes of the police and the voyeuristic media hungry for another sensational cause. While she is the prime suspect and her business begins to suffer, the police don’t seem inclined to either publicly clear her or search for other suspects. Instead, it is left to Lea to snoop and ask questions both in her culinary world as well as Paul’s high tech computer world.

Using detailed scenes in the restaurant and the company the author shows readers a world where creative input is valued into both arenas. Lea, a complex character doing her best, is left to hang in the media whirlwind and forced to fight for her economic and personal survival with little help from others, several of whom she had previously thought of as friends. The result is an engrossing read that steadily moves forward towards a fully satisfying conclusion.

According to the small author bio at the back of the book, the author is currently working on the next novel in the series. That is very good news as this book provides an excellent foundation for a series while leaving plenty of character growth opportunities to be explored. This is definitely a series to keep your eyes open for in the future.


Patterns In Silicon: A Lea Sherwood Mystery
By Maureen Robb
Drake Valley Press
ISBN #0-9728186-4-2
Large Trade Paperback
304 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2005, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Via Courtney Milan-- The exciting world of the TRO! #notchilled

The exciting world of the TRO! #notchilled

Via Do Some Damage: Reviews are not for authors

Do Some Damage: Reviews are not for authors: By Steve Weddle OK. Look. You don't need me to tell you what to do. You don't need me to spew out a list of nine things you need...

Ten Years Today

Ten years ago today this blog and all its weirdness began. From day one there was a sarcastic attitude. That is still present though I try to tone it down a bit these days. While a lot has changed over the ten years and much of it NOT for the better, I still hate Halloween and I still can't program my VCR.

If interested, you can read how all this began here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Authors Behaving Badly-- A Case In Point

In recent days more examples of authors behaving badly have come to light. Frustration over reviews seems to be driving these authors to do various things, even criminal behavior on occasion, in some misguided attempt to sell books. While one can sort of understand why some of these things happen with a new book, one wonders what drives an author to suddenly complain about a book review more than ten years later?

Over ten years ago I reviewed Bourbon and Bliss: A Palmer Morel Mystery by Larry Rochelle on Amazon and elsewhere after getting the book sent to me because of my review work for "The Blue Iris Journal." That fact as well as the fact I had reviewed a couple of other ones preceding this one in the series. Like the others I had read, there wasn't much mystery to it. Instead, it was a very graphic men's adventure novel. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it failed from the cover and content in the mystery genre. I noted the pluses and minuses of the book in my review at the time and moved on to the next read.

I had completely forgotten all about the author and the series he has self published through a number of outlets until last week when the author cut and pasted a twelve year old review by another reviewer into the comment field on my review at Amazon. In recent months a number of sites have turned off their comment fields because of such behavior, but Amazon has yet to do so. Thinking that author Larry Rochelle had simply made a harmless and accidental mistake, I reclaimed the discussion by posting my own review back into the comment field.

I then got what should have been my first clue that the author was doing some very deliberate and very desperate marketing. Larry Rochelle responded with another posting. This time using the cliched marketing phrase "ripped from the headlines" to describe in detail another book in the series he recently had self published he posted a spam ad. While clearly deliberate, I thought he was just being a jerk so I pointed out he was spamming and showed a lack of class.

Proving he could sink even lower, Larry Rochelle decided he would heap insult after meaningless insult on me in subsequent posts as seen here. The more off base with his hysteria and assumptions about me the funnier it got. Clearly he still has no idea of my body of review work. While his book has gotten one review since my review in 2004 creating a total of four reviews, I have gone on to do several hundred more reviews at Amazon and elsewhere while also having my fiction work published in a variety of outlets.

Then it got kind of sad because I felt sorry for him that he had to resort to such weak name calling in an effort to try and disgrace what was an even handed review. At his age, he should have been able to do trash talking better---- if he was going to do that-- as well as know better.

Usually, those who try and trash me in public are much better at it. As any reviewer knows, we are brilliant when we love the book and an evil idiot and worse when we don't. I figured it was that sort of thing though Rochelle seemed to trying very hard to insult me while missing by a mile. I just didn't know why.

I started doing some research this morning in the wake of his most recent nonsense and realized as I looked around at his many self published books and the few reviews on them that his actions were not the accident I first thought they were. Instead, he has recently done the same thing to other folks on Amazon. This is his shtick these days. Not that he gets reviewed that often, but over the last week or so he has posted cut and paste spam ads in the review discussion fields as well as more positive old reviews he lifted from others. Instead of dealing with the issues reviewers have noted again and again in his series so that he can try to improve his product, he has gone on this pathetic and very misguided marketing campaign.

While other reviewers ignored his foolish nonsense I gave him the benefit of the doubt in the beginning and then continued to engage with him. I didn't realize that what he was doing was a deliberate and very pathetic desperate marketing campaign destined to fail before it got started. I should have done my research earlier and not written off his first attempt at nothing more than a mistake. If I had figured that out from the start, I would have never engaged him and wasted a little bit of my time.

While I am playing into his desperation a little bit by detailing his actions here, it also serves as another example how NOT to go about things. Such actions by a desperate author will not help sales. It also serves as yet another warning to reviewers to do your research regarding author behavior before you agree to read and review the work as well as before you respond to nonsense on your reviews. Even ten years later a review can cause trouble if the author involved decides to play games instead of focusing on moving forward and improving his or her craft.

Via The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Members' Publication News

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Members' Publication News: The following members sent in publication news this month: M.H. Callway, Windigo Fire , Seraphim Editions (October 2014) Peter DiChellis,...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Crime Review Update--- New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

In our new edition of Crime Review (*
*) this week we have sixteen reviews (http://
together with Edward Wilson in the Countdown interview hot seat:

Crime Review can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler can be followed on Twitter: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

PERSONAL by Lee Child, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
A cryptic message in a newspaper takes Jack Reacher to Paris and then to
London to track down an assassin with world leaders in his sights

MASTERS OF WAR by Chris Ryan, reviewed by Linda Wilson
SAS trooper Danny Black leads a small team of fellow soldiers riding
shotgun for an MI6 agent who is attempting to make contact with one of the
rebel factions in war-torn Syria.

TATIANA by Martin Cruz Smith, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
A fearless reporter, Tatiana Petrovna, is found dead, apparently having
committed suicide by throwing herself from the sixth floor of an apartment
block. At about the same time a billionaire Mafia chief is shot dead. As
Senior Investigator, Arkady Renko, looks into the first case, he comes to
believe that it is in some way connected with the second.

WHITE CROCODILE by KT Medina, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Tess Hardy is clearing mines in Cambodia, trying to find why her husband
died, and whether the feared White Crocodile holds the explanation.

BLINK by Niamh O’Connor, reviewed by John Cleal
DI Gavin Sexton is looking into a spate of teenage suicides when he meets a
young girl paralysed by 'locked-in' syndrome. Communicating by blinks, she
tells him: 'I hired a hitman.'

CLOSE CALL by Stella Rimington, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
MI5 agent Liz Carlyle has to deal with a blast from her past, as well as a
possible homegrown terror plot that kicks off in the Yemen

PATHS OF THE DEAD by Lin Anderson, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The body of a young man is found at a Neolithic stone circle in Glasgow. DI
Michael McNab thinks the killing is drug-related but forensic scientist
Rhona Macleod isn’t convinced.

THE NIGHT THE RICH MEN BURNED by Malcolm Mackay, reviewed by John Cleal
Two young friends try to escape a pointless life on Glasgow fringes and
become involved in the loan-sharking and collection rackets. One rises
quickly up the ranks. The other becomes a victim of growing debt and

KILLER by Jonathan Kellerman, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
When Dr Alex Delaware is called in to write a court report in a
straightforward custody battle between two sisters, he thinks that it is an
easy job. Then one of the sisters threatens to kill him but is herself
murdered and the other disappears with her child.

YOUNG PHILBY by Robert Littell, reviewed by John Cleal
Kim Philby fled Beirut aboard a Russian ship that sailed so hurriedly it
left much of its cargo on the dockside. Cleared by a British inquiry
through lack of evidence, the former senior intelligence liaison officer in
Washington had spied for the Communists for more than 30 years.

MARKED by David Jackson, reviewed by Maddy Marsh
In New York’s East Village, the remains of a young girl are found.
Detective Callum Doyle has seen a similar killing in the past and he knows
who committed both crimes. The problem is, no one believes him.

ACT OF FEAR by Michael Collins, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A girl is murdered, a policeman on the beat is robbed of everything he
carries, and a man goes missing. Dan Fortune is hired to find the man and
tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

WALKING WITH GHOSTS by Jean G Goodhind, reviewed by John Cleal
Hotel owner ‘Honey’ Driver, police liaison officer for her association,
becomes involved in a murder and a hunt for a priceless artefact when a
woman is killed on a ghost walk.

ART OF DECEPTION by AJ Cross, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A mummified body is found in the remains of a deserted summerhouse in a
country park. Kate Hanson and Birmingham’s Unsolved Crimes Unit have to
delve into the past to make sense of the present.

LOST WORLDS: SHADOW CREATURES by Andrew Lane, reviewed by Fiona Spence
In the search for new DNA and a cure for his paralysis, Calum Challenger
and his friends plan to hunt down a shadowy creature in Hong Kong. But when
Calum's taken hostage and taken to New Mexico, no one knows he's gone. And
he's not the only one in trouble.

GAME by Barry Lyga, reviewed by Linda Wilson
As Jasper Dent proclaims in one of his tattoos, he hunts killers. It’s an
unusual job for a teenager, but he’s well-qualified, as he’s the son of
America’s most notorious serial killer.

Best wishes


Via Latina Book Club-- REVIEW: EVERY HIDDEN FEAR by Linda Rodriguez (& Giveaway)

REVIEW: EVERY HIDDEN FEAR by Linda Rodriguez (& Giveaway)

Via Writers Who Kill: Writer Outs Herself (with a Big Pat on the Back) f...

Writers Who Kill: Writer Outs Herself (with a Big Pat on the Back) f...: Readers here may remember a blog I posted on WWK a while back about the whole crazy StopTheGoodReadsBullies mess. http://writerswhokill...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Saturday, October 18, 2014

KRL This Week Update--- Halloween mystery short story by Claire Murray & much more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

 Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery, "The Legend of Sleepy Harlow" by Kylie Logan

We also have a review & giveaway of another book perfect for the Halloween season, a paranormal mystery-"The Night Visitor" by Dianne Emley

Also reviews & giveaways of 5 more Penguin mysteries "Literally Murder": A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by Ali Brandon. We also have "Off Kilter": A Scottish Highlands Mystery by Hannah Reed, "Weave of Absence" by Carol Ann Martin, "Bless Her Dead Little Heart" by Miranda James, and "Gilt Trip" by Laura Childs with Diana Orgain

Also up, another Halloween mystery short story from our contest, this one by Claire Murray

And we have another countdown to Bouchercon mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier-this one with a giveaway from June Gilliam

For fantasy readers, we have a review & giveaway of "Broken Soul" by Faith Hunter

And a perfect TV review for the Halloween season, a review of "The Walking Dead"

Also a review of another Halloween book-"The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury

Lastly, on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Finding Sky", a mystery by Susan O'Brien
Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at


Posted by: Lorie Ham

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- A Cozy Debut Series Giveaway

A Cozy Debut Series Giveaway

Via Amazing Stories--- "Your Reviewer, Some Modern Urban Fantasy and Some Thoughts on Publishing and Stuff" by Steve Fahnestalk

Friday, October 17, 2014

Via The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Wheeling Around the Web

Bullet Points: Wheeling Around the Web

Via New Republic-- Amazon's Elite Reviewing Club Sabotaged My Book

For the record, I am am a Amazon Vine Reviewer. I became one, at their request, because of my long track record of reviewing books on a variety of platforms. I never reviewed this book. I had zero interest in reviewing this book. I certainly would not now after the author showed such a complete lack of understanding how the program works and managed to insult everyone involved. 

Finally Back Home

This was supposed to be another infusion Friday but thinds did not go as planned. IVIG infusion was cancelled as they have some blood work questions and are doing additional blood work.

CT Scan came back with nearly identical results to the last time. Of course, that is fairly meaningless because those scans have never showed her cancer. AETNA has flatly refused to allow her to have a PET SCAN so we will remain in limbo with no idea if Sandi is in remission or not until some time next Spring or so when she goes on  Medicare.

FFB Review: "A Painted House" by John Grisham

Friday means Friday's Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. I had intended to run another review from Patrick Ohl this week. That review as well as a number of e-books and a lot of other important stuff from the last four years was in my Thunderbird mail program and lost when the computer went bad last week. So, instead, this week you get my review from 2003 on A PAINTED HOUSE by John Grisham.

I am always a bit leery and concerned when an author I like attempts something radically different than the previous works. Usually the book is a disaster, the author learns a lesson and gets it out of his or her system, and goes back to what made the author worth reading in the first place. I expected the usual situation in this novel and expected to have to work my way through, reading glasses firmly in place and nose to the grindstone, to finish it. I simply dreaded this book and I could not have been more wrong.

It simply wasn't the case. The man best known for setting off the continuing wave of lawyer style mysteries and thrillers with his second novel, The Firm, creates a powerfully moving human story. This novel is written in a completely different style and is a remarkable change of pace from his other works. The characters are rich and developed from the beginning and as the story evolves, nuances and shading are added, changing each character in subtle, yet powerful ways.

The story revolves around the small world of Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives on a cotton farm in Southern Arkansas with his parents and grandparents. The family rents 80 acres and on a good year, barely breaks better than even. The depression came and never left. The year is 1952, late fall, the cotton is ready to be picked, and his uncle is off fighting the war in Korea. Luke does not want to farm and instead, wants to play ball for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

His mother hates the farming life and is determined that Luke will go to college. His father would prefer him to farm, but is willing to go with what Luke's mother wants. His grandparents are equally divided as well, with his grandfather aware that a way of life is passing by. They have rented the acreage for generations and never made enough to buy it outright. Without enough hands to pick the cotton, the Chandlers must rely on the good graces of migrant farm workers.

The Chandlers, like other farm families in the area, go through a yearly ritual of hiring workers as they begin to trickle into town. The farm is deep in debt, cotton prices are down, and the cost of labor is going up. But, the cotton has to be picked and everything else becomes secondary to the harvest. The harvest becomes the dominant theme of the work. A full harvest of a good crop allows them a few extra luxuries while a poor harvest or no harvest means they slide further in debt and face losing the little they rent and own.

The first ones hired are a family down from the Ozarks who have complex problems of their own. The Spruills are a family of seven. There are four boys and a young lady, ten years older than Luke, and he is instantly attracted to her. She is also attracted to him in a big sister sort of way, but Luke reads too much into it. The Chandlers also hire a group of Mexicans from a large pool that is trucked into town every year. Unfortunately for Luke, his friend Juan isn't with the group this year, and he is forced to deal with that fact and make new friends.

Against the backdrop of the unrelenting heat and the backbreaking effort to pick cotton, cultures and personalities quickly clash in deceit, treachery and murder. For Luke Chandler, this harvest will be like no other and will change his life forever. His priorities will change massively as he realizes what is truly important.

This is a pleasant change from the usual Grisham fare of deceitful lawyers, back stabbing judges, and corporate greed. The characters are more diverse, driven by other factors than the worship of a dollar. Grisham shows a breath of characters and writing style not shown in his previous works and I hope this was not a one-time thing. While I thoroughly enjoyed The Firm, and to a lesser extent some of his more recent works, this one was a refreshing breath of air and very enjoyable.

Kevin R. Tipple (c)2003, 2014