Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book review - Mother's Little Helper



Mother's Little HelperMother's Little Helper by Karen MacInerney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Margie Peterson is a private eye with some of the same real-world problems most of us have. Don't read "Mother's Little Helper" if you want to read about a tough as nails spit-polished detective who always knows the answer. DO read it if you want to snort your soft drink out your nose when Single-Mom Margie tries to bring the miscreants to justice while dealing with dysfunctional people, in-laws, unpredictable kids and pets, and well meaning friends and relatives. I admit, sometimes it is all so realistic it aggravates me, but I still cheer on Margie to persevere in her own unique way. Mike Hammer couldn't handle it!

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book Review: When You're The Only Cop In Town

A fascinating book. This literally runs a close second to having an actual ride-along with a small-town police chief. It has the same feel of "here's how it is". Jack Berry had extensive experience as a cop in a larger city, then he took on the job of small-town chief. For a time, he really was the only cop in town. His experiences are a wonderful resource for any writer such as myself who is writing anything that involves small town police work.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Shamanic Powers of Rolling Thunder: Review


 I had forgotten about Rolling Thunder. I had read an interview with him back in 1981 in Mother Earth News magazine. I was intrigued since I was interested in shamanism of different kinds at the time. Things happened, though, and I lost track of him. I was delighted to come across this new book with numerous interviews of people sharing their experiences around him. If you have any interest in contemporary shamans, this is a good place to start.

Night School - New Jack Reacher!

A new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child is reason enough to celebrate. Night School is a bit of a flashback into Reacher's army days when he is rewarded for finishing a sensitive hush-hush case for the government by being detailed to what seems like possibly a punishment detail, attending what appears to be a truly boring class in inter-department cooperation. Of course, nothing is what it seems and we are carried along on another Reacher rumble! Five stars, because, well, nothing else will do! Read it!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Taking The Plunge

     I took the plunge last week. I published two of my short stories separately as books on Kindle. Partly just to get them out there, partly to learn how to do it. It's a bit tricky, but not much. I must say another reason was to ramp up my incentive to finish other work and get it out there too! 

I have a series of novels in the works, set in the small central Texas town of Shin Oak Ridge in the mid 1980's and featuring Deputy Constable Pen Sadler. The above short stories are set in the same area, in the county seat of Copete County, Cedar City, just a few miles from Shin Oak, and in the present day. They feature Parson Short, the only private eye in Cedar City and probably the county. 

It's a soft-boiled private eye series with a bit a fun. Give it a try. I hope you like it and give me a good review. 

You can get "Hanging Chad" here. You can get "The Case of the Other Sister's Mister" here. If you're interested, you can also see my Kindle Author page here.

Thank you!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Like a Note from Home

Reading a lot these days, not writing much, alas. By the time I get out to my desk it's hot outside and nearly afternoon. It feels more like it should be nap time than productive time. Our mornings are spent taking care of the chickens, dog, cats, cats, and cats. We share our space with several of our own cats and several foster cats, some of whom have medical issues.

I did get a bit sidetracked today. In reading an email from another writer I was reminded of the Gutenberg Project's wonderful website. I try not to go there often, because I do indeed get caught there. Today I found (again) the book above and several more in the series. 

If you don't know about the Gutenberg Project, here is my own explanation. I'm sure you can find a better one on Wikipedia or Google. It's basically a non-profit group whose mission is to find and scan old books that are in the public domain. There are all sorts of them already in their system. Today they show over 50,000 in their system, all free to download and read, with many many more available through their several partners. It's a great service, if you know what you're looking for. Virtually any classic book you can think of is in there, or will soon be there, and in several different formats. The only drawbacks I can think of are the lack of description for the books and the scans, while servicable, look sometimes to be unedited. You do find occasional typos. However, I did say it was free!

Back to reading. As I've said before in a previous blog here, I grew up reading this type of literature. These were mostly the books I had available, books that originally were my father's and grandparents. It was many years before I had access to an actual library regularly. (Oh boy, do I remember my first one!) Most of the youth fiction I had available therefore was a generation or two out of date. There were several World War 2 adventure novels there. Among them was Dave Dawson at Guadalcanal and A Yankee Flier With the RAF. These books were my intro to adventure fiction!

Of course, none of the books would ever be published today. Not a lot of political correctness there! They were also, obviously, pro-war, formulaic, and full of stereotypical character, both protagonist and antagonist. They were very much a product of their time. I won't apologize for that. I don't have to. I enjoyed reading the stories and I still do. I can see the times through the stories while disagreeing with many of the concepts. Not unlike reading Huckleberry Finn again. Yes, very dated, very un-PC, but that's not why we read it. We read it because Twain was a genius at capturing the times he lived in and his humor and genius shines through all that.

Okay, Robert Sydney Bowen was NOT Mark Twain, however the humor is there. Does that make me a bad person? If it does, remind me not to tell you about the Miss Minerva series!

Instead, let me tell you about my first library. I was seven, I believe.  I was visiting my mother for a few weeks in Loving, New Mexico. My step-father was working in the oil fields nearby and they were living in a small trailer. We went to Carlsbad Caverns while we were there as well. My mother took us into town to the library. I had never, ever, seen so many books! Even better, we were allowed to take several home with us and exchange them as fast as we read them! It was pure heaven! I have only a few memories of that trip, but that is one of the best ones!

It was an addiction, I know, and my mother was my enabler! So it goes. Now to catch up with Dave Dawson and Freddie Farmer and The Alliteration Tango! (I made that part up!)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: The Preacher


The Preacher by Ted Thackrey Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good book. The first of a short series. The Preacher is an ex-priest, ex-soldier, who has found his calling as a professional poker player. He's been called to the town of Farewell, NM by an old friend from his priesthood days to help uncover what caused one of the local citizens to possibly commit suicide leaving his business and loving family behind.

View all my reviews