Is Gallifreyan a Conlang, an Artlang, or Neither?

Is Gallifreyan a Conlang?

We’d ordered our coffee then stepped into the adjacent room in the coffee shop in Crown Point when my grandson pointed and asked, “Is that a Gallifreyan?”

When I turned to look where he was offering his appreciative stare, I saw a wall of paintings, prints, graphics, and abstracts. But wait, he called that a Gallifreyan?

Jeremiah is 22 years old and knows ALL about these, what I thought remote bits of trivia, and it wasn’t until I approached the painting and he began to explain the intricacies of the canvas that I began to grasp that he was discussing a language, not an abstract technique. A language? Who would know that?! Well, he would, of course.

Ah, tis the beginning of another odyssey into what, even at this age, I still didn’t know.

Conlang? Sorta, but not.

The Gallifreyan language stemmed from the popular British TV show Doctor Who. It was spoken by the Time Lords of Gallifrey. The funny part is that the language wasn’t created by the originators of Dr. Who but a fan, Loren Sherman. In fact, it is not a real language and is not used by the show. But I was fascinated.

Gallifreyan vowels

It is an artistic way of writing English words based on a clock. The Circular Gallifreyan alphabet even follows MOST of the rules of written English but using characters rather than letters. Phrases are joined via circles. A simple word is contained within one circle, such as my name (painstakingly created over five hours–yeah–five hours! Hope you LIKE it!). Well, then, I wonder if it would be called Artlang. No? Can you “read” it?

My name in Gallifreyan--hint--starts with a "V".

There are blogs, pins on Pinterest, long lists of YouTube videos a minute to more than two hours, and countless alphabet charts and, unfortunately, more than one translation cipher on the subject. But that I could find, not one stat for popularity numbers. Granted, it’s a mesmerizing study and researching discovered that conlang (constructed languages) exist owing their creation from novel authors such as J. R. R. Tolken, well-rated TV series, and movies. Anyone speak Klingon?

Klingon is actually classified an artistic conlang, as is Dothraki (Games of Thrones), and Mangani from the Tarzan novels. A number of conlangs have been developed recently for such specialized films as Star Wars (Huttese) and Avatar (Na’vi). There are four categories of constructed languages, which is a language that has been “consciously devised,” not naturally developed, and these include auxiliary, ritual, engineered, and artistic.

Of course, probably the most well known constructed language is Esperanto, which was intended to be the second language of the whole world, originally published by ophthalmologist Ludwik L. Zamenhof in 1887. Repopularized largely in part by the internet and refined for today, Esperanto II is enjoying a fan base of more than two million people worldwide.

Are these constructed languages gaining interest? Enjoying a narrow margin according to media popularity. Certainly a millennial will recognize a Gallifreyan faster than I, but I’m sure you can remember many words or phrases of a conlang. If so–what is your favorite? Attribution for Gallifreyan in title: Clinton & Leslie Mason ©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ve read a wide variety of genres and gleaned most early freebies from BookBub. Renee would love you to join the fun, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Quinn Checks In by L H ThomsonThis week I am highlighting L H Thomson, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Quinn Checks In, Liam Quinn Mysteries Book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written eleven books in this series. This novel was published by J I Loome on July 24, 2014. He consistently runs approximately four plus stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted September 7, 2014

Book Blurb:

Warning: this novel contains strong language and violence.

Released after serving four years in a Federal pen for art forgery, former boxing prodigy Liam Quinn returns to Fishtown in Philadelphia, eager to restart his life and make amends. A family friend has arranged a job as an art detective for an insurance company. But a Dutch Master has gone missing, bodies are popping up when least expected, and a mobster  is mighty miffed. It’s a tough job… until Quinn Checks In.

Quinn Checks in combines brutal action with tongue-in-cheek humor, a cast of characters and the kind of family drama that makes you miss your mom’s Sunday dinner! Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson”

The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview

The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

Title: The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel (#3) by Dean Koontz

Genre: Currently #90 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Random House Publishing, Ballantine – Bantam

Publication Date: To be released May 8, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Crooked Staircase – Eerie cover evokes dark evasion

Have you seen that #ForgetSleep hashtag recently? You could easily apply the tag to this book but it wouldn’t completely explain the third book in this series. This is a Koontz suspense meant to keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you hanging there, breathless, until the fourth (and final?) episode is released. That you should have such patience! Continue reading “The Crooked Staircase – a #BookReview”

A Dog’s Way Home – a #BookReview

A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce CameronTitle: A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

Genre: Currently #1314 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Family Life

Publisher: Forge Books

Publication Date: May 9, 2017

Source: Forge Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: A Dog’s Way Home – See that sweet face? Can you resist that?

OMG, I loved this book. Absolutely LOVED it! You don’t have to be a dog person to enjoy–there are cats you will love too. But Bella…part pit? The cover doesn’t reflect a dog looking part pit-bull. It’s supposed to be a mixed breed–indeterminate–opinions vary, all different, except for the officer labeling her as such.

Continue reading “A Dog’s Way Home – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz

#AmReading The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel (this is the third in the series). I received a digital download via Random House Publishing-Ballantine and NetGalley. The book will be released on May 8, 2018. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 512 mostly hair-raising pages.

I will be presenting my review on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Book Blurb:

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom—and free will—of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern Southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

(From Amazon Author page, but there is much more on Goodreads)

Dean Koontz - authorDean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna. ©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Blackout – Tom Barber

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Most of these early reviews were books gleaned from a freebie on BookBub and this was no exception. If you’d like to join the meme, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Blackout by Tom BarberThis week I am highlighting Tom Barber, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Blackout (Sam Archer book #3), which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written nine in this series–I read the first three. This novel was published on January 16, 2014, as a thriller-suspense. He consistently runs approximately four stars plus for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 26, 2015

Book Blurb:

Young counter-terrorist cop Sam Archer arrives for work at the Armed Response Unit expecting a quiet day. But unbeknownst to him, a storm is coming. 

Three men have already been killed that morning. One committed suicide by the River Thames. Another was strangled in his car in Washington D.C. And the third was shot in the face in his high-rise New York apartment as he slept. The deaths seem random, thousands of miles apart. But they are all connected. By a shocking event fifteen years ago. And this is only the beginning.

Archer, Chalky and the rest of the Unit suddenly find themselves plunged into a ferocious and violent confrontation, fighting for their lives. The enemy they are up against are brutal, highly trained, well-armed and anonymous. No one knows where they have come from. No one seems to know who they are. But they have a vendetta. They will never forgive or forget, or show mercy. And for some reason, they’re hell-bent on killing ten specific people before the end of the day.

As the Unit tries to find out who these killers are and locate the remaining targets so they can protect them, it becomes a race against time to see who can get there first. As the counter-terrorist unit and the vengeful enemy come up against each other all over the city, Archer and the team soon realise two things.

This enemy is more proficient and deadly than any they’ve ever encountered. And one of their own ARU men is on the extermination list. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Blackout – Tom Barber”

Murder at the Mushroom Festival – a #BookReview

Murder at the Mushroom Festival by Janet FinsilverTitle: Murder at the Mushroom Festival (A Kelly Jackson Mystery) by Janet Finsilver

Genre: Currently #4576 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical

Publication Date: To be released April 17, 2018 – Happy publication day!

Source: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Murder at the Mushroom Festival – Cute cozy cover

Murder at the Mushroom Festival is the fourth in the Kelly Jackson series and my first experience with the series or the author. In this installment, Kelly Jackson has been named permanent manager of the Redwood Cove B&B and is gearing up for the festivities by bringing in Elise Jenkins to host a cooking class featuring mushrooms. Continue reading “Murder at the Mushroom Festival – a #BookReview”

I’m Not Ignoring You–Is it WP or the 1200 lb Gorilla?

I'm Not Ignoring You

Spoiler Alert: Anyone else experiencing these issues?

Many of you know that my blog stats suddenly dropped 107 followers the end of March. I’m not ignoring you–honest! I wrote the Happiness Engineers at WordPress regarding the drop as well as the increase in “followers” from Outlook email accounts. Eventually, I got a canned response that didn’t address the issues (either one, but directed me to check my listed follower status).

I wrote again, unhappy with the result of my inquiry, and finally got a response from Damianne who wrote, “Your followers are from social media as well as WordPress. We can’t manage followers from social media, so we don’t have any information about those changes.” That’s true, as my followers are made up of more than 750 social followers, 250+ WP followers, with the balance made up of email followers (no Outlook followers).

She went on to note that “Followers from outlook.com may be spammers and we are looking into the issue generally, and have already implemented some fixes. The follows in themselves are not an actual threat…so really all they’re achieving is to annoy people. We’re working on our end to get these follows blocked, and we’re also removing fake follows as we detect them. On your end, just ignore them for now.”

Wait, What? “Fake follows.” Are you considered a fake follow? Did you get unfollowed?

It wasn’t until later that I realized I was no longer getting notifications from my most active blogging buddies. That’s you! So I apologize–it wasn’t me–it was…WordPress?

I know you are not fake follows, so what happened? Damianne suggested my notifications may be going to my spam folder as a result of my email provider. They are not.

Dot Com vs Dot Org

As a dot com (not a dot org), I do not have the ability to download and use all those wonderful plug-ins that would give me some additional insight into the dynamics of my website. So frustrating! But trying to research what may be happening, I see one overwhelming theme–speed–and mobile technology. 

WordPress-Plugins vs Widgets from My Theme Shop

We know WordPress changed their algorithms this year, but I didn’t realize it would affect my little contribution to the blogosphere. Why? Because nothing stays the same–remember that old adage? People change. Technology advances to keep up with wants and needs. At the forefront of change is Google who has issued five (yes, FIVE, and they all have names) major algorithm updates recently, forcing search engines to change.

I’ve written before about some techniques to avoid being blacklisted such as keyword stuffing (I wouldn’t know how) or avoiding black-hat SEO techniques. Web gurus talk about the need to blog at least once a week (yes, okay) resulting in a “freshen” score, with posts of 2,000 words (fail). Then what?

Mobile First

Apparently, there is a shift for Google to “move their entire search index to mobile-first.” It’s called the Progressive Web App (PWA). Currently, there are two search indexes, mobile and desktop. BUT, these are going to be combined. And then they will crawl the mobile version first–that means “the mobile version of your site will be the one crawled, not desktop.”

It’s all about page speed then? Has my site been penalized because it’s slow? I don’t know–I can’t use a plug-in to check that and I can’t add any “code markups” to speed it up.

The 1200 lb Gorilla

Google has been rewarding publishers that have objectively delivered better mobile experiences to visitors for a while. It should come as no surprise that Google is talking even more about page speed. They are actually going to include it as a mobile ranking signal this year.

Angry woman shooting computer

One of the patterns I routinely follow before scheduling a book review or post is to check to see what it is supposed to look like on a tablet or a mobile device and correct accordingly. Maybe it’s not working.

I will try to “catch up” with some of your posts in the coming week, hopefully to re-establish the connection. In the meantime, I’m always grateful for the likes and comments, especially from Nina at Cozy Pages, Nicole at thebookwormdrinketh, FictionFan, Lynne at Fictionophile, and Cathy at Between the Lines. I’ll be looking to see what you’ve posted recently. I’ve really missed seeing the new posts from all my blogging buddies!

In the meantime, please let me know if you are experiencing somewhat the same with your stats too. Or perhaps you have a suggestion for me? I’d love to hear it! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Sign Off – Patricia McLinn

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites including books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. (And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Sign Off - Caught Dead in Wyoming Book 1 by Patricia McLinnThis week I am highlighting Patricia McLinn, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Sign Off, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written six in this series. This novel was published by Craig Place Books on July 3, 2015. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 6, 2016.

Book Blurb:

Divorce a husband, lose a career … grapple with a murder. TV journalist Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher will tell you she committed two sins — she didn’t stay young, and she made an enemy of a powerful news executive — her ex. She used to break national news. Now her top story as the Helping Out! reporter at dinky KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming is getting a refund for a defective toaster. Tough, funny and determined, Elizabeth wrestles with isolation, keeping a professional edge, and an evolving self-image. Is Wyoming — the land of cattle, cowboys and tumbleweeds — her new home or a road to permanent obscurity? Soon she’s in a battle of wills with ex-football player turned journalist Mike Paycik, who sees her as a handy rung on his career ladder. And there’s the matter of a deputy sheriff—missing or murdered? Elizabeth finds herself investigating at the insistence of a girl who’s set on proving her father’s innocence. Not that enigmatic rancher Tom Burrell makes investigating easy. But Elizabeth won’t fade to black without a fight, no matter how final some might want to make her Sign Off.

My Review:

Sign Off, the first in the Caught Dead in Wyoming series by Patricia McLinn involves E. M. (Elizabeth) Danniher, who is a well-known news reporter from the east. She has been banished by a bitter ex who is a powerful NY TV producer to a small town in Wyoming to be their “Helping Out” reporter for the duration of her contract.

Few at her new station are thrilled she has been plunked into the middle of them and become guarded of their own positions. Feeling impotent to do more than report on defective toasters, she is confronted by a little girl regarding her dad, unfairly accused of murder in the disappearance of a deputy, and inadvertently becomes involves in the investigation.

Among the many characters interacting with her at the station are Mike, a sportscaster, and Diane, camera lady. Elizabeth Danniher butts up against the sheriff almost immediately and manages to lose more support than she gains as she interviews elected officials of the rural town and Mike’s inside contact. Warned off the case by the accused himself, the missing person turns up dead in his truck following the spring thaw obviously the victim of foul play. As events turn deadly, Elizabeth studies the clues and uncovers motives.

There are some interesting insights into the inner workings of a small town TV station, local colorful characters, and small town western US flavor. The antagonist is not one you suspect, and Mike becomes quite the (possibly romantic) attractive ally. The dialogue is clean and believable. The plot moves along at a fairly good clip and I enjoyed the little sub-storyline involving Shadow. All in all, it is engaging and will hold your interest. I received this download from BookBub as a free offering and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Patricia McLinn - authorPatricia McLinn’s books have put her name on bestseller lists and her journalism career took her to the Washington Post for 20-mumble-mumble years. But it all started with secrets.

She learned to read at a tender age as a matter of self-preservation because older siblings spelled words to keep secrets from her. Once Patricia discovered that the magic of written words allowed her to know people she hadn’t met and experience places she hadn’t visited, she was hooked.

She wanted to be a novelist from then on, though there was a detour. She received a BA in English Composition from Northwestern University. (Have you ever seen a job posting for an English Composition major? No. And you never will.) With her parents holding out for more practical pursuits, she added a masters in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in her fourth year. (Two degrees for the price of one! It was the precursor of a career in coupon-clipping.)

(From Goodreads author page) USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn’s novels—cited by reviewers for warmth, wit, and vivid characterization – have won numerous regional and national awards and been on national bestseller lists.

In addition to her romance and women’s fiction books, Patricia is the author of the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series, which adds a touch of humor and romance to figuring out whodunit.

Patricia received BA and MSJ degrees from Northwestern University. She was a sports writer (Rockford, Ill.), assistant sports editor (Charlotte, N.C.) and—for 20-plus years—an editor at the Washington Post.

She has spoken about writing from Melbourne, Australia to Washington, D.C., including being a guest speaker at the Smithsonian Institution. She is now living in northern Kentucky and writing full-time. Patricia loves to hear from readers through her website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Claws for Concern – a #BookReview

Claws for Concern - a Cat in the Stacks Mystery - by Miranda JamesTitle: Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

Genre: Currently # 594 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Animals

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Source: Berkley and Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Title and Cover: Claws for Concern – Cover is way too cute cozy typical

OMG, just to look at that beautiful cover you know it’s going to be a cat-lovers kind of novel. Well, I’ve mentioned before that I do love both cats and dogs, though as most of you know, since I have a pretty-extraordinary (cat-sized) dog in the house, my heart is with my adorable puppy.

Still if you lean at all feline, that cover got you. It got me too. And this is the ninth of the series, so you know there are a lot of kitty fans out there, not to mention a NY Times best-selling author. There’s obviously a lot of history here with protagonist Charlie and Diesel, although I’m not sure that the 40 pound Maine Coon isn’t the protagonist. There is definitely some over-the-top anthropomorphizing going on here. A Maine Coon owned my mother and I must admit the cat was definitely a one of a kind kitty. That said… Continue reading “Claws for Concern – a #BookReview”

If Family Noir is In, I Want Out

If Family Noir is In, I Want Out

Remember back in December 2015 when I investigated all these new-to-me genres? Nano-punk, nano-technology, or cyber-punk?

Well, it’s happened again. A number of bloggers I follow have reviewed stories recently they’ve categorized as “Noir.” If it sounds French, it is, and means “dark” or “of the night.” It is usually a genre that deals with violence or sex, but definitely corruption in some manner. (BTW, noire is just feminine for noir, but you knew that, huh.)

Postwar film noir - Humphrey BogartYes, I remember film noir, but “classic” (or roman) noir is considered a “hardboiled” genre that usually includes a self-destructive protagonist. I’m not writing the rules here, only relaying what I found in research–and it’s not pretty folks. Although I must say, we’ve definitely done a number on the original noir fiction spawned from Dashiell Hammett ( 1894-1961) “the dean of the… ‘hardboiled’ school of detective fiction.” The protagonist is not a rumpled, raincoat cloaked, cigar-chomping thoughtful-hearted protagonist, but rather a perpetrator. Forget Columbo! Think Humphrey Bogart. No, much worse. Think Kevin Spacey in LA Confidential. But there is a huge difference in the definition of “noir” and what we are calling forms of noir today.

Harking back to the Huff Post updated in December 2017 by Otto Penzler who didn’t mince words when he described the genre, “noir is about losers,” not private detectives. This is the down and dirty–doesn’t do well and never will. The protagonist in a noir story is driven by just about everything bad a human can exhibit: greed, lust, jealousy. They aren’t ever going to triumph. They can’t! (It’s noir.) And this is what separates the private detective or family noir from noir fiction–the moral ground.

The problem then, as Noir Fiction has splintered off as many sub-genres as the previously discussed fiction novels, is the evolution. Here are just a few:

Classic noir (Hollywood crime dramas emphasizing derisive attitudes and/or sexual motivations)

Family noir (domestic noir)

Film noir

Neo-noir

Photo noir

Pulp noir (classic noir with urban influences)

Scandinavian noir (Scandi noir)

Tech noir

I think it was the Scandinavian noir that set me to scratching my head. A Scandi noir? Certainly, it was the film industry that influenced the change of the hardboiled nuance into a neo-noir flavor. Definitely a contemporary or more modern version of film noir, the term neo-noir was popularized by two French critics back in 1955. It appears these were retro-actively applied to much earlier crime movies including the 1940s as well as the 1950s in the U.S. (Think Bogey)

Farewell My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerSo I jumped on Goodreads again, my go-to of all things bookish, and noted that on their (current) favorite noir list the first six of nine is divided between Raymond Chandler at number one (Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe, #2)  and two and Dashiell Hammett at number three (The Glass Key).

It was Hammett who created Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon after a character he knew living in San Francisco. His authentic period dialogue was included in the movie famously played by Humphrey Bogart.

 

Black Mask Magazine featuring The Maltese Falcon by Dashell Hammett
Cover courtesy Wikipedia

Raymond Chandler? Really? Because if you were surprised by Hammett’s life dates, Chandler is right there, born in 1888 and died in 1959. Wikipedia notes he began writing after losing his job as an oil company executive. He published a short story in Black Mask Magazine, a pulp magazine in 1933. (First issue April 1920-final issue 1987) Along with Dashiell Hammett and other Black Mask writers, he is considered to be a founder of the hardboiled detective fiction. Philip Marlowe, his protagonist, was also played by the quintessential Humphrey Bogart. He said of the hardboiled detective, “he is the white knight who walks the mean streets, but is not himself mean.”

 

 

Point Blank film noir 1967 starring Lee Marvin
Neo-noir film Point Blank directed by John Boorman, 1967, starring Lee Marvin.

 

Cinematically, Lee Marvin cemented the neo-noir style of film when he starred in Point Blank (1967), introducing a new level of violence in film and established the foundation for later escalation of ferocity and brutality.

I suspect there would be some argument over whether the film Pulp Fiction is actually pulp noir or film noir. Jessica Jones – pulp noir? Where would you classify any of the dark noir books (Gone Girl) (or movies) that you’ve read (seen) lately?

But really, a family noir? OMG–it’s gotta be sad, depressing, and can never be made right.

It’s doomed.

I don’t need it.

I want peaceful.

I want happy–if not happily ever after–a light at the end of the tunnel. Some small promise it’ll be okay.

And hopefully soon.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Stinger: Operation Cyclone – a #BookReview

Stinger: Operation Cyclone by Bill FortinTitle: Stinger: Operation Cyclone (A Rick Fontain Novel Book 2) by Bill Fortin

Genre: Currently #2811 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, War

Publisher: Cold War Publications

Publication Date: February 12, 2018

Source: Direct author request

Title and Cover: Stinger: Operation Cyclone – Obvious military action

It is shortly after the election of Ronald Regan in 1979 that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, but it was not until 1982 that POTUS set in motion Operation Cyclone.

The wheels of government and governmental agencies move very slowly. The Afghani people are locked in a desperate attempt to avoid total annihilation by an occupying Russian force. Severely out-gunned and with very limited resources they are resisting one of the strongest armies in the world.  Several covert governmental agencies are trying, albeit slowly, to assist. Continue reading “Stinger: Operation Cyclone – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Drifter by M. L. Gardner

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be looking back at my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Drifter by M. L. GardnerThis week I am highlighting M. L. Gardner, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Drifter, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written ten novels, including two series, short stories, and a novella. This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on January 11, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 26, 2015

Book Blurb:

In this fourth book of The 1929 Series, we are led into the world of Richard Sloan, a Massachusetts missing person’s detective who seems to be losing his touch. After six months he hasn’t found anyone alive and becomes desperate to redeem his reputation.

Aryl Sullivan, who suffered amnesia in a boating accident, finds himself caught up in a series of events that land him in London. While in the hands of Gina, a secretive and controlling woman, and her boss, Mickey, Aryl is forever changed as he does what he has to in order to survive.

Following leads on a serial cop killer terrorizing Boston, Detective Sloan unwittingly stumbles on information that leads him to Aryl Sullivan, a man everyone in Rockport thinks is dead.

My Review:

It’s amazing who you can become–given the right–or wrong circumstances. Sometimes, you can’t imagine how you’ve ever become this person. And having become a person you revile, can you ever quit and so back? Can you ever really “go home”? Would you want to?

This is the fourth in the 1929 series; the third I’ve read and this is definitely my favorite. Aryl is “found” by Richard Sloan, a missing persons cop who lucks onto Aryl looking for a serial cop killer. Sloan is a disgruntled, discontented Boston P.D. detective with a marriage teetering on the edge for a reason both partners are impotent to remedy. His record hasn’t been that good of late, finding more “missings” dead than alive; a day late, handing the file to homicide. He desperately hoped his last case, a 16-year-old, would be the reverse to the pattern. It wasn’t. Dejected, depressed, he decided he’d concentrate on the serial killer and counted on it to be his saving grace.

In the third of the 1929 series, Aryl Sullivan has been in a horrific explosion aboard his fishing vessel and barely survives with his body intact, never mind his mind. He has sustained major lacerations to his back which leaves him in severe pain in this installment. Unfortunately, he has no recollection what happened–only that he has been rescued and handed off eventually to land in London where he is then rescued by Gina who introduces him to Mickey. His injuries have left him dependent upon Gina who dishes him an elixir that quickly gets him hooked and leaves him no where to turn. Under his newly acquired circumstances, he becomes a man totally alien to his former self–capable of the unimaginable.

The tale unfolds after Sloan has picked him up from the French police where they both board a ship for the states. Together over the course of the cruise, each unloads his personal story as Aryl has slowly regained his memory and narrates the events of his past year. Aryl faces a shaky return. The experience has been life-changing for Sloan, however, and he makes several decisions both affecting his job and his marriage.

While the storyline borders on unique, there are edit problems that should have been addressed and it was a bit difficult to keep up with who was doing the current narrative since it switched back and forth between Sloan and Aryl. However, both have compelling histories or stories to tell (and they share with each other) and unfortunately for Aryl a long row to hoe before he can fully be brought back into the fold or the family. You have to swallow a few inaccuracies but on the whole, an interesting read and you do become sufficiently engaged in the characters to pursue the outcome.

This book was downloaded as a freebie by BookBub. Different in concept, the switch between the narrations garnered my imagination. Recommended reading–embrace the uncommon style.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

M. L. Gardner M. L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series–as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She also wrote the Purling Road series and a cookbook. Gardner is married with three kids and four cats. She resides in western Montana. http://www.mlgardnerbooks.com

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Advice Column Murders – a #BookReview

The Advice Column Murders by Leslie NagelTitle: The Advice Column Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series by Leslie Nagel

Genre: Currently # 235 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Traditional Detectives

Publisher: Alibi

Publication Date: To be released April 3, 2018 – Happy Publication Day! Clink cocktail glasses

Source: Random House Publishing Group-Alibi and NetGalley

Title and Cover: The Advice Column Murders – Attractive, compelling cozy mystery cover

My first introduction to this series, I found the novel on the more serious side of a cozy mystery. As the third in the series, the protagonist is Charley Carpenter who is the owner of a vintage shop she calls Old Hat Vintage Fashions. This is apparently meant to be a standalone, though characters are brought forward from the first two in the series, including the situation with her shop which is now undergoing a major renovation that she will call Old Hat New Beginnings. (This is also my third book in a row in which the female protagonist is a Charley, Charlie, or Charlee–it must be getting popular to call a female protagonist Charley!) Continue reading “The Advice Column Murders – a #BookReview”

Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – a #BookReview

Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh-Queen of Egypt by in60LearningTitle: Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt

Genre: Currently #22 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Historical, Middle East (One hour, 58 pages)

Publisher: in60Learning

Publication Date: February 3, 2018

Source: Amazon Digital Services and Direct Request by Tyler of in60Learning

Title and Cover: Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – Cover conveys non-fiction material

We were contacted by Tyler of in60Learning with an inquiry regarding reading and reviewing their new concept non-fiction short stories in a quick and easy read 60-minute format. On their “title listing” page, they appear to have twenty-four titles, three of which are audio, the balance in a mix of Kindle and paperbook format. The titles run from biographies to histories with titles releasing from the middle of January 2018 through March. Many more are expected.

Titles include Marilyn Monroe: The Defiant Broad Disguised as a Dumb Blond (BiographyIn60, six reviews at 4.5 average stars) to Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendent of Heroes (BiographyIn60 nineteen reviews at 4.5 average stars). The C.E. chose this one as well as Illinois Native Americans: A 9,000 Year Civilization. See that review here.

In60Learning introduces themselves thusly:

“Get Smarter in just 60  minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.”

Book Blurb:

When Pharaoh Thutmose II died, he left an heir far too young to rule Egypt. His widow Hatshepsut stepped up to take his place. For at least the next 20 years, Hatshepsut ruled as Pharaoh King of Egypt in an era of prosperous growth and peace. When she died, her nephew Thutmose III attempted to smear her good name and wipe her memory from history. However, despite his efforts, his aunt Hatshepsut holds the title of most famous native Egyptian woman to ever rule as pharaoh; she also retains a legacy as one of the most successful female leaders in early history. Continue reading “Hatshepsut: The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt – a #BookReview”

Rosepoint #Reviews – March Recap

Yes, we have zinged right into April with Easter Sunday! A beautiful beginning to the month.

Fairy Garden - Easter TimeIf the ground is no longer frozen, you know I’ll be grabbing my shovel and turning some dirt in the hope I can get my garden in before the end of April. I already have a few little seeds sprouting in my indoor starter tray. Hopefully, these will do better than last year. And last year? Remember I started the Fairy Garden that we alternatively call (depending on weather) “the Swamp.” I am currently waiting to see what survived and my heart is beginning to sink–I don’t think any of the ferns or Lilly of the Valley made it through the winter. Butterfly bush? History. But I’ve attained some satisfaction in digging out more reeds, snags, and trunks making way for slightly larger bushes than those $5 budget plants. If it’s sunny, I’ll probably be outdoors, at least until all plants are established.

I’ve confessed before to being a stats watcher (as I’ve set several goals) and was thrilled to announce the coming of my first 1,000th follower. I’ve been steadily building on that number and by Wednesday, the 28th of March had attained 1106 followers, looking forward to 1200. Then Thursday, the big crash happened and now the view counter is showing 999. How do you lose 107 followers overnight? But wait! There’s more..no really! Looking at my monthly totals, the blog achieved 1.0k views for the month of March. Hazzah! In fact, the first quarter of 2018 showed a significant jump in views. So I’m at a loss for the loss.

My February Recap noted that I was going to participate in Cathy‘s “Reading Ireland” Challenge. They were Shadow of a Century by Jean Grainger, Irish author, and another titled For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie and you’ll find both of those in the linked list below.

Eight new titles read and reviewed in March:

Deja Moo – a #BookReview

If I Live – a #BookReview

For the Love of Ireland – #BookReview

The True Tales of the Road to Key West – a #BookReview

Shadow of a Century – a #BookReview

Last Night – a #BookReview

Fiction Can Be Murder – a #BookReview

Dark Territory – a #BookReview

That intrepid associate reviewer, the CE, reviewed three titles for me in March.

The Telltale Tattoo – a #BookReview

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview

Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview

#TBR - Easter

Check out my Easter week #TBR, cozy mysteries. In the meantime, I’ve added a book tour from Sage’s Blog Tours, an author request, and I won a beautiful hardback book titled Claws for Concern by Miranda James from Lori at Escape With Dollycas. Boy does it seem strange to hold a “real” book again! Thank you, Lori!

I so enjoy and appreciate my new followers and the ones who continue to read and comment! ©2018 V Williams V Williams

Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview

Illinois Native Americans - A 9,000 Year CivilizationTitle: Illinois Native Americans: A 9,000 Year Civilization

Genre: Currently #14 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Short Reads, One hour (33-43 pages), History

Publisher: in60Learning

Publication Date: February 3, 2018

Source: Amazon Digital Services and Direct Request by publisher

Title and Cover: Illinois Native Americans – Cover denotes non-fiction material (uh oh–are you up for that?)

We were contacted by Tyler of in60Learning with an inquiry regarding reading and reviewing their new concept non-fiction novels in a down and dirty read and learn in a 60 minutes format. On their “title listing” page, they appear to have twenty-four titles, three of which are audio, the balance in Kindle format. The titles run from biographies to histories with titles releasing from the middle of January 2018 through March

Titles include Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes (with 19 reviews and 4.5 average stars and apparently contains footnotes) to The Mexican-American War: A Divisive Expansion (with six reviews and 4.4 average stars). The C.E. chose this one as well as Hatshepsut The Pharaoh Queen of Egypt, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

In60Learning introduces themselves thusly:

“Get Smarter in just 60  minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.” Continue reading “Illinois Native Americans – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ve gathered up some old reads and reviews from Goodreads to share with you–but a good book never gets old. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa LockeThis week I am highlighting M. Louisa Locke, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery). She has actually written five in the series with novellas in between. This novel was published by CreateSpace on December 3, 2009. She consistently runs approximately 4.0/5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 20, 2015

Book Blurb:

It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier…Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died…Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior…Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted, cozy historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco. 
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke”

Last Night – a #BookReview

Last Night by Kerry WilkinsonTitle: Last Night by Kerry Wilkinson

Genre: Currently #806 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Psychological

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: March 28, 2018

Source: Bookouture and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Last NightCover hints at remote field

Apparently not an English author new on the scene, my first read in one of his standalone books due out the end of this month. Rose Denton wakes behind the wheel, it’s two-something and she is apparently in the middle of a field with blood on her windshield and hood. She is confused, has no memory for how she might have gotten there, and after an inspection of her own body (nothing sore or broken), then around the car can find no apparent victim, animal or human. She has no explanation for her careen through the hedge or why she is here. Continue reading “Last Night – a #BookReview”

Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday–Does That Include Indie Authors?

Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday

Because it’s always been done this way. (?)

Oh really?! Why? Retailers call it Super Tuesday.

But Tuesday…Maybe it is just not as hectic as the first day of the week. Nor is it Friday when everyone is ready to flee to weekend outings. Tuesday is not yet Hump Day, not generally a payday, and very rarely a holiday. So why is it that I started having a problem with overlapping release dates–Tuesday–after I started receiving books from NetGalley?

Most sources, including Bob Mayer (one of my favorite authors), speculated it might be (1) because of the NY Times best-seller lists (and this seems to be a generally accepted opinion). “The NYT bestseller list is based on sales from Tuesday to Monday, tallied on Wednesday. The list for the following Sunday is actually compiled by the prior Wednesday evening.”

So what else are we looking at? Spy icon by Colourbox Continue reading “Five Reasons Why Books Release on Tuesday–Does That Include Indie Authors?”

#ThrowbackThursday – Irreparable Harm by Melissa F Miller

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her, please.

Irreparable Harm by Melissa F MillerThis week I am highlighting Melissa F Miller, another terrific, prolific author who has written Irreparable Harm, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written more than two dozen books and this represents her first in the Sasha McCandless Legal Thriller series. This novel was published by Brown Street Books on April 18, 2011. She consistently runs approximately 4.0+ stars for any of Her books sold on Amazon. I received my eBook through a free offering on BookBub. In the meantime, covers have evolved…

Originally posted June 29, 2014

Book Blurb:

Attorney Sasha McCandless is closing in on the prize after eight long years: she’s months away from being made partner at a prestigious law firm. All she has to do is keep her head down and her billable hours up.

Then a plane operated by her client slams into the side of a mountain, killing everyone aboard. Sasha gears up to prepare a defense to the inevitable civil lawsuits. She quickly realizes the crash was no accident: a developer has created an application that can control a commercial plane’s onboard computer from a smartphone. Now it’s for sale to the highest bidder.

Sasha joins forces with a federal air marshal who’s investigating the crash. As they race to prevent another airline disaster, people close to the matter start turning up dead. Sasha must rely on both her legal skills and her Krav Maga training to stop the madman before he kills her. Sasha will need to rely on her legal training and her Krav Maga training in equal measure to find and stop a madman before he strikes again. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Irreparable Harm by Melissa F Miller”

Unique Blogger Award

The Unique Blogger Award

I am thrilled to be nominated for a second award by Nina over at The Cozy Pages and so appreciate the shout out. Nina never fails to like and comment on posts, though I’ve no clue where she gets the time–she is a very busy mother of three and a professional outside her home. She posts very insightful and detailed reviews and always balances her posts with what she found that was good and what didn’t work so well. If you haven’t already, check out her blog, please.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-12 people for the same award.
  • Ask them 3 questions.

Nina’s Questions:

1) You are in the bookstore and you see someone walking around for an hour looking at all the books looking lost. Finally, you decide to ask them if they need help. They admit they have no idea what book to read next, what book would you recommend?

Book tastes vary so greatly from person to person and age to age, it’s fortunate we have so many to choose from!

  1. Orangutan by Rita GoldnerFor a very small child, any book that offers large, colorful pictures and very short, simple descriptions that can be shared, such as my Phoenix author buddy Rita Goldner’s book Orangutan.
  2. My generation grew up on Nancy Drew for tweens and teens. Clean, imaginative, and resourceful, but these days the go-to book is Harry Potter.
  3. Adults: Anything from cozy mysteries to tear-jerking literary classics such as from author John Steinbeck. I’ve not yet begun to compile a “favorites” list this year, but if I knew a person’s taste, I might refer to the variety of great books from my 2017 list. These include a range of genres from historical fiction (Stone Song by Win Blevins), a travelogue (Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat Patterson), an anthropomorphic tale (Telemachus), to legal thrillers and men’s adventures (anything by Michael Reisig), even the enigmatic Dean Koontz (The Whispering Room).

2) Imagine you get the opportunity to go back in time, maybe a mad scientist has figured out the technology, who knows? Anyway, the only thing is you need to feed the contraption a classic book and you travel to the time that it was written. What book would you feed that machine?

Rosemary's Baby by Ira LevinThat’s a pretty funny question since I just finished a book about that very thing (time travel), Valley of Time by Jeremy D Holden. But no, I don’t want to go back to 1974. I would feed the contraption Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, 1967. Rosemary’s Baby came out after we were married and possibly thinking about a family. It scared me to death.

3.) You are in the library and you see someone reading at a table. Then you see the worst thing imaginable…. they are doing your bookish pet-peeve. What are they doing to that poor book?!

I have seen people dog-ear or fold the page in half–(even ripping a page out–but no–the worst? Writing in the margins.

My questions for you:

1.      When was the last time you bought or borrowed an audiobook, what was it, and was it as rewarding as reading would have been?

2.      The beginning of the year, there are myriad lists of reading challenges. Do you add challenges, find they increase your reading, or diversify your reading choices? Or not.

3.      It’s easy to come across little sayings in each book we read, something memorable. Have you begun to collect quotes, and if so when was your last, and what was the book and author?

Disclaimer: I’d love it if you would respond to this tag with your answers, but we are all busy. If you do, however, please link back to share your answers.

My Nominations:

CathyRy

Yesha

Kerry

Alysha

Jessica

Nicole

Cathy

Have a super week everyone! I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Bloggers Bash Award Nominations

Bloggers Bash Award Categories

When the “happiness engineers” at WP announced that the problems with the reblog button were resolved, they’d yet to deal with my blog. Neither that nor the like buttons have reappeared, so I’ll include here a shortened description of the announcement of the Bloggers Bash Awards, now in its fourth year.

Nina at The Cozy Pages sent me the notice (thank you Nina!) that she had reblogged from Shelley Wilson author, who is apparently on the committee. You can see the full and complete announcement on Ms. Wilson’s website for all the rules and regs, so, from Ms. Wilson, the following:

The Annual Bloggers Bash returns bigger and better than ever. (The venue is booked.)…

The nominations will open soon but we wanted to share the award categories with you to give everyone plenty of time to think about who they feel deserves a nomination...Nominations will open on March 6th 2018.

Award Categories for the 2018 Bloggers Bash Awards Continue reading “Bloggers Bash Award Nominations”

Author Spotlight – Brent Jones

When author buddy Brent Jones notified me of his upcoming appearance at the Welland Library Seaway Mall Branch (Canadian side of Niagara) this Saturday, February 24, I was thrilled that he continues to drive hard for the sale of his well received and highly acclaimed sophomore novel, Fender. Author Spotlight-Brent Jones

Then he also mentioned that they interviewed him and quoted a small  blurb of the review I posted here last August. I LOVE the validation! Laura Garzon provided a detailed interview with Brent saying in part:

“Amazon.com describes author Brent Jones as a person who has always been “drawn to writing”.  He changed career paths to become a full-time writer and according to the reviews,  he “has exceeded expectation that his sophomore novel, Fender, might best the debut. This emotionally packed literary saga . . . is powerful and profane and masterfully examines the overwhelming condition of stupefying grief.” –Stanley McShane (Virginia Williams)…Cocos Island Treasure.

“We talked to him about his book and life as a writer. Here is what he had to say…”

(Catch her full interview here.) Jones divulges in the interview that he is currently working on a series of four books that he hopes to begin releasing in the next couple of months. His books and short stories to date land heavily in the literary fiction genre. The new series will feature protagonist Afton Morrison from his recent short story A Book With No Pictures, coincidentally used for my current “Quick Quote” in the widget column to the right and recently reviewed on both Amazon and Goodreads.

In the Author Page on Goodreads, Jones writes, “From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.”

I’ll continue to watch with interest this up and coming author, urge you to take another look at Fender, and I look forward to the first in his series of thrillers. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn ArnoldTitle: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series-Book 2)

Genre: Currently #1342 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Men’s Adventure

Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Publication Date: To be released April 17, 2018

Source: Request from Senior Book Publicist, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Title and Cover: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – Beautiful cover holds promise

“In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.”

This is the second in the new series with protagonist archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor. He’s very successful at finding legends long thought forgotten or lost. Flirting with a power from the Emerald Tablets that promises knowledge of the universe, he MUST accept a former colleague’s invitation in the search. She has stumbled upon an Egyptian hieroglyphic map that is sure to lead them to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets. Matthew’s only demand for acceptance is that his best friends (romantic interest) Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers accompany the team. Of course, it isn’t long before they realize that recovering the tablets won’t be easy and they are no longer the only ones looking for the tablets. Continue reading “The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review”

Night Moves – Book Review

Night Moves - an Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan KellermanTitle: Night Moves: An Alex Delaware Novel (#33) by Jonathan Kellerman

Genre: Currently # 56 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder

#7 in Amazon Author Rank

Publisher: Balantine Books

Publication Date: JUST released February 13, 2018

Source: Balantine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Night Moves – Cover described book evokes plot locale

Okay, yes, I must confess–it must be true–I have been living in a cave for twenty years as this is the first time I’ve read an Alex Delaware book by Jonathan Kellerman. And this is his thirty-third in the series! Alex gets a jingle late one evening from his old police buddy, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis, and off he goes on another head-scratcher located on a cul-de-sac in the burbs. The victim will not be easy to identify as he’s been dumped in the home of Chet Corvin and the Corvin’s have absolutely no clue who he might be. The victim’s hands have been removed and he was shot in the face leaving little with which to identify anyone. Continue reading “Night Moves – Book Review”

#ThrowbackThursday – #author Linda McDonald – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. I hope that you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

In the Lion's Mouth by Linda McDonaldThis week I am highlighting Linda McDonald, another terrific author who wrote In the Lion’s Mouth, one of two I reviewed for this author on Goodreads. And of course you know it is a mystery, suspense thriller. This one was published by Pure Gumption Press.

Originally posted March 31, 2014

Book Blurb:

A young couple, a friendly beachcomber, lots of bullets and plenty of death. It all starts innocently enough with Carrie and her new boyfriend driving her father’s RV to south Texas. When they get stuck in the sand on Boca Chica beach, Leo, a seemingly easy-going local, comes to their rescue and pulls them out. But after midnight, a wounded and far more intense Leo returns, now hunted by killers. Gun in hand, he forces the couple to help him escape. Once they’re back on the road, the danger–and the number of enemies–grows. Leo and Carrie, tightly held In the Lion’s Mouth, face a harrowing gauntlet of secrets stretching from Texas to the streets of Matamoros. A fast-paced thriller with colorful characters from both sides of the border.

My Review:

Carrie Jo Murray is not your average 20-something and Linda McDonald is not your average author, spitting out whodunits or suspense novels with the usual list of good and bad characters. There is nothing average in her books. This novel also involves a Winnebago, also not your average get-away vehicle.

I love the character Leo Marvins (nice play on a very well known action hero there) as well as his Viet Nam cronies and Leo proves to be more than a good guy; a great guy with a lot of post-Marine survival smarts, something her boyfriend, Jason, definitely is not. But Leo is complicated, many-faceted and more than your average beach bum from Boca Chica in Texas.

More scenes heat up than the Texas temperatures. Don’t take anyone at face value. No one and nothing is as it seems…lots of interesting characters, plot twists–I didn’t trust any of them. I don’t think I was supposed to!

Here Comes the Night by Linda McDonaldThis is the second McDonald book I’ve had the opportunity to download. I also read “Here Comes the Night” (excellent). See my Goodreads review here. The two can’t really be compared. What stays consistent is the quality of her writing, the depth of the story, and the insight into the characters. You don’t see most of these plot twists coming–and if you can’t predict the storyline–you gotta stay tuned to find out what really happens. I recommend you do!

About the Author: (From the Goodreads Author page)

Linda McDonaldLinda McDonald’s first novel, CRIMES OF REDEMPTION, was awarded the 2013 Oklahoma Book of the Year in Fiction by the Center for the Book. She has also written COLD, IN THE LION’S MOUTH and HERE COMES THE NIGHT, all available as e-books on Amazon. Coming soon – a new mystery set in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, DEATH IN COMANCHE COUNTY.Linda grew up on the western plains of Oklahoma and holds Master’s degrees in Theater from Kansas University and in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she also taught for many years. Her plays have been produced in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Northampton, MA, and New York City. She still acts and directs with regional theaters. She has also written over a dozen screenplays which have been honored in writing competitions by Fade In magazine, Oklahoma Film Institute, National Broadcasters Association, Austin Film Festival, Best of the West, and Lone Star.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview

Need to Know by Karen ClevelandTitle: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Genre: Currently #98 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Espionage

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018

Source: Ballantine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Need to Know – Simple cover, but conveys interior

Ms. Cleveland has done a pretty admirable job with her debut novel, Need to Know, or as my hubby, Navy veteran used to say the “NTK.” She has crafted a spell-binding psychological-political espionage plot that gains momentum as the protagonist Vivian Miller gets ever deeper in do-do. (I understand that this book has been optioned for a movie.) Continue reading “#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

#amreading - #GristMillRoad

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Christopher J. Yates and his book Grist Mill Road. I requested this download from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 9, 2018, by Picador. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and crime and is only 352 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Monday, January 8, 2018. Krysten Ritter, whose book Bonfire I read and reviewed last year, had this to say about Yates sophomore novel, “Dark, intense, and disturbing, Christopher Yates’ Grist Mill Road begins with a shock and keeps the suspense burning page after page. A thriller with imagination to spare. Highly recommended.”

It’s beginning to sound pretty scary and the book blurb on Amazon isn’t quelling the nerves. Gulp…but looking again…it’s not supposed to be horror…right?

Book Blurb: Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.

Christopher J Yates - authorAbout the Author:

(From Goodreads author page) Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. ‘Black Chalk’ is his debut novel. You can read his blog posts on his website

Grist Mill Road has been named in Goodreads’ best six books of the month for January 2018. Find the complete list here. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition AwardI am thrilled to announce that I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award before Christmas by The Cozy Pages.  Surprise Christmas gift, thank you! The Cozy Pages enjoys reading, writing, coffee in the morning, and mysteries! And she posts about her odyssey on her dynamic website. She is also open to review requests, but you should check out her Review Policy to see that your genre is one she accepts. You will love her blog; read and follow.

So what’s this Award about?

Blogger Recognition Award

Once you are nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, if you wish to accept your nomination, you must follow these rules:

  • Generate a post about the award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a brief story about how your blog began.
  • Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate.
  • Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created about the award.

How My Blog Began

As most of you know, I began my blog as a way to create a social media presence following the publication of my grandfather’s manuscripts. With no clue what I was doing, it took me several years to gear up and find a niche, although it seems the niche found me. I was getting a lot of free books from BookBub, but so many of those books already had a large following. Joining author groups, I was able to participate personally with debut authors. As a side benefit from participating with authors, I began receiving review requests. My posts shifted specifically to #bookblogging, #bookreviewing, and all things books from #blogtour to #booklaunch.

Blogging Advice from Me:

I continue to get more review requests than I can manage to read, and have much to learn in the way of social media promotion. Computers remain a mystery to me, but there are so many sources of information on so many platforms, that (thankfully) it’s easier than ever to find answers.

  1. The biggest education in my growth goals was membership in the Phoenix Book Marketing and Promotion Meetup in Phoenix, Az. Laura Orsini always had wise words for us newbie bloggers, the biggest of which was to blog early, often, and intelligently, introducing us to the 30-day challenge and blog prompts. It’s tough to get your website out there. Competition is extreme. Expect to give it a lot of dedicated time and effort. Hang in there–it’s worth it!
  2. The other two most helpful sources of growth for me has been Twitter and now Instagram (Bookstagram), replacing Facebook, where I never really caught on and probably blew my initial setup. There was more than enough push to participate in Pinterest, but that never got me any traffic and I’m still scratching my head over what the whole thing is about.
  3. Seek other bloggers in your niche and cultivate followers or subscribers. They can teach you so much! Find a platform you can work with and search for bloggers with whom you can exchange information, guest posts, or sources of photos or graphics. You’ll need them.

As with The Cozy Pages, I feel 15 is more than I can manage with my current schedule, so I’ve provided these few below in no particular order. These are all excellent #bookbloggers who provide excellent reviews. Check them out and follow!

Adventures of a Bibliophile

Book Journey

Books Beyond the Story

Books Teacup and Reviews

Chat About Books

Clues and Reviews

Novel Gossip

The Geeky Bibliophile

I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

 

#ThrowbackThursday – Tom Lowe – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday - Christmas time

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

A False Dawn by Tom LoweThis week I am highlighting Tom Lowe, another terrific, prolific author who has produced eight in the Sean O’Brien series of which I reviewed A False Dawn on Goodreads. If you don’t recognize the name of the author, perhaps you have heard of his eighth in this series, A Murder of Crows. A False Dawn, #1 of the series, was published by Kingsbridge on March 8, 2012. Lowe consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 8, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Tom Lowe – Book Review”

Stowed Away – a Book Review

Stowed Away - A Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara RossTitle: Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery) by Barbara Ross

Genre: Currently #30 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: To be released December 26 2017

Source: Kensington Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Stowed Away – Cover promises cute cozy mystery

I love it when the cute and compelling book cover delivers on its promise to be a fun, sweet little ride. This sixth book in the series also makes you envy what appear to be a gorgeous Maine, Atlantic Coast blue skies, fair winds location and seaward lifestyle. And you know I’m all over that!

This little romp in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross features versatile and capable Julia Snowden as protagonist and amateur sleuth. She is low-key, perceptive, and quick to catch any nuance. She is part of the Snowden family that offers an annual sail and clambake to their little tourist retreat on Morrow Island twice a day for the summer season. During the off-season, she is part owner of a little diner with Quentin Tupper in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Continue reading “Stowed Away – a Book Review”