Posted in Readathons-Challenges-Memes

🎃 Fall Blogging Events 2018

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Posted in Uncategorized

Wrapping Up #20BooksOfSummer

20 15 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books

I started the “20” Book challenge with a list of 16 books and a goal of reading 15 between June 1st and September 3rd.* So… How did I do?

  1. The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick – READ & Reviewed!
  2. Fall of Man in Wilmslow: A Novel of Alan Turing by David Lagercrantz – READ & Reviewed!
  3. The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton And Other Singular Tales from the Victorian Press by Jeremy Clay – READ & Reviewed!
  4. The Floating Light Bulb by John Gaspard (Eli Marks #5) – READ & Reviewed!
  5. World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman #3) – READ & Reviewed!
  6. Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal by Jack Kelly – READ & Reviewed!
  7. The Science of Illusions by Jacques Ninio – READ & Reviewed!
  8. Thieves, Rascals and Sore Losers: The Unsettling History of the Dirty Deals that Helped Settle Nebraska by Marilyn Coffey – READ & Reviewed!
  9. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – READ & Reviewed!
  10. Lizzie: The Letters of Elizabeth Chester Fisk 1864-1893 by Rex C. Myers (Editor) – READ & Reviewed!
  11. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger – READ & Reviewed!
  12. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – READ!
  13. Memoirs and Confessions of a Stage Magician by Donald Brandon & Joyce Brandon – There is no reason I shouldn’t finish this by Friday. My review is scheduled for next week.

The rest of the list and other notes:

  • Lord of the Dead by Tom Holland – Didn’t get to this at all.
  • Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi – DNF
  • God’s War by Kameron Hurley – DNF
  • I also read four other book that weren’t on my list.

So, that’s like 17-ish books total for the summer! (Plus 40 short stories.)


The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3) The Floating Light Bulb (An Eli Marks Mystery Book 5)

* I’m posting this “wrap-up” a little early. Thanks to Cathy @ 746 Books, 20 Books of Summer has filled my least favorite season with great reading, but Sept 1st begins my *most* favorite season. There are several events I’m looking forward to diving into on the 1st.

Posted in Readathons-Challenges-Memes

It’s Monday, What Are You… 8/27


Bout of Books Wrap Up: I read 554 pages! Stumbled, bleary, into the Twitter chat Saturday morning! Participated in some fun challenges! It was a good BoB.

But what am I reading this week?

Memoirs and Confessions of a Stage Magician Coilhunter (The Coilhunter Chronicles, #1)
  • …Memoirs and Confessions of a Stage Magician by Donald and Joyce Brandon
  • Coilhunter by Dean F. Wilson
  • “The Enemy of All the World” by Jack London

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

Posted in Male Author, Nonfiction

Review ~ The Perfect Storm

Cover via Goodreads

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger

October 1991. It was “the perfect storm”—a tempest that may happen only once in a century—a nor’easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels few people on Earth have ever witnessed. Few, except the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center. (via Goodreads)

Why was I interested in this book?
I watched the movie a few years ago and thought it was good. Having been a bestseller, there are a plethora of copies of The Perfect Storm in used bookstores, the one I own I found in the neighborhood little library.

What Worked
The core of The Perfect Storm is missing ship, the Andrea Gail. Now, what exactly happened to the Andrea Gail and her crew, no one knows. That kind of creates a problem for a possible narrative. Junger does an really good job of speculating without going wild. He offers a lot of grounding context—the history of fishing in New England, the day-to-day realities of swordfish longlining, stories from the family and friends of the  Andrea Gail‘s crew, historical weather data—so nothing ever comes across as fanciful.

There were also many other catastrophes that occurred during the 1991 “perfect” storm that we do know the details of, and those stories are harrowing. I’m a little mad at the film because I don’t recall it going into detail about these other events.

There are many technical details about sailing and the weather that I’m not sure complete sank in for me, but I was also never lost.

What Didn’t Work
I wish that there had been a better or more maps. So much in The Perfect Storm is dependent on the location of ships, storms, helicopters, buoys… And all this book gave me was a paltry map that even lacked latitude and longitude! Publishers, never underestimate the need for good maps!

The Perfect Storm is a compelling read. For me, it fits in the “I didn’t know I wanted to know about this” category of nonfiction.

Publishing info, my copy: trade paperback, Harper Perennial, 1999
Acquired: neighborhood little library, April 3, 2017
Genre: nonfiction

20 15 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books


Posted in History

Writing Update, 8/22 ~ Return of the Uncanny Valley

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?

First of all, I’ve put Our Past in the Uncanny Valley up for download for free at Entangled Continua Publishing. No strings attached. It’s available in .mobi, .azk, .epub, and .pdf formats. (Am I missing a format? Let me know, I’ll see what I can do.) If you’re interested in some classic short stories about automata, check it out!

The next thing I’m working on is publishing One Ahead: The Case of the Sorrowful Seamstress. I’m currently giving it an editing pass, next I’ll format it, then give it another edit pass, then make a cover for it, then give it another edit pass. I think I’ll be able to get it up on Amazon by early October.

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

Posted in Readathons-Challenges-Memes

📚 #BoutOfBooks 23 📚

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I know that here in Tempe summer doesn’t really end until, well, at least the equinox, but September is sort of a watershed. School has started, candy corn is on the shelves, and fall reading has begun. BUT THAT’S STILL TWO WEEKS AWAY!!! Hopefully, Bout of Books will distract me for one of those weeks.


The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea Memoirs and Confessions of a Stage Magician The White Castle

These are the three books I’d like to finish by the end of August. I’m shooting to finish the in-progress and get a few chapters into the others. I also have a couple short stories on the slate: “Initial Profit” by Bruce Davis and “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 33 ~ “Dark Warm Heart”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

“Dark Warm Heart” by Rich Larson

Card picked: 8 – My horror suit.
Found at: Tor

Noel caught her wrist, the not-sore one, and folded both hands around it. “I’m sorry about last night,” he said. “I don’t know what’s in my head, sometimes.”

The Story
Kristine and Noel are newlyweds, but Noel’s work collecting the oral tales of the Canadian Inuits has kept him away for an extended time. When Noel returns, after being caught in a freak blizzard, he’s changed. He can’t eat and is obsessed with finishing the English translations of the stories he’s recorded. Kristine is haunted by the phone call she received from Noel after his rescue, of what he told her he saw in the blowing snow.

Larson is very strong with his use of color to evoke the cold throughout this story. I’m kind of glad I read it on a toasty summer day rather than a cold winter night (though the kind of cold and snow that is in this story doesn’t exist in Arizona). Also, I’ve started to think about Readers Imbibing Peril, which doesn’t start until September, and this story was a nice little taste of horror to tide me over.