Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of Assassin’s Game by Governor Dan Walker

From Amazon Website

Out of control political corruption
5 stars

I didn’t really know what to expect when I received a copy of this book from the author, who I’ve known for several years.  But I’m a mystery fan and this book didn’t disappoint me.  It is full of intrigue with one twist after another to keep the reader turning the pages to see what will happen next.

The story starts out with the gory murder of a prostitute.  Soon we discover that organized crime is under almost everything that goes on in the political world.  The mob has politicians and respectable executives in their pocket.  They see their plans realized by working through these people that the average citizen wouldn’t expect.  The mafia orchestrates the demise of certain leaders and sees that the replacements of their choice fill the vacancies.

In this fast-paced novel, you’ll find plenty of deception from murders, kidnapping, drug deals, prostitution, and gambling.

Some of the resolutions are alarming, but then we are reading about the mob, so what would you expect from shady characters like this?  They thrive on fraud and are callous individuals you wouldn’t ever want to meet in real life.  Money is more important than respectability.

The unwholesome characters are well drawn and believable, almost too believable.  The thing with this book is that the author had a front row seat to the underbelly of Chicago politics when he was governor of the state of Illinois.  With this distinctive background, there is no one else that could write this story.

I recommend this book to those who like a good mystery, and to those who want a glimpse into the darker side of corrupt politics.  In some of the circumstances, this could be what is going on in the political world today.  Now that’s a scary thought.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Season’s Greetings to you all

Thanking all of you for following me and for reading and commenting on my posts over the past year. You have meant the world to me when there is no one else to talk to at times. I sincerely appreciate you all and all of your help when it comes to writing. Many of you are full of good tips that you share with the rest of us. Those tips are valuable to all of us.

Some of you have instructed us on how to make videos, given us links to exciting new writing sites and news. Thank you.

I have laughed, cried, and been in awe at some of your stories. Sometimes they really make my day. There are so many wonderful writers among you.

A special thank you to Lisa Fender. You’re help is invaluable to me as you’ve taken on the task of reading and helping me with my mystery novel. We’ve been at it a year now, but we’re getting there. Promise. Because of you it will be a better book.

I’m thinking of all of you this holiday season and wishing the best of everything for you and your families as we go forth into the new year of 2014.

However you celebrate, enjoy and stay safe.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice Poem

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

“And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.”


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What do you think?

Free Clip art

Lately, we’ve had a couple of news items that I’m sure people would have certain opinions about.  One in the news here is the polygamy ruling and the other is the cell phone on flights debate.  Since I wanted to avoid politics and religion on my blogs, I guess we’ll address the one about using cell phones on airline flights.

There is a debate going on to lift the current ban on using cell phones in-flight.  The FCC ruled to look into this current ban further, citing the fact that technology has changed, the rule is obsolete, and now cell phones don’t interfere with the cockpit instruments as they supposedly did in the past.

There was an article about this on CNN travel a few days ago.  To read the whole article go here.  I think we all know how this will end up although nothing is settled yet, but I have a feeling they will toss everything to the wind and soon we’ll be listening to constant chatter for hours coming from all directions on the plane.  I don’t fly that often, but in my view, there will be no more peace and quiet if this happens.  Technology marches on.  The airlines now allow laptops and tablets on flights after the plane reaches cruising altitude.  That’s okay because typing is still rather peaceful and not disturbing, as it’s a quiet endeavor.  One has to admit that you can accomplish a lot of “work” while you’re just sitting there.

I can’t say the same for cell phones.  Today you can’t go anywhere and not find at least half the people there are on their devices.  This becomes quite annoying and I believe if they change the laws all the remaining solitude of an airline flight becomes a thing of the past.  There will be no place to go to escape the noise.  The crying babies and unruly children are enough to put up with, but can you imagine listening to fifty people or more talking non-stop for three or four hours?  You’d probably learn more about their private lives than you’d ever want to know.

What happened to talking to your neighbor, which might be a very enjoyable experience, or just dragging out a book and having some quiet time?  People today are addicted to their devices.

What do you think?  Are you for or against this?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Things are looking up for indie publishers

I don’t know how many of you saw this interesting article printed in The Guardian.  I’m bringing this to your attention because I know many of you are indie authors, or have a book in the works that you intend to self publish.  Please click here to read the article.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Just a bit of life

No, this won’t be a book or writing related post today.  Instead, I thought I’d share with you some pictures of the snowfall we got today.  Of course, you can imagine that I was beside myself with all this white stuff coming down.  It hasn’t snowed this much in one day since I lived in Alaska in the 1970’s. 

I took a lot of pics around my house from the patio and the front yard, otherwise I was not venturing out to get on the road in this mess.  It was cold and quiet all day.  The snowfall started at 9:30 am with tiny flakes drifting down like bits of fairy dust, but it gradually got to be heavier and bigger flakes.  This action went on all day and at sunset we had about four inches on the ground, perhaps a bit more.  This is supposed to go on through the night and isn’t likely to melt anytime soon with a high predicted for 26 degrees tomorrow and a low of 6 degrees. 

Yes, we are setting some records here for my last winter in this place.  Here are a few of Mother Nature’s pics.

 Video pics by Sunni Morris
Music by Aine Minogue - my album

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review for The Last Whisper in the Dark by Tom Piccirilli

 From Amazon Website

Full of details and quirky characters
5 stars

I had never heard of this author but the title of the book intrigued me.  What I found inside was a page-turner and a great story, whether you like crime fiction or not.  This is one crazy family, but that makes them real.  I like to read about dysfunctional, quirky people and this book has them.  Even though they are professional thieves with their own agendas, they stick together as a family against outsiders.  They tend to put aside their personal beliefs on morality and virtue to stand up for kin.  Who doesn’t think that’s great?

These characters commit crimes because they find it thrilling to do so.  That adrenalin rush is more important than the money, which is hid everywhere in the house.  Another crazy thing here is that all of the family is named after dogs breeds, which is definitely unusual.

In the story, there are many surprises and twists.  The youngest son, Terry, short for Terrier, is trying to distance himself from his past life of crime, but he is pulled in anyway because he’s trying to save a girl from a botched bank robbery, plus deal with a relationship problem of his own, and the rest of the family’s issues.

I enjoyed this book and it makes me want to read the first book about these people.