Other Voices #17 (Post #100)

~ My Book of the Year ~

OrientalVagabonds

Oriental Vagabonds.  268-page novel by Richard Regan.  I think most of my readers know by now that I love an old-fashioned adventure story, one that is driven by the characters, one in which the sex scenes don’t sprawl over five or six pages, rivaling any hard-core porn out there in their graphic detail, one in which the explosions can’t be seen from a neighboring star.  Very few books fill the bill for me any more, let alone movies, but Oriental Vagabonds, set in the South Pacific on the eve of World War II, had it all.  Nazi agents, British bureaucrats, a femme fatale and her Russian minders, Chinese criminals, smuggled cargoes, and every colorful personality that can be found lurking around the docks in every Asian seaport.  I know because I’ve been there, and perhaps that is why this book spoke to me so deeply, but the realism simply leaps from the page.  These are no highly-trained S.E.A.L.s and secret agents eager to leap into action, but tired seamen trying to make a living, and dealing as best they can with whatever a world gone mad might throw at them.  You can read my five-star review (and several others) here, and purchase this fine piece of literature, nostalgic in both style and period, for $2.99 on Kindle.  If the call of adventure strikes a chord in your soul, don’t miss this!

~ Weekly Picks ~

SkaldsBlackVerse

The Skald’s Black Verse.  330-page novel by Jordan Loyal Short.  When a sinister creature murders one of the conquerors’ soldiers, Brohr’s violent reputation makes him the prime suspect.  Haunted by a rage-filled ghost, Brohr’s disturbing possessions quickly become the reason for all of his troubles, and the only way he can survive.  With a grandfather bent on dragging him into a failed rebellion, and a deadly comet hurtling toward his embattled world, Brohr sets off on a quest to save his people and uncover the truth about a war stretching back into the ancient past.  Can he discover the true power of a Skald’s voice before the world itself ends in ash and flame?  $4.99 on Kindle.

PocketfulOfStars

A Pocketful of Stars.  228-page novel by Magaret Ball.  Thalia Kostis will be the first to tell you it’s not magic, it’s theoretical math when she walks a Möbius strip through walls to her office at the Institute for Applied Topology.  CIA Case Officer Bradislav Lensky doesn’t care what it is, as long as she can help track down a smuggling ring and the terrorists in their safe house in Austin.  The other magicians nearby don’t agree, and don’t care for new rivals either!  Now Thalia and the rest of her misfit crew are in a race against time, terrorists, common sense, grackles, and their graduate advisor to save the day!  $2.99 on Kindle.

Nightmares3AM

Nightmares at 3 AM.  101-page anthology by Jake Wiklacz.  A young boy realizes there is something lurking in his closet.  A museum security guard begins hearing the voice of a 4,000-year-old mummy in his head.  A marine biologist encounters a deep-sea leviathan.  A young woman is tempted by a hidden, illegal fortune.  A bear hunter finds himself tracking Bigfoot.  These are just some of Jake Wiklacz’s “Nightmares at 3 AM”, all of which are compiled into this 12-story horror anthology.  99¢ on Kindle.

JessicasFootprints

Jessica’s Footprints.  154-page novel by J.R. Evangelisti.  Atmospheric ionic transgression, electro kinetic propulsion, exceeding the speed of light, this is Science Fiction with a touch of the paranormal and a true mystery.  In current times, a seventeen year old girl named Jessica involved on an archeological field trip near Lake Mungo, New South Wales, finds the footprints left 20,000 years earlier.  We fast forward twenty years to find the trajectory of Jessica’s life has changed as government scientists and a former colleague fiercely believe extraterrestrials left the footprints.  The now famous Dr. Jessica Bethany who has earned doctorates in Ethno-Archeology and Mythology disagrees with the other scientists assessments.  She faces hostile crowds while on tour across the country explaining her reasoning.  Jessica, while on a lecturing tour during the holiday season in Roswell, New Mexico, forms a friendship with a single woman struggling to raise two adopted children.  Jessica begins to exhibit hallucinations and odd behaviors in Roswell.  It turns out there are powerful forces that want to silence the truth behind Jessica’s discovery.  Lives will change forever as well as humankinds understanding of the Universe.  $1.99 on Kindle.

StoneObsession

Stone Obsession. 266-page novel by Julie Morgan.  Dark magic doesn’t die easily. Luckily, neither does she.  In a world racing toward extinction, the Siren Amaryah fights for survival.  Under the plagued waters of Antarctica, she faces sea creatures mutated into predators by an old, dark magic.  The frozen lands above are riddled with danger, as well, where Pirates, Magicians, and Islanders all vie for power.  A single Legacy Stone could change all that — it could bring back the world Amaryah lost.  And she plans to find it.  After all, if there’s nothing left to live for, she has nothing left to lose.  Or so she thinks.  Dark magics have ways of fighting back, and she’ll face more threats than ever before — not least of all the possibility of a long-forbidden love.  A love she may have to sacrifice in order to save her world.  99¢ on Kindle.

Curiosities4

Curiosities #4.  144-page anthology.  Curiosities is a thrice annual publication of short speculative fiction in the retropunk subgenres.  In this edition, you will find ten stories from the age of jazz and diesel, with hard boiled detectives, fast talking time travelers, bakelite automatons, body hopping cultists, ambitious aviators, a Tesla powered metropolis, and even an urban fantasy set in Weimar Berlin.  Welcome to our fall exhibits of wonders and curiosities.  Paperback only, $7.50.

HonorMustPrevail

Honor Must Prevail.  544-page novel by Ian Spier.  A Paranormal Fantasy epic and alternate history set in Renaissance times, with an ensemble cast led by a young demigoddess who takes too much for granted, and her stern bodyguard, who are on a quest to contain the damages of what will be known as the great sundering.  Many nations will be irrevocably altered and scarred, some even destroyed by year’s end.  Other heroes in other lands, are pitted against the same enemies.  One is a traumatized orphan, bound by fate to take the path he fears most, to save his daughter.  Another is a disgruntled and cynical captain, a man of his word, but increasingly resentful of the people he is sworn to protect, who see only his blood ties to the Baron.  Nothing prepares him for the betrayals that lay in wait for him, and threaten all he holds dear, above all his sister, his niece and and his cousins.  His journey is the most perilous of all, on every possible front.  These four and their allies are flung headfirst by happenstance and conspiracy, into a saga of heartbreak, redemption, discovery and heroism.  Those that survive will be forever changed.  $2.99 on Kindle.

TargetCommittee

The Target Committee.  64-page history by Paul Ham.  How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb?  What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo?  Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 and comprising America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs.  The committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be used in anger.  In this absorbing and provocative narrative, historian Paul Ham shines a torch on their arguments to reveal the thinking behind the atomic destruction of two cities – and how the Target Committee justified it at the time.  99¢ on Kindle.

WestTechTerrorist

The West Tech Terrorist.  220-page novel by Peter Jedick.  The West Tech Terrorist is a mystery romance novel that provides a taste of the home front during World War II America.  It is the fall of 1941 at Cleveland’s West Technical High School, one of the largest and most unique high schools in America.  The United States is on the brink of World War II.  Victor Blazek, the sports editor of the West Tech school newspaper, and his girlfriend, Doris, try to foil a sinister plot by Nazi sympathizers inside the school.  But their attempt as amateur sleuths puts both their lives in danger.  Paperback only.  $16.95 on Amazon.

~ Blogs ~

I have been telling you for the past couple of weeks to visit my other blog, Jack’s Hideout, where the right sidebar contains a list of the blogs I follow that update in real time.  I also understand that some of you, for various reasons, lack the time or inclination to do that, so here for your convenience is a list of some of the latest updates.

Charles Heath, Author:  Not your average to-be-read list.
Cheche Winnie:  Holiday month.
Michael May:  “I was a boy here.” | Graphic Classics, Volume 19: Christmas Classics.
Metapunk:  The sounds of Mars.
Inmate Blogger:  Knowing who you are (Part 1).
C.W. Hawes:  Tony Price: Confidential.
NEW FOLLOWER:  Martial Arts Weapons and Training: Coming home to the martial arts.
SPECIAL MENTION:  The Rebel Fish:  The hope found in a dead mouse.

AND A PERSONAL FOOTNOTE:  I logged on Tuesday morning to find a visit from someone who clicked over from Richard Schulte’s promotional article on Stingaree.  I have been spreading the word to all and sundry for the past few months that I am no longer a writer, even withdrawing my submission to an editor who was enthusiastic about a possible book deal, but Stingaree, set in my home town, has always been a project of great personal interest to me, and without making any promises, I am going to get out the material as part of my daily routine and try to finish it.  Don’t know whether I can, but if its unfinished form is still generating interest, I’ll make the effort to bring it to completion.  Is that a New Year’s resolution?  You call it what you want; I call it trying to do right by readers who are generous enough to give me their time.  We’ll see where it leads.

And that’s 30 for today.  Check in Sunday, when you just may find a post of the sort I used to do, a discussion of a lesson I’ve learned over my writing career that might save you having to learn it through painful trial and error.  And, as always, read well, and write better!

Other Voices #16

Greetings, my friends, and welcome to Thursday.  ‘Tis the season when the “Christmas Police” come out in force, so I thought I’d better lead with this so there is no misunderstanding about where I stand on the issue:

HHRationale

In other news, most of you know that when I bought an upgraded WordPress site last April I was still laboring under the delusion that I was going to be a big-shot author.  Now I know better, and have been debating whether to renew the upgraded site to support my blogging.  Yesterday morning I received an email from WordPress informing me that beginning December 18th, there would now be an additional charge on top of the upgraded site for the domain name.  Decision made.  I have enough people lined up to harvest the contents of my wallet to be rewarding that sort of behavior, so be advised that next March 30th or April 1st (it falls on a weekend) my address will revert to https://blimprider.wordpress.com.  That sends you here now, but I’m not sure it will work the other way around, so adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Moving on . . .

We’re getting perilously close to another fabulous weekend, and I know that some of you will be looking for thrilling things to read, and that’s where I come in with my list of interesting reads.  I have named my weekly column “Other Voices,” but my voice counts, too, and so I’ll begin with my own published works.

These are mainly steampunk adventures (and a mystery), and The Stone Seekers is epic fantasy.  I’ve been told that these are pretty good, which I appreciate, but none of us can objectively judge our own work.  You can be your own judge, though, by visiting my Amazon author page.  The prices I control are kept at the bare minimum, and the one that I don’t is quite reasonable, especially given that all proceeds from that collection go the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Now, let’s hear some of those promised Other Voices.

WickedSeeds

Wicked Seeds.  209-page novel by Cameron Sword.  Some people who’ve survived an apparent death report experiences of having communicated with departed friends or relatives.  Others describe encountering an indescribable warm bright light accompanied with the overwhelming feeling of unconditional love.  Still others share memories of witnessing their lives flashing before their eyes as they felt themselves slipping away.  None of this was occurring with Dr. Nathan Cribbs.  A molecular biologist by profession, Nathan worked for a food conglomerate where he was responsible for genetically engineering crops but here he was now, dumped in a remote forest along with his younger sister, both left for dead.  Due to a fortunate series of events, he managed to survive, resurfacing three years later, set on exacting revenge against the perpetrator – his former employer.  Olive Beacon, a 17 year-old aspiring actor, becomes Nathan’s reluctant sidekick as she unwittingly joins him in his effort to expose his former employer’s crimes and unethical business practices.  The duo must overcome serious obstacles, which emerge virtually from the beginning, but circumstances become profoundly more grievous after Nathan places his trust in an unfitting ally.  Free on Kindle [reg. $4.99].

AnonymousMan

The Anonymous Man.  267-page novel by Vincent L Scarsella.  What if one day you could become anonymous, free of obligations, free to do what you have always wanted to do?  That’s exactly what Jerry Shaw pulls off after faking his death to collect on a $4 million life insurance policy.  But just when Jerry thinks he has escaped his former life, he is betrayed by his co-conspirators, his wife and best friend, and learns that a tenacious insurance company investigator is hot on his heels.  You won’t be able to put down this twisting and suspenseful novel, wondering if Jerry will ultimately get to do what he has always wanted, to become anonymous, just like the hero of his comic book creation, The Anonymous Man, and then not only draw his further adventures, but live them.  99c on Kindle.

Questioner

The Questioner.  36-page novelette by Andrew Vachss.  For all secrets created, a tiny percentage is kept against any intrusion.  The ultimate extractor of such secrets is The Questioner – a man who has trained himself to become empty, who uses that emptiness to listen fully, to sense what others need to hear, to respond in ways that lead them to reveal their most protected thoughts.  Disdaining torture or coercion, he mines those secrets with nothing more than conversation.  For those who meet his price – governments, multinational corporations, and the most complex criminal organizations – The Questioner obtains information.  The secrets he learns can create or topple empires, win or destroy fortunes, lubricate the gears of the world . . . or grind them to a halt.  But as the Questioner moves from one target to the next, just beyond the outer edge of his probes lurks something dangerous to his own emptiness.  It will force him to turn his powers inward, to ask how he became what he is, and to find a truth he has never sought.  $1.99 on Kindle.

ComingRace

The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.  Written in 1871, the story is fairly simple and straightforward.  The unnamed narrator and a friend decide to explore a chasm that an exploratory mine shaft has uncovered.  During the descent, the rope breaks and the friend is killed.  The narrator finds himself with no way to get back to the surface and decides to continue his exploration of the extensive chambers he’s discovered.  Eventually he enters a vast subterranean world.  The narrator meets a couple of the inhabitants, a man and a boy, who are friendly and welcome him to their world.  The narrator learns that the man is an administrator and the boy is his son.  The narrator also meets the entire family, and Zee, the magistrate’s daughter, begins teaching the narrator about the world of the Vril-ya, as the people call themselves.  The Vril-ya are very much superior to humans on the surface of the earth.  Their mental powers are phenomenal, and they control a substance called vril, which can heal or destroy.  In time, Zee falls in love with the narrator.  Meanwhile, her father, the magistrate, has grown wary of the “primitive” narrator.  When he learns his daughter is in love with the stranger, the magistrate orders his son to kill the narrator.  From there, the story takes a dark turn for all of mankind.  At the time of its publication, The Coming Race, was very convincing and many believe the vril mentioned in the book was real.  It’s also claimed that vril was believed to be real by many pre-Nazi occultists, such as those in the Thule Society.  Such is the power of fiction, even today vril continues to make an appearance among occultists, in movies, and in video games.  Free at Gutenberg.  Special thanks to C.W. Hawes for bringing this influential work to my attention.

Dragon

Dragon.  296-page novel by Valerie Tate.  Burials, bones and bandits – not what Alicia and Chris Mallory are expecting when spring finally arrives in Dunbarton.  In the aftermath of a violent storm, Chris and Alicia come across fossilized dinosaur bones in a lakeside rock fall.  Before long, Chris’s sister, anthropologist Dr. Penny Mallory, arrives to head up an archaeological dig. Despite their best efforts to keep it a secret, news of the discovery gets out and it’s not long before members of the shadowy underworld of antiquities theft and trafficking take notice. Two old foes return to Dunbarton and the race is on to save the momentous find from disappearing into the murky haunts of the illegal antiquities trade. Who can the Mallorys trust? Which of these two villains is the Chameleon and which is a dragon bent on increasing his hoard?  Will Alicia and Chris manage to play the winning hand in a life-and-death game or will they come to rue the truth in Shakespeare’s advice, “Come not between the dragon and his wrath.”?  $2.99 on Kindle.

~ Blogs ~

I know I told you to check out the Jack’s Hideout sidebar, where blogs are updated in real-time, to see what my friends are doing, but a few of them have no RSS feeds, and get lost at the bottom of the list, so I thought I’d mention them here.  Enjoy!

Willow Raven – Graphic artist and designer.  Created my “Blimprider Publications” logo.
Stephanie Kato – Author and very active blogger on steampunk, movies, and games.
The Daily Pioneer – Indian “newspaper” printed in English.
Steampunk’d – A fairly static primer on what goes into the fabulous works called Steampunk.
Penelope Burns – A comprehensive guide on How to Blog.
I’d Rather Television – A pop-culture guide to things on screens.
Life’s Little Mysteries – Answers to things we all wonder about.
Gimme That Star Trek – Podcast discussing all things Trek.
The Home of Lorna Lockheed – Actually the home of C. William Perkins, steampunk author and reviewer.

And that should keep you busy until Monday, when my plans call for the next Kung Fu post to be ready for your approval.  Read well, write better, and I’ll see you all back here then!

Other Voices #15

Good morning, friends.  I want to start right off with an email I received last Thursday afternoon from my friend Vinnie, editor of Book Reader Magazine:

“Last year at the 20Booksto50K conference I had the chance to meet an author.  Brandon Barr was fighting cancer and it was such a pleasure watching him speak on stage about his battle and his writings.  I got to spend a few minutes after talking to him.  I am sorry to say that Brandon lost his battle a few days ago.  Losing a family member around the Holidays is just tough.  He was the breadwinner of the family so its twice as hard on them.  If you can, please share Brandon’s books with your readers and friends, even if it’s not your genre.  Every sale is a good sale and helps pay the bills for a family who just lost their primary breadwinner.”

This is Brandon’s Amazon author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Brandon-Barr/e/B002DMIYTW/

In the Song of the Worlds series, a god-gifted young woman is chosen for a grim task – one that will take her beyond the boundaries of her own world.  Winter’s chilling visions of the future make clear that her choices will not only affect the success of her mission, but whether those she loves will live or die.  This is epic fantasy of the first order, and I know a good portion of my readership is interested in that, so click on over and see whether your heart might support a purchase.

~~~

BoyInWell

The Boy in the Well.  232-page novel by Steve Peek.  John Ryan was about to be drafted, so instead of risking punji-stick filled jungles, he joined the Air Force.  When his best-laid plans and schemes backfired, he volunteered for the war he tried to avoid – irony he failed to appreciate.  His tour in Nam chronicles so many other boys of that war.  The Boy in the Well is a universal memoir for the nine out of ten who served behind the lines in non-combat roles.  Except there weren’t any lines and nearly everyone in-country heard exploding mortar shells or rockets close enough to remind them an unseen enemy wanted Americans gone or dead.  Even in the safest city in Vietnam, even working in an air conditioned building, for Christ’s sake, Ryan fell into a routine: parties, weed and rock & roll.  If you had to fight a war, this was the way to do it.  And then there was the Tet offensive.  What a downer.  Everything changed.  John Ryan never killed anyone, never even fired a gun.  He just saw things; some funny, others, not so much.  Ryan just wanted to serve his tour and escape back to the real world unharmed.  War leaves no one untouched.  No one escapes.  All wounds are not from bullets.  $4.99 on Kindle.

HiddenThrones

Hidden Thrones. 336-page novel by Russ Scalzo.  Jack Bennett has an unusual gift.  His coveted ability means he is the FBI’s newest hire, serving as a consultant for their new Paranormal Division.  The government is convinced we are not alone in this world.  With invisible forces all around, agencies are seeking how to harness that power for their own uses.  The mystery swirling around the unseen and unknown has caused much speculation.  Some suppose lost souls are wandering the earth, others believe deceased loved ones never truly moved on, and still, there are those who are convinced that aliens have infiltrated our world.  The ancient scriptures talk about a great evil that was conceived in the depths of eternity.  There, a great war occurred in a place called Heaven.  Lucifer, the ancient serpent, the evil dragon of folklore, was cast out and bound to the earth and confined to its surrounding atmosphere.  Could it be that the evil we see is inspired by a dark kingdom, a demonic spiritual force at war with the human race?  Could these princes and rulers of darkness be influencing our world today?  Jack Bennett knows this is the truth.  He knows because he encounters them every day.  Follow Jack Bennett and Frank Lederman as they battle the realm of Hidden Thrones.  99¢ on Kindle.

DeadCold

Dead Cold. 326-page novel by Jennifer Chase.  What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides?  It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder.  Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design and execute.  On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet.  Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.  Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind.  Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in the FBI?  Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police.  With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer.  She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend.  A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.  The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time, they leave behind everyone and everything.  99¢ on Kindle.

EnderDragon

The Ender Dragon who Saved Christmas. 38-page children’s book by Ty the Hunter.  The Head Decorator Elf in Minecraft is in charge of decorating the village Christmas tree, and he knows that this is the most important job of the year.  Yet, as he brings out the big bag of ornaments on Christmas Eve, his Ender Dragon sneezes, blowing the decorations into the sky and across the Minecraft map!  The race is on to find the scattered ornaments and put them back on the tree before Santa arrives.  Can the Head Decorator Elf and his Ender Dragon find them all in time?  You can help them by searching each page of the book to find the lost ornaments so that they can finish the village Christmas tree before it gets dark.  Written in verse and perfect for new readers, this Minecraft-themed story is an exciting blend of fun and learning.  Young children will love the feeling of pride in helping others, and with the accomplishment that it offers, it’s sure to become an all-time favorite.  $3.99 on Kindle.

UniverseInFlames

Universe in Flames.  5-novel boxed set by Christian Kallias.  When the Star Alliance is attacked, ace pilot Lieutenant Chase Athanatos and his friends attempt to survive the total annihilation of their kind.  Their struggle for survival brings them to a world far. far away, a little planet called Earth.  Little do they know that in doing so, they’ll expose humanity to the biggest scourge the universe has ever faced.  Nothing is ever as it seems in this thrilling, action-packed Science Fiction Space Opera series.  Greek mythology and fantasy elements add a dab of mysticism and originality to the intense and suspenseful adventures of Chase: a man unaware of his past, a man who must learn to get a grasp with what destiny and the Gods of Olympus have in store for him.  Unwilling to let evil unleash their minions upon every soul in the universe and armed with his courage, convictions, as well as the help of the gods themselves, Chase fights not only for his own survival but for everyone’s, on Earth and throughout the galaxy.  99¢ on Kindle.

DeliberateDeception

Deliberate Deception.  408-page novel by Joe Porrazzo.  A greedy corporation rigs a multi-million dollar raffle, creating false hopes for ticket buyers.  Now people aren’t winning, they’re dying!  What comes next will shock the world!  Deliberate Deception heralds the return of Alex Porter, retired United States Air Force OSI (Office of Special Investigations) Agent turned private investigator, in another heart-pounding Joe Porrazzo suspense thriller.  Seven months after leaving New England, Alex, still grieving the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter, gets a call from his friend Joe Prater.  Prater’s old army buddy has gone missing from his home in Tucson, and Joe wants Alex to check it out.  While investigating, Alex gets too close to the truth and becomes a target himself.  He finds himself teamed with the very person hired to kill him, as they race against the clock to prevent a mysterious group from striking in Tucson and shocking the world.  $5.99 on Kindle.

MyAfricanCraving

My African Craving.  138-page novel by Audrey Flynn.  When Erica Knight arrives in Lebombo Game Reserve for her first African safari she has no idea that her life is about to be changed forever.  As an executive for a mining company she believes that negotiating the mining rights for the Lebombo Reserve will be a slam-dunk, but she didn’t count on locking horns with the reserve’s enigmatic owner, Jean-Luc de Graaf.  In the heart of a wild African landscape full of beauty and danger, Erica and Jean-Luc, both stubborn and passionate, find themselves on opposite sides of an escalating conflict.  With the Reserve threatened by vicious poachers and runaway fires, they are thrown together unable to contain the scorching attraction between them.  Far away from the rat race of New York Erica feels the stirring of a different drum, ancient and irresistible.  But surrendering to the wild would mean she would have to submit to her powerful attraction to Jean-Luc and she isn’t ready to give up control just yet.  $2.99 on Kindle.

BumpInTheNight

A Bump in the Night. 149-page novel by Crispian Thurlborn.  Being dead can be hard.  In the past, it was all rattling chains and white sheets.  Now, it is all mortgages and unpaid bills.  Mr Snaggle and Mr Snuffle, Arbitrators for the Quick and the Dead, find themselves coming to the aid of an old friend, Mr Bump, formerly known as Mr Grym, Lurker-under-the-Bed-and-Frequenter-of-Wardrobes (or just Charon to his close friends).  Together, they must come up with a plan to prevent Mr Bump from fading.  Of course, a cunning plan is never easy to come up with, but with the help of a few beers, a young girl, and an unfortunate victim, they might just pull it off . . . or will they?  Not everything that goes bump in the night is the stuff of nightmare; sometimes, the dead have nightmares themselves!  $3.99 on Kindle.  Note that this recommendation comes from the pen of C.W. Hawes, who don’t recommend no junk!

DeathDamages

Death & Damages.  25-novel (4,891 pages) anthology.  Danger lurks around every corner as these courageous cops, adventurous agents, and daring detectives hunt for the answers to stop the crimes by vicious killers.  But what if the damage is already done?  Inside these pages, you’ll find 25 adventures full of captivating conundrums, hair-raising homicides, and suspenseful secrets from today’s USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning authors.  Become a private investigator yourself when you inspect plots of deadly assassins, cold-blooded killers, and bone-chilling suspense inside the pages of Death & Damages, an enthralling mystery and thriller boxed set.  Fans of Lee Child, James Patterson, Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Grisham will devour these puzzling, mysteries and gripping thrillers.  Pre-order today to secure this limited edition collection with stories from Patricia Loofbourrow, Pauline Creeden, John Ling, Alexa Padgett, Siera London, and twenty more well-known authors.  99¢ on Kindle.

Intrusion

Intrusion.  264-page novel by Rosalind Minett.  Lonely Billy’s excitement at having a playmate now turns to dismay.  The frail and artistic Kenneth is hideously devious, Uncle Frank is an outright bully and Billy’s parents fail to see further than Kenneth’s porcelain looks to his darker soul.  Those very emotions that enable Hitler’s rise – envy over strength, desire for new territory – now ferment in the Wilson home.  Only his secret sighting of a precious Cossack sabre can comfort Billy by imagining he has its power.  As war becomes a reality, this becomes an icon that sustains Billy through evacuation and hardship, but is it destined to damage as well as protect?  99¢ on Kindle.

~~~

After almost two months of watching and careful consideration, I have decided to award Inmate Blogger the Blimprider Seal of Approval.  I don’t know what their success rate is vis-à-vis rehabilitating convicted felons; I don’t even know whether they’ve been around long enough to see a participant released, but the effort they’re making to give these men and women a voice outside the walls is certainly above and beyond any normal obligation that anyone might have imposed upon them.  Ultimately, whether they are successful or not depends entirely on the people using their service, but they should be recognized for their work, and I’m doing my bit here.

Also, expect to see a weekly reminder that I also host a virtual tavern called Jack’s Hideout where you can stop in, claim a favorite chair, and join the conversation about whatever’s up at the time.  No judgment, no harassment, just enjoyable conversations between friends.  Don’t forget to check the right sidebar while you’re there, where new posts from my fellow bloggers are updated in pretty close to real time.  This site has replaced my Sunday ramblings that used to appear here, and I’ve just begun a drill-down of the TV show that guided me into adulthood, and along the path of my life since then.  Don’t miss it if you can!

And that’s 30 for this week.  See you all at the Hideout, and here again next Thursday.