Great News for Crimson Knight!

Crimson Knight was successfully rereleased by Kindle Direct Publishing earlier in the week.  Several days before that, I was successful at getting the ebook version finally edited and formatted properly so it could be published as well.  It’s now live on Amazon.com along with the print version.

Over the last few days, I’ve begun work on producing the audio book version of Crimson Knight as many of my friends listen to audio books and requested one of my book.  I don’t speak as well as I once did now that I have dentures and a fake palette covering most of the roof of my mouth so doing the narrative myself is out of the question.  I posted the job on Audible, Amazon’s audio book production arm, and I actually sent a proposal to a narrator after listening to some of the narrators’ audition recordings the same day I posted the job.

She turned me down.  I began to worry about finding someone much less figuring out how to pay them.  I wondered if I should even pursue this avenue.  I let it go a day and then, early yesterday morning, I got a message from Audible saying someone had sent me an audition recording.  I listened to it, and I was amazed by the man’s talent.  I read his profile, and it said he’d just completed his 50th book on Audible!  I began to think he was out of my league!

Since he’d sent a message with his audition recording wanting to know more about the book, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to talk to him a bit.  We exchanged messages, and he was very understanding of this being my first attempt at creating an audio book and working with Audible.  Long story short, I listened to two more audition recordings from two other narrators, and I decided to go with the first guy.

We have a contract now and are moving forward with the project.  I will get the first 15 minutes of the story in about a week and after going over that with the narrator, I won’t get anything again until the initial recording is complete.  My projected release date is 10 May, 2019 – the day before my birthday.

I am learning a lot from this process, and I’m feeling a bit more confident with it.  I’m going to be editing cover art for the audio book next.

Below is the link to the print and ebook versions of Crimson Knight.  If you do decide to grab a copy, please leave a review!  I don’t care if it’s bad or good, I welcome all feedback!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

The Steel Kiss – Jeffery Deaver

My copy of this book is a trade paperback printed in 2016 by Hachette Book Group.  The Copyright of 2016 is held by Gunner Publications LLC.  This story was originally published in hardback and ebook by Grand Central Publishing in 2016.

As usual, Mr. Deaver does not fail to put in some plot twists. One is very ingenuous as it’s in what he doesn’t say 🙂  I can’t say more without giving away the story so, I won’t.  The story is a real attention grabber as well because it makes you think: what if?

The story is about a man who is using remote access to cloud based “brains” to kill people from afar.  This same man also uses a ball peen hammer for close up work.  Lincoln Rhyme, our fearless quadraplegic detective, has retired from police work to teach and persue more “civilian” work.  Detective Amelia Sachs, his lover and partner, is not happy about that but is working out of police headquarters despite him.  Lincoln takes on an intern as he accepts a job helping a family whose father and sole provider is killed by what appears to be a faulty escalator at a local mall.  Detective Sachs is hunting for a killer who crushes people’s heads in and whose unusual physical attributes still don’t help her find him.  The action revs up almost from the get go and runs almost full throttle all the way to the end!!  I read this one in one sitting as well!!

Love Mr. Deaver’s work!!  Can’t you tell? 😀

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves crime books and whodunits!  Still, don’t take my word for it.  Get a copy from your local library and try it out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  Maybe you should get a tattoo to keep from being possessed. 😀

Personal Update – June 5, 2018

Public: Hello there! Nice to see you so soon after your last post!

Me: Hi!  Yep, I’m scheduling more time for blogging, but I’m not going to do it every day like I was because it becomes too much like a chore and isn’t much fun.

Public: We fully understand.  So, what’s new?

Me: I took down my Etsy store – I hated the name was the main reason.  I’ll open another one when I’ve had some time to really do some research.  I can’t afford to put money into something that isn’t going to do much.

Public: We don’t think anyone does. Are you still making things for charity?

Me: Oh yes!  I’ve just sent off a bag full of  hats, nearly finished a lapghan, and I’m getting ready to make more squares for two granny lapghans I’m working on.

Public: Have you heard back about The Inbetween yet?

Me: No, but the submission said I’d hear back by the end of June so, still waiting.  I’ve scheduled time to work on Mr. Nobody so I can get it on Wattpad by the end of the month.  I’ve decided not to make it into a full novel because the story just won’t gel for me.

Public: At least you’ll be writing again.

Me: Very true.  I’m also making time for reading, and I’m about to start on Jeffrey Deaver’s Solitude Creek.

Public: Sounds interesting.

Me: I hope it is.  Well, I’ve got to go, I’ve got to work tonight so I need to get some sleep.

Catch you all on the flipside and don’t forget your towels and sonic screwdrivers!!

Stephen King – End of Watch

First off, let me say how much of a fangirl I am of Stephen King’s writing.  I can’t say of the man because I have never actually met him, but his writing – OMG!!  I discovered Mr. King in the fall of 1984.  I was in school and found his book, IT, in the school library.  It was a hardcover without a dust jacket.  It was gray all over with IT in red letting that looked almost slashed into the cover.  I was intrigued as I had not read a horror story before – the book cover gave no clue what genre it was and I didn’t bother to look at the inside of the book.

Anyway, I started reading the book, and I couldn’t put it down.  I read it far past my bedtime, I read it during lunch at school and even in some of my classes when I got my work done early.  It took me three days to read the entire book and from then on, I was hooked.  My second book by him was Carrie as I wanted to start from the beginning.

Now, almost 34 years later, I am still a major fan of his work, and the most recent book of his I have read is called End of Watch.

From the moment I opened the book and began to read, I was hooked.  Just like with It, I couldn’t put the book down!  Unlike IT, it took me less than 24 hours to read it from cover to cover. I was disappointed not to see the Dear Reader missive I’ve gotten used to seeing at the end of the book – there was Author’s Note instead.  Ah well, things do change….

End of Watch is related to two other books written by Mr, King: Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.  It brings the story thread full circle in fact, and the ending is one you should definitely get to.

The main bad guy in this book is Brady Hartsfield, a major psycho if ever there was one.  The good guys are Retired Detective Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney with some help from Jerome Robinson.  Mr. King has fleshed out these characters so well you loathe the bad guy and really dig the good guys.  I actually cried about one of them, and I don’t usually cry over fictional characters so kuddos to you Mr. King.

Brady is a mass murderer who killed 8 people with a car and injured quite a few more in the first book to introduce him.  Holly stops him from killing hundreds more using a bomb by smacking him in the head with a sock containing ball bearings – big ones.  In this book, Brady has learned how to leave his wasted body and “ride” along inside of other people’s brains.  He’s also learned a lot about mind control and hypnosis.  Combining all this, he plans to kill a whole lot more people – kids mostly – and not get blamed for it.  He is the “prince of suicide” after all.

Bill has retired from the police force since Brady was captured, survived a heart attack and opened up a detective agency with Holly.  Now, he’s been told he has pancreatic cancer, and it’s pretty bad.  Once people who survived Brady’s rampage with the car begin committing suicide, he thinks of Brady right away.  He puts off treatment of his condition until he finds a way to stop the once perceived brain dead man with the help of Holly and Jerome.

The story is often fast paced with heart pounding action Mr. King is wonderful at creating!  The feasibility of what he proposes could happen is what is more frightening than anything else in the book.  Violence is a bit graphic but not unduly so – be fair warned.  The book, as a whole, is happily fantastic and well worth reading!

As usual, don’t take my word for it.  Read it, or not, as you wish.  I know there are some people out there who don’t like Mr. King’s writing (oh say it isn’t so!!), and that’s their prerogative.  I’m not a literary expert or anything and even if I was, you should make up your own mind and not follow what everyone else thinks.  You can miss out on a lot of fun experiences that way.

Thus ends my review, I’ll see you all on the flipside.  Don’t forget your towels or your sonic screwdriver – someone may need a bureau made at them! 🙂

As Promised – Kafka Mini Reviews

Just finished reading the last short story in the collection, and I am ready to write the mini reviews I promised you ages ago. 🙂

The last story I reviewed was The Stoker so I begin this with In The Penal Colony.

This short story, In The Penal Colony, was written in 1914 and published in 1919.  It is described as a parable.  I agree with this.  It’s describes a torture device that is actually put to use.  The description of that scene is pretty graphic and if you don’t like blood, you won’t want to read it.  It’s not scary, not by a long shot, just puts too much emphasis(in my opinion) on the bloody nature of the device.  It’s also one of his longer stories.

A Country Doctor is next.  It was written in 1916 and published in 1919.  This story must have been one of his “dream logic” stories because it was quite confusing.  Either that or the doctor, while freezing to death waiting for a horse to take him on a house call, loses his mind; said mind going on one last house call that made very little sense.  Read it if you like, but I saw nothing to recommend it except Kafka’s emotive writing.  His use of words to convey surrealism on the verge of horror is fantastic.

An Old Leaf was published in 1919 with no mention of what year it was written – most likely 1916 along with A Country Doctor.  Not sure what this story was trying to say but at least it wasn’t that long.

A Hunger Artist, written in 1921 and published in 1924.  This short story is about an actual hunger artist who can’t seem to come to terms with how society viewed his idea of “art”.  People used to flock around people who were actual hunger artists but only because of the morbidity and oddity of these “performers”.  I found it interesting from a historic perspective.  I wouldn’t have considered these performances as being art.

Josephine, the Singer, or The Mouse People was also written in 1921 and published in 1924.  It’s a longer story, but it also deals with an artist who can’t come to grips with the way her society actually views her “art”.  I found this story to be boring.  I won’t lie since that would be a disservice to you, the readers of this review.  Read it for yourselves as you may get more out of it than I did.

The last story in the collection is actually part of a larger novel.  Before the Law, written in 1914 and published in 1919, is part of his completed novel The Trial which was published posthumously in 1925.  Before the Law is very short and doesn’t make any sense at all to me.  It might to you.  Personally, I think I’d rather read The Trial as context might help it make sense to me.

And thus ends my mini reviews of the remaining short stories of Franz Kafka.  As always,  I urge you readers to read this body of work for yourselves because only then can you truly know how you feel about them – know completely what you have brought away from reading them.  I am no expert on anything and thus, you have no need to take my word for anything in regards to this body of work or any other.  Don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that matter – find out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Kafka and More

I’ve almost finished reading the collection of short stories by Kafka.  I’ll do a quick overview of each one as soon as I’m done.  Writing complete reviews of each would rather spoil things for you, if I haven’t done so already with my other reviews.  Kafka is well worth a read because of the way he writes and not just what he writes.  I’m looking forward to reading at least one of his novels in the near future.

Working the mid shift I’m on at work has thrown my life out of whack.  I can’t really plan things like I could before.  I only have so much time before and after work to do things.  What makes things harder is that my back issues are getting worse since I started work.  I don’t lift heavy things but I do a lot of walking, bending over and other things which is causing me a lot of pain.  I have to force myself to work a full shift because by the time I’ve been there an hour my feet feel like I’ve been on them for days.  I’m going to call the doctor tomorrow to see about getting an appointment.  I need something done so I can keep working.

My filet crochet project of the peacock is nearing the end – only about 30 more rows to go – if I don’t decide to add panels to the side of it.  It is looking quite lovely, and I’ll be posting a picture of it when it’s done.

I messed around and missed the deadline for entering Mr. Nobody into the contest for FunDead Publications, but that’s okay because I’m going to turn the short story into a full length novel called The Demon’s Rules. 🙂

I joined Soldier’s Angels, a volunteer agency that links volunteers with soldiers and groups of soldiers here at home and abroad.  They have many teams doing things from writing letters to sending care packages to providing items for baby showers and other things as well.  All branches are served by this group, and I’m happy to be a part of the team.

I’m also loom knitting hats for cancer patients and veterans here in the States.  I’m only making one a day due to my schedule, but it’s still something.

So, I’m working, reading, writing, and crafting every day – very busy schedule. 🙂  How are things with you?

See you all on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Lindsay-Darkly Dreaming Dexter

What can I say, sometimes only the dark will do.  I am a big fan of the show and was sad when it ended so, I went looking for the books that inspired the show.  I’m disappointed to see so few have been written and hope more are on the way.  I guess we’ll see.

By the way, as I write this, I have a couple of guys doing some carpentry work close to my window and one of them is singing horribly off key.  I can only hear it when the saw is off so here’s to the saw running a lot!  I can handle that better than the horrible singing.

Anyway, this book was everything I’d hope for: the birth of Dexter and his Dark Passenger!  It gives you the great back story with just the right amount of flare and twisted darkness.  Imagine how a police officer, sworn to do his duty yet tired of seeing all his hard work thrown out by corrupt people within the system that is supposed to support him in his efforts to punish those who are threats to society for their crimes.  Then, imagine this same officer, tired off constantly losing and almost at his wits end, adopting a little orphan – a witness to a horrific murder and victim of the aftermath.  This self same orphan who, as he grows older, is found out by his law and order adopted dad to be a threat to society in the making.  What do you do?

If you watched even one episode of Dexter, you know what this poor yet honorable man did, and I, for one, think it was a great idea the writer had.  If you look at the incredible Hannibal Lecter character – he is finesse and polish, refined and educated – and a cannibal who is very select about whom he devours.  Dexter is a serial killer with only one type of victim – fellow killers.  You have to love the irony!

The author has made Dexter believable and interesting – a bit of dark humor in the thoughts running through his head as he gives the reader his inner dialogue.  He is as charming as he can be, admits he’s not as “human” seeming as everyone else, but he’s appealing just the same.

The book plot isn’t just about Dexter killing someone – oh no.  There is a story here, a purpose behind what he does.  He is a Blood Splatter Specialist and he assists his police officer adopted sister with her cases – when she needs him.  The book starts with a murder, one committed by Dexter, and then moves on to more murders – not Dexter’s handiwork but oh so close!!  It takes both Dexter and his sister, Deborah, to figure out the murderer….and I will not spoil the ending for you!

This book, as you can tell, is one I highly recommend even if you’ve either never seen the show or, don’t like the show for whatever reason. 🙂  I’m working on getting the next one in the series.

That’s it for now my friends, see you on the flipside and remember, please, your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Riggs – Hollow City

“The second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” – as written  on the cover of the novel.  Written by Ransom Riggs and published by Quirk Books.  Copyright 2014 .  The copy I have is a paperback of trade size and 396 pages of story followed by Acknowledgements(I don’t read those usually) and a section called A Conversation with Ransom Riggs.  The book is rounded out by an excerpt from the third novel in the series.

The first novel of this series was made into a movie, and it was almost as peculiar as the book. I’d like to see this one also made into a movie, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest it will.  A great many people don’t enjoy the peculiar.  It makes them uncomfortable.  I don’t mind as long as the peculiarity is done correctly and not used to simply make a joke.  Those types of jokes are horrible to me – my first thought was obscene but upon reflection, I think that word is a bit harsh.

The book itself was wonderful, well written and quite moving at times.  The author portrays the reality of war while throwing in the oddness of the children as a way of throwing you off the harshness of the reality.  Children do die, people and animals do die in this book but not for nothing.  The story moves on, motivates our cast of children, and we go on with them.

This is not a happy story though there are parts that are relatively sweet and lovely.  Some scenes touch on the idyllic.  Still, this is not a happy story nor is it meant to be.  It’s a story of a group of special people trying to survive while another group of people attempt to either imprison them or destroy them.  This is a story of survival and at times, it gets a bit grim.  Still, it has its merits, and I think it’s a very good read.

I would suggest reading it, especially if you have seen the movie or read the first book – or both.  It has a nice twist in it as well as some new peculiar children you didn’t meet in the first novel.  I’m looking forward to reading the third book – our young hero, Jacob, is becoming quite an interesting fellow.

Well my friends, I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget to bring your towel and sonic screwdriver – things might get a bit….peculiar.

Hemingway – For Whom the Bell Tolls – a Reprise

I just finished reading the entire novel.  My copy was printed by Scribner.  It’s a 471 page paperback book of the usual proportions.  I took a day off from reading to work on some other projects I have going and then, last night, I completed the book while listening to Areosmith and Rammstein. Great coupling it turned out to be.

This story is about Robert Jordan, an American professor of Spanish who takes a sabbatical in Spain and gets involved in the revolution as Franco tries to take over Spain for the Communists.  I don’t know much about that war because it was in the late 30s – the US had not become involved in WW II at that time.

Robert Jordan is used as a “dynamiter” – he blows things up.  Things like bridges and trains that are useful to the Communist but not to the revolution.  He is quite successful until he joins up with a group of guerillas in the mountains.  He is sent there to blow up a bridge – nothing more.  He meets a girl, he meets a coward, and he meets people determined to win the war.

Hemingway wrote a powerful story.  His words were fairly minimal when he describes people and places, but he fills them out using the characters – how they feel and behave and think about who and what is around them.

There is a lot of emotion in this book, bravery, cowardice, stress, sorrow and much more, twined around the scenes of action that are caught in vignettes.  These short scenes are more than a drawn out scene would be – in my humble opinion.

This story is more than just about the war, more than just about Robert Jordan and his exploits, and Hemingway shows us all these things with style and wit and grace; he doesn’t shove ideals or morals or anything else down our throats.  He lets us come away with what we want.

The end of the story is something else.  I look forward to reading more of Hemingway’s novels.  I can’t say this novel ended in true Hemingway style because I don’t know what his style of ending is yet.

I recommend this book to anyone who has ever read his short works and wants to see enjoy a longer piece.  He remains, a master of prose, even in this venue.

That’s all folks, see you on the flipside.  Don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls

This is actually the first novel of the great writer’s that I have read. I have only read his essays before.  I am still not finished with the book to be honest, but I felt I needed to comment on it anyway.

I don’t usually read books about war, but this was about so much more than just war.  This was a slice of life that was happening in the midst of the war and shown from the side of those not in service.  These were Spanish peasants who were fighting a revolution, and the American who was a part of that fight.

The words Hemingway uses are so wonderful and so descriptive.  I don’t know if they actually spoke the way he portrays them, but I’m amused by how he leaves out the cursing by using the word “obscenity” are variations thereof.  It lends a bit of levity in an otherwise very emotional and/or dramatic scene.

The characters are fleshed out so well you would swear you knew someone just like them some time in your life.  He doesn’t go into detail about how they look, it’s how they act and how others treat them, that shows you who they are.

If you can’t already tell, I’m enjoying this story more than I thought I would.  I’m about halfway through it and just started it this morning.  I have read many others, and I will tell you about them, from my point of view, later.

On a personal note: I didn’t pass my training with a high enough grade so, I am back to looking for work again. I am also back on the boat I was on before, in a cramped space, feeling sorry for myself and being utterly miserable.  However, I am making the best of it I can, and I will continue on as best I can looking for work and trying not to be too miserable.

Cheers, and I’ll see you on the flipside.   Don’t forget your towel and your sonic screwdriver.  Oh yes, and don’t feed the cat.  He tends to bite.