Friday, July 31, 2015

Lesa's Latest Contest--- Suspense Novel Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away two suspense novels, Peter Swanson's The Kind Worth Killing & Sophie McKenzie's You Can Trust Me. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine  

"Write to Publish: Climbing Toward Success!" (Dallas Area Writers Group Workshop)

"Write to Publish: Climbing Toward Success!" (Dallas Area Writers Group Workshop)


Writers Who Kill: WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW: A VARIATION:                                         Write What You Know, a Variation on the Theme For a long time I have wondered why — Write W...

BookEnds Literary Agency: Query Don'ts: Putting a Stop to This Latest Query ...

BookEnds Literary Agency: Query Don'ts: Putting a Stop to This Latest Query ...: There's a new query trend out there, one that isn't helping authors at all, but is driving me crazy. Here is how the query goes: ...

Friday Finds for Writers (The Practicing Writer)

Friday Finds for Writers (The Practicing Writer)

FFB Review: "THE NIGHTRUNNERS" (1978) by Michael Collins (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books. This week Evan Lewis has link gatherer duties so make sure you head over to his excellent blog for the full list of reading suggestions. Of course, do that after you read Barry’s review below...

THE NIGHTRUNNERS (1978) by Michael Collins

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Hired by Wallace Kern, head of the pharmaceutical company Kern Laboratories, to find his compulsive gambler brother Bill, private detective Dan Fortune quickly finds himself embroiled in a far more convoluted case loaded with multiple murders, one victim being an old friend, and an attempt to rescue Kern’s son Bradley from a Mexican prison.

It’s a case whose players include, in addition to the aforementioned personalities, a con man named Nestor Cebellos, his twice-divorced-from-him wife Adelita and her professional gambler father; the Kern wives, who couldn’t be more unlike; a scientist feted at least as much for a magnificent act of heroism as for his research; Kern’s right-hand man; Anna Botha, an attractive young Ph.D. Kern employee who is passionate about rescuing Brad Kern; a deadly pair of Bolivian guerillas; and an assortment of other major and minor characters.

Under his Michael Collins pseudonym, the late Dennis Lynds, known for his literary as well as his mystery fiction, brought that literary sensibility to the Dan Fortune series, which is marked by insightful characterizations, a strong sense of place, and evocative prose:  

“A man can’t hide in a small town. Not from others, not from himself. So he comes to the city to hide. From the hunters outside, or the hunters inside.

“Only the city is my land, and if I am the hunter sooner or later I will find my rabbit. I know how to hunt through the solitary rooms and the faceless river of humanity, through the forest of stone and the glare of neon, through the shadows and the silence.”

The one-armed Dan Fortune is as smart and savvy as any fictional private detective who walks the mean streets, and The Nightrunners is a good entry in a superior series.

© 2015 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. Some of it is available at Amazon and at Smashwords. His website is

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Have Read ONE.....

and it was reviewed earlier today. 

New Books by MWA Members – August 2015

Stone Cold Dead by James Ziskin / Reviewed by Jonathan Thurston (Killer Nashville Book of the Day)

Stone Cold Dead by James Ziskin / Reviewed by Jonathan Thurston (Killer Nashville Book of the Day)

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Vanishing Point

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Vanishing Point: Vanishing Point ~ Now this is a film of legend. The only way it could be seen when I was a kid was on late night Friday nights on loca...

Forget Drones....I am worried about Amazon Package Missiles

Amazon suggests a separate airspace for delivery drones

Today at the Cancer Doc

Things are relatively stable for Sandi right now. They gave her the shot and sent us on home.

The concern is that over the weekend she may plummet again and may require a major blood transfusion on Monday. From a blood work testing point of view, her numbers are slightly higher at this point post chemo than they have been the two previous rounds of chemo. The hope is that just maybe the delay in chemo over last weekend when things went badly may have inadvertently done something good for her and she may not need the massive blood transfusion early next week. Time will tell.

We go back Monday for tests, shot, and visit and see what happens.

REMNDER: Mystery Writers this Saturday, August 1, 2015, 9:30am

Harry Hall:

Make Your Book Signing a Wow!

We’ve all attended book signings that were held in quasi-sterile environments amidst quiet conversation, where you stood around for a few minutes, then after some low-key congratulations, and a quick book purchase, left unimpressed.

Yours can be different. You can have your friends, family and acquaintances fill a room, stand in line to purchase your book and still have a good time.

Book signings are a perfect venue for authors to highlight their work and showcase their talents.
But too many fail to capitalize.

At our August meeting, nationally-recognized author Harry Hall will present, “Make Your book Signing a Wow!” in which he will show us how to conduct successful book signings, from publicity to venue selection.

Harry has written two books, most recently, The Pedestriennes, America’s Forgotten Superstars, the first book ever written on the professional endurance walkers whose on and off the track exploits dazzled America in the latter 19thcentury. It has won a Mayborn and Independent Publisher’s (IPPY) Award.

Additionally, for the past 20 years, Harry has taught public speaking at the University of Dallas and SMU. He frequently presents at writers conferences.

Harry lives in Grand Prairie, Texas with his wife Susie and son Zane.


The Dallas MWASW group meets the first Saturday of each month at Texas Land & Cattle, 812 South Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080. Meeting time is 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. There is a $5.00 door fee, cash only. All who attend are invited to remain for lunch. Contact info:
James E. Gaskin
Writer / Consultant / Speaker
Member Internet Press Guild

17 Things Only Chronically Sarcastic People Understand (News360)

17 Things Only Chronically Sarcastic People Understand (News360)

Review: "Between the Living and the Dead: A Dan Rhodes Mystery" by Bill Crider

Clearview, Texas, in Blacklin County has a little bit of everything. Feral hogs, a Wal-Mart, and, of course, the occasional murder or death by misadventure. It may even be the home of a haunted house if you listen to some folks. Not that Sheriff Dan Rhodes puts much stock in ghost stories, haunted houses, or anything paranormal.

He does put stock in reports of gunfire. Called out late one night to the supposedly haunted house over a report of flashing lights and gun shots, the Sheriff is relived to find no sign of Seepy Benton and his new enterprise known as Clearview Paranormal Investigations. With Officer Rudy Grady as his backup and a summer storm rolling in Sheriff Rhodes would like to believe somebody took the weather for a sign of something nefarious. Unfortunately, that is not what happened as they find the body of Neil Foshee.

The drug business exists everywhere and it certainly does in East Texas. Meth dealer Neil Foshee was well known in these parts for his criminal exploits as are his surviving cousins Earl and Louie. Nearly as bad as their departed cousin, Neil, Earl and Louie are not very bright and are not fine upstanding citizens. That makes them immediate suspects though Sheriff Rhodes, who has given up drinking Dr. Pepper, knows there are others.  A possible suspect is Neil’s former girlfriend, Vicki, who these days seems to have turned her life around and may have the romantic eye of her boss over at the local auto parts store. There are others in a case that has no easy answers and very few clues. Solving the crime isn’t easy and with Seepy Barton constantly going on about ghosts and claiming to be helping out things don’t get any easier. A runaway bull and a couple of other problems don’t help matters, but that is life in Blacklin County.

The latest in a long series is another solidly good read that includes Ivy, Hank, Lawton, Jennifer Loam and a host of other regulars. It takes Rhodes some time to assemble the mystery pieces in Between the Living and the Dead: A Dan Rhodes Mystery and that mystery journey sprinkled lightly with humor is once again what makes this series so much fun. Scheduled to be released August 11, 2015 from Minotaur Books, the read is another good one in a long line of good ones.

Between the Living and the Dead: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Bill Crider
A Thomas Dunne Book (Minotaur Books)
August 11, 2015
ISBN #978-1-250-0397-05
Hardback (also available in e-book form)
272 Pages

ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Hardware

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Hardware: Someone recently recommended Lost Soul to me, the recent documentary about writer/director Richard Stanley and his journey making 1996&#...

Pierce’s Picks A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

 Pierce’s Picks A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

SIZZLING SUMMER CASH FROM AUTHORS (A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons)

SIZZLING SUMMER CASH FROM AUTHORS (A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons)

Be Yourself, Or Someone Just Like You (SleuthSayers Blog)

Be Yourself, Or Someone Just Like You (SleuthSayers Blog)

Code Grey by Clea Simon (Bookblog of the Bristol Library)

Code Grey by Clea Simon (Bookblog of the Bristol Library)

MysteryPeople Review: LITTLE PRETTY THINGS by Lori Rader-Day

MysteryPeople Review: LITTLE PRETTY THINGS by Lori Rader-Day

Mystery Fanfare: The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion: Review...

Mystery Fanfare: The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion: Review...: Beahm, George. The Unofficial Patricia Cornwell Companion (St Martin’s Minotaur, 2002)  Reviewed by Jane Mattisson Ekstam George Beahm ...

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The New Electra Woman and Dyna Girl

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The New Electra Woman and Dyna Girl: If you listened to The GAR! Podcast 's interview with Bryan J.L. Glass at this year's Camden Comic Con , you know how big a fan ...

HISTORY’S RICH WITH MYSTERIES with Earl Staggs --- Albert DeSalvo – Was He Really The Boston Strangler?

Please welcome back award winning Texas author Earl Staggs with his latest installment of his History’s Rich With Mysteries series. This installment he considers the question of whether Albert DeSalvo was The Boston Strangler?

When I look at the past, I find stories about people which fascinate me, particularly those in which there is a curious mixture of fact, legend, and mysterious uncertainty.  In this series of articles, I want to explore some of those stories.  I think of them as mysteries swaddled in legend.  While truth is always desired in most things, truth easily becomes staid and boring. Legend, on the other hand, forever holds a hint of romanticism and an aura of excitement borne of adventure, imagination and, of course, mystery. 


Albert DeSalvo – Was He Really The Boston Strangler?

The answer to that question is: realistically - probably not; technically - definitely not since he was never charged, tried, or convicted for The Boston Strangler killings.

Albert Henry DeSalvo, born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on September 3, 1931, tortured animals as a child and was arrested at the age of 12 for battery and robbery. After a stint in a school for boys, he worked as a delivery boy but was soon returned to the same school for auto theft.  Upon release this time, he joined the Army and served in an Armored Cavalry Regiment. After an honorable discharge, he returned to civilian life in the Boston area.

Between June 1962 and January 1964, thirteen women between 19 and 85 were murdered in and around Boston, most of them also sexually assaulted. Due to the wide gaps in the victims’ ages and other variant details of each case, the police were not convinced they were the work of a single individual. The public and the media, however, chose to believe they were all committed by one man. He was called The Mad Strangler of Boston, The Phantom Fiend, The Phantom Strangler and other names, but eventually became known as The Boston Strangler.

In October 1964, ten months after the last reported Strangler killing, Albert DeSalvo, now married with two children, gained entry to a woman's home by posing as a detective, tied her to her bed, sexually assaulted her, and then left. The woman's description led to his arrest, and when his photo was published, a number of women came forth and identified him as the man who had assaulted them. 

DeSalvo was arrested and charged with a number of rapes. He was NOT connected to the Strangler killings at that time. He was known to the police as “The Measuring Man,” because he approached women posing as a fashion model recruiter and fondled them under the pretense of taking their measurements.  He was also known as “The Green Man,” because he dressed in green when he reputedly committed more than 300 sexual assaults over a two-year period. 

While he was in jail awaiting trial, however, he confessed to being The Boston Strangler. F. Lee Bailey then became his lawyer and set up interrogations and interviews. There was no physical evidence tying him to the killings, but in his confession, DeSalvo gave some details of the murders which had not been made public. Bailey wanted to present an insanity plea for DeSalvo so he would be hospitalized rather than simply imprisoned. Bailey said, "My goal was to see the Strangler wind up in a hospital, where doctors could try to find out what made him kill.” He felt studying serial killers might provide a means of identifying and deterring other mass murderers.

The judge, however, would not allow his Strangler confession or the insanity plea. Instead, DeSalvo was tried and convicted of being a serial rapist and sentenced to life in prison. He was never charged with The Boston Strangler killings. 

So why was his confession not accepted and why was he not charged with being the Strangler? 

From the very beginning of the murders, some investigators found it hard to believe one man committed all the killings attributed to the Strangler. The victims were from different age and ethnic groups, and the MO varied from one to the other. While most of the victims were strangled with articles of their own clothing, one died of a heart attack and two others were stabbed to death, one of whom was also badly beaten.

Two expert examiners felt DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler. One called him "a very clever, very smooth compulsive confessor who desperately needs to be recognized." A former FBI profiler said, "You're putting together so many different patterns, that it's inconceivable behaviorally that all these could fit one individual." Author Susan Kelly argued that the stranglings were the work of several killers rather than one single man. Adding more doubt was the fact that while DeSalvo was right about some details of the Strangler killings, some of what he said didn’t match the facts. 

A fellow inmate claimed he overheard another convict coaching DeSalvo about the murders. The inmate who coached him may have been George Nassar, who was in prison for an unrelated murder. Many who have investigated the case in great detail now feel Nassar may have actually been the real Boston Strangler.  In fact, the only survivor of the Strangler attacks insisted that Nassar was her attacker, not DeSalvo.

Why would Nassar coach DeSalvo? One theory holds that the two inmates formed a plan between them. Nassar would report that DeSalvo was The Boston Strangler, DeSalvo would confess, and Nassar would collect a reward which he would share with DeSalvo’s wife and children. In this theory, DeSalvo would be providing some financial support for his family in addition to having the everlasting notoriety he craved. Since he was already sentenced to life in prison, he had nothing to lose.

In 1973, Albert DeSalvo recanted his confession to being the Boston Strangler while serving time at a maximum security prison known as Walpole. Shortly after that, he was stabbed to death in the prison infirmary. He may have been killed because he was selling drugs at a lower price that his competition in the prison, or it may have been to keep him from revealing the true identity of The Boston Strangler. Another convict was tried for the murder, but the trial ended in a hung jury. No one else has been charged, and DeSalvo’s murder remains unsolved.

The final chapter in the Strangler story involves DNA evidence.  The only DNA sample from any of the Strangler killings was seminal fluid found near the body of his last known victim, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan. She was sexually assaulted and strangled with nylon stockings on January 4, 1964. DeSalvo's remains were exhumed in July 2013, nearly fifty years after the crime, to obtain a sample of his DNA.  Test results proved that Albert Henry DeSalvo was the source of that fluid and, therefore, he killed her. 

While we can say with reasonable certainty that DeSalvo killed one of the victims attributed to the Strangler, there are serious doubts as to his involvement with the others. Perhaps George Nassar was really The Boston Strangler, or perhaps Nassar was only one of several who committed the crimes. 

So we’re left with a number of unknowns, unsolveds, and unanswereds. Putting it all together, we have to grant The Boston Strangler a solid position in the All-Time Mystery Hall of Infamy.

Earl Staggs ©2015

Earl Staggs earned a long list of Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sandi Is Home--Chemo Round Three Completed

Sandi is home and has finished the third round of chemo for the new stuff that seems to be working based on the Pet Scan of last week. She is tired, but otherwise seems to be doing okay.

We see the doc Thursday morning for a visit, blood work and probably the white blood cell booster shot.

Writer Beware Blog on Temporary Hiatus

Writer Beware Blog on Temporary Hiatus

Review: "Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales" by Garnett Elliott

Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales features eight previously published tales by Yuma, Arizona native Garnett Elliott. That harsh desert landscape with limited opportunities is the setting for these tales. These short stories are set in Yuma, Arizona or towns like it contain a couple of consistent themes that become clear as one reads through the book.

It opens with “Trailer de Fuegeo.” Corrections Officers need somewhere to go to blow off some steam after work. They tend to go out to a certain spot in the nearby desert to drink, smoke, and trade stories. One guard stands out in the battle to keep the inmates in line. His name is Tench and he has done fifteen years of guard duty in a lot of bad places from Texas to Arizona. He has always done what needed to be done and tonight will be no exception.

“Somerton Sangre” features a man named Jesus Vega. Known to do some questionable things when necessary, Mrs. Sandoval wants him to find out who killed her brother. Her brother was killed and dismembered just after he illegally crossed the border. While the way he was killed would indicate drug runners, his sister is sure he was not into that.  She has the money to pay for Vega to look into things and find out who killed him. To do that Vega is going to have to cross into Mexico and try to find the people who transported her brother across.

Jesus Vega is also very much involved in the next story titled “Jesus Contra las Brujas Plasticas” or “Jesus Versus the Plastic Witches. “ While working for a witch lady, Dona Cruz, he is assigned the task of checking out a new and nearby competitor. He needs the money and is used to doing dirty deed for her. Not because of her supposed powers, but the fact that he needs the money she is willing to spend. He does not fear the alleged power of those who claim to see the future, cast spells, and the like. Maybe he should.

The landscape and everything on and in it cooks under the summer sun in Arizona. That certainly is true of those storage places scattered around the area. It was brutally hot when Motorcycle Officer Ray Satoshi and Robert Opp wheeled into a storage lot run by Joe Pender. They are looking for a guy who shot and killed a bouncer at the nearby gentleman’s club before getting away with forty three grand.

People are going out into the desert to commit suicide at a certain rock landmark .Why they are doing that and whether they can be stopped are just two of the issues Shari faces in “Bad Night at Burning Rock.”

In “Snowflake” he has been waiting for the stripper to show up for food at the IHOP when she got off work down the street. Dwayne knows by the way she dances just how class Lisa is. He also figures he can do something to help her career as he is a social media specialist.

“The Greatest Generation” are the targets of Vonda and her partner. They pose as home health care workers and steal everything they can to fund their travel and drugs. They figure it is their right because the seniors took everything with no though to the future. With their next score in sight it is time for Vonda and her partner to to clean up as fast as they can and do what needs to be done to claim their latest prize.

The three women, all with the first name of Debbie, work the ER at the local hospital. “The Darkest of the Debbies” works the job to do what has to be done to keep home together. Way easier said than done.

The eight short stories of Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales feature complicated reads of multifaceted characters often doing what has to be done to survive. Nothing is right or wrong when one is doing what has to be done to survive. Drugs and crime, like the sun and the desert, are always present in these tales of people coping with what they have and what they can do each day. Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales by Garnett Elliott may not make you feel better about yourself, but it might make you feel more appreciative of your working air conditioning as well as some of the life choices you had to make along the way. 

Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales
Garnett Elliott
Beat To A Pulp Press
June 2015
90 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

I have Done 2---97 To Go (Amazon Associates Ad Unit Migration - Final Notification)


Effective August 1, 2015, any remaining legacy product links, ads and widgets will be replaced with a public service announcement banner that will no longer send referring traffic to Amazon.

For those of you currently working to replace your legacy units, we appreciate your continued focus on addressing this issue. As previously communicated, we have been making changes to our technology platform that require you to replace some of the older product links, banners, and widgets currently hosted on your website.

Take Action Now

Visit Associates Central to access your dashboard, which identifies the impacted ad units that still need to be replaced.

Starting September 1, 2015, these legacy advertising units will no longer render, thereby either creating a broken link or the ad unit not appearing on your website.

Please use the following link to obtain more information and view the FAQs:

Should you have additional questions, visit the following page to contact Customer Service:

The Amazon Associates Team

The Last Camel Collapsed at Noon (SleuthSayers Blog)

The Last Camel Collapsed at Noon (SleuthSayers Blog)

Interrogation: Paul D. Marks ( S.W. Lauden Blog-- Writing and Drumming in Los Angeles )

Interrogation: Paul D. Marks ( S.W. Lauden Blog-- Writing and Drumming in Los Angeles )

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Sinister Shadow -- Will Murray

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Sinister Shadow -- Will Murray: As I mentioned last Friday, I prepared myself for reading The Sinister Shadow  by first giving myself a refresher course in the history of T...

She walked into my office....

wearing a trench coat and no smile. She said her name was "Brenda" with a "B" as if there was any other way to spell it. She laid out the problem succinctly and came across with a bit of an attitude as she did it. Maybe that was my hangover talking. It was a Monday after all....

How to Write Fiction Stories Creative Writing Lesson Tips 1 with George Wier (YouTube)

How to Write Fiction Stories Creative Writing Lesson Tips 1 with George Wier (YouTube)

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Mystery Fanfare: New Sherlock Holmes stories to raise money to rest...

Mystery Fanfare: New Sherlock Holmes stories to raise money to rest...: 60 authors will contribute to the anthology and all royalties will go towards renovating Undershaw, the former home of Sherlock Holmes a...

Monday With Kaye: "Allison Hewitt is Trapped” by Madeleine Roux (Reviewed by Kaye George)

I am beginning to think Kaye George has a secret zombie addiction that she does not talk about. Her column this week is on another book that has zombies in it. Today she reviews Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux. If you are like me and not in to zombies, or even if you are, scroll back in time on the blog and check out the numerous other posts making up the “Monday With Kaye” segments. Between her posts and FFB each week one could come up with quite the reading list.


“Allison Hewitt is Trapped” by Madeleine Roux

In this novel, written as a blog complete with comments, we join a huddled mass, mid- zombie-apocalypse, hiding out in the employee break room of a book store. We never find out where the book store is located, but this reader's best guess would be Wisconsin or Minnesota, perhaps Illinois or Indiana. This reluctance to locate the first part of the story is puzzling, since the other bloggers give their locations and the last part of the book takes place in very specific places.

That was about the only problem I had with the novel, though. The blog device is well used and the book is liberally sprinkled with humor. A military wifi called sNet has survived The Outbreak, even though military personnel seem not to have, and, across the globe, whenever laptop owners can get recharged, they hang onto this tenuous thread to keep up each others' spirits.

Allison Hewitt, book lover and employee of Brooks & Peabody book store, is the blogger who keeps them all together. She also assumes leadership of the other employees when the manager holes up in his adjacent office. The others, at the start, are two assistant managers, Janette and Matt, and two customers, Holly and Ted, who have a relationship that earns them the nickname Hollianted. The closed circuit cameras, that keep running on emergency power unlike the heat (it's late September and getting cold out), enable the band to keep track of where the zombies are and to make forays for vending machine junk food and diet sodas. Allison, back at the first invasion, remembered  the ax from the glass fire alarm case and this weapon serves her well as she battles the two types of zombies, Floaters and Groaners.

The group eventually has to leave the bookstore and make their way cross-country on a quest for a place they can settle in relative safety. Some of the original band don't survive, but they pick up others, becoming a fluid group hacking their way through zombies, splattered with zombie juice, and ever in danger of infection.

This manuscript, consisting of the blog entries, is submitted in 2018, one hundred years later, for inclusion in a volume commemorating the event. The book begins with the query letter, followed by the blogs. The ending is excellent!

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of A Patchwork of Stories for Suspense Magazine

Sunday, July 26, 2015

WESTERN FICTIONEERS CONVENTION 2015! (Western Fictioneers Blog)

WESTERN FICTIONEERS CONVENTION 2015!  (Western Fictioneers Blog)


Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers: BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR KAY KENDALL: Kay Kendall writes mystery/female amateur sleuth novels and books set in the 1960’s. Learn more about her and her books at her Austin Sta...

A Sandi Update

She was in good spirits when we saw her earlier today. This despite some of the issues that have been going  including the fact that they had to stop chemo for a day while they gave her a blood transfusion. Her anemia worsened Friday night so much of yesterday was spent with her sleeping while units of blood dripped into her.

At this hour they are giving her premeds which will also put her to sleep so that they can give her more chemo. The drug they will be putting into her takes 12 hours to drip in so it takes awhile. Then there is a multi hour gap while they wait for her to stabilize and then it is on to the next drug.

At this point the revised schedule indicates she will come home sometime Wednesday.

Review: CONCRETE ANGEL by Patricia Abbott (Reactions To Reading Blog)

Review: CONCRETE ANGEL by Patricia Abbott (Reactions To Reading Blog)

2015 East Texas Book Fest in Tyler, Texas on August 21-22, 2015

2015 East Texas Book Fest in Tyler, Texas on August 21-22, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

DFWCON: Finding Your Tribe

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Washburn, Mims, and Foley

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Washburn, Mims, and Foley: I'm at Macmillan's Criminal Element with Women Authors Leading the Western Charge .

Pixels looks to knock out Paper Towns, Southpaw

The First Two Pages of "Medallion of the Undead" by Anthony Rudzki (Blog: The First Two Pages)

The First Two Pages of  "Medallion of the Undead" by Anthony Rudzki (Blog: The First Two Pages)

KRL This Week Update

Up this morning in KRL a review & giveaway of "Scents and Sensibility" by Spencer Quinn​

Also up, the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier​ along with giveaways from Janet Cantrell​, James Callahan, and Kristin Elise

And a review & giveaway of "Rainy Day Women" by Kay Kendall​

We also have a review & giveaway of "Dead Rapunzel" by Victoria Houston

And a never before published mystery short story by Barry Wiley​

We also have a fun article about the British mystery TV show "Vera," based on the books by Ann Cleeves

And a review & giveaway of "The Bomb Maker's Son" by Robert Rotstein​

And for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Spider's Trap" by Jennifer Estep​, and an extra giveaway for being a part of her blog tour
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

Bullet Points: Donald Trump-less Edition (The Rap Sheet)

Bullet Points: Donald Trump-less Edition (The Rap Sheet)

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Chemo IS WORKING!!!!!!

Finally home so I can post the news.....the results of the Pet Scan are that the chemo IS WORKING!!!!! Sandi still has a long way to go to get to any possibility of remission on a temporary basis, but this Pet Scan showed that there has been "marked improvement."

So, because of that and the fact her blood numbers were just good enough, they started chemo at Texas Oncology before sending her over to the main hospital. Admission there took four hours plus before they finally got a room for her. She is now admitted and they should be starting the second chemo drug late tonight.

She probably won't get out again until sometime late Monday.

FFB Review: "Fallen From Grace" by J. R. Lindermuth

Another Friday is upon us with all that entails… good and bad. Today’s selection, Fallen From Grace, by J. R. Lindermuth is a complex  mystery that has a western feel to it despite being set in Pennsylvania. It is also a mighty good read. For more reading suggestions, head over to Patti Abbott’s blog where she will have the reading list later today.

It is deep in the night October 5, 1897 when Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman is awoken by someone throwing small rocks at his bedroom window. Doctor Mariner has sent a young boy, Simon Hinkle, over to wake the sheriff.  The good doctor sent for the sheriff because he is treating a man that has been stabbed. Local resident Ollie Cramer found the man stabbed out on the road by the new bridge on the south side of town. A man that the doctor and almost no one else in the small town of Arahpot, Pennsylvania, seems to know.

Not only does the sheriff know the name the man of the man, he had seen him earlier with Valentine Deibert. Both men seemed to know each other and had words with Valentine Deibert looking absolutely terrified at the end of their meeting. When Sheriff Tilghman asked him about it, Valentine Deibert totally denied everything and claimed to not know the man.

The same thing the man had claimed when Sheriff Tilghman tracked him down at Buchner’s livery. The man told the sheriff he didn’t know Valentine Deibert and was just passing through town.  Sheriff Tilghman didn’t believe him then, but couldn’t really do anything about it.  Now that the man, who called himself Conrad Runkle, is a victim of a criminal assault Sheriff Tilghman can investigate and ask questions. Since Mr. Runkle can’t answer any questions as he lost a lot of a blood and is unconscious, Sheriff Tilghman will start with Valentine Deibert and his family.

While Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman has lots of questions, he receives very few answers in this complex mystery. His situation with the Runkle case is almost as confusing and complicated as is the target of his romantic intentions, Lydia.  A story willed woman who seems to welcome his romantic interest, frequently has him over to meals and clearly enjoys his company, but for unknown reasons of her own continues to turn down his marriage proposals. A mystery of its own that has confounded the good sheriff for some time. One that will have to take a backseat to solving what happened to Conrad Runkle.

This is an engrossing and complex mystery that quickly pulls readers into the world of Sheriff Tilghman. A world populated by fully developed characters in all walks of life that give rise to side stories and details. A world that is slowly changing before readers eyes as these are the waning days of the telegraph, gas lights, etc. A world that is full of history and mystery as well as the occasional funny moment.

Fallen From Grace by R. R. Lindermuth is a complex mystery full of twists and turns.  Authentic to its time, the read from start to finish has a deeply western frontier type feel to it though the setting is Pennsylvania. The result is a very good read and one that works on all levels.

J. R. Lindermuth
Wild Oak Westerns (Oak Tree Press)
March 2011
ISBN# 978-1-61009-011-7
Paperback (also available as e-book)
174 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!: With Sharknado , the third time is the charm, and by now, let's face it, The Asylum is just having fun. After protecting Los Angeles...

In Honor Of Bill Crider

The below is something that belongs on Bill's blog. But, Bill testified earlier today that he is on the way to Armadillocon up in Amarillo (hopefully he will be there by morning)  for the weekend so I post this below on his behalf.

LitChat: Is Amazon Guilty of Antitrust?

LitChat: Is Amazon Guilty of Antitrust?

Manslaughter (Western Fiction Review)

Manslaughter (Western Fiction Review)

MysteryPeople Q&A With Ace Atkins

 Ace Atkins signs tonight in Austin.........

MysteryPeople Q&A With Ace Atkins

Reviews of a Few Shorts (Buried Under Books Blog)

Reviews of a Few Shorts (Buried Under Books Blog)

Film Review: INFINITELY POLAR (Patti Abbott at Crimespree Magazine)

Film Review: INFINITELY POLAR (Patti Abbott at Crimespree Magazine)

Turtle Time

It is that time of year when the turtles climb up the slope from the creek far below......

to the flat surface at the base of our back stairs. They do this under the cover of darkness. Once there on the small flat spot at the bottom of the stairs they begin to dig. It takes hours for the turtle to dig a hole deep enough to lay eggs. Usually the sun is up long before they finish the process so when we are out early on the porch we can watch them hard at work.

Eventually the turtle will finish and slowly work its way back down to the water. That journey back is often made with a sense of urgency because of the small children that are not supervised  or the fact the turtle has been out of the water quite some time and needs to get back.

Fun to watch at a distance as well as proof that life goes on no matter the circumstances of each day. Watching life in and on the creek as nature does its thing each day has brought both Sandi and I some brief respites here and there as things relentlessly roll along.

Gargoyle Pixie Dog (Crime Fiction Lover)

Gargoyle Pixie Dog (Crime Fiction Lover)

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: DOC SAVAGE meets THE SHADOW: "The Sinister Shadow"...

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: DOC SAVAGE meets THE SHADOW: "The Sinister Shadow"...: I am in awe of this book. Pulp fans like me have been dreaming about a Doc/Shadow encounter for decades, and The Sinister Shadow ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PET Scan Finally Completed

Always a long process, the PET Scan took far longer to do today than previous ones. We don't know why. At least it is now done.

We wait for Friday and hopefully results that indicate the chemo is working.

The Geometry of Murder (At The Scene Of The Crime)

The Geometry of Murder (At The Scene Of The Crime)

Pierce’s Picks (The Rap Sheet)

 Pierce’s Picks (The Rap Sheet)

Smashwords: How to Publish Ebooks - An Ebook Publishing Intens...

Smashwords: How to Publish Ebooks - An Ebook Publishing Intens...: Last week I presented a series of four 90-minute workshops at the Pacific Northwest Writers conference in Seattle.  The workshops were pr...

Mark Troy and the Female Private Detective: Violet McDade and Nevada Alvarado, 1935-1938

Texas author Mark Troy is back today with his ongoing series on the female private detective. In this case, two female private detectives active in the thirties...

Violet McDade and Nevada Alvarado, 1935-1938

Before Rizzoli and Isles, before Cagney and Lacey, were McDade and Alvarado. Violet McDade and Nevada Alvarado were a pair of private investigators, partners in the McDade and Alvarado Agency. A greater mismatch of partners you have never seen. Violet was a former circus fat lady, weighing between 300 and 400 pounds. Nevada was a slim, dark-haired beauty who served as her partner's Watson, chronicling Violet's accomplishments in fourteen stories in Clues, Detective Stories beginning in 1935.

Cleve Adams who went on to give us Rex McBride, John J. Shannon, and Bill Rye, all popular hard-boiled heroes in the 1940s, penned the stories. Violet and Nevada were his first pulp series characters. The stories have the hard-boiled elements that characterized his later works.

Both Violet and Nevada are hard drinking, gun-toting women. Violet carries a pair of .45s in her voluminous sleeves and Nevada carries a .32 in a holster above her knee. The solutions to their cases are brought about as much by chases and fighting as deduction. Here, though, their styles differ. Where Nevada will open doors with a smile, Violet will knock them open with her fist. Men fare no better. When Violet hits a man, he stays hit. Here is Nevada describing one such encounter: "Violet hit him. Not hard, just a backhanded sweep across the room."

Violet is at least as tough as any of her adversaries, but more cunning and morally flexible. She's not at all shy about using her guns or fists or anything handy to get information out of the bad guys. Nevada is no slouch either in the action department. She drives fast (though Violet drives faster) and brings her gun into play as quickly as her partner.

The relationship between Violet and Nevada has been called by Ron Goulart (The Dime Detectives, 1988) as "teasing racism." Violet often calls Nevada "Mex." Nevada, for her part, is capable of giving back. She sometimes describes her partner to the reader as "elephant." At one point, she responds directly to Violet. "You—you lout! My family dates back beyond the conquistadors and the Spanish grants. Where did you come from? A circus tent!"

Nevertheless, the two have a fondness for each other. When they are both at the mercy of some bad guys who are about to torture them to find out what they know, Violet asks for one favor, that they don't work on her partner. "Let him play with me if he's just gotta play, but rub her out kinda easy will you?" To which Nevada says, "Save your breath. If you can take it, I can." Needless to say, the torture doesn't happen and the duo make their escape by busting their way out of a burning building and stealing the fire chief's car.

Adams was a prominent figure among California writers, counting as friends Raymond Chandler and Earl Stanley Gardner. He organized a group of about twenty young writers calling themselves The Fictioneers and served as a mentor until the group broke up with the advent of World War II.

A few McDade/Alvarado stories can be found with some diligent searching. You can read one here: You can also find one reprinted in Hard-boiled dames, edited by Bernard A. Drew, St. Martin's, 1986. The series ended in 1938, a year before Earl Stanley Gardner introduced Bertha Cool, who was likely influenced by Violet McDade.

Writers in the central Texas area might be interested in a workshop on "Women and Crime", Saturday, September 5, in College Station, Texas. More information here:

Mark Troy ©2015

Mark Troy is the author of The Splintered Paddle, The Rules, Pilikia Is My Business and Game Face.  His website is at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Q & A with Trace Conger (Sons Of Spade Blog)

Q & A with Trace Conger (Sons Of Spade Blog)

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why George Coe Was Cool

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why George Coe Was Cool: Actor and comedian George Coe passed away yesterday. He was an Academy Award nominee, a veteran of stage and screen, the voice of Woodho...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Vixen -- Bill Pronzini

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Vixen -- Bill Pronzini: Vixen  is billed (no pun intended) as a "Nameless Detective Novel," but we fans of the series know that Nameless has had a name ev...

Sandi Update Today

Blood work showed a very slight increase in various things. Just high enough that they are not doing any blood transfusions or doing anything about her kidney function. She remains very weak and easily tired so they have adjusted a couple of drugs to hopefully help her heart rate. Juggling her body chemistry to keep things as stable as possible seems to be an ever more difficult job.

Tomorrow she now has a PET Scan.

They hope to have the results back in time on Friday to start the next round of chemo.