Sunday, July 31, 2022
With over two million page views and climbing by thousands more each week, my award-winning blog is popular. These days, a slow month in page views is just about 10K. Most months have more than 12k. A month where I have a lot of new content--- guest posts of all types and reviews by me--- will come in above 15K in page views. I have been doing the review thing over two decades now so I am a known commodity.
I get a lot of emails about being a guest on the blog. Guests are more than welcome. Unlike some folks and their places, I don’t have a lot of forms to fill out or hoops to jump through so I have made the process as easy as possible. Most questions you may have are already answered below so read the post before reaching out.
The open days are currently Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. I usually run excerpts from published or about to be published works on Sundays as they seem to work best on those days.
Topic--pretty much anything goes. While my blog is mainly aimed towards items of interest for readers and writers of mystery and crime fiction, I am open to pretty much anything. I do ask that folks avoid the topics of religion and politics unless either or both directly relate to the work being discussed or promoted. I also am not going to run anything that advocates big pharma is hiding the cure for cancer. Folks that come up with that stuff deserve a special place in hell.
Before contacting me, please have an actual idea in mind. I absolutely do not assign topics. That means I am NOT going to tell you what to write about. This is your opportunity to write what you want to write about. You know your books, your expertise in topics, etc. I do not. Your idea does not have to be set in stone. It does need to have some detail. Have at least a couple of things that you know you want to have in your piece and tell me that in your pitch.
Word Count: Totally up to you. I do not set a maximum or a minimum word count.
When your piece is ready, you send it to me by email and include a 100 word or fewer bio. Also send any pics that you think should be included in the piece. While some guest posts are super heavy in pictures, I think it works best to have two or so. While I can and do lift author photos and book covers from Amazon and author websites, it is easier if you just send it from the start as well as any other pics you believe should be included.
This is, as always, a nonpaying opportunity. Yes, I absolutely value your work. I also have no income other than SSD (and that is just a few hundred each month) and am supporting myself, my adult son, and this old house on what little I inherited when my Mom passed. The bank account is steadily shrinking and I am doing the best I can to hang in here as inflation and other issues are making it even harder.
While I have no funds to pay you, I can promise to promote the heck out of your appearance. You will be seen. I can’t promise a certain number of sales, but most guests do see a spike in their sales. Guests who are on the blog on a semi regular basis do far better than one off appearances, but everyone does see an impact.
Questions/ pitches should be sent to me at Kevinrtipple AT Verizon.net
I hope you choose to be a part of things here. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Up on KRL this week reviews and giveaways of 4 more mysteries for your summer reading-"The Proof is in the Poison": A Southern Homebrew Mystery by Diane Kelly, "The Shadow of Memory": A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry, "Murder She Wrote, Killer on the Court" by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran, and Murder with Darjeeling Tea: A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery by Karen Rose Smith https://kingsriverlife.com/07/30/end-of-july-mystery-catch-up-3/
And a review and giveaway of "No Refuge From the Grave" by Nancy Herriman along with an interesting interview with Nancy https://kingsriverlife.com/07/30/no-refuge-from-the-grave-by-nancy-herriman/
We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier. You can also enter to win an ebook copy of mystery author Elaine Faber's latest book https://kingsriverlife.com/07/30/coming-attractions-feeling-the-heat-edition/
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and giveaway of a signed copy of "The Navigator's Daughter" by Nancy Cole Silverman https://www.krlnews.com/2022/07/the-navigators-daughter-by-nancy-cole.html
And a review and giveaway of "The Lost" by Jeffrey B. Burton https://www.krlnews.com/2022/07/the-lost-by-jeffrey-b-burton.html
Friday, July 29, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 84 Calls for Submissions in August 2022 - Paying Markets
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 81 Calls for Submissions in August 2022 - Paying Markets
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Over the next few days, don't expect new reviews from me or Scott. You should also not expect me to run review reprints. I will still be linking to things here and there as they come up elsewhere.
Nothing is really wrong. I am just really worn out and very depressed.
Being President of the SMFS and doing the blog stuff for that once again as well as the social promotion and everything else, is taking up a ton of my time. Since I took over on July 1, I am again spending all day every day doing stuff for SMFS. That was so not the plan.
The constant crushing heat is not helping either. I can not spend much of any time at all outside due to fire smoke, Saharan dust, and the brutal heat. We start each day in the mid 80s and go to the low 100s and higher. This means no outside reading for me and it is getting to me as this has gone on since early May.
Nor is the fact that my normal depressed state of being is a bit darker than normal right now. I am missing the hell out of Sandi. Not sure what triggered the bigger waves in the grief sea as there is no important date for us right now, but the waves are very high.
So, I plan on staying offline as much as possible, except for what I have to do for SMFS, and read and watch TV. Gotta get the old brain pan in a better place.
It has been quite
some time, but please welcome back Sandra Ruttan with another all-new review.
Review of Stargazers by L. P. Hernandez
Stargazers is a lean story centered around Henry, his wife, and his daughter. It takes place during an unexplained event. Perhaps you imagine the end of the world with fire raining from sky, bombs dropped by man, or missiles launched by aliens. Stargazers is far more sinister because it's mysterious and unexplained, but whatever it is overrides people's minds and assumes control. They aren't themselves, and their behavior leads to their deaths, the destruction of towns, and the deaths of others.
Henry has PTSD and already struggles to hold it together during the best of times, so when things go bad, there's real tension. It's instinctive to wonder how he'll cope. This adds to the intrigue and maintains reader engagement as events unfolded.
Sections are split with some posts online. These outside perspectives give readers different information about what's happening and widen the scope of knowledge effectively. When you anticipate trouble on the horizon, you worry more about your protagonist and want to see what happens when they come to certain realizations or deal with new realities. In the mystery genre, there are whodunnits and there are howdunnits and there are whydunnits. Sometimes, however, the most compelling mysteries don't center on unknowns, but rather certainties. Knowing a character will have to deal with something specific and wondering how they'll get out of the situation or respond can be just as satisfying as figuring out who's responsible.
This story creates and maintains plenty of tension and adds plenty of developments throughout to keep it from being predictable. In fact, the author avoids some common tropes and leaves us with loose ends, and I personally applaud the choice to avoid tying things up neatly.
My only real quibble centers on a writing choice related to point of view. At times, we follow Dad or Mom, and other times we follow the daughter. I don't think the sections from the daughter were necessary and since most involved jumping to and from her POV in the middle of a scene, it was distracting. The other thing is, knowing her thoughts mitigates tension in those scenes because we know her situation, and she presents as very mature for her age. Staying out of her thoughts keeps the focus on Dad's concerns and his uncertainty because he doesn't know what she's thinking. The same way the mystery about what's prompting the stargazers to act the way they do adds tension and intrigue, not knowing what the child's thinking adds to Henry's worries and stress level. He's dealing with the stargazers, armed people in the streets, and his own demons. Worrying about his daughter adds another layer to his concerns, but we don't really live in those moments because the POV jumps to her and reassures us because she isn't in full-blown panic mode.
Compare to a scene between the parents when Mom comes home, clearly distraught. We don't even know exactly what she saw, and that lack of detail is more effective because we see the scene through Dad's eyes and feel how worried he is. It's perhaps the most gutting scene in the book because Henry's wife has kept it together for so long and now she's come undone, leaving Henry anchorless.
Overall this is a solid novella that blends the best elements of horror and suspense to deliver a memorable apocalyptic story that's both chilling and hopeful. I look forward to seeing what Hernandez has in store for us in the future.
Sandra Ruttan ©2022
Sandra Ruttan is the founder and EIC of Dark Dispatch. In March 2022, Dark Dispatch released The Dead Inside, an identity horror anthology co-edited by Laurel Hightower and Sandra Ruttan. Ruttan's novels are available online, and if you're looking for a place to start she suggests Harvest of Ruins.
Monday, July 25, 2022
As some folks have reached out, please know we are fine, and nowhere near the fires. The wildfire that took out homes shown on television everywhere this afternoon and evening was down in Balch Springs. Southeastern part of the area. We are in the far NE side of Dallas.
We had small wildfires here nearby and are safe from them as well tonight.
We also were nowhere near Love Field Airport today which ABC National News described as being outside the city limits. Nope. I think they got Love Field mixed up with DFW. Just pathetically wrong on that and several other things in their reporting on that story. Once again makes me wonder what else was wrong on stories in other places.
Anyway, we are okay and pretty much the same as always. Taking precautions for the heat and the rising Covid case count as well as the worsening monkeypox deal. Both Scott and I are missing Sandi a lot right now. It comes in waves and this is one of those big waves times. Reading a lot and trying to stay cool.
Wolf Hollow (Crooked Lane, 2022) by Victoria Houston is the first book in a new series, except really the only change from her long-running flyfishing mystery series is the main character. Set in Loon Lake, Wisconsin, a fictional town in northern Wisconsin, all of the earlier books focus on fly-fishing and its complexities as much as they do on solving homicides. Nineteen books centered on retired dentist Paul Osborne, a widowed recovering alcoholic, and his fishing adventures. Long-time readers will be relieved to know that this new series has the same idyllic location and the original cast, except the spotlight is on Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris, Osborne’s professional and personal partner.
Residents of Loon Lake are upset: rumors are flying about the possibility of a mining operation moving in and despoiling their pristine wilderness. The owner of the land in question is so wealthy no one can understand why she would even consider the mining company’s offer. Lew’s brother, a fervent conservationist, is working with others to take legal action to stop the prospective ecological disaster. He’s found dead near the nest of some loons he had been checking on, and the autopsy said it wasn’t an accident. Lew is stunned and pulls in her fishing buddy Bruce Peters from the state crime lab and Osborne to help investigate; they manage to make time to visit their favorite fishing spots in between tracking down leads.
Ray Pradt, the local hunting and fishing guide, expert tracker, and all-round colorful character who is always looking for a way to generate income, has discovered podcasts, so he’s full of his latest presentation and plans for the next one. There’s excellent information about the use of DNA analysis as a genealogical tool, and the DNA analysis website GEDmatch is highlighted for its work with law enforcement to solve cold cases.
Fans of the series will happily feel that not much has changed. I noticed that since Lew is a working woman, she has less time to fish than the retired Osborne does. As a result the lyrical descriptions of the Wisconsin forests and lakes are less frequent. The theme of natural conservation and wilderness protection is still loud and clear though. The next book in the series is scheduled for publication in January 2023.
· Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 11, 2022)
· Language: English
· Hardcover: 288 pages
· ISBN-10: 1643858009
Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2022
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Beneath the Stains of Time: Curiosity is Killing the Cat: Detective Novels That Need to Be Reprinted
Jerry's House of Everything: SUPER DETECTIVE LIBRARY #17: THE PHANTOM OF THE FUN FAIR (DECEMBER 3, 1953)
Earlier this month, Lesa Holstine shared her favorite books to this point of the year with her post Favorites of 2022, So Far. So, today I offer you my favorites of the year so far. Five very good reads.
First off, I told you about A Kind And Savage Place back in February. I wrote then, “The new book by author Richard Helms, A Kind And Savage Place is a prequel to Six Mile Creek and others that are part of the Judd Wheeler series. While Judd plays a role in this book that runs from 1942 to 1989, he is not the central character.” It is one heck of a book and you can read the rest of my review here.
In April I told you about Movieland by Lee Goldberg. This is the fourth book in the very good Eve Ronin series. My copy came by way of NetGalley. My review started with, “It is April as Movieland begins and Sheriff’s Department Detectives Eve Ronin and Duncan “Donuts” Pavone are dispatched to Malibu Creek State Park on a homicide call. A scenic location used by both movies and television programs over the decades, it is now the scene of at least one murder with a second victim in critical condition.” You can read the rest of my review here. I also recommend reading this series in order.
May was a good reading month. Book Two of the Mick Hardin series came my way thanks to NetGalley. My review of Shifty’s Boys began with “Shifty’s Boys by Chris Offutt picks up a bit after The Killing Hills and begins with the local taxi driver, Albin, finding a body. At first, he thinks he has found somebody passed out from drinking way too much. Has happened before in Rocksalt, Kentucky, so he is not very concerned as he sees the odd shape up against the fence in the parking lot of the local Western Auto. It is only when he gets out of the cab and walks towards the male figure, he realizes that it is not mud on the man’s clothes, but blood.” You can read my review here.
I have long been a fan of the Sherriff Hank Worth series. Back in late May, I told you about the new one titled Dangerous Consequences: A Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery by Claire Booth. My review began with, “As Dangerous Consequences: A Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery by Claire Booth begins, the ripple effects of the recent termination of several deputies, continue. New staff is being brought in while some of the still employed old guard continue to work from within against Sheriff Hank Worth and Chief Deputy Sheila Turley. The rot within the department still lingers, but getting rid of the rest of the folks who need to go is not going to be easy.” The rest of my spoiler free review can be found here. This is another series I strongly recommend reading in order.
I have also long been a fan of the Joe Gunther series by Archer Mayor. I told you about the new one, Fall Guy: A Joe Gunther Novel back at the end of May. My reading copy came by way of NetGalley. I opened my review with, “It is late winter as Fall Guy: A Joe Gunther Novel by Archer Mayor begins and Joe Gunther, Field Force Commander of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, have been summoned out to a scene bathed in a sea of strobe lights from numerous agencies. It appears that the only party not there is the local dog catcher.” The rest of the review can be found here. While it is better to have read these in order, you could get away with reading this one first.
Enjoy the reads.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2022
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Up on KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of 3 more fun mysteries for your summer reading-"Death by Beach Read": A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates, "A Fatal Booking": A Booklover’s B&B Mystery by Victoria Gilbert, & "The Diva Says Cheesecake": A Domestic Diva Mystery by Krista Davis
We also have a review and giveaway of "Muddled Through" by Barbara Ross along with an interesting interview with Barbara https://kingsriverlife.com/07/23/muddled-through-by-barbara-ross/
And a review and giveaway of "A Sprinkle in Time" by Dana Mentink https://kingsriverlife.com/07/23/a-sprinkle-in-time-by-dana-mentink/
And the latest Queer Mystery Coming Attractions from Matt Lubbers-Moore https://kingsriverlife.com/07/23/queer-mystery-coming-attractions-august-2022/
We also have reviews of more BritBoxTV mysteries! This week we review the second season of "Grace" and "Rebus" https://kingsriverlife.com/07/23/britbox-streaming-detective-duos-grace-rebus/
For those who prefer to listen to Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast directly on KRL, you can find the player here for our latest episode which features an excerpt from "The Witch's Child" by Susan Van Kirk read by local actor Kathie Chestnut Mollica https://kingsriverlife.com/07/23/the-witchs-child-by-susan-van-kirk-2/
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Munchies and Murder" by Leslie Langtry https://www.krlnews.com/2022/07/munchies-and-murder-by-leslie-langtry.html
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Murder Under A British Moon" by Abigail Keam https://www.krlnews.com/2022/07/murder-under-british-moon-by-abigail.html
X-Men: Evolution, Volume 1 by Devin Grayson collects the nine-issue series into one volume and tell stories set in the same universe as the animated series. This book is about X-Men living in a boarding school run by Professor X while attending regular classes with other students at Bayville High school. At the boarding school they train to learn to control their mutant gifts as well as keeping the secret of mutants from the general population. As usual, Magneto is around trying to start a war with humanity while recruiting mutants to his side.
This series and this book has a wide-ranging cast which includes Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Cyclops, Rogue, Jean Grey, and more. This book highlights a character each issue and tells a story that focuses on that character. Most of the stories directly relate to the animated television show. For example, one story is about Professor X recruiting Storm and Wolverine to be teachers at his school. Another story is about Cyclops being recruited to be Professor X’s first student. The second half of the collection takes place after the first season and before the second season of the television show.
For the most part, the art is pretty good. The last issue in this collected volume is a radical change that features a totally different and far inferior art style. There is plenty of action, heart, and a bit of humor. I think if you are familiar with the X-Men animated TV show, X-Men: Evolution, Volume 1 by Devin Grayson would be better for you, but even if you are unfamiliar, you could still read it and enjoy it.
My reading copy came from my Dad’s childhood stomping grounds, the Audelia Road Branch, of the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2022
Friday, July 22, 2022
Summer of 2059 is still underway as
Portrait in Death begins. Despite the crushing heat that she believes she
prefers over the winter cold, Eve Dallas is almost giddy as Rourke’s major
domo, Summerset, is about to go on a three-week vacation and will be gone. With
her personal nemesis out of the magnificent mansion, she won’t have him nagging
her about anything. It will be glorious and she can barely contain her
That was plan until Summerset trips over the cat, goes crashing down the stairs, and breaks a leg and a lot more. Not only is Summerset not going away anytime soon, he is going to need a lot of help and that means even more folks in the house.
Not that he is her priority as that will fall to Roarke. A new murder case is going to take a lot of her time and energy. That case has already begun as the ambulance arrives to help Summerset.
Nadine Furst of Channel 75 got a tip about a possible murder. The smell coming out of the recycler means somebody has been dumped in the bin. The person dumped was Rachel Howard. She was murdered and then dumped in the bin across the street from the convivence store where she worked. A part time college student at Columbia, with plans to be a teacher, somebody took that and a lot more from her.
That same person sent information to reporter Nadine First. It isn’t the first time a killer has used Furst to convey information to the public and she is clearly a conduit again. Her desire to report the news will clash, as it has done before, with NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ desire to nab a killer or killers and stop the killing.
What follows is yet another entertaining read in the long running series. All the usual caveats apply as the formula remains the same. What also remains the same is that one quickly gets lost in the entertaining story and does not notice the flaws/quirks in the story telling. If one can have a ‘guilty pleasure” in reading, I freely admit this series is mine as I have found them a great way to escape and refresh the mind when the world and my life is way too much.
The series to this point and my reviews:
Naked in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 1) March 2021
Glory in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 2) April 2021
Immortal in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 3) May 2021
Rapture in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 4) June 2021
Ceremony in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 5) July 2021
Vengeance in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 6) September 2021
Holiday in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 7) October 2021
Conspiracy in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 8) October 2021
Loyalty in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 9) January 2022
Witness in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 10) March 2022
Judgement in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 11) April 2022
Betrayal in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 12) April 2022
Seduction in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 13) June 2022
Reunion in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 14) June 2022
Purity in Death: Eve Dallas Mysteries (Book 15) July 2022
My reading copy came from the Dallas Public Library System through the Overdrive/Libby app.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2022
Thursday, July 21, 2022
FreeThink: People who read live longer than those who don’t, Yale researchers say
Love this series and hate this news. He is Shetland as far as I am concerned.
This person who will ride with him this night is not an ordinary citizen either. She is a member of the Police Reform Initiative. What had started as a small group has blossomed into a real force pushing for massive change in the Spokane Police Department. The group has powerful support. Tonight, board member Melody Weaver is riding with him thanks to ongoing politics involving the mayor, city council, and chief of police. Officer Salter really has no choice. He has to play the hand he has been dealt as best as possible.
It is early October and cold outside. It is also going to get very chilly in the patrol car as officer Lee Salter and Melody Weaver respond to calls and patrol. They each come with the biases and baggage of their jobs and their roles in society. The night is an exercise in trying to find common ground in the vast ocean of quicksand that is policing today.
The Ride Along: A Charlie-316 Novel by Frank Zafiro and Colin Conway is not an easy book to read or review. The authors setup the chapters as alternating points of view of the same situation or scene as the two work the night shift. A night shift where what is going on crime wise takes a far secondary role to discussions regarding policing, civil rights, the BLM movement, and other societal topics. That is until a domestic violence call changes everything for everyone involved forever.
In short, this is a message novel. A book that poses various questions through the dialogue discussions in the read and leaves it to the reader to answer those questions as there are no easy answers. Real life is messy and that is the same situation in the book. As such, there is a bit of a ripped from the headlines feel to it as various real-world events are discussed in this fiction situation. Many of the same questions raised in the read are part of our daily lives here in the real world, whether we fully realize that or not.
Whether the book succeeds in its goal of raising questions and making the reader think is also on the reader. Some will get it. Some will not. Regardless of that, it should be clear to anyone who reads the book, that this read is in no way, shape, or form, cop propaganda aka copaganda.
My read was a digital ARC provided by the author quite some time ago with no expectation of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2022