We also have the latest Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier-this
one is the Beach Edition sharing some great books to take out to the beach with
you. We have coming attractions by Nancy J. Parra & more, along with a
giveaway of books by LJ Sellers & Cathy Perkins http://kingsriverlife.com/05/31/coming-attractions-beach-edition/
Private Investigator Ava
Rome has no idea in the beginning that she is being hunted. She has no idea at
all a man from her distant past is in the islands watching her every move. Fantasizing
over and over again what he is going to do to her once he finally gets her
alone. His name is Norman Traxler and he is coming for her--- after he eliminates
whatever she cares about a chess piece at a time.
Ava's latest client, sent by
Moon Ito, is a young woman named Jenny Mordan. Battered an assaulted by a corrupt
cop named Ron Nevez she wants and needs Ava's help. The fact that Jenny is a
freelancer in the world's oldest profession is not a factor for Ava Rome. Jenny
is defenseless and Ava's business is to protect the defenseless as it was under
Kamehameha the Great before the annexation of the islands by the United States in
1898. That first law of King Kamehameha,
the law of the splintered paddle, is still ingrained in the islands and its people
and serves as the very personal mandate of what Ava Rome does each and every
day. The defenseless will be guaranteed from harm--period. Using your badge as a weapon is considered
official suppression and Ava's isn't about to put up with that.
That issue isn't the only
thing she isn't about to put up with
in this complicated mystery featuring multiple story lines. Written by Texas
author Mark Troy who spent a number of years in Hawaii before moving to Texas,
this new series features an intense take no prisoners heroine committed to
solving mysteries from the past and present despite the many complications
involved with both. Ethical and principled, willing to go it alone if and when
she has to, Ava Rome always advances and never retreats. That might be
something that comes from her family and the way she was raised.
Featuring a strong and
interesting cast of supporting characters, this complex read features four separate
and distinct story lines that gradually interweave as readers are slowly filled
in on Ava's often difficult past. A past that has driven many of her choices
through her life. Choices that have created at least some of the increasingly
dangerous situations she now finds herself in today.
Second place finisher at the
2012 Claymore Awards at Killer Nashville, The Splintered Paddle: An Ava Rome Mystery is one of
those rare books that pulls you deep inside a world far from home right from
the beginning. It isn't all sundrenched beaches, cool waters, and happy days in
paradise. Ava, also seen in the very good novella The Rules, knows
something about the dark undercurrents at work in the 50th state in
the union and is more than ready to protect the defenseless.
means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott here. For this final
Friday of the month of May, Patrick Ohl of the comprehensive blog “At The Scene
Of The Crime” is back. Today he reviews The
Dream Walker by Charlotte Armstrong. Lots more books over at Patti’s blog so
make sure you check out the list after reading Patrick’s review.
Dream Walker is about a young woman named
Olivia Hudson, a teacher at a fashionable girls’ school, aged 34. She is
narrating her story into a tape recorder as a break from looking at a
Portugal-shaped crack in her ceiling. And the tale she tells is a fantastic
one: it is the story of a plot to bring down a well-regarded man. But how do
you do that? According to Armstrong, you need a crazy plan, one so insane that
even when it is exposed it is hard to believe that someone would go to all that
trouble to fool people. Such a plot apparently took place.
The target of this plot was John Paul
Marcus, a highly respected man whose advice led to Raymond Pankerman’s illegal
activities being discovered. Now, Pankerman desires revenge, and right on cue
he met Kent Shaw, who devised a brilliant and completely mad plan to bring
about Marcus’ downfall. Four people were in on the plot, and Ollie tells us all
about it. For although the truth is now known, the damage to Marcus’ reputation
has been done, and this is Ollie’s attempt to undo it. But it’s hard work:
“Respect is a kind of Humpty Dumpty. All the King’s horses can’t put it all the
way up, again.”
The story of The Dream Walker is a fascinating one. Charlotte Armstrong shows
some plotting brilliance. From the very first chapter, you know who is in on
the plot. The plot involves an apparently-supernatural element, as a young
woman claims to walk around in places thousands of miles away in her dreams, and it really happens. Very few
variations on this impossible trick are possible, and Armstrong wisely decides
to give you the full story from the get-go. The fascination with The Dream Walker lies in how the plan is
slowly executed: the noose around Marcus’ neck slowly tightens, and I spent the
first part of the novel practically cheering on the conspiracy, eagerly waiting
to see how they would solve their difficulties. But after a certain point in
the novel, my allegiance was switched over to the other side, as I eagerly read
on to see how the plot could be defeated.
Virtue of Suspense, a biography of Charlotte Armstrong by Rick Cypert, it
is observed that the novel was one of Armstrong’s responses to Joseph McCarthy’s
Communist witch-hunt. Armstrong observes that nothing is proved against
Marcus—indeed, it never could be proved because Marcus is innocent of any
wrongdoing. But all it takes is the seed of doubt for a man’s reputation to be
blown apart. A life’s work is destroyed in a matter of minutes, and the public
relishes the destruction of an idol, but doesn’t care much for its restoration.
At one point, Ollie tells the reader:
Please, if I am making this clear at
all, please do read the fine print and the follow-up and all the hard, dry
parts in the news. Don’t let your mind jump on to the next sensational
headline. Oh, it’s more fun to float along, enjoying the high spots. The new
murder. The latest scandal. Today’s clash. But afterwards, people have to live.
And if all you remember is a vague impression of some nasty mess, and the thing
that remains is only your notion that this person once fell away from the clear
and unquestioned way—and to know what truly did happen is a task too dry, too
hard—ah, please. It isn’t fair.
I found this the most powerful message
of the book, possibly due to the fact that I myself have had a personal
experience along these lines—though of course nothing as fantastical as
Armstrong’s tale. She conveys it so well that I don’t know where to start
describing her brilliance. Maybe I shouldn’t even try—this is something you
just have to experience for yourself.
The plot moves smoothly along and is a
terrific novel of suspense, quite possibly the finest I’ve read all year long.
In particular the final act is brilliant, as everything falls
apart. Mistakes occur left and right, throwing off the conspirators’ plans, and
after several misunderstandings the climax of the novel is an extremely
suspenseful and chilling confrontation.
Dream Walker was enthusiastically received by
critics like James Sandoe (The New York
Herald Tribune) and Anthony Boucher (The
New York Times). Sandoe is quoted as having called it “a most uncommon
thriller, quite the best Mrs. Armstrong has given us since the shattering
‘Mischief.’” I’m genuinely embarrassed that I hadn’t gotten around to Charlotte
Armstrong sooner in my reading career. I had Armstrong vaguely pegged as a
writer in the Had-I-But-Known school of Mary Roberts Rinehart. But I ask you,
can you seriously blame me for this
mistake when one of Armstrong’s books is entitled The Chocolate Cobweb?
Charlotte Armstrong has proven once
again that she could write. In my
previous read, The Case of the Weird Sisters,
Armstrong came up with a unique impossible crime and infused it with an eerie,
surreal atmosphere that fuelled my interest right up until the end. The Dream Walker contains another
impossible crime, but one to which you know the solution from the start. It is
a terrific novel of suspense and an excellent novel overall. It’s an excellent rebuttal to McCarthyism and a
fascinating look at how mere doubt can poison a man’s reputation beyond repair.
The Dream Walker is a wonderful novel
that has unequivocally placed Charlotte Armstrong among my favourite female
writers, right up there with the likes of Margaret Millar and Agatha Christie.
If you’ve never encountered Armstrong before, this makes for one hell of an introduction.
Along with the title the
subtitle The Step-by-Step Methods That Will Turn a Good Cook Into a Great Cook
makes intent of this cookbook by Clara Paul and Eric Treuille very clear. Published
by Firefly Books, the book stresses the importance of basic skills and how to
build upon them to become a whiz in the kitchen. That is done through text and
pictures across twelve chapters that each address a needed skill.
After a multipage
introduction and multi-page lists of essential kitchen equipment, the book gets
going with “Sauce Skills.” After a brief intro that explains, among other
things, how you will now learn to make perfect gravy and hollandaise, it begins
with “Tomato Sauce” on pages 18-19. Instead of using such sauce from a jar or
can, this tells you how to make your own by way of a list of ingredients and
directions. Along with tomato sauce, vinaigrette, and gravy, one can learn how
to make “White Sauce” (page 28), “Sugar Syrup” (page 32) and “Chocolate Sauce”
(page 33) among others.
While there is not any
nutritional information on the recipes, most have pictures of the finished
items as well as a color coded “expert tips” section with additional good
advice. This same format is followed throughout the hardback cookbook. Each
recipe is skill numbered to reflect the title. Therefore, the aforementioned “Chocolate
Sauce” of page 33 is skill number 18.
“Vegetable Skills” comes
next so that you can learn to do more than bring a pot of water to boil and
throw something in. Along with teaching you how to slice as well as dice an onion,
peeling tomato and shallots, there is information on how to handle herbs
correctly. Also included here is how to go about “Blanching” (page 52),
“Caramelizing Onions” (page 58), and “Bouquet Garnii” (page 62) among others.
After dealing with vegies it
is time to move on to “Fruit And Nut Skills.” Starting on page 64, the authors
take you through “Coring Fruit” (page 67), “Preparing Pomegranate” (page 71),
“Toasting And Skinning Nuts” (page 82) and “Dry-Or Pan-Toasting Nuts” (page
83), among others.
After an introduction that
also explains the different cuts of beef, tip number 70 on “Cutting Beef”
(pages 88-89) leads off “Meat Skills.” Learn how to go about “Cooking Streak”
(page 90), “Preparing A Rack Of Lamb” (page 101) and “Roasting Pork With
Stuffing” (page 104) among others. While often a chart of beef cuts is included
on a chapter on meats, a nice touch in this book are the two charts reflecting
cuts of lamb and pork.
You can do a lot with
chicken and they are the subject of next chapter section titled “Poultry
Skills.” Along with different ways to prepare various types of chicken, there
is also information on “Scoring A Duck Breast” (page 120) and “Searing a Duck
Breast” (page 121).
We go from the land to the
sea next with “Seafood Skills.” After a two page deal on “Identifying And Choosing
Fish (tip number 100 on pages 124-125), various ways of preparing a fish of different
types from cleaning to cooking are covered. Also included here is tip number 116
“Identifying And Choosing Shellfish” (pages 140-141), how to peel as well as devein
your shrimp (pages 142-143), “Cooking Crab (pages 144-145) among other items.
If you ever wanted to know how to go about “Preparing Squid” the information is
here at the end of the section on pages 154-155.
The highly versatile and
common in a lot of dishes, the egg comes next with “Egg Skills.” Along with how
to crack one properly and how to separate yolk from the white, one can learn to
make a “Soufflé” on pages 166-167 among other skills. This chapter section is one
of the shortest in the book.
“Pastry and Baking Skills”
come next with an introduction on page 168. Then we are led through “Making
Basic Pie Crust” (pages 170-171), how to go about “Beating Butter and Sugar”
(page 178) the right way and making “Phyllo Pastry” (page 194), among other
We move a bit backwards with
the next chapter “Pasta, Grain, Legume and Bread Skills.” Along with teaching
you how to go about “Making Fresh Pasta” (pages 200-201) and “Cooking Pasta”
(page 203) correctly there is information here on making your own “Ravioli”
(pages 204-205), a “Basic Risotto” (pages 212-213), “Making Bread Crumbs” (page
219) and making “Melba Toast” (page 222) among other ideas are here.
“Broth Skills” come next and
start on page 224. The recipes here include making a “Brown Broth” (pages 228-229),
a “Vegetable Broth” (page 230) along with other information such as “Skimming
Broths” (page 232) and “Clarifying Broth” on page 234-235.
The very short chapter “Spice
Skills” is the twelfth and final section. Toasting and grinding spices are
explained as is how to go about “Soaking Saffron” (page 290) and tip 200 “Using
a Vanilla Bean” (page 291).
A four page glossary of
ingredients comes next followed by a three page dictionary of terms. That leads
readers into the usual one page of resources and two pages of conversion charts.
That is followed by a five page index.
Despite the obvious lack of
nutritional information of any type throughout the book, The 200 Skills Every Cook Must
Have: The Step-by-Step Methods That Will Turn a Good Cook Into a Great Cook
is a good cookbook. The pictures are colorful and illustrative of what is being
taught and the text is simple and straight forward. The color coded tabs for
each section are a nice touch and can make finding the section one is looking
for quicker. Another nice touch is the color coded “expert tips” section in
each chapter that highlight information that will help the user turn out
quality food. A solidly good book that shows users how to build on the skills
they have or learn new ones The 200 Skills Every Cook Must Have: The Step-by-Step
Methods That Will Turn a Good Cook Into a Great Cook is a good hardback
reference material for your kitchen endeavors.
200 Skills Every Cook Must Have: The Step-by-Step Methods That Will Turn a Good
Cook Into a Great Cook
There is no "hump-day" on the desert planet Arrakis of the Dune series,
because there are no camels and you must ride the giant worms instead.
You can learn more about camels here on earth in this short intro piece
of mine here.... http://store.tapirback.com/camels/
Also helps if you make sure the blogger reviews the type of book you write..... Blood-Red Pencil: Guidelines for Requesting Reviews: Back in June 2013 here on The Blood Red Pencil , I offered some suggestions on taking a professional approach to being a book reviewer, so t...
Published earlier this year by
Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, Overcoming Obstacles In Cooking is
designed for those who either have no cooking experience or are disabled. The
author has mild cerebral palsy and overcame that obstacle and others to attain
college degrees as well as learning to cook. Some of the recipes are Mathew’s
and others were submitted by his friends at Culpepper County High School in
After an acknowledgment page
there are six short chapters and 10 appendices designed primarily for special
The first chapter “Main
Dishes” opens with “Quick and Easy Banana Smoothies.” Mathew's mom first taught
him to cook by making smoothies. Then it is on to “Mushroom Meat Puffs” (page
3), “Steak in a Sack” (page 10) and “Manicotti Miners Delight” (page 11) among
others. There are no pictures of the dishes nor is there any nutritional
information. Each recipe features an ingredient list and directions with some
recipes a bit more complicated than others. Same format follows for all the
“Broccoli Bread” (page 14)
starts off the second chapter “Breads” which ends in page 18 with “Zucchini
Bread.” In between are “Dough Knots” (page 15), “Turtles” (page 16) which are a
type of skillet biscuit, and “Delicious Corn Bread” (page 17).
Throughout the book the
pages are color coded for ease of use. It is a nice touch and works well especially
in the green chapter also known as “Vegetables.” This third chapter opens with
“Cheryle's Vegetable Salsa” (page 20) before moving on to “Broccoli Casserole”
(page 23) among others.
Purple is the background
color for the next chapter titled “Soups And Salads.” Along with “Taco salad”
(page 27) and “Layered Salad” (page 33) among others this is where you find out
how to make “Red Wine-Thyme Vinaigrette” (page 27).
Desserts come next and open
with “Fruit Pizza Cookies” (page 36) before moving on to “Frozen Lemon Dessert”
(page 39), “Chocolate Balls” (page 41) and “Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding Cake”
(page 52) among others.
“Recipes And Tips From
Friends” is next. Primarily made up of recipes submitted from the Culpeper County High School class of 2000, one
can find “Brown Sugar Pork Chops” (page 55), “Winter Black Bean Salsa” (page
57) and “Autumn’s Famous Enchiladas” (page 58) among others
After several pages of
uncaptioned pictures of the author and friends/family, it is on to the
appendices. There a number of these and are primarily aimed towards working
with special needs children.
Appendix A it is primarily a
poem about what it is to be different than the mainstream.
Appendix B is a page on home
crafts and cooking activities that can be used as teaching activities to
involve your child.
Appendix C “Using Food in
the Classroom” is all about how food can be used to teach the various concepts
in Science, Math and English. Found on pages 67 + 68 these pages would also be
of interest to those, like myself, who have worked or do work with special
education as well as mainstream students. The information here can allow you to
see something new in the everyday.
Appendix D is a list of
reading cook book related material for various situations.
Appendix E titled “Alphabet
Soup” is a two page list of the abbreviations commonly used in special
education as well as general education.
Appendix F is all about
designing a supplies list for items in the kitchen geared towards a person with
Appendix G is a list of
bullet points from the author on how to cope with Cerebral Palsy in the kitchen
as well as in the world. Much of the advice applies in general to folks regardless
of their disability.
Appendix H is all about
“Teaching People with Disabilities How to Cook” and various techniques to
Appendix I is a contact info
list of eight companies that provide resources and supplies for folks with
disabilities. Appendix I is a hodge-podge list of food items, DVD's, household
items and store recommendations for folks with disabilities.
This 90 page book is well
done despite the fact it does not contain any nutritional information or
pictures at any stage of the recipes. One does not really expect that kind of
detailed information in a book of this type. The color coded sections are a
nice touch us as are the illustrations appropriate to each section at the
beginning as well as alongside the page numbers for that section.
An inspiring book, Overcoming
Obstacles In Cooking is designed for those with obstacles and as well
as all others to get in the kitchen and get to work. The recipes included
showcase a variety rich flavors and offer lots of cooking possibilities.
For the first time in a very long, long time I have turned in some critique work for the Critters Workshop at http://critters.org/index.php One western, one fantasy, one science fiction and one mystery. Four in two days. So, not only am I doing freelance stuff for Tapir and Friends Animal Store I am back doing critters stuff. Which means my reading of books has slowed way down--again. lol
The Critters Workshop welcomes donations so if you can make one please do and help keep the site going.
who follow the blog on a regular basis know that I have a running column in the
Senior News Newspaper covering books written by Texans, set in Texas, or of
interest to the newspaper’s Texas demographic of over fifty readers. Below was/is my
May column with the addition here of the relevant book covers….
Outrage at Blanco (Ellie Taine)
Originally published in 1998
by Dell Books, Outrage at Blanco is now available as an e-book from talented
Texas author Bill Crider. A trip to town and back for Ellie Taine has gone very
wrong as this western from author Bill Crider begins. Just outside of the small
Texas town of Blanco she had made the mistake of stopping for the two men who
seemed friendly. As it became clear they had something else on their minds, she
thought they only meant to rob her. Unfortunately
for Ellie, robbery wasn’t what they wanted. Ben Atticks and Jink Howard wanted
something much more personal to Ellie than the few items she had purchased in
town at Roger's Mercantile.
When they were done with her
they left her alive. That was another mistake in a long line of mistakes in
their criminal careers. What happened to Ellie is just part of a complicated tale
of vengeance and redemption for several characters results in a book that moves
forward at a rapid pace despite the many players and almost as many agendas.
DeCoster’s Beads In Motion: 24 Jewelry Projects That Spin, Sway, Swing, And
Jewelry & Beading (Imprint of Sterling Publishing)
As the subtitle of 24 Jewelry Projects That Spin,
Sway, Swing, and Slide makes clear Marcia DeCoster’s Beads In Motion is
a beading book that is all about the motion. According to the introduction by
the author, in addition to the motion present in each piece there are designed
to make sure the pieces complement each other.
Covering everything from the tools and materials you
will need to the stiches and knots you will use to the projects themselves this
is a book that encourages creativity and exploration. The heavily illustrated
pages take the crafter through various necessary skills as a refresher for
experienced pros or as a how to do guide for new crafter while also providing
Projects for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and
more are found in this nearly 130 page book from “Lark Jewelry & Beading
Bead Inspirations.” The projects and styles in Marcia DeCoster’s Beads In
Motion: 24 Jewelry Projects That Spin, Sway, Swing And Slide are
colorful and varied and are ones that over time a reader can learn to do. The
projects here will provide hours of inspiration that can be used for one’s own
wardrobe or to create personal gifts for others.
Today is not a day for sales, barbecues, nor is it a day to celebrate or to be happy. The reason for the day is to honor those who never made it home.As various veterans have shared across social media....
Please take a moment today to honor and appreciate their sacrifice.
BRED IN THE BONE Christopher Brookmyre Yvonne Klein
In this third in the series starring Jasmine Sharp and Catherine
McCleod, events going back to before Jasmine's birth resurface and
affect both women.
RUIN FALLS Jenny Milchman Lourdes Venard
When Liz Daniels' children are kidnapped, she goes on a hunt for her
children, uncovering secrets about her own family
CAN ANYBODY HELP ME? Sinéad Crowley Barbara Fister
As Dublin police begin to investigate a woman's murder, they don't
realize that an online community of mothers is wondering about a missing
BONE DUST WHITE Karin Salvalaggio Sharon Mensing
A teenager witnesses the murder of her estranged mother, and the
pregnant detective assigned to the case finds ties to a decade-old case
of human trafficking in rural, northern Montana.
THE STRANGER YOU KNOW Jane Casey Paris Abell
Maeve Kerrigan is investigating the brutal murders of three women when
she discovers a connection to her partner that might mean he's the killer.
PRAYER Philip Kerr Yvonne Klein
FBI Special Agent Gil Martins, is fast losing his religious faith and
seeks some evidence that God exists. He is not comforted by the response.
AN EMBARRASSMENT OF CORPSES Alan Beechey Meredith Frazier
A serial murderer is loose in London, and children's book author Oliver
Swithin has been enlisted by his uncle, Detective Superintendent Tim
Mallard of Scotland Yard, to help solve the case.
MURDERING MINISTERS Alan Beechey Meredith Frazier
Children's book author Oliver Swithin and his girlfriend Detective
Sergeant Effie Strongitharm investigate the disappearance of a teenage
girl and the murder of a would-be cult leader.
UNDER COLD STONE Vicki Delany Jim Napier
Trafalgar BC police chief Paul Keller and Lucky Smith have come to Banff
Springs, Alberta, to relax for a few days and get to know one another
better. But when Keller's estranged son Matt disappears, leaving his
roommate dead on the floor, Lucky asks her daughter, Constable Molly
Smith, to help with the ensuing investigation, which reveals that the
apparently quiet resort town harbours its own share of intrigue and
THE ALPINE YEOMAN Mary Daheim PJ Coldren
As Emma Lord adjusts to married life with Sheriff Milo Dodge, people in
Alpine are disappearing and a stranger shows up - dead.
DANTE'S POISON Lynne Raimondo Sharon Mensing
Angelotti is called upon to serve as an expert witness in a murder trial
and, in pre-trial investigation, uncovers a major drug company plot.
SIEGE OF BITTERNS Steve Burrows Donna Allard Halford
After a murder in a salt-marsh, new man on the job, DCI Dominic Jejeune,
latches onto an improbable theory related to his off-the-job passion:
birding. His new associates seem less than enthusiastic about his
birding theory and his apparent notoriety from a previous case in Canada.
GRAVEYARD OF MEMORIES Barry Eisler PJ Coldren
John Rain goes from a soldier to a bagman to assassin in a complicated
tale of trust and betrayal
We post more than 900 new reviews a year -- all of them are archived on
the site -- as well as a new interview with a top author every issue.
Since I have not done a recap edition in quite awhile, I thought I would do one for today in honor of the weekend. So, take a look below and make sure you check out the links on these good reads. In no particular order:
THE GIRL WHO WANTED TO BE SHERLOCK HOLMES by Bill Crider can be read here.
Around here we know
something about cancer and its impact. More than we ever wanted to know. So
does Bob Riter, cancer survivor. He is also the executive director of Cancer
Resource center of the Finger Lakes in Ithaca, New York. He is also the author
Your life Is Touched By Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals
and Those Who Care.
The nine chapters of this
book are made up of various columns author Bob Riter wrote for the Ithaca Journal newspaper about his cancer
as well as cancer in general. At age 40 Bob had breast cancer, had a mastectomy,
and treatment. He wrote about, not only his experience, but the various cancer questions
he has heard from patients or their loved ones over the years. This is book that
is not meant to be read in one sitting. The short chapters are designed to be
read here and there as the mood or need strikes. This is especially true in the beginning
because the patient and loved ones are over whelmed.
The first chapter addresses
that stunning “Just Diagnosed” time in those first few days after the doctor or,
in our case here, five doctors tell you the news. Along with the aftermath and
dealing with that, the chapter explains some questions that are really okay to
ask, whether a second opinion is warranted and how to go about it, and the
power of positive thinking and hope.
Starting on page 16 with “Chapter
2: Talking About Your Cancer” the author gives some advice on how to tell the
kids. Just as hard can be telling your parents and the in-laws. How does one
deal with telling others at work and in one’s social circle? Their expectations
and their concerns? How does one deal with that well-meaning look of pity that
cancer patients get all the time. These are just some of the common topics
dealt with in this chapter.
“Chapter 3: Treatment
Choices” opens with some words on alternative cancer therapies and alternative
practitioners. Clinical trials are covered here as is a little bit about
various treatment options and quality of life.
Communicating with your
health care providers is hugely important and that is the subject of “Chapter
4: Your Health-Care Team.” Beginning on page 39, the author has advice for patients
and medical providers on how to communicate effectively. Communication both
ways between the patient and the team is incredibly important and that thought
is reinforced repeatedly through this chapter.
“Chapter 5: Caring for
Yourself During Treatment” is possibly the most important chapter in the book---
in my opinion. Dealing with the depression, the anxiety, the stress, and all
the rest of it is just part of this chapter. Also included are explanations of
some of the treatment side effects such as “chemo brain” as well as the various
physiological transitions of the disease.
Relationships are an element
of the entire book, but get special consideration in “Chapter 6: Cancer and
Relationships.” Starting on page 65 the chapter addresses being single with
cancer followed by addressing what it is like to be a relationship. What that
means for the patient as well as the spouse. Specifically addressed in the chapter
is how men often want to “fix it” for their spouse and the fact that is not
possible brings its own burden and frustration. It certainly has been an issue
You finished your treatment.
Your cancer is gone and yet you are still tired and the mind is still very muddled.
You should feel better, you think, and yet things seem weird and you miss your treatment
team. You may have a case of the post treatment blahs and that is covered in “Chapter
7: After Treatment.” Dealing with survivor's guilt is covered here. Also
covered is how to cope if or when the cancer returns as well as dealing with
cancer as a chronic disease.
“Chapter Eight: Reflections
on the Cancer Experience” begins on page 83 and covers how folks responded to
the diagnosis of cancer in others. There are a lot of good people out there
doing wonderful things that one never hears about in the daily diet of politics,
wars, and crime in the nation’s media. Also covered here is the power of
support from others and how much it means for patients and their families. As
noted in earlier chapters, the power of hope is part of this chapter as is
relishing the moment of now.
Often one does not know
really what to say when a person they love or know has cancer. It isn’t easy. “Chapter
Nine: Supporting Others with Cancer” is all about that in every aspect. The
difficulties of being a caretaker and trying to help someone from a long
distance are just some of the areas covered here in the final chapter of the
A two page resource list comes
next followed by a five page index.
The subtitle of this short
book, Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals and Those Who
Care makes it very clear what the book is designed to do. The book
delivers across the board in all aspects and is very much a supportive and
caring read. I truly wish something like this had been around on Thanksgiving Day
2011 when Sandi was diagnosed with cancer the first time. It would have helped.
Reading this book now months
after her cancer came back with a vicious vengeance in late 2012 and everything
we have been through since was an incredibly emotional experience. Our lives
weren't just touched by cancer; they were run over by a 50 ton cancer
bulldozer. A bulldozer that has made repeated passes over us and continues to loudly
snarl and spins its treads in preparation to roll over us again. So, it is
impossible for me to be remotely objective about cancer or this book. Cancer
isn’t something I can look at dispassionately and be objective about as I such
rage about the diease and what t has done
to us. nor is the book. While the author may be unsettled by equating the
terms of war and military combat with having cancer, for us, it is a war. It is
a flat out physically and emotionally grueling day by day war where we measure
everything by various test results and how she feels.
All I can say is When
Your life Is Touched By Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals
and Those Who Care by Bob Riter is an incredible book. I hope and pray
you will never need it, but if you ever do, it’s good to know it is out there
and can help ease everything just a little bit.
When Your life Is Touched By
Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals and Those Who
You may remember my mentioning the other day the new freelance writing I am doing for the Tapir and Friends Animal Store. I am writing short non bylined intro pieces to various categories as well as longer pieces with byline on specific animals. The list of the longer pieces has been updated and can be found here.
Unlike a lot of freelance gigs I have done in the past, I am allowed to have a sense of humor and can use it in the pieces. An example of that can be found in the piece on the green parrot here.
I'm having a lot of fun doing this. Been a long time since I have done any freelancing at all and it feels good and a little strange to be back doing some again. Not only because I am writing--and that is important---but also because, in a way, I am back teaching again. This time I'm doing it through the written word on a website aiming to do good things in the world instead of standing in a classroom. I am also learning a few things along the way.
thought of this title recently when I was notified by Frank Zafiro that his
book was a part of a new collection titled THRILLING
THIRTEEN. 13 thrillers from various authors with the entire collection
currently on sale for 99 cents. From a royalty point of view, I am not sure that
is a great deal for authors, but the collection is one heck of a deal for
readers. You can snag it here. And make sure you head over to Patti Abbott's blog
here for more books to consider today.
The project was simple and yet
complex at the same time. Those involved would right the failures of the
justices system. Those criminals, often released on technicalities, whose
actions were so egregious that they should have been permanently removed from the
planet by the system, would be removed by the group known as The Four Horsemen. These ex-police
offices would do what the court system had failed to do---dispense justice.
Over time the project has become
unstable and is collapsing due to a variety of factors. Now, Sandy Banks is The
Last Horseman and he too has finally had enough. He will finish the
assignment that he just received and then he is out.
At least that is his plan. Others
have a different agenda for Sandy Banks. While they might like to arrest him
they would be okay with killing him in the process as then he couldn’t talk
about what he knows.
Nobody and nothing is what it seems
in this complex mystery thriller from talented author Frank Zafiro known for
City Crime Novel series that began with Under A Raging Moon the
moral implications of police work have been a hallmark of his books. Written by
a police officer familiar firsthand with the toll that police work takes, there
is realism always present in Mr. Zafiro's books that one does not get from many
such novels. That realism along with a heavy duty dose of the always present
moral consequences for actions on the job and off is combined here where a
former cop is questioning more and more his role in trying to right the wrongs
of a failed court system. A system that too many times seems stacked against
the good guys.
That moral quandary--upholding the
law and yet executing bad guys in the name of justice-- is at the heart of this
novel. A novel that contains numerous twists and turns as no one is telling the
truth about themselves or others for most of the book. The result is a complex
mystery full of nuance and meaning and yet another good book from talented
author Frank Zafiro.
It is coming up on the end
of the year and Sheriff Walt Longmire should be far from home in Philadelphia.
His daughter, Cady, is about to have her first child and she needs her father at
her side. He is also needed in Wyoming as his old boss Lucian Connally has
asked for his help.
Lucian, the former sheriff
of Absaroka County, has asked Walt to go over with him to neighboring Campbell County,
specifically the town of Gilette. Known
for the coal trains that roar through the county as well as the boom and bust cycles
of oil and gas, Lucian had plenty of opportunity and reasons to come the county
over the years. A friend of his, Detective Gerald Holman, recently committed
suicide in a rundown motel room. According to his wife, Phyllis, he never would
have done such a thing so she does not believe it really was a suicide. According
to her, the local law enforcement folks wrapped up the investigation all too
quickly in an attempt to cover something up. What that was, she has no idea,
but, she is convinced that her husband’s job on the “Cold Case Task Force” of
the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department was the cause. She wants Lucian’s help
and by extension, Walt’s, to find out what actually happened and why.
Lucian owes a debt that goes
beyond the grave as Phyllis makes clear. Not that Walt really wants any part of
it, but Lucian needs help and that means Walt will be involved to the very end.
Once unleashed, he isn't going to quit as Lucian points out early on to
“’I want to warn you that if you put Walter on this you're going to
find out what it’s all about, one way or another.” Another pause and I could
imagine the face that was peering down at her, a visage to which I was
accustomed. “You're sure you want that? Because he's like a gun; once you point
him and pull the trigger, it’s too late to change your mind.’” (p11)
That he is and that fact is
clear again from start to finish of Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery. The
march of the clock is always present in this latest high octane read from
author Craig Johnson. Against the clock of a baby about to make its way into
the world in Philadelphia, and the worsening December weather in Wyoming and
all points nearby, Any Other Name constantly
ratchets up the pressure as Walt and others work a case that goes far beyond a
simple suicide. The case constantly expands until it reaches far beyond the
small town in Wyoming.
Consistently far superior to
the television series that shares the name, the latest Longmire mystery is
another good one. With main characters that have become incredibly real to the
reader, the beauty of Wyoming, and cases that feature plenty of twists and
turns, the books are always good. Any Other Name is another wonderful
installment of a series that began in The Cold Dish.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us. She is now free and not hurting anymore. I am still trying to pay off her past treatments at Medical City Dallas Hospital as well as at Texas Oncology. While the hospital can't handle direct donations, if you can help and would prefer to donate directly, please contact Debra, the financial counselor at TEXAS ONCOLOGY in SUITE 220 of Building D at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us.