Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Star Trek Discovery -- the First two episodes

I was very much looking forward to this for so many reasons.  I have always loved Star Trek.  Even DS9 which my brotherly refers to as The Vulcan Chess Match.

Then - Sonequa Martin-Green!  Absolutely loved her as Sasha on The Walking Dead.

After lots of delays -- it has finally made it to watch!

So, the basic story -- Michael Burnham (Green) survived a horrific Klingon attack as a child and was fostered by Sarek of Vulcan - the first human in the Vulcan Science Academy.  Brilliant, and definitely conflicted  trying to balance emotions and logic.  Michael is first officer on the Starship Shenzhou - and along the edges of Federation space they find an alien relic and are quickly in conflict with a bunch of Klingons with religious ideaology wanting to provoke a war with the Federation.  

The cast is stellar and the twists are intriguing.  There is obviously a lot going on that has yet to unfold and I think the ride is going to be fascinating.

The only annoying this is you have to subscribe to CBS' streaming service.  Yet another monthly charge beyond cable, hulu, netflix, Acorn etc....  


Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Quincy is a survivor.  She is also is what the media called a "Final Girl" as she was the only survivor of a mass murder attack.  When another "Final Girl" supposedly commits suicide and another shows up on her doorstep, she can't hide from the past nor continue pretending to be fine.

I really enjoyed this book.  However, Quincy was portrayed as someone who had moved on and had her life on track, it was far from true and her constant Xanax popping really annoyed me.  Clearly NOT coping well at all.  Very superficial and a humongous amount of denial.

That said, the hardest part for me to buy into was that she allows a clearly messed up "Final Girl" into her home by virtue of that traumatic label they shared.

The twists were good and I enjoyed them.  Things circled around in a way I found satisfying except for the killer.  Just did not feel satisfied by that at all.  It was a motive thing for me.

That said, I was impressed by the author and will certainly try to read more.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

September? Really?

It doesn’t seem quite fair that, the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. I remember sitting in schoolrooms when I was a kid, watching that stupid clock on the wall, and wishing I could push the minute hand faster so I could get the heck out of there and go home and play with my dog. Now I kinda wish time would slow down a trifle. Oh, well. If wishes were horses…

SPIRITS UNITED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s eleventh adventure (well, it’s actually her twelfth, but until I get the rights back to SPIRITS REVIVED, her actual seventh adventure, the numbers don’t reflect the entire series). I appreciate everyone who bought a copy, and I’d appreciate even more if you’d buy copies for all of your friends and relations. Heck, even total strangers! I wouldn’t mind being a best-selling author once. Or even twice. But I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to beg.

During the first week in August of this year, I visited California. This was primarily to attend my best friend’s memorial service, but I also had a chance to revisit several places I recall from my youth back in the early middle ages. Some friends and I went to Morningside Cemetery in Altadena, where my best friend has finally joined her late husband. I also wandered around the place, said hello to my late aunt and several cousins, and I think I found about where Billy Majesty might have been planted back in 1922. Here it is:

Daisy’s next adventure, SPIRITS UNEARTHED, begins at Billy Majesty’s grave at the Morningside Cemetery, so you might want to keep the area in mind for future reference. By the way, one of my spectacular beta readers, Lynne Welch, mentioned that lots of town in the Midwest, East, and South have little cemeteries sprinkled all over the place. If you live in Altadena or Pasadena, you either end up at Morningside or in an urn on somebody’s mantel. My younger daughter told me I could reside in a box on her mantel in between two of her husband’s late dachshunds. Can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be for all eternity!

I also tootled past Daisy’s house. Whatta mess! If my second ex-husband, Old Weird Robert, still lives there, he’s sure not taking care of the place. I object. On the other hand, the house no longer belongs to me, so I guess there’s not much I can do about it.

The lovely and talented Denice Stradling, voice actor and audiobook narrator, is closing in on the final chapters of SPIRITS REVIVED, which will be published soon and will be available on I don’t have the cover art for the book yet, but I do have a picture of the room in which the ghost of Eddie Hastings shows up, much to Daisy’s distress, during a séance she held at Mrs. Bissel’s house in the book. The room doesn’t look awfully large in this photograph, but my aunt, her children, her two boarders (Burke and Jack, who used to own a gas station at Lake Avenue and Altadena Drive), and my own family of four (Mom, Dad, sister and me) used to dine there every evening. Everyone included, that was maybe ten or twelve people, and nobody was crowded. Of course, my aunt’s table was larger than the one depicted below. This was my Aunt Wrennie’s “breakfast room” back in the olden days. She had a dining room, too, which was much larger. I can’t even imagine what a table the size of hers would cost these days. That thing was huge:

If SPIRITS REVIVED is available by the end of September, I’ll be giving away audio copies of that book. If it’s not, you may pick your own book of those I’ve written (providing I have copies of same). I’ll be in touch with the winners of August’s contest to find out which book of mine they’d like to have either e-delivered or delivered by post, and I’ll attempt to get the books mailed in a timely manner.

Oh, and before I forget again, many people have asked me what “bishop sleeves” are. Daisy’s always making suits and dresses with “bishop sleeves.” So, for your continuing education, below is a picture of a couture gown from 1924 featuring bishop sleeves! Courtesy Jean Lanvin, in fact. Mind you, these are a little puffier at the wrists than lots of bishop sleeves, but that’s because they have slashes at the wrist and inserts of cloth of another color:

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email ( 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 ( or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at

Thank you!

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

December? Whew! Well, blow me down with a gentle breeze, another year’s nearly bitten the dust. They seem to fly by faster and faster, th...