available now from bold strokes books  
   Like most soldiers, Declan Colette lost his fair share in the war—in his case a sailor, drowned off Iwo Jima. Since then he’s been scratching out a living as a cut-rate PI, drinking too much, and flirting with danger. Then a girl arranges to consult him, only to be murdered en route, and the cops tag Colette as their prime suspect. To save his neck he’ll need to find the real killer, a quest that pits him against a rival detective firm, a dangerously rich family, and a desperate foe whose murdering ways started back during the war.

   Could this be the case he’s been waiting for? Catching the killer could make his reputation. Failing, could cost him his life.

   Either way: win-win.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt

Dear Hank WilliamsDear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


With the admitted caveat that I am not even close to the target audience of this book, I will say I enjoyed it. My worry is, would it appeal to the target audience?

To begin with, it's entirely epistolary. And we get just one side of the conversation. So even while it is fan letters written to Hank Williams, it eventually starts reading like a diary. Fortunately Tate is engaging. Unfortunately most of that engagement is due to the fact that you know she's playing fast and loose with the facts. Truths are doled out slowly. More than once Tate fesses up that she wasn't exactly honest before. I would imagine a lot of this might prove difficult for MG readers. Or, maybe I'm underestimating them.

I felt the M. Night Shyamalan twist was a little over the top, even though I saw it coming a mile off. (Again, I'm not the target audience. Trying to imagine myself as a twelve year old boy reading this, I confess I may have been blown away by the last reveal. For me it was just, yeah, I know. ((I knew about the time the other saleswoman's daughter visited! Yeah, I'm bragging...!)))

A very good MG book. Probably 4.25 or 4.34 if GR allowed fractions.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins

Maurice said it, in the film named for him, based on a novel by E.M. Forster: "I think I shall not marry."

Given my current situation and what I can predict about the future (necessarily, a sketchy accomplishment), I can confidently say the same. But, y'know, I'm glad I've lived to see the day I could marry...Marry someone I truly loved and was in love with.

For all of those out there eager to celebrate this new right, I applaud you, and wish you well.

As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote today, speaking for the majority (himself, Stephen G. Breyer, and the three women on the SC: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan):

   "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

-The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: The Vines

The Vines
The Vines by Christopher Rice

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm surprised by how much I liked this novel. I had some difficulties with my last stab at Rice's work--something about an ex-military guy and sex on the beach which I DNF.

This was quirky horror that managed to keep me on my toes, even while it never really scared. I admired the pacing and the characters, though I felt often "backstory" was substituted for "characterization"--a trait that seems to be becoming more and more common (e.g., rather than flesh out the character in real time, I will keep interrupting the narrative with snippets from this painful episode he experienced a few years ago). I'm one of those readers that groan aloud every time a flashback begins.

Still, highly recommended as fun, fast and facile. Like a cheeseburger at that drive-thru that has easy freeway access.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cover Reveal ~ Every Unworthy Thing

Here is the cover for the next book in the Declan Colette series, Every Unworthy Thing, coming November 2015 from Bold Strokes Books...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chris L. McKenna is Haunting My Dreams

Okay, maybe that's a bit too regency romance. But, dude, is this dude not perfection?

Apparently, State of Affairs, hoping to lose a legion of gay fans (and probably as many straight women) killed off his character Nick Vera on the Monday (2/9/15) penultimate episode. Altho the entrance to the tunnels was directly behind him (and open) when the missiles struck. And afterward we were not shown a body!

SquareHippies ran a spread of screen caps from the episode HERE. This one is my fav tho:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Enter to Win a Signed Copy of the New Book Over at Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Cheap as Beasts by Jon  Wilson

Cheap as Beasts

by Jon Wilson

Giveaway ends February 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Yes, Virginia

   You'll probably come across this many places, but for some reason it resonated with me this year, so I chose to post it...

from the September 21, 1897, edition of The (New York) Sun
   We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

   Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
   Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
    You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
    No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

   You can learn more about the editorial, and the man who wrote it, HERE.