Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!

Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.

Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Kiss and Kill by Dale Hudson

Rick Pulley was a minister and missionary along with his wife, Patty Jo.  They traveled playing Christian music and ministering to youth.  Then one day Patty Jo disappears leaving a grieving Rick and friends.  Only after her body is found much later, it turns out their marriage was not what it seemed and Rick had dark secrets.

What I liked the most about this book, is the way the author does deep research and really makes you feel like you know the people involved.  It is a skill I have found in his other books as well.

After his first book - An Hour to Kill, I corresponded with him and he was generous enough to give me VHS tapes of some of the interviews he had with Ken Register.  It was fascinating.  Unfortunately Dale, died several years ago in a drowning accident.  A real loss.

True Crime at its best.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Communication is a necessity - Metro

Last night's commute:

Got to transfer station, there were 6 green line trains and 4 yellow trains to the Airport in the 45 minutes I stood there. THEN there was a yellow line Huntington train, so I got on – relieved. Then after another stop, they announced it was being changed to an Airport train. So I would have to go to airport and wait for ANOTHER Huntington train. Now, Huntington trains are supposed to be every 24 minutes during this surge, but obviously they are not. So get to airport and could barely get off the train because the platform was completely full of people. So, even if another Huntington train came I wouldn’t be able to get on it. Probably it would take at least two of them, so at every 24 minutes that would be about an hour and a half. And they already weren’t sticking to the 24 minutes thing. All this time, there were no text alerts, email alerts, website postings or announcements over the speakers.

So, two other women and I shared an uber from the airport to the metro station where our cars were. So MORE money. It was insane and frustrating.

And the real problem was the no communication thing. Why Metro can't just tell people what is going on is beyond me....

I noticed this a lot at a prior job, where people would call and call about their claims and get angrier and angrier because no one was calling them back. The claims rep's response was they were waiting for the insurance company to update them. THAT was true but if they had only just called the person back and told them that it would have gone a LONG way to diffusing all the anger.

It seems obvious to me and I try to live by it myself. I wish others would learn the lesson.

As for metro, it is even more annoying because the new GM swore on better communication. HAH!

So, let's see how tonight's commute goes.... It is going to be a LONG several weeks.

Terri

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

Lana is a Reaper, harvesting souls and bringing them to the appropriate afterlife.  She does her job, often skirting the rules.  Only now, something big is going down in Eternity and she needs to harvest a special soul that will save it.  There are those that will try and stop her and allies that will help her.

I loved this book.  A fun world built of various deities from various religious belief systems, run by Grim like a corporation.  A lot of political haggling and deals being made.  The story is full of unexpected twists and turns and hidden loyalties.  A Hodge Podge of deities and paranormal beings make it a fun mash up with some serious suspense.

Terri

Review: Assault And Beret: By Jenn McKinlay

Vivian Tremont and her cousin Scarlett Parker own their London Hat Shop but when Viv is invited to Paris to teach a class on hat-making she seizes the opportunity to go because she wants to get an annulment from a husband nobody knew had a husband.

Vivian takes Scarlett with her because she needs Scarlett to find her missing husband. Scarlett finds William Graham that is she finds William after she recovers from the shock that Vivian had a husband.

William is an insurance investigator of art and recently a small Renoir has been found in a junk shop. This leads to a merry chase when William is kidnapped right in front of Scarlett and Vivian.

Things go from bad to worse and soon Harrison Wentworth (Harry) to Scarlett arrives from London to help find Viv's husband and to see the love of his life Scarlett. She needs his help and Viv definitely needs Harry's connections.
Together Harry and Scarlett begin following the clues and some rather unique and unsavory characters.
What they find at the end of their search is not only unpredictable but could get them all killed.

Assault And Beret by Jenn McKinlay is penned with a Paris flavor and if you have an admiration for Paris Fashion you won't want to miss reading this mystery.
This mystery has a flair for fashion, art and the foodie in all of us.
I enjoy this series and while I love visiting their London hat shop I have to say it was nice to see them away from the shop in one of the most romantic and mysterious locations in the world.
I give this book in the series a 9 out of 10.
Pamela James


Blog: Dark and Stormy

Tonight was a dark and stormy night. I love reading on a dark and stormy night.
We lost television reception tonight.
I curled up with my mystery and read until life in Kansas returned to our version of normal on my little street.
What is your favorite weather to read by? I would have loved to have read a ghost story but a mystery served me well tonight.
Hugs,
Pam

Monday, March 6, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

Hmmm….


Writing is a strange business. I mean, it’s fun to tell stories but sometimes I become plotless, and that’s not a good thing.

For instance, I know who the victim is in the next Daisy Gumm Majesty book (Spirits Unearthed) and I know who dunnit. It’s those pesky 300+ pages in the middle I have to figure out. I expect Daisy to do more spiritualist stuff, which is fun and should take up several pages. And maybe Sam’s Voodoo juju will pester him again (it did in the forthcoming Daisy book, Spirits United).

As a fake spiritualist-medium in the 1920s, Daisy has a built great business for herself and her family. True, she lies to people for a living, but she justifies her line of work by reminding herself she helps grieving family members and friends by reassuring them the dear departed is happy on the other side of life. Above anything, Daisy doesn’t want anyone to commit suicide because they want to rejoin their late beloved. I guess that’s a sound answer to people, including her fiancé, Sam Rotondo, who tell her they think it’s rotten of her to fool people. Of course, Daisy generally reminds him that the people she fools want to be fooled. Fair enough for government work, as folks used to say. Not sure they say that anymore—or that it’s true—but what the heck.

As a plotless Daisy story whirls in my head, I’m also getting ready to visit my own and Daisy’s old stomping grounds, Pasadena, California. The reason for this sudden trip is lousy, but I expect to see some of my old favorite sites. That should be nice.

In the meantime, as I was trying to clean up stuff, work-wise, before my trip, I decided the book I’ve wanted to finish for more than a decade now will never get written if I don’t have a deadline. I haven’t written to a deadline in… well, a whole bunch of years. So I decided what the heck and sent a query to an editor. Much to my astonishment, the editor emailed me the next day and asked me to send him the full proposal. So I did. With any luck he’ll reject the book, but if he doesn’t, I’ll be in full-blown panic mode as I finish that book and try to figure out the next Daisy plot.

Sometimes I think I’m an absolute idiot. Other times I’m sure of it. Sighhhhhh.

Anyway, I’ll be in touch with the winners GENTEEL SPIRITS, February’s contest book, individually. At the end of March, I’ll give away three copies of the original hardback version of FALLEN ANGELS.

By the way, FALLEN ANGELS won the Arizona/New Mexico Book of the Year Award in 2012 for best mystery/thriller (tied with Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’s THE AMERICAN CAFÉ). As a rule I don’t enter contests, since I share George C. Scott opinion about judging the worth of artistic endeavors. I honestly don’t think you can say one book is better than another if you’re comparing, say, COCAINE BLUES by Kerry Greenwood, to GONE GIRL by Jillian Flynn. Personally, I loved the one and detested the other. If all judges of all book contests were like me, GONE GIRL wouldn’t have been the fabulous success it was. I’m probably wrong, but it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it, darn it!

Also (this is silly) the only reason I entered the AZ/NM BOTY contest was because, the state of literacy in New Mexico being what it is (abysmal), the notion tickled me. Sometimes I think I have a black heart.

Anyhow, if you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in newsletters, because I only write one blog a month). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!




Blog: Weekend Viewing

My weekend movie and series viewing is a Hodge podge of fun.

Of course, we watched Harry Potter Movies. These are Frank's comfort views.
I watched Midsomer Murders because they will have a new season out soon. 
Tonight we watched Feud as this was on FX and it added a lighter touch to the weekend. 
I watched Jesse Stone Movies/series that was on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. 
Yesterday was Columbo Marathon and I watched a few of those shows.
I also watched some Vera episodes on Acorn as soon there will be a new series.
Oh and we watched Woman Of The Year on Friday night.

T have taped Time after Time it's a modern day hunt for Jack The Ripper.
I also will watch Elementry as soon as I can and this morning my daughter will call me.
We also have predictions for rain and I hope the bad weather won't make me resume my blog work and write reviews.
Okay, I am off to bed my daughter will call early in the morning and I'm reading a really good book. 
Until later have a great Monday.

Love,
Pam

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Movie Blog: Dandelion Dead

Acorn has another movie that I think will be a huge hit.
DANDELION DEAD stars Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War), he is a widower and soon strange things begin to happen to certain family members. His oldest daughter thinks the world of him but it soon becomes apparent that he is not always a truthful fellow.

Later we find out that he most certainly can't be trusted. This is a movie filled with speculation and stays true to the time frame.

Scotland Yard sends someone to investigate what is going on and I have to say this proves to be a top notch movie. 

In some ways the movie is predictable and in other ways, it's a very sporting game of cat and mouse. 

If you love Micheal Kitchen as much as I do then you will want to see this movie.
I give it an 8 out of 10. 

Pamela

Review: Tail Wagging Trouble by Leona Fox

Ellen returned to thesmall town of East Pender and is running a local cafe. When George's dog Scampy shows up alone and onsists she follow him home, she finds george dead.  What looks natural leaves a suspicion of foul play in local cop - Andy.  Ellen soon decides to get involved and forms a rather silly plan involving Scampy to find the killer.  

This is a first novel and has the feel of it.  I liked the characters but the mystery was rather simplistic - only one suspect and and badly explained method of murder.  The book really need fleshed out with at least some other suspects.  Then the confrontation with the killer really seemed predictable and a bit boring.

I think this series has potential and I hope the romance develops as well.  I just hope for more involved mysteries going forward.

Terri

Thursday, February 23, 2017

2016 Nebula Awards Nominees

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce the 2016 Nebula Awards nominees (to be presented in 2017), for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The winners will be announced at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 51st Annual Nebula Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, which takes place from Thursday, May 18th through Sunday, May 21st at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center.
The nominees are as follows:

Novel
  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox GambitYoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)
Novella
  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (F&SF 3-4/16)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
Novelette      
  • ‘‘The Long Fall Up’’, William Ledbetter (F&SF 5-6/16)
  • ‘‘Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea’’, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 2/16)
  • “The Orangery”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • ‘‘Blood Grains Speak Through Memories’’, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies3/17/16)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • ‘‘You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay’’, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 5-6/16)
Short Story
  • ‘‘Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies’’, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
  • ‘‘Seasons of Glass and Iron’’, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • ‘‘Sabbath Wine’’, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • ‘‘Things With Beards’’, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 6/16)
  • ‘‘This Is Not a Wardrobe Door’’, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine 1/16)
  • ‘‘A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers’’, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com 3/2/16)
  • ‘‘Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 3/16)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)