Wednesday, October 26, 2016



"The Rabbit" by Barry Ergang at Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis

"The Rabbit" by Barry Ergang at Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis

David Cranmer Reviews: Hold a Scorpion by Melodie Johnson-Howe (

David Cranmer Reviews: Hold a Scorpion by Melodie Johnson-Howe (

“Killer Women” and “Sisters in Crime” at Victoria Weisfeld

“Killer Women” and “Sisters in Crime” at Victoria Weisfeld

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: SEDUCING THE MARQUESS -- FUN REGENCY ROMANCE

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: SEDUCING THE MARQUESS -- FUN REGENCY ROMANCE: Featuring an author I admire and whose work I love is always a pleasure. Callie Hutton and I have been in a couple of joint western histori...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An occasional feature in which I call att...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An occasional feature in which I call att...: Season of Ice: Richard Prosch: 9781539033424: Books  -- From the 1965 east-coast blackout to depression-era Nebraska; from the t...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: PIGSKIN RAPTURE: FOUR DAYS IN THE LIFE OF TEXAS FO...: PIGSKIN RAPTURE Four Days in the Life of Texas Football by Mac Engel Photos by Ron Jenkins   Genre: Texas Sports / F...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gratitude: A Halloween Short Story by Barry Ergang at KRL

Gratitude: A Halloween Short Story

How I Spent My Morning

A large chunk of it was at the local office of the Texas Department of Public Safety. My license to drive expires next month on my birthday so this year I had to physically go in and could not renew online. After standing by leaning against the building with my cane for about 30 minutes in the long line outside, I had worked my way close enough to the entrance that the the DPS Officer working the door saw me and the cane. While I absolutely did not want to bypass anyone, he insisted and took me to the front of the line.

After bypassing about sixty folks, some of whom were clearly ticked off and said so, I was put with a clerk who took care of me. She, along with the DPS Officer, were incredibly nice and were a huge help. I am very much appreciative of how they helped me today.

After that I went to the local branch library and with no waiting at all, voted. So, my civic duty is done. I am also very glad, especially with how bad I hurt now, that we do not have the long polling lines I am seeing on television from various sites in the local area.

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday

Pulp Hack Confessions: This Chick is as Sharp as MacHeath’s Switchblade

Pulp Hack Confessions: This Chick is as Sharp as MacHeath’s Switchblade: Razor Girl By Carl Hiaasen (Knopf; 353 pages; Sept. 6, 2016) ISBN: 0385349742 T he lead-in to a lot of jokes ...

Out of the Gutter Online: Review: Only Bones, by Daniel Vlasaty

Out of the Gutter Online: Review: Only Bones, by Daniel Vlasaty: My buzz is gone and I’m on edge. I’m nothing without the amphetamine in my body. I’m only bones. All Due Respect is making a habi...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lesa's Book Critiques Review: Murder in Containment by Anne Cleeland

Lesa's Book Critiques Review: Murder in Containment by Anne Cleeland

Wag The Fox: Be Careful What You Search For Because You Just Mi...

Wag The Fox: Be Careful What You Search For Because You Just Mi...: Still Mine by Amy Stuart 320 pages Simon & Schuster If you want an American backdrop that is otherworldly, and quite separate from...

Little Big Crimes Review: Stone Soup by David Edgerley Gates

Little Big Crimes: Stone Soup, by David Edgerley Gates: "Stone Soup," by David Edgerley Gates, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, November 2016. This is the fourth appearanc...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for October 24, 2016 (The Practicing Writer)

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for October 24, 2016 (The Practicing Writer)

Guest Post: Jeanne on "A Legend is Born"

Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library is back today with another interesting guest post…

A Legend is Born

Back around 1999, I had a young man come up and ask for information about South Holston Dam.  I figured it was for a school report, so we went back to the Genealogy/Local History room and I pulled books on TVA.  He gave them barely a glance.  He wanted, he said, the real books about South
Holston.  Puzzled, I asked him to be more specific.  “You know,“ he said, “the ancient legends.” I must have continued to look blank, because he finally clarified in a whisper.  “About the vampires.

Comprehension dawned.  As you’ll see momentarily, that is a pun.

In 1991, a paperback book came out entitled Dawn of the Vampire by William Hill which caused a minor sensation in the area because it was set in this area—specifically, around South Holston.  The book used the fact that during the construction of the various dams and lakes in the system, a number of small communities were relocated.  The original sites ended up submerged.  Mr. Hill had heard about the underwater towns from some friends while visiting the area and immediately decided to change the setting of his work-in-progress vampire novel to South Holston to take advantage of that creepy history.

“Ah,” I said, “you want the novel.”

“No, it’s a true story.  I want the real legends that he based the book on.  My grandma told me about them when I was just a little boy.”

I did the math.  Yep, he would have been about nine or ten when the book came out so to him they were old legends.  That young man was just the first of many to inquire about the “old legends.”  The problem was that prior to Dawn of the Vampire, there weren’t any legends about vampires.  TVA construction on what became South Holston began in 1942 and was completed in 1950, so any legends in connection to the submerged towns would have had to have been twentieth century vintage, and we had seen none among the collections of ghost stories from the region. Even a letter from the author confirming that he just made it all up fails to convince some of our more enthusiastic vampire hunters.  They leave still firmly believing that somewhere there are ancient tomes detailing vampire activity and the library is just part of the cover-up.

But at least we don’t have the problems of Burkittsville, MD, setting of the “The Blair Witch.” After the movie came out, they had hordes of people searching for the real story behind the events of the movie.  Believe me, I felt for those folks.

Personally,  I love a good ghost story, especially local ones.  However, sometimes it isn’t a good idea to probe too deeply—not because of supernatural retribution but because of disappointment.  A few years back some enterprising students took on the legend of a ghost named Vera who was said to haunt a local college.  Vera had been an unhappy student who committed suicide there.  The investigation led to Texas, where an elderly woman was quite surprised to find out she was supposedly haunting her old school.

I’m just going to listen to the stories, believe or not, and enjoy them for what they are.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Life Cycle of a Flood Revealed: NASA's SMAP Records Texas Flood Effects on Land and Sea

The Life Cycle of a Flood Revealed: A NASA analysis of a 2015 Texas flood is the first to document the full life cycle and impacts of a flood on both land and ocean.

Guest Reviewer Larry W. Chavis: Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016

Please welcome Larry W. Chavis, Vice-President of The Short Mystery Fiction Society, with his first review here on the blog. My hope is Larry will do many more…

Just the mention of the city name, New Orleans, conjures up a kaleidoscope of scenes: the stately St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, dim and smoky bars where jazz musicians jam, phoenix-like resilience of a people rising up from Katrina's devastation, hushed whispers of secret voodoo practices, bayous rioting with life but familiar with death. What better place to hold the 2016 World Mystery Convention, aka Bouchercon, and what better theme for a companion anthology than Blood on the Bayou?"

As is the custom with Bouchercon, this anthology was released in conjunction with the convention, and its proceeds all go to charity, this year the New Orleans Public Library. Some of the finest writers of short mystery/crime fiction working today contributed their stories to this anthology that explores the myriad settings and characters that can be conjured in the Big Easy and the Louisiana bayou country. O'Neil De Noux, himself a former NOPD detective, gives us "The Blind Lagoon Misadventure," in which a savvy detective looks outside the box to identify a most unusual killer. In "ebgdea," Scottish author G. J. Brown traces the tragic consequences of a sister's death across the years. An escaped convict meets karma in John Floyd's "The Blue Delta," while in "The Boggy Bayou Caper" by Terrie Fairley Moran, a scorned lover seeks revenge on a singer with a gaudy guitar.

In addition, stories by Eric Beetner, Sheila Connolly, Alison Gaylin, R. T. Lawton, David Morrell, Gary Phillips, Elaine Viets, and eleven more make this anthology a showcase of good writing and satisfying reading. And, as noted, it's for a good cause, too.

(Note: My copy was purchased at Bouchercon 2016, New Orleans, LA.)

Larry W. Chavis ©2016

Deciding at the advanced age of 44 to earn a physics degree to complement his theological degree, Larry enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi, where he spent three exciting, if exacting, years, accomplishing his goal with honors. Upon graduation, he entered the public education system, teaching physics, trigonometry, and calculus. Semi-retired now (although still teaching two classes), he has a bit more time to work on writing. Larry has had stories published in "Crime and Suspense Ezine," "Kings River Life Magazine," and the anthology, Ten for Ten, edited by Tony Burton. Larry lives in south-central Mississippi with his wife of 38 years and a severely spoiled Shih-tsu named Sammie.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kings River Life Magazine Update for 10-22-16

Up this morning in KRL a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery, "Send in the Clowns" by Julie Mulhern

And up a review & giveaway of "Lethal Lifestyles" by LynDee Walker

We also another Halloween short story, this one by mystery authors Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

What is better for Halloween than chocolate--this week in KRL we have a review & giveaway of "The Semi-Sweet Hereafter" by Colette London & a short interview with Colette

We also have a review & giveaway of another mystery perfect for Halloween, "Ghost Times Two" by Carolyn Hart, along with a fun guest post by Carolyn

Also, mystery author Clyde Linsley talks a little about Halloween in New Orleans, and you can enter to win a copy of his latest book "Old River"

Perfect for Halloween season, a review of the TV show "Lucifer"

And an article about Alfred Hitchcock and his hideaway in Scotts Valley

And on KRL Lite a fun Halloween guest post from mystery author Maggie Toussaint & a giveaway of her new book "Doggone It"

Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

My Review at Plano Reads: Midnight Crossing by Tricia Fields

My Review at Plano Reads: Midnight Crossing by Tricia Fields

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal: Reviewed by Jeanne World War I, the “Great War,” is raging.   Desperate for an edge, the Allies have resorted to an unusual f...

Revue of Reviewers for 10-21-16 (The Rap Sheet)

Revue of Reviewers for 10-21-16 (The Rap Sheet)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Finally Home

Not only was everything running nearly two hours behind at the doctor today, when we got out my Mom had a situation and needed us to go over and help. Now that all is good with her we are finally home.

The news on Sandi was/is stunningly good. Near as they can tell from the PET Scan the spinal tumor has shrunk about 50 percent. They can't tell exactly because there is still some sort of heat signature  at the site and that makes it hard to image and measure. This could be caused by the radiation still leaving her body. It could be caused by the tumor trying to, basically, come back to life. They just don't know.

Not only is the spinal tumor smaller, there are not any other tumors. Except for the spinal tumor, she is free of cancer everywhere else! This means, while she is not considered in remission, she is as close to that designation as possible.

Blood work was also astoundingly good across the board. Not only are her numbers stable, they are trending upward month to month. in fact, today she had nearly normal blood work.

So, the current plan is to have her do an MRI sometime in the next two weeks. This will be done to accurately image and measure the exact size of the tumor.

For the next three months, starting on November 17, she will go in once a month to flush her port and do blood work as well as visit with the doctor. This is just to make sure that she stays stable.

At some point in late January or early February they will MRI her again and image and measure the tumor size. The hope is that it by the then the tumor will either have shrunk some more or not changed at all in size. There is a possibility that the tumor is dead and can not compact further. If that has happened the belief is that the tumor pictures should be the same then as well as what they get now.

All this is a very long way of saying that what has happened far exceeds anything that anybody thought was remotely possible. Everyone involved is stunned by the results. We are thrilled beyond belief and just blown away by this news. 

It has been an exhausting day.

Cancer Doc Day

By the time this post appears, we will be on the way to Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital. Sandi has an appointment to do blood work, have her port flushed, and see the doctor. Today, we are supposed to get the results of the PET Scan.

Sandi's cancer fight is an elaborate game of whack a mole. She has tumor sites everywhere from head to toe. So, they do things and some tumors shrink and others grow. Then, things change and the original growers go away and new ones pop up.

Best case scenario is that the spinal tumor that was radiated all of July has shrunk and the others in various places have not grown very much. In that case, they may or may not restart chemo today.

Worst case scenario is the radiation did not work AND other sites have also exploded in growth. They would restart chemo with that too though it most likely would be a more experimental type of chemo.

Her chemo options are increasingly limited as her body build up a tolerance and then the chemo stops working.

So, we just don't know. We both are worried and upset though she handles all this far better than I do.

Between all that and the financial stress as everything is past due and we are facing cutoff of power and such in a week or so the stress around here is pretty damn grim.

So, if you have a moment this morning, please keep a good thought in mind for us. Thank you.

FFB Review: INHUMAN CONDITION: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Kate Thornton

Back in January 2011, I first told you just how good INHUMAN CONDITION by Kate Thornton was and that you should read it. I am telling you again today. Make sure you also check out the full list of reading suggestions over at Todd Mason's blog. It is Friday, but you have work to do.

Sometimes the blurb on the book encapsulates the book in an excellent way. From the back cover of the recently released collection, INHUMAN CONDITION written by Kate Thornton, comes this explanation:

“Human beings tend to fear the things they don’t know, and that is often sensible, given the lurking dangers that confronted our distant ancestors. But sometimes we need to examine carefully the things we think we know: the pet shop owner in town, the teenage girl who lives next door, or the nice man who walks his dog each evening in our neighborhood. The stories in this collection will drive that point home, and perhaps give you reason to re-define the word “'inhuman.'”
As well as define “human.” With a subtitle of Tales of Mystery and Imagination these twenty-one tales set on earth and in space, frequently push at boundaries defining what it means to be human. Frequently the tales are a bit disturbing, not in terms of graphic depictions, but in the meaning of what has happened or will happen thanks to the final twist at the end illuminating the dark working of a character's twisted mind. In nature, the concept of “camouflage” keeps both the hunted and hunter alive in the constant struggle to eat or not to be eaten. That same concept, passed down in the hardwired code of humanity from our distant ancestors is alive and well in these times. Make no mistake—this book is about the hunters hiding in plain sight among us and the prey they seek for a variety of purposes.

The anchor story in the collection is the very good tale, “Nightwatch: Cardenio” (pages 83-154). Using characters and other story elements originally created by Jeff Williams and with his permission as noted, the tale takes the Nightwatch team deep into the Amazon. A research site does not just vanish off the face of the earth in Brazil. But, it has happened and the research site is gone without a trace. It is now to the team to figure out what happened and why in this adventure tale.

Author Kate Thornton creates a sort of whiplash effect for the reader several times in this collection and this is a case in point. After the above noted adventure tale deep in the Amazonian jungle, she follows it with “Cell Phone Call” starting on page 155. In five short pages, the author makes parental nightmares all too real and leaves readers, at least those of us with kids, thinking twice about using our cell phones in public.

That story is followed by “Vinnie's Cargo” and readers are back to adventure and suspense. In this one, there are shuttle runs between the Moon and Mars in the unspecified future. Despite the rules and regulations, where there are humans involved there will always be some who attempt to move contraband and make some ill-gotten gains. Usually, nothing good can come of some attempts and that may, or may not, be the case here. 

And so it goes through the entire book that contains both previously published and credited work and new. Author Kate Thornton consistently delivers through the entire book as each and every single story is a good one. That rarely happens.  Whether it is late in the collection with the very disturbing mystery “The Eyes Never Change” or the strangely amusing science fiction tale “One of the Family” or any other, the read is constantly good and full of rich details in settings, characters, and storyline.

Not only is Kate Thornton to be congratulated, so too is the publisher. Denouement Press is an imprint of Wolfmont LLC owned and operated by Tony Burton. Known as a publisher of anthologies and cozy style mysteries, this is a new venture for the publisher and reflects the kind of book that might not have been published by Wolfmont before. 

One hopes this is not the last collection released by Kate Thornton. Simply put, INHUMAN CONDITION: Tales of Mystery and Imagination is a very good book and one well worth your time and money.

INHUMAN CONDITION: Tales of Mystery and Suspense
Kate Thornton
Denouement Press (Wolfmont LLC)
September 2010
ISBN# 978-1-60364-033-6
310 Pages

Paperback copy provided by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Big Crimes Review: When You Wish Upon A Star by Colin Cotterill

Little Big Crimes: When You Wish Upon A Star, by Colin Cotterill: "When You Wish Upon A Star," by Colin Cotterill, in  Sunshine Noir,  edited by Annamaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley, White Sun Bo...

Catherine Curzon and "The Scandalous Lady of Coburg" at Suzanne Adair's Blog

Catherine Curzon and "The Scandalous Lady of Coburg" at Suzanne Adair's Blog

Spinetingler Magazine Western Wednesday: Interview with Icy Sedgewick

Spinetingler Magazine Western Wednesday: Interview with Icy Sedgewick

Do Some Damage: Outsiders author vs Twitter: Stay gay, Ponyboy

Do Some Damage: Outsiders author vs Twitter: Stay gay, Ponyboy: By Steve Weddle This week, S.E. Hinton was asked on Twitter whether she'd intended for two characters in her novel, The Outsiders, to...

Review: See Also Deception: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery by Larry D. Sweazy

October 1964 and for Marjorie Trumaine the unthinkable has happened. No, her beloved Hank is still alive, paralyzed, and holding his own. He still wishes that he had died in the shotgun accident, but she is thankful he is still around. Despite the brutal events in See Also Murder, life on her farm in rural North Dakota has continued and she is managing to hold things together. The Knudsen boys, Peter and Jaeger, continue to be a huge help to her, but they can’t make the rains come. Rain is the lifeblood of any farm and Marjorie needs it to rain. Indexing helps pay the bills, but that job can’t totally support the farm.

Unfortunately, her powers to hold things together are tenuous at best and do not extend to the town library. Calla Eltmore, librarian resource when Marjorie has a question as well as a longtime friend, has been found dead at her desk in the Dickinson library. Marjorie is devastated by the news and can’t believe it. Not only the fact that she is dead, but the police seem to think it was by suicide.

Despite voicing her misgivings, she can’t seem to get anyone else to listen to her. Even when she spots a clear clue that the police should have figure out.

The death of Calla is one of several storylines at work in this complicated and very engrossing read by author Larry D. Sweazy. Building on the character of Marjorie Trumaine as well as several other ones, a complicated mystery read full of rich details is constructed. Readers are again exposed to the difficulties of rural farm life in the early 60s in North Dakota, Marjorie’s duties as an indexer, living in a place where everyone knows your business day and night, and numerous other themes and angles in this complicated mystery. See Also Deception: A Marjorie Trumaine mystery building on the first book and is a very worthy second book in this intense mystery series.

Highly recommended, as is the first book, See Also Murder. Because those events are referenced in this read, it is also recommended that readers new to this series start with the first book.


See Also Deception: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books
May 2016
ISBN# 978-1-63388-126-6
Paperback (eBook format available)
270 Pages

Both the author as well as the publisher, Seventh Street Books, supplied review copies for my use to read and review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016