Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Via My Little Corner-- 2014 Roundup of Closed Crime Markets

2014 Roundup of Closed Crime Markets

Via CriminalElement.Com-- The Stand Alones: Robert B. Parker’s Wilderness

Via The Education of a Pulp Writer: A Sherlock Holmes Satire

The Education of a Pulp Writer: A Sherlock Holmes Satire: Not everyone knows that Mark Twain wrote a Sherlock Holmes satire. I shed some light on A Double Barrelled Detective Story over at Macmil...

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Snowpiercer

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Snowpiercer: Snowpiercer ~ As far as word of mouth, and 2014's must see film, this was it. Everyone was talking about Snowpiercer . A future dy...

27 Years And Counting....

27 years ago late on this day a routine visit to the OBGYN turned into a full scale emergency. With Sandi strapped down on a gurney and on oxygen with tons of other equipment as things got worse and worse by the minute I and a team of nurses and her doctor ran down halls at Medical City Dallas Hospital trying to get her to an operating room. Both her and our son were dying and all I could do was help push the gurney. It was a very helpless feeling.

Sandi underwent an emergency cesarean and Karl was born about six weeks premature. He will claim he was born with a full beard, but he was not. He was born with some hair, collapsed lungs, and a host of other issues. So many in fact that it would be hours before I saw him in NICU where every few minutes his heart would stop and a nurse would touch his chest and get him to breathe again.Mom wasn't doing much better at that point.

It has been a long journey to get to here and both Sandi and I feel super old today.

Happy Birthday, Karl!

Monday, December 29, 2014


You would not know it to look at me now, but I used to be quite the outdoorsy type. Daylight hours as a kid were spent outside. As an adult I spent as much time as possible outdoors where I hiked, fished, and did lots of other things. If I wasn’t trapped inside working or sleeping, I was pretty much outside year around. One of the real hard aspects of being sick with whatever the heck it is I have is the fact that my mobility is totally gone. It takes a lot of pain and effort simply to go drag myself out on our porch. How much longer we can hang in here is anyone’s guess, but I am really going to miss the creek and its creatures.
One of my recent writing projects for the Tapir and FriendsAnimal Store was on Salamanders. I mention in the piece how scientists are researching how they can regrow their tails and more after sustaining an injury. I have also seen other things in recent days that indicate they may have some ability to help control pain. Either one would be very cool for many folks including people like me.

Considering they date back at least 164 million years ago and there are approximately 655 living species of them, I just scratched the surface with what I wrote here. Hope you check it out. Share it with your kids as I kept my off the wall humor out of this piece. Therefore, it is totally 100 percent family friendly and is safe to use in classrooms.

The keychain is also very cool.

Via Lady Sandra (My Wife): Greeting card projects

Lady Sandra: Greeting card projects: I do not like to throw out the beautiful cards we get at Christmas; so, below are some idea to upcycle them.   One can always send them...

Crime Review Update-- December 27 2014

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs.

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs.

Via Texas Book Lover---Monday Roundup: December 29 - January 4!

Monday Roundup: December 29 - January 4!

Review: "The Empty Manger" by Bill Crider

Sheriff Dan Rhodes can’t remember it ever snowing in Blacklin County on Christmas. It certainly didn’t look like it would happen this year with day time temps in the upper 60’s and low 40’s at night. Typical weather for the area residents of the county located in East Texas, but not conducive to the postcard winter wonderland so many long for at this time of year.

Like a lot of small Texan towns-- and elsewhere for that matter-- the downtown area of Clearview has a number of vacant buildings in various states of disrepair. Some of the vacant buildings are in very bad shape. Shoppers were drawn away to the nearby Wal-Mart or one of the big new grocery stores and local businesses closed leaving the buildings to decay and rot. City council member Jerri Laxton had been pushing plans to restore the grandeur of the downtown area.

One of her ideas was to get some of the local high school students to paint a mural on one of the walls of a downtown building. Some of the local religious leaders convinced all that in the spirit of the season the mural should be of a manger with a brilliant star hanging over it. Somebody else came up with the plan to have members of the local Baptist congregation play the parts of Joseph, Mary, wise men, and the shepherds with a doll standing in for the baby Jesus. After all, the risk with a real baby as part of the outside scene would be too high.

It was a very good thing that a doll was used because, according to Francis Blair, somebody stole baby Jesus. She is very upset that somebody would do that. She might be more upset if she knew there was a dead body in the alley behind the building.

While Rhodes never drinks a Dr. Pepper----though he does talk about it---- and he never eats any crackers, he does actively work the cases. Any Rhodes story is a good one and this one is no exception.  The novella The Empty Manger by Bill Crider is well worth the effort to get your hands on the book, Murder, Mayhem, And Mistletoe. Crider’s story is one of four novellas in the book that also contains works from Terence Faherty, Aileen Schumacher, and Wendi Lee.

Murder, Mayhem And Mistletoe
Worldwide Library (Harlequin)
November 2001
ISBN# 0-373-26401-1
390 Pages

I first heard of this story and the book when I saw mention of it on the Gravetapping Blog.  The book was not available at my local library. Unlike a lot of his older books, in this case, an e-book version was not possible according to the author. Instead, Bill sent me a copy of the book from his home library to read and review if I so desired. My plan is to read the other novellas and review them as well at some point in the future.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Via Small Crimes-- Three Very Different Books in 2014

Three Very Different Books in 2014

Via The Education of a Pulp Writer: An Outsourced Spy Mission

The Education of a Pulp Writer: An Outsourced Spy Mission: George Smiley Minor: The Looking Glass War by Edward A. Grainger.

Via Little Big Crimes: A Stoning Before Breakfast, by Azardokht Bahrami

Little Big Crimes: A Stoning Before Breakfast, by Azardokht Bahrami: "A Stoning Before Breakfast," by Azardokht Bahrami, in Tehran Noir, edited by Salar Abdoh, Akashic Books, 2014. If I were pic...

Via AQPauthors Blog---JAMES 516 - A Mystery Novel by Newcomer BJ Bourg

JAMES 516 - A Mystery Novel by Newcomer BJ Bourg

Via Gravetapping: LYNCHED by Ed Gorman

Gravetapping: LYNCHED by Ed Gorman: Ed Gorman wrote no fewer than 10 western novels for Berkley between 1999 and 2006.  The earlier titles tended to be branded with a sin...

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher-- Devil’s Run: John Coburn — The Peregrine #2 – Richard Prosch

Devil’s Run: John Coburn — The Peregrine #2 – Richard Prosch

That Time Of Year Again

It is time for the Preditors & Editors poll. Again this year, Kevin's Corner is listed at If you think this blog is worthy please go vote. Thank you! 

As posted elsewhere.....

Announcing the 17th Annual Preditors & Editors / Critters Readers Poll!

Howdy, your P&E Poll Votemaster here, Andrew Burt. Since you're a voter in a prior year's P&E Readers Poll, I just wanted to let you know this year's poll is underway! It's at
as usual.

Vote for your favorite book, short story, author, artwork, artist, forum, workshop...-- there are three dozen categories honoring all genres and all aspects of writing and publishing.

As in past years, every voter is registered in a drawing for gifts from our sponsors.

So please come share with us what great works you've read this year, what authors, publishers, editors, artists and the like you feel are worth recognition!

Happy voting, and please help us spread the word that the Poll is open!

With best wishes for the holidays,

--Andrew Burt, P&E Readers Poll Votemaster

Preditors & Editors is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to help authors and other creators navigate the perilous waters and avoid scams. Critters is the first writers' workshop on the web, and free for all to use.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher--- Skynoise – Ernie Lindsey

Skynoise – Ernie Lindsey

KRL This Week Update-- Coming Attractions, Best Books of 2014, Sherry Harris, Rose Pressey, short story, giveaways & more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....


Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway "Meow If It's Murder" by TC LoTempio

Also up three mysteries to start off your new year right by Dorothy L Sayers, Lee Harris & Lawrence Sanders

We also have a review & giveaway of "If You've Got It, Haunt It" by Rose Pressey

And a review & giveaway of "Tagged For Death" by Sherry Harris

We also have a mystery short story by Barry Wiley

And check out KRL's list of the best books of 2014-mystery, fantasy & cats

And we have Coming Attractions New Year's Edition from Sunny Frazier with giveaways of books by Victoria Heckman, John McEvoy & Maggie King
Happy New Year,

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

Review: Jack Hardway's Crime Magazine: Volume 1 Issue 1

The first issue of Jack Hardway’s Crime Magazine is an intriguing mix of short stories, music, a video, and a novel. The novel is Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliot Chase. I previously reviewed Jack’s version and highly recommend it if you have not read it.

The audio recording is the 1945 broadcast of Sorry, Wrong Number as produced by Suspense! The video is of The Big Combo. Unfortunately, my internet connection is a very shaky these days due to a number of factors including incompetent painters who cannot paint worth a damn, but can very easily damage the outside wiring of our apartment building. Therefore, I was not able to pursue either item.

My main interest was the six crime short stories.  Those I was able to access well enough at various times to eventually read them all.

Kaye George kicks things off with “Elk Island.” Adele, married mother of twins, considers herself discerning while her friends think of her as picky. While it can take her many months to make a decision as she compares things, her husband Jem can quickly make a decision. Letting her husband pick their vacation spot may have backfired for her as he wants to go hike Rockies in Grand Teton National Park.

Devlin used to work with Elliot Ness and there was action all the time. Sitting and watching two very boring crooks is not how he would handle things. But, as his partner Billings has pointed out before, watching is all the chief wanted them to do in “The Room Across The Street” by Jack Bates. Manchester, New Hampshire is the location where Lonny Evans and Eileen Washburn holed up. You just know something will soon end the agent’s boredom.

Nick Sweeney takes readers to Warsaw, Poland for his short story titled, “Man Seeks Dog.” While others in the city are looking for a missing medallion linked to Pope John Paul II, Teodor Krol just wants his beloved dog back. His history makes him a suspect ion many things and those who talk to him don’t believe his story about being retired and just looking for his missing dog.

Like the agents in “The Room Across The Street” Molly Sullivan is on a stakeout.  In her case, not only is she an amateur sleuth she is also all alone in “Nifty Shades of Gray” by John H. Dromey. Her surveillance target is a certain average looking woman known to steal credit cards, empty bank accounts, and more.

Despite issues at home, when a client calls and has a serious problem you have to go deal with it. Alyssa’s problem is that she has a stalker in “They Stalk Because They Can” by Stephen D. Rogers.

It begins with a murder confession in the final story titled “Handful of Stars’ by Jack Hardway. Chris just wanted to check his tomato plants on the roof of the apartment building before he went to work. Now some guy by the name of Deglin wants to tell him about how he killed his wife as well as a few other things.

This debut issue of new market is a good one featuring a very nice mix of works in a variety of formats featuring crime and mystery of many different flavors. Issue One covering November and December 2014 is good stuff. The next edition is scheduled to go live on January 1, 2015. One hopes Jack Hardway’s Crime Magazine will stick around as this first one was very good and well worth it.

Obligatory FTC Disclaimer:
Jack put his first issue up and I read it because of my interest as a reader and a writer as well as for the purposes of this review. At this time I have no work under consideration by him for a future edition. That could change if I can stick to my plan of getting back to focusing on my own work first and book reviews second.
The information above is designed to comply with the nonsensical mandatory FTC reporting requirement aimed at us dangerous book reviewers as well as to appease meth heads, soccer Moms, and our coming simian overlords.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Blame Barry....

He sent it to me. Not suprising since he wrote PUN-ishing TALES: The Stuff That Groans Are Made On as well as a few other things.


Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Lady in a Cage

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Lady in a Cage: Lady in a Cage ~ There was a time in the sixties when some of the queens of old Hollywood tried to make minor comebacks by appearing in ...

Via Up Around The Corner-- Interview with Krish/Flank Hawk over at the Library of Erana

Interview with Krish/Flank Hawk over at the Library of Erana

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

FFB Review: "THE SINATRA FILES: THE SECRET FBI DOSSIER" Edited by Tom Kuntz & Phil Kuntz --Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books. This week Barry is back with his review of THE SINATRA FILES: THE SECRET FBI DOSSIER edited by Tom and Phil Kuntz. After you read the review head over to Todd Mason’s blog for other books to consider...

Edited by Tom Kuntz & Phil Kuntz

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

In 1943, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began what over five decades became a 1,275-page dossier described by the editors as “a trove of insights into Sinatra’s life, his turbulent times, and, perhaps most important, the Hoover-era FBI’s invasive and at times almost voyeuristic ways.” 

The primary issues the dossier dealt with were whether the youthful Frank Sinatra dodged the draft during World War II, whether he was affiliated with and/or a member of the Communist Party, and how deep his associations went with organized crime and a fair number of notorious and powerful mobsters including Lucky Luciano and, especially, Sam Giancana. The Bureau also kept a watchful eye on his political connections, which included the Kennedys, Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, and Ronald Reagan. 

 Politically very much a liberal for many years, Sinatra was also the target of several conservative columnists, some of whom “informed” on him to the FBI, probably not altogether from patriotic motives. In any event, they and others engendered his lifelong distaste for the press.

The editors have reduced the dossier to its essence, which resulted in a 320-page paperback (I read the Kindle edition). This, I hasten to add, is a good thing because so much of the text, some of which is redacted, is repetitive, and not just within chapters, but from one chapter to another. The Sinatra Files is a book for those of us who are fans, and even many fans, unless completists when it comes to material about him, will find it too monotonously dry and repetitious to plod through. 

© 2014 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s website is You can find some of his written work at Amazon, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thank you!!!

Thank you ...... and you know who you are!

Several folks have made paypal donations to Sandi's cancer fund the last several days in astounding amounts and numbers. Most have also specially directed that we should spend their gift on ourselves and not medical bills.

Still other folks have gone through the blog to Amazon and made their purchases. That has put money into the Amazon Associate account for me in never before seen levels.

It all means a lot and we really appreciate it. Thank you!!

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Easy Death -- Daniel Boyd

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Easy Death -- Daniel Boyd: I've known "Daniel Boyd" for a while under another name.  In fact, he even comments on this blog from time to time.   This is ...

Senior News Newspaper Book Review Column--- December 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 December I went with The Dead Will Tell: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo. This is an excellent series and one that should be read in order. For the non-fiction book I went with The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes To New Classics by Dean Fearing with Judith Choate and Eric Dreyer. 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.

This also marks my final column for the Senior News Newspaper. For over ten years I have had the pleasure of having my monthly review work appear in the publication. That run has ended with the December 2014 issue. I very much thank Editor Michael Bracken and all others involved over the years for the opportunity.

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

The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes To New Classics
Dean Fearing with Judith Choate and Eric Dreyer
Photographs by Dave Carlin
Grand Central Life & Style (Hachette Book Group)
ISBN# 978-1-4555-7430-8
260 Pages

The latest in a long line of cook books from Dean Fearing is another that expresses his love for the state. The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes To New Classics is designed to be a one stop resource for the cook. This cookbook co-written with Judith Choate and Eric Dreyer works well if you have the skills, the hours of cooking time, and are feeding folks with no dietary restrictions.

After an introduction that explains Dean Fearing's history, and a section on ingredients, it is on to the recipes. Starting with “Breakfast and Brunch” and going through the day to “Desserts” each recipe has detailed instructions, a serving suggestion or how many of the item it will make, and sometimes a picture of the finished dish. There is no dietary information of any kind.

The Texas Food Bible: From Legendary Dishes To New Classics is an interesting cookbook. Totally absent in terms of nutritional or dietary information, the book has numerous recipes for various situations in terms of daily meals as well as when guests come over. Heavily geared towards those with extensive culinary skills it may not work as well for the average cook at home.

The Dead Will Tell: A Kate Burkholder Novel
Linda Castillo
ISBN# 978-1-250-02957-7
Hardback (also available as an e-book)
320 Pages

The past is never truly buried. As any mystery reader knows, the past often comes back with a vengeance leaving a fresh trail of bodies and carnage in its wake. Such is the case here in The Dead Will Tell: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo. The latest in this very good series begins in early March 1979 with a home invasion/robbery. Things go very wrong almost from the start and the night ends with a massacre and a family tragedy. A horrific crime that remains unsolved today 35 years later. That night seems to have started a fresh wave of killings. Who is doing the killing is just one of the many questions Police Chief Kate Burkholder will have to solve in this intense book.

With The Dead Will Tell author Linda Castillo may have penned the best book in the series that started with Sworn To Silence. An intense novel from start to finish this latest book in the series is an exceptionally good read.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Via Hugh Howey-- Are Indies Treated Like Second Class Citizens?

Are Indies Treated Like Second Class Citizens?

Via Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Devaluing Books? The Dark Sid...

Smashwords: Is Kindle Unlimited Devaluing Books? The Dark Sid...: In my previous post , I examined how authors can succeed despite the challenging sales environment for ebooks.  Today, I examine how Amazo...

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: On The Interview

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: On The Interview: I wasn't going to pipe in on this one. I figured it was old news by the time I had the time to get to my blog, and no one would care...

Review: "The Burning Room" by Michael Connelly

The end is near for LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. He has less than a year to the end of his career and isn’t sure what the future holds. His latest case in the Open-Unsolved Unit (cold cases) features a victim who just died though he was shot over ten years ago. The bullet that ripped into Orlando Merced that fateful day did not kill him outright. Instead it lodged into his spinal column making him a paraplegic and a repeat customer of the medical system. 

He also became a political cause for a certain mayoral candidate. While that candidate is no longer Mayor, politics is a major reason why Bosch and his new partner Lucy Soto got the case. Politics is also why Lucy Soto is paired with Bosch. That pairing and Bosch’s willingness to help his partner is why another case will take precedence for large sections of the book.

The latest in the long running series, The Burning Room is a complicated and yet fast moving read. While some have again criticized the evolution of the character and have claimed the author is phoning it in or has hired a team of ghost writers, neither is the case for those readers that are aware that the Bosch character has continued to evolve over 19 books. Inevitably those commenters seem to be longing for a book that appeared a decade or so ago and Bosch is now a far different character than he was then.

Life has happened and while Bosch still clearly feels moral outrage and disgust his actions in regards to both are considerable more subtle in recent reads than a decade ago. He is also not surprised by anything a politician does at this point in his long career that has shown him repeated examples of the worst of the human condition. Despite the usual richness in detail there is a clear distantness to the novel as Bosch begins to wind down a career he so clearly loves. A very good read in all aspects the book leaves the reader wondering what the future holds for the beloved character as well as his creator.

The Burning Room
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)
November 2014
ISBN# 978-0-316-22593-9
Hardback (also available in large print, e-book and audio editions)
401 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library system who don’t care what I say in a review. They just want their book back.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Monday, December 22, 2014


Been awhile since I posted one of these. I hate going out on the weekend to do grocery shopping or anything else, but with painters about to descend on this building I figured I had to do it yesterday. While at the grocery store Scott told me to ram the latest fool who had blundered in front of my motorized cart. I shook my head no and waited for the woman to realize she had blocked me as well as at least three other people in both directions with her cart while she talked on her cell phone.

From behind me I heard Scott clearly say...

"Go ahead....ram it. Come to the dark side.....we have milk and cookies. And you can wear black."

There was laughter from several folks and the woman in question finally woke up to her situation.

By the way, Scott's grades are in for the fall semester. 2 A's and 3 B's.  The boy did really well.

JA Konrath Decamps From Kindle Unlimited ⋆ The Digital Reader

JA Konrath Decamps From Kindle Unlimited ⋆ The Digital Reader

Via The Washington Post-- North Korea’s Internet is going suspiciously haywire

North Korea’s Internet is going suspiciously haywire

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Via Alexis Smith: A Dynamite Girl’s Film Noir

Free Book Alert--- "The Surest Poison" by Chester Campbell

As posted elsewhere this evening.....

The first book in my Sid Chance mystery series, The Surest Poison, is FREE for the Kindle through Monday, Dec. 22. Currently it's ranked #1 in the top 100 free books. Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine editor, wrote this in his review of the book:

"Chester Campbell’s latest, THE SUREST POISON, introduces a new character, PI Sid Chance and his side kick Jaz LeMieux...Chance is a great character, 59 years old, Viet Nam vet, ex cop and relentless. Campbell’s work here is his best yet and the book has a natural rhythm that moves the story along at a nice pace. The people who populate the book are realistic and nothing feels forced, it's as if Campbell is just telling their story without embellishing, which I found refreshing. A top rate mystery by a gem of a writer."

You can get it at

Chester Campbell

My 2009 review is here.

KRL This Week Update-- Juliet Blackwell, Waverly Curtis, Monk, Christmas, giveaways & more in KRL

As posted elsewhere.....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of "The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice" by Waverly Curtis

Also up a review & giveaway of "Keeper of the Castle" by Juliet Blackwell

We also have another Christmas mystery short story-this one by Guy Belleranti

And we have a review & giveaway of "Mr. Monk is Open for Business" by Hy Conrad

And a review & giveaway of "Big Island Blues" by Terry Ambrose

For your Christmas reading pleasure, Terry Ambrose shares with Kings River Life Magazine an article about Christmas mysteries which includes authors like Cleo Coyle, Anne Perry, Kate Kingsbury & more

For those who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "Tainted Blood" by ML Brennan

Over on KRL Lite we have a review & giveaway of "What Strange Creatures" by Emily Arsenault

And don't miss all of the other Christmas short stories that have gone up this month, with one more to come on Monday!

Happy holidays!

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

Writer Beware®: The Blog: Thoughts Post-Toast (or, Why You Should Not Assume...

Writer Beware®: The Blog: Thoughts Post-Toast (or, Why You Should Not Assume...: Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware As I've followed the discussion (for instance, here , here , and here ) over the past co...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher--- FFB: Calypso – Ed McBain

FFB: Calypso – Ed McBain

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

FFB Review: "Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT" Editor Thomas Pluck

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. In recent days I have seen posts on Facebook and elsewhere by Editor Thomas Pluck reminding all of the 2012 anthology Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT. During this holiday season it seemed a very good time to run again my review from that year of this very good book. Many of the 41 one tales here are tough ones in a book that is meant to raise funds for a very worthy cause. Make sure you check out Patti’s blog for still more books well worthy of your attention…..

Anthologies designed to raise monies for a cause are becoming more and more common. This is true here with Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT features stories about children in danger. Monies raised from book go to PROTECT, and its parent organization, the National Association to Protect Children, in order to help keep children safe, strengthen laws against child abuse in its many forms, and to assist the victims of such abuse. Along with a detailed explanation of the group in the introduction to anthology, there is information on how to become a member and how to track the donation record. Then, it is on to the stories arranged in alphabetical order by author.

The book opens with “The Search for Michael” by Patricia Abbott. Max knows that he just saw his son on the crowded pier below a San Francisco Restaurant. It may have been ten years, but Max knows what he saw was his missing son.

“The Drowning of Jeremiah Fishfinger” by Ian Ayris comes next. Jeremiah was the youngest of six children and arrived between the wars. As WWII begins, the family experiences war in England and death while the rage within Jeremiah grows day after day.

“The Kindness of Strangers” by Ray Banks opens with the image of a gymnasium full of noisy kids.  It is picture day at the school and the photographer as well as school staff has their hands full. It is time for the new picture for the access cards and the narrator takes his job very seriously. He wants to help all the students. But, then things do always go wrong.

Nigel Bird is up next with his story “Baby’s in Blue.” Rox and Sox want to have a baby and want Les to help.  His girlfriend Libby wants a child of her own too and is all in favor of him helping out Rox and Sox. Of course, nothing is that simple in this very unsettling story.

“The Black Rose” by Michael A. Black is a tale of Brax, Stevie, and the fact that Tanaka Mishima wants them dead.  Who knew the dead hooker would be a problem? While many of these tales feature either the child victim experiencing abuse or the perpetrator doing the abuse, this story one was one of my favorites as it had a more distant relationship with the abuse angle of the anthology and was a complicated mystery.

“Last Orders: A Gus Dury Story” by Tony Black follows next featuring a man with a certain reputation in the fine city of Edinburgh. The annoying man who has come over to him in the pub is Urquhart and he is a Church of Scotland minister. His daughter is missing and he wants to hire Gus Dury to find Caroline Urguhart as fast as possible.

Billy and Daryl are in an alley three streets over from their target as “Repossession” by R. Thomas Brown opens. Daryl has been doing repos for a while now and says the targets always park their cars away from their homes. Bill is new to the business and wanted to learn all he could from the old pro. That was at first, but now he isn’t so sure.

When you are paired with another young guard in Tempelmore it might be best if one was good and one was dirty.  Barrret was the good one in “Spectre” by Ken Bruen. Spec was the bad one and he was very good at it.

“A Tall Horse” by Bill Cameron tells the tale of 10 year old David who has had enough. He’d much rather hang out in the basement at home. He has thrown down the challenge and the battle is on.

The kids are not happy in “Seven Ways to Get of Harry” by Jen Conley. It is supposed to be a fun day at the “Great Adventure” park near Manchester. But, Judy’s boyfriend, Harry, is being difficult and not just about the safari deal Danny wants to do. At least his sister, Lisa, has ideas on how to get rid of Harry.

The taxi driver, Billy Joe, in “Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion” by Charles De Lint is not having a good Monday night. The woman who flags him down outside a girl-on-girl club is way too beautiful to be playing for the other team. She wants to go and steal her cat back and Billy Joe can’t say no.

Using the history of the Orphan Train program which ran from the 1850s to 1929, author Wayne D. Dundee crafted a story where good intentions went disastrously wrong.  “Adeline” is one of those children and she needs help. Miss Maybelle wants to do something about it because Hiram Foster has her and he is the lowest of the vermin around. She needs the help of Clete Rawson and she will get it.

Mercer thought he would feel something when he came back to his old hometown. Instead, he feels nothing in “Go Away” by Chad Eagleton. He wouldn’t be back if it wasn’t to help pull off a robbery.

You can live with somebody a long time. Years even and not really know them. A point Les Edgerton makes well in “You Don’t Know Me.” Two shots should do the trick.

A child hears a voice calling his name and does not want to come out in the very short piece “Security” by Andrew Fader.

Charlotte hates her after school program in “Planning for the Future” by Matthew Funk. She is sure she and Mama are going to hell.  One could argue they are already there.

“Things I Know about Fairy Tales” by Roxane Gay comes next featuring the story of a woman and her kidnapping in Haiti. Kidnapping is what happens when you come from one of the better off families. When the inevitable happens nothing will ever be the same.

An alligator is doing what comes naturally to it as “The Lawyer” by Edward A. Grainger opens.   The body on a bank of a Louisiana bayou is bleeding into the water while a man known as the “The Lawyer” stands above him. A chilling beginning to a very good western tale featuring Marshall Cash Laramie. This complicated and well done story was also one of my favorites in the book.

Baby Molly has what appears to be simple eye infection in her eyes in the story “A Blind Eye” by Glenn G. Gray. However, Molly’s mom is not the best caregiver by a long shot in this deeply disturbing story. If you can read this one without getting very upset, you simply can’t be human on any level.

While many are going a very long way to California, Lettie isn’t.  Instead, in “Lettie in the Ozarks” by Jane Hammons, Lettie is following the old people to their house in the Ozarks. She may have left it all behind in Oklahoma, but, she can’t leave the painful memories.

“1983” by Amber Keller features Reggie and Troy and their plan to go cool off in an old quarry.  The quarry is fun but it is no refuge from bullies--familial ones.

Joe R. Landsdale comes next with “The Boy Who Became Invisible.” Marble Creek, a small town along the Sabine River in East Texas is the setting. For Hap and his friend, Jesse, everything changed in the fifth grade and not in a good way.

Most of the stories in this book are about bullying and the effects on those bullied. Like the preceeding story, “Take It like a Man” by Frank Larnerd is one of those stories. 7th grader “Squeak” is one of those kids that everyone picks on. At least there is a gun at home in the trailer.

Jack likes to slap his partner around in “Stoop-It” by Gary Lovisi. The duo has done too many jobs back east and the heat is on so Jack had the bright idea to go to California. Jack is supposed to be the smart one of the pair. His plans get the narrator out of his cage and working.

In the twilight of the afterlife victims see things differently in “Monsters” by Mike Miner. While they had no idea he was out there, now as victims, they can see the predator as a burning flame moving through the streets of Los Angeles. To see the predator this way would have been helpful when they were alive. They can also see the detective and the toll the killings are taking on him. They may not be able to stop the killer, but they can help the detective a little bit.

The agencies supposed to help have a problem in “Community Reintegration” by Zak Mucha.  Patient Troy Gaylen is a problem patient who is doing everything he can to resist treatment.  Once he turns 21, he can do as he wants despite his long history and other factors described in this story of emails and clinical narratives.

It’s a bad situation in “Done for the Day” by Dan O’Shea. Mom is dead, Billy is getting worse, and dad is overwhelmed. The fact that the nosy neighbor next door keeps calling the police does not help.

George Pelecanos is next with “String Music” where Tonio Harris lives for pickup basketball games. Life is very rough in the fourth district of D.C. but hitting the asphalt with a basketball is escape. That is until one game goes a bit sideways with ripples that will affect a number of people.

Thomas Pluck contributes next with his story “Black Shuck.” Nine years old and out with his dog, Shuck, life in the holler don’t get any better. That was until Wade and his friend saw the guitar player known as Blind Joe Death. He has a reputation and not in a positive way. Now there is a thirst for vengeance in the air with death coming again before the night is out.

It is time for the threshing crew to get to work in “Jolly’s Boy” by Richard Prosch. It is a cold ride on a cold morning as Tom and his father ride in their Model T to where they need to harvest. Tom wants “Jolly’s Boy” to hurry up and show up as Tom has a point to make.

Keith Rawson follows with “She Comes With The Rain.” Ella went to God one Friday when the cancer became too much. For the widower left behind, everything changed. That included his relationship with their daughter, Sabrina.  It has all led to this in a haunting piece.

Ed came back from North Africa bitter and missing an arm in “The Greatest Generation” by James Reasoner.” Coming back to Lockspur, Texas this way is a far cry from going ashore in Morocco with General Patton.  As bad as he feels about himself there is somebody far worse off in a war at home.

It is a nightmare for Wade and his wife, Liana in “Baby Boy” by Todd Robinson. Ben is missing and nobody knows anything. The hours pass into days and the pressure mounts on the couple with no sign of their child.

When you live on “Gay Street” in this story by Johnny Shaw you learn very quickly how to fight. It’s a hard neighborhood anyway and the street name does the kids no favors. The boys live by a code of honor. Little Jimmy Little is one of them at age 10 and has been hurt. He will be avenged.

Gerald So offers a poem with “Hushed.”  A quick powerful poem about Cousin Lee and his bruises.

The plan is to finish smoking dope in the 67 Bonneville and then burgle the house they are watching. Tom and his older brother got stuff to steal for Junky Bob who wants 10 percent of the take.  Supposed to be an easy gig in “Wooden Bullets” by Josh Stallings.  It isn’t, of course.

16 year old Joseph lives next door “In Dreams” by Charlie Stella. Joseph also knows how to get an eight year old little boy up to his room in this very disturbing story. Money and toys don’t make what is happening right.

“Placebo” by Andrew Vachss comes next with a narrator who knows how to fix things. Sometimes the stuff that needs fixing goes far beyond his building or his normal jobs. One example is the little boy upstairs and his monsters.

“Steve Weddle” is next with “This Too Shall Pass.” Staci and Rusty are out in a field watching the stars. That is until they got interrupted by other party goers.  Teen angst, a legendary story, and more is at work in this fine tale.

Austin Parker is missing in “Runaway” by Dave White. Coach Herrick thinks the boy might have had good reason to take off considering the living conditions at home. Haunted by guilt over what happened with one boy in Afghanistan, he tries to save another here at home. Easier said than done in so many ways.

The final story of the book is “Season Pass” by Chet Williamson. It tells the story of Mr. & Mrs. Youngers, the passing of time, and solving a problem in this twisted tale.

The 41 tales arranged in alphabetical order by author are good ones in Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT.  While the stories are good ones, this book is not in any way light, easy reading. Most of these stories feature horrific and occasionally graphic child abuse in some form. These are stories that often slap the reader in the face with the kinds of horrific abuse and neglect that are all too common stories in the media today. The level of hurt in these stories makes for very tough reading at times in a powerful book designed to raise money to support the mission of PROTECT.

Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT
Editor Thomas Pluck
Goombah Gumbo Press
August 31, 2012
E-Book (also available as a paperback through CreateSpace)
Estimated print length 374 pages

Material was supplied by Editor Thomas Pluck for my objective review. Material was read on my laptop via the free “Kindle for PC” program.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Untreed Reads BIG SALE--- Our "Run Run Rudolph" Sale Is On!

As posted elsewhere.....

Hi, everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that our “Run Run Rudolph” sale has begun. From now through Christmas Day, over 1,000 ebook titles from 15+ publishers are 50% off and paperbacks are 30% off. That means we have short stories as low as $0.25. Not too shabby eh?

For a complete lineup of the publishers participating in the sale, visit our homepage at .

All discounts will show up in your shopping cart during the final step of checkout. If you’re someone who prefers to read your titles in PDF, this is definitely the sale for you as you get PDF, EPUB and Kindle for one price. Also, any of our titles can be gifted to someone else. For gifting instructions, visit .

If you want to order a paperback and ensure it reaches someone in time for the holidays, please contact me off-list and I can help make that happen.


Jay Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing