Books I have authored.

October 2014 Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence has generated enormous press with the NFL the last few weeks. However domestic violence is not limited to over paid athletes. Domestic violence plagues ordinary people, every single day. I am offering the Kindle version of Mommy's Black Eye FREE from October 1st to October 5th to promote awareness of domestic violence.

Spanish Version El ojo morado de Mama

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Post by Frances McNamara Author of Death at Chinatown

A Guest Post
Frances McNamara

It’s interesting that “balancing family and work” was suggested as a topic for this blog post. In Death at Chinatown, the fifth book in my Emily Cabot mystery series, this is just the dilemma faced by my protagonist.

In earlier books Emily has been a trail blazer when she is thrilled to be one of the first graduate students at the University of Chicago when it opens in 1892. She studies the new discipline of sociology and later becomes a factory inspector at Hull House and is active in the labor movement during the Pullman Strike. But in this book she has married and, with two small children to care for, she cannot see how she can resume her studies and work at the university.

I am not married with children myself, although I do have to struggle for time to write while maintaining a full-time job in the systems department of the University of Chicago Library. However, Emily’s dilemma in the book was actually inspired by something I heard a prominent woman mystery writer say at a conference. She commented that she wasn’t sure that she could continue her series character, a woman private investigator[EV1] , if the character had a child. She speculated that the responsibility of motherhood would have to mean that the character would not be able to risk being in dangerous situations once she had a child. I think the writer was soon to become a mother for the first time herself.

I confess the suggestion bothered me and I wanted to debate the point. Rather than debate it, I wrote it into the story. Emily has the good fortune to have a husband and friends who want her to return to her job lecturing and even to her work with the Chicago police detective she has helped in the past. It is Emily herself who resists being drawn back into her work outside her home. She has to struggle with her feelings before being able to leave her children for her work.

I knew that the characters in my series would not remain young forever. In fact, I have plans to bring them through the early years of the twentieth century, beyond WWI and to the brink of the Great Depression. There are a lot more stories to be told. On the other hand, I also did want to bring the romantic plots to satisfactory conclusions. I think it becomes tiresome if there is an obvious romance between hero and heroine yet they never quite manage to come together. I am actually looking forward to writing about a more mature heroine and to do that she does have to face the issue of balancing family and work. I hope her conclusions in Death at Chinatown are at least believable and somewhat satisfactory. Emily’s situation is in contrast to the even more restrained condition of the young Chinese women she meets in the story. Heaven help us if women were unable to act just because they are mothers. On the contrary, I think in real life that kind of responsibility brings out the best in women in their work beyond the confines of their homes.

Frances McNamara is author of five Emily Cabot mysteries, Death At Chinatown being the most recent. She is a librarian at the University of Chicago and a native of Boston who has lived in Chicago for two decades.

 [EV1]I think you’re thinking of Laura Lippman, who’s main character is a PI. A lawyer wouldn’t regularly be in dangerous situations.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Global Predator by Jack MacLean

The use of drones is highly controversial.  This author takes that current controversy and turns it into an entertaining novel.   The unlikely combination of a talented financial dilettante and a dewy eyed altruist provide the two main characters.   The stage is the Swat valley, an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. 

The book provides a modicum of hope through the portrayal of the bulk of the Taliban and al-qaeda as regional thugs more focused on local religious control rather than global domination.  The local people are more enlightened than normally seen in TV and  book portrayals.   They want education for their kids, not just their male children but their female children as well.

The financial aspects were interesting.  The lack of moral values in financial traders seemed a bit stereo-typical.  Wilkins was not likeable, even when he was doing something that ended up good.   Self centered egotism is far too mild a description for his character.   Sally seemed very realistic.   Noting the people willing to put their lives on the line with the Ebola crisis, it isn't a stretch to see Sally willing to do the same.

The use of the Predators and their targeting foibles certainly supports the Humint factors in the government.   All too often what you see isn't actually what you think you see.

The book provided some thought provoking moments.

I recommend the book. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

I enjoyed (Disclaimer regarding enjoyment, the books were a good read but the subject matter isn't really enjoyable.) her previous books, Freak and Creep.  This book details the gestation of a serial killer and what results.

The villain is identified early in this book.  That doesn't matter as far as the creepy factor.  The story is well crafted with an excellent plot line.  The characters are believable.   The bizarre intertwining of the characters provides and additional level of complexity that enhances the story value. 

Ms. Hillier provides an excellent read with substantial tension and concern over the eventual outcome.

I recommend the book.

Web Sites:

 This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, October 13, 2014

To Die Fur by Dixie Lyle

Mystery takes place after the first book A Taste Fur Murder.   Foxtrot Lancaster is a billionaire's administrative assistant. She is also is the sheriff of Crossroads, a pet cemetery extraordinaire.   This is an interesting story although the description makes the story sound preposterous it really is quite a good mystery.  Foxtrot's sidekicks are a dog named whiskey who is not really a dog but an ectoplasmic being who is there to help her run the cemetery and Tango her cat who has come back from the dead.  

ZZ, Zelda's Zoransky is Foxtrots boss,  she likes to have interesting conversations and thus holds dinners for a wide variety of people.  She solicits their input by plying them with good food, good booze and revels in the ensuing conversation.

In this book Foxtrot is tasked with keeping a white liger alive and healthy so that the liger can be adopted somewhere in the world. Some strange characters come out of the woodwork to adopt the liqer. Circumstances change and there appears to be a war between the God of tigers and the God of lions over the soul of Augustus, the liger.  Foxtrot needs to see that Augustus is taken care of and to see that there is no war between the Lion's and the Tiger's gods.

Foxtrot develops a love interest in this book, Ben, the chef.  Ben is also a Thunderbird who is tasked with being the envoy between the feline gods.

A long time fan of anthropomorphism, I enjoy this series. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Doghouse by L. A. Kornetsky

This is another pet's are smart mystery.   Ms. Kornetsky has Georgie, the Sharpei, and Miss Penny, the cat as major characters.   
I said in my review of Collared that Ms. Kornetsky portrays a very strong female protagonist as well as an equally strong male protagonist.   I like the fact that Ms. Kornetsky can portray a strong female without having the need to demean her male counterpart.   As much as I like strong female protagonists, I have seen where some authors feel that if the woman is strong the man must be a buffoon or patented stupid.   Sadly too many people still have difficulty with equality that men and women can operate together as equals.  Some how that just shouldn’t be a revelation. 

Ginny and Teddy are both back.  They complement each other’s skill sets quite nicely.   They still insist they are not investigators or at least Teddy does.   Their rivalry seems to have cooled and they are more partners now than adversaries.  Seth the cook involves the two pseudo-detectives with his friend, Deke.   Deke is dealing with life through the haze of multiple concussions in the boxing ring.   Another animal is introduced too, Parsifal an abandoned terrier.   Deke's eviction from his home avalanches into another full blown pet mystery. 

I have always enjoyed anthropomorphism and I think the addition of the pets adds flavor to the story.  They are still not prominent in the story but do figure into the plot line.   The intimate watering hole of Mary's reminds me of a similar but different bar in college where the owner/bartender wouldn't serve of age students more than one beer during the week when they were supposed to study.   On week ends, he was happy to serve you as long as you were keeping your grades up.  Places like Mary's exist but need to be discovered.

This book deals with concerns about the treatment of animals and is an ideal read for Animal Welfare Week. 

I enjoyed the book and look forward to sequels.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, October 6, 2014

In honor of Animal Welfare Week (October 5-11) and National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week (November 2-8)

Praise for the third Gin & Tonic Mystery, Doghouse:
“Human and animal characters are equally appealing.  A thoroughly enjoyable read.”  I Love a Mystery

Doghouse is a crafty mystery with engaging characters and countless unknowns…L.A. Kornetsky makes mysteries inventively delightful, and Doghouse entertains with wit and cleverness.”  Single Titles
“I recommend it to those that really like animals and cozy mysteries.”  Books and Things

“The third Gin & Tonic “researchtigations” is an appealing anthropomorphist amateur sleuth enhanced by life in a cheerful neighborhood bar. The lead humans and their animal owners remain fresh leads while the case proves bloody in the ring and the bar.”  The Mystery Gazette

“Sniffing out clues…L.A. Kornetsky brings back Ginny Mallard and her bartender friend Teddy Tonica, along with Ginny's pet shar-pei puppy and Teddy’s tabby cat, for their third outing in Doghouse.”  Library Journal

Praise for the second Gin & Tonic Mystery, Fixed:
“[Fixed] is the second foray into the lives of a very unlikely pair of investigators; unlikely and a whole lot of fun…Collared was the first title that introduced this extremely fun ‘family and friends’ grouping, and the author has come back with a sequel that will truly make Gin & Tonic a well-known duo! Very light-hearted, this is a great book. Any reader who likes the ‘cozy’ avenue will love this mystery, with a little bit of cat and dog language thrown in for fun.”  Suspense Magazine

Praise for the first Gin & Tonic Mystery, Collared:
“The plot moves quickly, enhanced by smart dialog and good characterizations…Recommended for purchase where pet mysteries are popular.”  Library Journal

Summary of Doghouse:
Amateur sleuths Ginny Mallard and Teddy Tonica and their furry partners prove in L.A. Kornetsky’s DOGHOUSE (Pocket Books; July 22, 2014; $7.99) that twelve legs are better than four when it comes to solving a risky new case in the third novel from the “entertaining” (Library Journal) Gin & Tonic mystery series.  At her favorite Seattle bar, professional concierge Ginny Mallard can always count on a perfectly mixed gimlet and a friendly welcome for her shar-pei, Georgie, from resident cat, Penny.  On this visit, Ginny gets an unexpected bonus.  One of the regulars asks her and her sometime partner, bartender Teddy Tonica, to save an old friend who’s facing eviction.  This is no simple landlord spat.  Rumors abound of an underground dogfighting ring on the premises—a crime guaranteed to get Gin’s hackles up. Gin and Teddy want to believe the old man is innocent of all charges, thought a new piece of evidence suggests otherwise.  Penny and Georgie keep their noses to the ground as they help their humans investigate the vicious animal rights case.  But the truth is buried deep, and digging it up will unearth dangerous complications for owners and animals alike.

About the author:
L. A. Kornetsky is the author of two previous Gin & Tonic mysteries.  She lives in New York City with two cats and a time-share dog, and also writes fantasy under the name Laura Anne Gilman.  She welcomes visitors, @LAGilman and Facebook L-A-Kornetsky.

See my review on Thursday October 9th on this blog. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hotelles by Emma Mars

This is a romantic novel that is supposed to be titillating.  A young girl, working as an escort, is set to marry a wealthy man.  

The proposition that a brother would seduce his future sister-in-law is a bit of a stretch but that is the least of the stretching to be done.   Annabelle is introduced to a variety of kinkiness by Louie, her future brother-in-law in a hotel that is dedicated to historic hookers. 

I guess there is a market for books like this, look at the success of Fifty Shades.   Personally I found the book boring rather than titillating but I suspect the target market is not retired men but but lovelorn of any age may enjoy it. 

Web site:  none found

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.