Wednesday, September 25, 2013



  • Best Mystery Novel: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
  • Best First Mystery Novel: Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman (Minotaur Books-Thomas Dunn)
  • Best Mystery Non-Fiction: Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels, edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke (Simon & Schuster - Atria/Emily Bestler)
  • Best Mystery Short Story: "The Lord Is My Shamus" by Barb Goffman in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder (Wildside)
  • Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award: An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd (HarperCollins)

Review: Body Count By P.D. Martin

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; First Edition edition (January 1, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0778324117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778324119

  • Sophie Anderson is a profiler for the BAU and has moved from Australia to DC for the job.  When her friend Sam asks for her help compiling a profile for the so-called DC Slasher, they find that things are much more dangerous than they seem.

    I really enjoyed this story - the characters were interesting and the suspense kept building.  And though I figured out the killer pretty early on, the pieces falling together were pretty satisfying.  I actually have just picked up the next in the series from the library and am looking forward to it.


    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    The new serial trend in ebooks

    I have to say, I am a fan of serials in general.  I remember when the Green Mile came out as a serial and I had to wait with anticipation for the next installment.  Loved it.  Then The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul.  But I have to say that one of the things that made them great was they all felt satisfying on their own and then together - Wow.

    Nowadays, I am seeing more and more serials in eBooks.  Mostly in horror and paranormal.  I have mixed feelings about them. The tend to be identified as series 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc... or as episodes: 1.1 1.2 1.3 etc.  Now first off, calling it an 'episode' bugs me.  To me episodes are TV not books.  I know the idea is to let people know it is an ongoing story just like a TV show, but it just feels wrong somehow.  And the trend continues by calling these "seasons" when the serial finishes up a story.  For instance Season one, episode 1.3.  TV all the way.  So then one presumes, season two has the same characters, just a new story.

    Obviously this is all about sales.  Say there are 6 episodes at 2.99 (most popular ebook price).  So that is 17.94 for the story.  It doesn't seem like much episode by episode but it adds up.  Okay, still less than a hardcover, but still not cheap.  And is it worth it?  Maybe...  Depends on how well the author can do the 'serial effect'.  Think those old serial films like the Lone Ranger or Captain Marvel back in the day at the movie theaters.  That is the feel King said he wanted to accomplish (and I think he did).  But with this proliferation now, I have to wonder how many can do it vs. just churching out pieces of a story that just cut off leaving you feeling unsatisfied.  you want more because the story isn't over, but if you aren't satisfied at that moment in time at the end of that 'episode' are you as likely to buy the next installment?

    To me a well-written stand-alone is superior to a gimmicky 'serial'.  And what is the difference from a true series or trilogy (modern publishing's favorite baby)?  Usually much shorter 'pieces' of the story.  I am just not sold. 

    When done right, I think it can be awesome.  When not, just a gimmick.


    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Review: The Bad Death by Naima Haviland

  • File Size: 616 KB
  • Print Length: 494 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475154801
  • Publisher: PH Press (August 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

  • Anika is possessed by a hag.  The spirit of a woman from the future who is helping her stop an infestation of plat-eyes which are killing people on the plantation.  Julian is the plantation owner who is fascinated and annoyed with Annie (as he calls her) at the occurrences he refuses to believe.  Everything has to be rational and scientific for him.  Is it rabies?  A new strain?  Are the missing all runaway slaves?

    This is a story of a lowcountry legend I had never heard of before.  Plat-eyes -- Vampire?  Shapeshifters?  Plat-eyes are definitely evil.  And the losses tremendous and sad.  I loved Annie and her fighting for friends and trying to stop evil. Definitely scary moments and bad times. 

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Since 9/11

    Good Morning Bloggers,


    I thought I would ask this one question this morning.

    "Since 9/11 how has your life changed?"


    For me I can still remember 9/11 clearly because when I woke up and saw the news I had a meltdown. A very big one as my son was in the Army at the time. He was overseas in Germany but it still scared me to death.


    I know that like the rest of the country I was in shock and awe that this happened. Then the grief set in and fast forward to today and I can honestly say I no longer take our "freedom for granted" I no longer think my world can't be turned upside down any minute of the day.


    I know many of you lost friends, coworkers, husbands, wives, children and no words can express what 9/11 meant for you.


    I also saw the good people of our country unite and defend. Our firefighters, police officers etc all put their lives on the line because evil had struck and the United States is proof we never let evil win.


    So tomorrow I will remember all of those who gave so much and those who lost even more.




    Review: Mrs. Jeffries Stalks the Hunter by Emily Brightwell

  • Series: Mrs. Jeffries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (October 5, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0425198855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425198858

  • A nobleman is murdered on his way home from a party announcing his engagement to a very reluctant bride. The Inspector gets the case and Mrs. Jeffries and the rest of the staff secretly investigate as usual.

    I think it is hard to sustain a series this long without extremely likable characters. And that is what this series has for me. Each of the characters contributes their unique skills and they work together as a team and it is fun and you root them along.

    In this one, the mystery had some interesting suspects but I felt the throwaway significant piece that brought it all together was thrown in at the last minute. Then you go - oh yeah... But satisfying nonetheless         

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Quiting Smoking

    Hi Everyone,

    On Monday I am going to quit smoking. I hope that this time it sticks. This time there will be a reward I am going back to school if this one sticks. Let's hope it sticks.


    Now I have a good attitude about quitting smoking this time around. What usually drives me back to the cigs is something big happens in our family. Right now all is well with everyone. I just need everyone to play nice and no major upsets for the next three weeks.


    I have projects lined up and things to do so that will help. My only problem is that I have this voice in the back of my mind that I am not as creative (especially in writing books) as I am when I am smoking. So I have to murder that little voice....and not give it a voice any more.

    Truth be told I get more stitching done when I don't smoke than ANY other time.


    So this is the topic for today's blog.




    Review: The Hollow City by Dan Wells

    Title:  The Hollow City
    Author:  Dan Wells
    • Print Length: 334 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765331705
    • Publisher: Tor Books (July 3, 2012)
    Really don't know how to categorize this. It is the story of Michael who is a paranoid schizophrenic who believes technology is monitoring him, faceless men are following him etc.. (something we hear quite a bit from such people). But even if you are paranoid, they still could be out to get you as the saying goes. Only as the story is told through his POV, it is often hard to figure out what is real and what isn't. Which is not only fascinating, but frustrating. This I feel, made me really invested in Michael's struggles to get better and figure out what is happening to him. His life is compounded as well by a series of killings where the victims faces have been surgically removed. Is he guilty? Is it connected? This book raises so many questions along the way. As the pieces come together, it climaxes in a very unexpected way.

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

    Daisy Gumm Majesty Books Recreated for E-Book Distribution


    (and a new cover for SPIRITS REVIVED, the seventh Daisy book, which will be published in March 2014)


    Publishing is a strange and daunting business if you’re a novelist. It probably is if you write nonfiction, too, although I’ve always heard that it’s easier to get nonfiction published than it is to get an editor to pay attention to fiction. This probably has something to do with the millions, if not trillions, of aspiring novelists out there banging on publishing-house doors.


    However, the times, they have a-changed, and nowadays there are many more opportunities to get your novels published. Heck, you can publish them yourself as e-books or print-on-demand books if you’ve a mind to. This new industry (self-publishing) has spawned many ghastly books, but it’s also given those of us whose careers have been middling at best another chance at success. By success here, I’m talking money. I’ve had fifty-some-odd books published by big New York publishers, which may count as success in some people’s minds, but nobody knows who I am and I’m dirt poor. This means I’ve either fooled a whole bunch of editors into thinking I write well, or I really do write well but I haven’t found my niche. Or maybe editors like my stuff but regular readers don’t. Or maybe . . . oh, who knows? It’s long been my opinion that luck and timing have more to do with anyone’s success in anything to do with the arts than does talent alone. Sour grapes? Maybe, although I’ve thought so for much longer than I’ve been published, so maybe not.


    At any rate, I recently decided to take a huge chance and invest a sizeable amount of money (of which, I have little. See above) in presenting Daisy Gumm Majesty, spiritualist extraordinaire (however phony) to the world in new packaging. e-Publishing Works has provided Daisy’s first six books with new covers, and they’re actually going to promote them! Promotion! What a novel concept (sorry. I can’t help myself sometimes). Anyhow, here they are in their new duds and there’s a link to my author page underneath the covers:





    Aren’t they lovely? What’s more, you can tell which book comes where in the series! Another novel concept! Now, if only folks would be kind enough to buy one or two of them and post reviews on Amazon, my own personal life would be even better. I understand that if a book gets ten or more (preferably fifteen) reviews on Amazon, it can then be discounted. So if you feel kindhearted and generous, maybe you could buy the first book and post a review of it approximately ten to fifteen days after your purchase. I know, I know. It’s too complicated for me, too. Sigh. Can you tell self-promotion isn’t my long suit?


    But enough of that. Here’s the gorgeous cover for SPIRITS REVIVED, which will be published by Five Star in March 2014. In this book, Daisy not only encounters a real, honest-to-goodness spirit, but she gets to hold up a guy with a pair of chopsticks. Gotta love Daisy!



    For my September contest, I’m going to be giving away five (FIVE) copies of the new e-edition of STRONG SPIRITS! If you’d like to enter, just send me your name and home address in an e-mail to . And if you’d like to read an excerpt from STRONG SPIRITS, you can find the first chapter on my web site:



    Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Intimate Review by Simon Brett

    Blotto and his friend go see  Light and Frothy;   a new popular show and his friend falls for the star of the show.  After his friend is k...