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A Review ~~ “Little White Lies” by Ace Adkins (Robert B. Parker)

Ace Atkins

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(5 out of 5 quills)  A Review

Ace Adkins is a brilliant, best-selling author in his own right.

I love his murder mysteries set in the deep south. A South that few people are exposed to unless you and your family have been around for decades. 

What truly amazes me is how Ace can write in Robert B. Parker’s voice. 

In Little White Lies, Spenser is hired to try and recover a vulnerable woman’s money from a master-con man. Connie Kelly thought she’d found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the C.I.A. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. What she got back was zippo, nada, goose egg and her ideal man disappears. He’s slippery and a consummate liar. Qualities that Spenser truly hates. 

Characters that we fans truly love are back. Hawk, Susan Silverman, Pearl (the Dog) and Henry Cimoli at the Harbor Health Club. Robert Parker lives on through his stories and the wonderful writers who
keeps them alive.

Did you miss my Interview with Ace Adkins?

Little White Lies Released May 2nd. Order now!
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    February’s author was Sheryl Steines.
Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in April.  May’s author will be Cheryl Hollon and in June: Mehreen Ahmed
  
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Halo-Halo Book Review Praises Song of the Yukon

A REVIEW

‘I read Trisha Sugarek’s novel Song of the Yukon, as I’m generally interested in homesteading and off-grid stories. Trisha’s novel, set in Alaska, more than satisfied my curiosity. It’s about LaVerne, a teen and budding song writer who followed the poet Robert Service’s trip into the wilds of Alaska. The inclusion of Service’s life offers a welcome layer to the story, and the references are inserted harmoniously so that they seem a natural instead of forced companion to the primary plot of LaVerne’s life: she impersonated a boy to be hired aboard a freighter who took her from Seattle to Alaska; along the way, she experiences boat rides on the Yukon, meets members of native tribes, files homestead papers and works the land.

Song of the Yukon also delights due to its structure of seamlessly weaving poetry, song lyrics and correspondence within the novel’s narrative. There was  a scene around a camp fire where LaVerne gets to know the indigenous guide, Black Eyed Joe and his mother, Edna that I particularly liked. Sugarek weaves Service’s poem into the dialogue where Edna makes an observation about Mother Earth.

Sugarek’s use of correspondence also doesn’t grate in the narrative flow. My personal experience is I’ve found the insertion of correspondence to be an interruption or a cheat in writing a story, but such isn’t the case here. Here, the correspondence makes the story more personal as well as is effective in bringing onto the page the rest of the world beyond LaVerne’s particular environment.

Last but not least, the story weaves in a love triangle, (perhaps not the first time but) a rare point of view within the genre of homesteading, off-grid Alaska and Wild West stories.  All in all, Sugarek’s multi-layered approach uplifts SONG OF THE YUKON from the crowded field of such stories.’ ~~EILEEN TABIOS, Senior Editor The Halo-Halo Book Review
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January is Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines.
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Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 5 out of 5 quills    A Review  ~~  Rogue Lawyer

By now all John Grisham has to do is show up with another great story.  Rogue Lawyer is a whole new direction for Grisham. And I like it….a lot!  This isn’t a collection of short stories, as I first thought, and really don’t care for.  No, Rogue Lawyer is a day, week and month in the life of street lawyer, Sebastian Rudd.  Little vignettes but it doesn’t feel like it….the reader just follows this defense attorney around in a customized bulletproof van (that is his office), complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, and fine leather chairs. He has no firm, no partners, and only one employee: his heavily armed driver, who also so happens to be his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddie.

He defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team. Why these clients? Because Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial—even if he has to bend the law to secure one.

He reminds me a great deal of one of Robert B. Parker’s characters. I hope very much that Sebastian Rudd drives back into town (one day soon) and continues his dangerous but valiant work defending the indefensible!

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November was best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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From Pawns to Kings! by Eugene Brown ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 3 out of 5 quills     A Review ~~ From Pawns to Kings! by Eugene Brown & Marco Price-Bey51-jidtj-0l-_sx331_bo1204203200_

A cautionary tale for all young people who have had to grow up amidst the chaos of a dysfunctional family, quit school and run the streets.  This autobiographical narrative is about a young black man in a rush ‘to be somebody’. An alcoholic father and beat-down, defeated mother were of little use in keeping this child from a life on the streets and finally being incarcerated in the federal prison system for armed bank robberies.

Eugene Brown (the author) literally stumbled over the game of Chess (in prison) and recognized that winning at chess could translate at winning in life. The same rules apply; plan before you make a move, have several moves planned ahead of time, follow the rules, become better and better at the game of chess/life, and be able to see ‘the end game’.

eugene-brownAgainst all odds, he turned his life around and, after serving his time, went on to form a non-profit “Big Chair Chess Club” that helps get teens off the street and refocus their lives through the experience and rules of the game.

I particularly liked some of the last words in this book: “They (young people) want to be hustlers, but like myself, they had a very limited view of what makes a real hustler.  You see some people working two jobs, going to college, taking care of a family, that’s hustling man! Being a good hustler is finding a (legal) way or making a way to get what you want by using what you got…”

His story transcends the occasional grammatical errors and lack of punctuation, but it was distracting for this reviewer. For a novella, (154 pages) it is over priced.
http://www.chessmaneugenebrown.com/
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

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Help Me! Take a 1 minute survey about my Blog!

1..girl.write..mouse_1Now that  I have some time (4 yrs) and some traction under me with regard to my blog, I would love to hear from my subscribers, friends and fans.

What do you enjoy reading the most? What direction should I  continue in?

 

The series:  Motivational Moments…for Writers

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Dean Koontz


Interviewing other authors


Reviews of books
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The series: Nostalgia
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Warmest regards,  your fellow writer and friend,  Trish

Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 5 out of 5 quills            ~~     A Review   ~~  Crowned and Dangerousbowen-book

Being a rabid fan of Rhys Bowen’s books, I particularly look forward to the characters that return in every one of the Royal Spyness Mysteries.  Queenie, the burdensome and hilarious maid who is worthless as a lady’s maid but is all our heroine, Georgiana, can afford. Georgie is the King’s cousin and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and  is broke. She can’t seek employment as a normal single young woman would be able to do…but has to limit herself to jobs that the royal family would approve of. Slim pickings for a royal who has limited skills.

Then there is Binky,  Georgiana’s brother (who doesn’t have a clue) and his parsimonious wife, Fig who would welcome the day that Georgiana disappeared from their lives for good. Also the on-going romance between ‘Georgie’ and Darcy.  Their anticipated wedding has two strikes against it already; Darcy is a Catholic and Georgie is Church of England which means the royal family would frown on the marriage.  They would have to obtain special permission from the King to wed. Enter Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson.  These stories are just loaded with delicious characters.

Mixed in with all of this is a darn good mystery.  This time the story is set in Ireland (one of my favorite places) where Lord Kilhenny, (Darcy’s father) has been arrested for murder! In the 30’s, when these stories take place, reputation and status is everything. Given that Darcy is now potentially the ‘son of a murderer’, he has broken his engagement to Georgie and cut all ties.

511xacrxegl-_sx308_bo1204203200_You’ll have to read this delightful mystery to find out who killed the crass American and if Darcy and Georgie get back together. Rhys weaves terrific stories and you won’t be disappointed by this latest offering.  http://rhysbowen.com/

Did you miss my Interview with Rhys Bowen?
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My BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series

Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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The Cliffhouse Haunting by Thorne & Cross……….A Review

The Cliffhouse Haunting   A Review ~~~ reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 4 out of 5 quills

If you like being scared spit-less this is the book for you.  As if a vicious serial killer isn’t good enough, he’s paired up with a very unhappy spirit who haunts the Lodge and the Lake named for her.

In Thorne and Cross’s latest offering, Cliffhouse Lodge is famous for its ghosts. Overlooking Blue Lady Lake, Cliffhouse has just been renovated by its owners, Teddy and Adam Bellamy, and their daughter, Sara. Cliffhouse has not always been a place of rest and respite, though. Over the years icliffhouse-hauntingt has served many vices, from rum-running to prostitution – and although the cat house has been replaced by a miniature golf course and carousel, Cliffhouse retains its dark history; darkest during the Roaring Twenties, when a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper terrorized the town, and a phantom, the Blue Lady, was said to walk when murder was imminent. Death Walks With Her… Now, there’s a new killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned.

I enjoyed the twist on a ‘normal’ family unit. Teddy and Adam are a married, gay couple who have a biological daughter (through surrogacy), Sara.
The characters (and I do mean characters) who wander in and out of the Lodge are well drawn and entertaining.  This writing duo is clever, indeed.

Did you miss my INTERVIEW with Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross? Click here
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   October Author, Lisa Jackson.  November will be best selling author, Grace Burrowes and in December, Reed Farrel Coleman, ghost writer for Robert B. Parker ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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A Review ~~ ‘Mother’ from duo-writers, Thorne & Cross

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(5 out of 5 quills)                                                                  MOTHER ~~ A ReviewMother

 

How to write a review without it being filled with spoilers! Like Dean Koontz (and early King) this writing team blends a common-place event with chilling anticipation.  A young couple falling on hard times, goes back to live with the parents (in this case Mother) knowing full well it’s not a good idea. To add to this reviewer’s anxiety, the young wife is pregnant. Has Mother changed her ways? Has time mellowed her out?

Every page subtly tells the reader this is not going to end well.  Just turn the next page and it will get better, won’t it?  The authors deliver!

I highly recommend this latest offering by Tamara Thorne and Allistair Cross.  I guarantee you will never look at your mother-in-law in the same way  again.

If you missed my INTERVIEW with this exciting writing team, CLICK HERE
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  A long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House) September’s author will be Joseph Drumheller and October: Andrew Snook.  Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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Melting away the shame…

Women Outside the WallsOne early, wintry Sunday morning I found myself sitting in the waiting area of an Illinois State Prison for Men.  I was about to visit a confessed murderer. I was writing his story for a stage play I was developing.

I felt like a fish out of water. Over dressed, out of place, and very conscious of the other women around me. Probably much like how Kitty felt, in my future book. The only males in the room were young, probably sons and nephews of the incarcerated men we were waiting to see. And here was an odd thing, everyone’s shoes were untied.  I found out later, and by personal experience, that the other visitors knew the drill.  The CO’s (correctional officers) would search our persons which included removing our shoes for inspection.

Trying hard not to stare, I observed the hopeful resignation on these women’s faces.  They knew each other and murmured news and gossip to one another.  I was definitely an outsider and did not belong.  As I sat there an overwhelming urge to know their stories and write them down came to me.  It was urgent that I find out what brought them to this place.  They didn’t look like bad people. They were women you saw at the store, on the street, in an office, ordinary in every way; wives, mothers, sisters.

Now it was time to go inside. I remember heavy steel doors clanging shut behind us. It was a scary moment; I had just given up my freedom. Even though it was for a short time, my rights and freedom were in other people’s hands.  I was assigned a table and sat down to wait for Bill. The suppressed frustration and rage in that room was palatable. Other than a short hug between loved ones, no touching was allowed.  I’m certain that contraband was exchanged but I never witnessed it. The women were indefatigably cheerful in front of their men.  It might have been a crowded city park, families sitting at picnic tables visiting, playing cards, giving their children snacks; save for the concertina wire at the top of the fence.

A year and a half later when I was in the final rewrite of my novel Women Outside the Walls I was working on the acknowledgments. One woman, in particular, had shared so much with me, about her life outside the walls.  I wished to thank her but still maintain her anonymity. I asked her if I could use her first name and only the initial of her surname. Would that protect her, I asked, and keep her clients from knowing about her personal life? Her reply to this question was this:
“It doesn’t matter if your readers figure it out and discover that it’s me…your book has taken away all my shame…”

Shirley K. had stood by her man while he served ten years.  Raising their children, supporting an unwed daughter and grandchild and working two jobs.  Half way through her husband’s term, Shirley’s son was sentenced to life for murder.  Now she was visiting two of her men in prison. She’s a hero in my book.  She did nothing to deserve this kind of life.  Never even had a traffic ticket. And that’s the common thread among these women.  Married, raising their children; mid-stream America, right?  Then their husbands or sons or brothers make a stupid decision and end up in prison.

I asked Shirley how she and the other women kept up a brave face when visiting their husbands. She told me stories about how after the visit was over the women, friends for years, had a designated rest area (down the highway a couple of exits from the prison) that they would meet at after visitation.  That’s where they shared their tears, grief, anger, and commonality of spirit.  But they never let their husbands see what they were going through. They were serving time in their own personal prison; doing their own time.

Little did I know that my novel about wives waiting outside the walls, while their men served out their sentences, would have this kind of impact. What I did know was, as I wrote the book, I met many women from all walks of life that had someone currently in prison or had that experience in the past. Most of my book is based on true stories told to me. As a writer it is not uncommon for me to have people, strangers, appear in my life to share and contribute something to my writing. It’s welcomed but uncanny.

Epilogue: Shirley’s son, convicted of murder and sentenced to life, had his conviction and sentence reduced to manslaughter and fifteen years.  He was released in 2014.
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DON’T MISS BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   In April, a long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House) May’s author is Jordan Rosenfeld.

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Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom ** A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing 5 out of 5 quills     A REVIEW
Glory Over Everything by Kathleen GrissomGlory.Everything.book

Volumes have been written about America’s Civil War and we have been led to believe it was ALL about slavery.  In this writer’s opinion, when it comes to politics it’s never that simple or pure.  Power, economics, global presence also played a part in our civil war.

Little has been written about the southern states and slavery that is so profoundly beautiful as The Kitchen House and now, the long awaited, Glory Over Everything.

We join Jamie Pyke again and watch his struggle with ‘living white’. The natural son of a plantation owner and his kitchen slave. How does one conciliate oneself to the deception when all about them is the horror of slavery?  It all comes tumbling down when Jamie is compelled to keep a promise and travels back to the South that he had once escaped from.  Will he be so lucky a second time?

Recently, as I prepared my interview (coming later this month, April) with this stellar writer, I commented to Kathleen that her writing was pure prose.  She replied, “Thank you.  My mentor was a poet.”  more »