Books I have authored.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

A murder or a suicide of one or perhaps two in the tiny village of Fjallbacka, Sweden is the focus of the book.  Erica Falck arrives in her home town to settle her deceased parents affairs.   She is soon immersed in intrigue, death and mystery.

Ms. Lackberg crafts an intricate tale of deceit.   She provides a great deal of information about her characters by having them investigated by either her protagonist, Erica, or the secondary protagonist, Patrik, a local cop.   Her details provide plenty of clues but she does not allow resolution of the mysteries until the very end. 

Winston Churchill’s out of context quote is an apt description of this book; “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”  Just when you think you have puzzled out the solution, Ms. Lackberg throws a curve instead of a strike.  

This is an excellent, thought provoking, disturbing mystery that I highly recommend. 

Body of  work of Camilla Lackberg

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Albuquerque Turkey by John Vorhaus


An insider’s look at the world of the grifter, a peek into the mind of a con artist who struggle with his own identity in a convoluted and intricate plot of chicanery is the essence of this book.

Mr. Vorhaus does an excellent job at portraying con artists at work.   He delves into their motivation and desires.   He identifies grifters as living a life style not so much for the money but for the thrill of the scam.   Vorhaus used a lot of terminology that is specific to con artists but he deftly defined them so there was no confusion in regards to terminology.  

However the plot was astoundingly circuitous.   That isn’t to say it wasn’t entertaining but you were never quite sure what was going to happen next.   I like that.  I hate predictability in books, what fun is it to figure out the murder in the first 50 pages?  Amusingly Radar (the main protagonist) is in the same situation as the reader in trying to figure out what is going on.   This is difficult to quantify, I guess mystery or maybe action adventure, regardless of the label it was a quality reading experience.  

I enjoyed the book and I recommend the book.

Body of work of John Vorhaus




Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Disappointing Color Nook

I have an eReader from Augen.  It cost $89.00 at Kmart.   It is a bit quirky regarding some downloads
but for the most part it works as an eReader.
There is no, make that NO technical support from Augen.   It does have a color screen that is NOT
touch.  I have loaded in some family
photos and music.   I can read and listen
to music.   I can surf the web at speeds
akin to my old 56k modem.   It is not a
great eReader but it was cheap.


After much research I decided that the Nook was worth
looking at.   It has a color touch
screen, supports Flash and WIFI surfing.
From my reading it seemed like it is a thinly disguised iPad want-to-be.   The price compared to any other name brand
tablet is ridiculously cheap, $249.00.  

I have had a craving for a tablet ever since my dearly
beloved sister’s two week visit and her insidious purchase of an iPad2.   I don’t need any kind of tablet, I have an
adequate eReader,  a working laptop and
desktop so I really don’t NEED anyone’s tablet.
However there is no explaining lust and I sadly am in a stage of tablet
lust.   

Today I went to Staples to look at the Nook.   It was somewhat akin to the prince
discovering Cinderella was really the ugliest of the step sisters.   Now I will offer the caveat that it was the
Staples display model.   This caveat will
allow Barnes and Noble the opportunity to claim that the display model was
defective and truly it may have been.  If
after waving my arms and kneeling in subservience I had gotten someone from Staples
to come over and talk with me, I may have discovered that the display Nook was
not representative of a fresh, out of the box Nook.   Since none of the aforementioned behavior
was able to attract a Staples sales consultant, I really don’t know if my evaluation
of the Nook is accurate. 

It seemed a tad heavy but solid feeling.   The touch screen was more like a jab
screen.  It certainly didn’t have as
sensitive touch as my beloved Droid X.
It was slowwwwwwww.   Trying to
move from screen to screen was dreadfully slow.   Again, no comparisons to the Droid X which
is just a phone.   Who knows how surfing
would be as the browser said the settings were wrong for wireless and the unit
would not allow entry to the settings to check them for the wireless connection?  The single story I got to load was a cute
little color picture book featuring an elephant.   The story paged well after it loaded and
really that is crucial in an eReader.
Overall my sampling of the Nook left my tablet lust feeling as if a bucket
of ice cold logic had been dumped on me. 

 I really wanted to
like it so I could convince myself to buy it.
Comparing it to the Augen at $89.00 and zero tech support, I have to
feel a little better about my Augen.   Be
careful what you read!  I have read many
kudos for the Nook but my personal experience has been less than stellar.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Visitor Count Soars!

My Thanks to Microsoft Clip Art for the above.  My apologies if any of it says something besides Thank You!
Thank you, who ever you are.   For some reason my visitor count is up dramatically on all three of my blogs.   More important is that quite a few of you are return visitors.     Please note, I do not try and capture any info or place any cookies, I just get attendance numbers not ip addresses.  


Thanks for visiting and please comment when you visit.  Feedback is crucial to know what I am doing right or wrong as far as posts.   As far as my life, well that boat has sailed, critiquing that is probably futile.

Thank you again!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Ridge by Michael Koryta

Once again, Michael Koryta takes ordinary folks and puts them in extraordinary situations fraught with danger and mystery.   A lighthouse in the woods and an exotic cat rescue center draw focus on the deep woods surrounding a remote mining community with an unusual number of deaths.


Michael Koryta has the ability to bring to the printed word characters that you might know.   His characterizations are detailed and clear.   He paints scenarios that are vivid and emotionally evocative.  I found myself humming The Lions Roar Tonight several times as I read.    

Kevin Kimble’s infatuation was more far fetched than many things in the book, the man had a huge capacity for forgiveness.    To my mind, the eliciting of emotions is a mark of a successful author.   Koryta successfully draws out tension, anxiety, pity, empathy, anger, frustration, fear and love.   His books are difficult to qualify, not horror but certainly not mundane fiction.  

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of Michael Koryta

Web site: http://www.michaelkoryta.com/


Friday, June 17, 2011

Sisters brothers by Patrick Dewitt

This is a psychological western from the San Francisco gold rush days.  You might say it is a profile of two aberrant cowboy hit men.

Eli and Charlie sister were among the most complicated characters I've ever encountered.   Charlie and Eli had an abusive father.  The impact their childhood had on there well being and on their adult behavior is a major factor in the book.  I am not fond of the cowboy genre however this book surprised me.

The plot was a bit convoluted but it was certainly interesting.  I didn't find single admirable character, I just couldn’t like the brothers or even any of their victims.  However the book is populated by a wealth of colorful characters.  If you're interested in a read off your beaten path this might be the book for you.

I recommend it.

Body of work of Patrick Dewitt




Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Revelations by Laurel Dewey

This is a Jane Perry mystery.  This is also a test of bloggers mobile blogging.  I am dictating this review on my B e l o v e d droid x.  This is a mystery of great depth and very intricate prose.  It is a complicated plot about a murder or is it?
James Perry is not a lovable protagonist.  She has lots of bad habits and an antagonistic personality.  Of course the same traits make her much more believable.  Weyler her partner, has extraordinary patience. 

There is a wealth of curious characters with strange and bizarre behavior.  Dewey excels on developing interesting characters.

On occasion I found some of the longer soliloquies tedious to read.  Overall though it was a very good mystery which I recommend.


The above post was submitted via mobile blogging ap from Blogger, I added the rating and the Amazon ad once I got home to my computer.  Still one more way technology makes my heart sing!

Revenge served cold by Jackie Fullerton


This is a complex mystery with a touch of the occult.  It has lots of action entertaining characters.

Anne Marshall has a strange relationship with her father.  He is dead.  Ann's relationship with a ghost also includes crime fighting.

Anne is likeable and incredibly naive.  Frankly the ghost was easier to believe than the fact that the cops accepted her egregious behavior.

We should all have friends as accepting as Anne’s friends.   

The author provided a very diverse cast of characters who supported Anne’s often reckless behavior.  Love, jealousy, anger and revenge provide a cocktail of interest and entertainment in this book.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of Jackie Fullerton




Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Guest Post by M.J. Rose the author of The Hypnotist"




What Inspired The Hypnotist – by M. J. Rose



Growing up, I didn't want to be a writer; I wanted to be an artist. We lived a block away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I started taking Saturday morning art classes there when I was just seven years old.

I've often felt art is my religion and that museums in general, but the Met specifically, are my temples of choice. That's where I go to be renewed, refreshed and inspired. I don't think I've ever gone longer than a month without visiting there.

So it’s not all that surprising that sooner or later I'd write a novel with a museum as one of my main characters and that I'd pick the museum that was in my backyard when I was a kid.

But how I got idea for The Hypnotist is surprising, at least to me. Sometimes I find it reassuring. Other times frightening. See what you think.

One day about three and a half years ago, on one of my regular pilgrimages to the Met, I headed straight for one of my favorite spots. The Mastaba Tomb of Perneb is a tiny bit of Fifth Dynasty Egypt transplanted to Manhattan, a gift from Edward S. Harkness to the museum in 1913.

You can enter the limestone tomb from the left or the right. One doorway leads to the main offering chapel. I took the other, which leads to a second ritual chamber. The space is very small and only three or four people can fit at the same time. I was lucky to be in the intimate ritual chamber alone and looking through the slot in the wall at a wooden statue of Perneb in the room beyond known as a serdab. In ancient times this passageway allowed for family and priests to offer up incense and chants to the deceased.

I heard footsteps. A little girl about seven or eight had entered and came up beside me to look through the slot. She had long blonde hair and was wearing a school uniform. I watched her examine the space, giving every section careful attention.

"It hasn't changed much at all," she said finally in a wistful voice.

I asked her what she meant.

"Since the last time I was here," she said.

Something about the way she said it made me curious. "When was that?" I asked.

"When I lived in Egypt."

"You know this tomb has been on display in this museum since 1916." I said.

"I lived in Egypt way before that," she said and smiled. She was about to say something else when from outside the chamber an older woman's voice called out.

"Veronica, it's time to go. Now. Please."

The little girl ran off, quickly, without looking back, without giving me a chance to ask her anything else.
Even though I write about reincarnation, I haven't had any meaningful reincarnation episodes of my own. I don't get visitations. I've never seen a ghost. But I'm not sure what happened that afternoon.

I can picture Veronica in her navy jumper and white blouse that had a dark smudge on the collar. She had a one-inch scratch on her left hand. Her hair was pulled off her face with a silver barrette. A lot of curls had escaped. She had a child's voice but it was so charged with adult emotion.

It was that emotion which sparked the idea for my novel, The Hypnotist. And the paintings and sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum that fueled it.

If you go the Met, please go visit Perneb's tomb. And if you see a little girl there with long blonde hair and a blue school uniform... ask her if her name is Veronica... and if it is, thank her for me.

Thank you Ms. Rose for your guest post!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Interview With the Author of The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose

An Interview With M.J. Rose the author of The Hypnotist"

Thank you for taking the time to answer yet more questions about your work.   

1.)            What initiated this particular burst of creativity?
I was at the Metropolitan Musuem in NY, re-vsiting one of favorite spots. The Mastaba Tomb of Perneb - a tiny bit of Fifth Dynasty Egypt transplanted to Manhattan, a gift from Edward S. Harkness to the museum in 1913.

I was in the second ritual chamber. The space is very small and only three or four people can fit at the same time. I was lucky to be in the intimate ritual chamber alone and looking through the slot in the wall at a wooden statue of Perneb in the room beyond known as a serdab. In ancient times this passageway allowed for family and priests to offer up incense and chants to the deceased.

I heard footsteps. A little girl about seven or eight had entered and came up beside me to look through the slot. She had long blonde hair and was wearing a school uniform. I watched her examine the space, giving every section careful attention.

“It hasn’t changed much at all,” she said finally in a wistful voice.

I asked her what she meant.

“Since the last time I was here,” she said.

Something about the way she said it made me curious. “When was that?” I asked.

“When I lived in Egypt.”

“You know this tomb has been on display in this museum since 1916.” I said.

“I lived in Egypt way before that,” she said and smiled. She was about to say something else when from outside the chamber an older woman’s voice called out.

“Veronica, it’s time to go. Now. Please.”

The little girl ran off, quickly, without looking back, without giving me a chance to ask her anything else.
Even though I write about reincarnation, I haven’t had any meaningful reincarnation episodes of my own. I don’t get visitations. I’ve never seen a ghost. But I’m not sure what happened that afternoon.

I can picture Veronica in her navy jumper and white blouse that had a dark smudge on the collar. She had a one-inch scratch on her left hand. Her hair was pulled off her face with a silver barrette. A lot of curls had escaped. She had a child’s voice but it was so charged with adult emotion.

It was that emotion which sparked the idea for my novel, And the paintings and sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum that fueled it.

If you go the Met, please go visit Perneb’s tomb. And if you see a little girl there with long blonde hair and a blue school uniform… ask her if her name is Veronica… and if it is, thank her for me.

 2.) You seem to have the ability to combine facets of the occult with mystery,  do you believe in reincarnation yourself or is it just a literary strategy?
I started off not not believing when I wrote The Reincarnationist. But now I do believe.

3.) What do you like the most about writing?
Disappearing from this world into the strange odd place that exists where stories live.

4.)  Where do your new story ideas come from?
It feels like them come from the ether… but I read a lot and look a lot and the ideas seems to sprout from odd little facts or from images that strike me and stick with me. 

5.) What advice has helped the most in your writing?
Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

6.) You have a wealth of successful books; do you have something new in the works?
I’m always two books ahead… I have to have lots of ideas … I live in fear of having to be in the world without a fictional place to escape to.

7.) Who is your favorite author and why?
This is always the hardest question. There are so many.
As I write this – Frances Hodgson Burnett and her book The Secret Garden is one.
It was one of the first novels that made me think about writing a book myself even though I was very young. My mother had been reading The Secret Garden to me one night when I stopped her and asked her if we could go to see the garden in the book the next day.

She explained it was made up.

Even though I knew about make believe at that point, I'd never before connected the concept to books. I was enthralled.

My mother later told me that I declared that night that when I grew up I was going to write books about discovering a secret garden.

In a way I do that now, as an author, because isn't writing mystery or suspense novel very much like uncovering gardens that have been hidden and secreted away?

8.) What advice would you give for the want to be writer?
 
Write because you love writing. Make it about the process not the result or the benefits  - Very few authors make a living doing this – but if you love the writing itself you can have a wonderful life. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions.  I appreciate it and I am sure my readers and your readers are delighted to get your insights.  Best of luck on your new book(s). 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Hypnotist" by M.J. Rose


A mayhem fest sets the stage for an FBI art crime investigator.  A search for memory tools to prove and facilitate reincarnation, leads to death, destruction and redemption.

Lucien Glass lives with loss.   His life has been defined by his loss.   Ms. Rose paints Lucien’s pain and pathos with diligence.   You have to be made of stone not to feel for the guy.   His perseverance in his work is fuel by his frustration and loss.   

The story had subtle levels of deception that touched on current events while titillating with the bizarre and macabre.   Iranian terrorists, monomaniacal philanthropists, demented movie moguls combine for a delightful bouillabaisse to tickle the literary palate.   And lest I forget, a poignant love story to round out this excellent book.  

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of M.J. Rose