Recent events have caused me to write about my desire to have legislation drafted federally providing armed guards in schools nation wide. If you've read my last two posts on this subject than you already know my reasoning. Which is as I've said "Only a good person with a gun can put down a bad person with a gun." Or as Wayne Lapierre of the NRA paraphrased "Only good guys with guns can take out bad guys with guns." Unfortunately the NRA leading the charge for this has seemingly put the idea at odds with the anti gun crowds. I mean the NRA has the resources, and good for them, but I've seen news stories already putting forth talking points opposing it. They say there was an armed guard at Columbine and it didn't help. True, but the gun was brought in secretly by a student who opened fire in the cafeteria during lunch. The threat wasn't known and forcing their way through the front door like at Sandy Hook. Clearly an armed guard would have been a better defense at Sandy Hook than the women who rushed the gunman unarmed. GOD bless them. Those women are heroes. Sadly they were no match for the gunman. The kids didn't have an option in that situation. They didn't have a defense at all. I also heard the argument that more guns don't make things better. That's all well and good, but when shit hits the fan guess what it takes to bring things to a conclusion. More often than not it's cops with guns. Look at the world we live in today. Not with glasses of an imagined utopia, but with clarity. I have had some exposure to police and security professionals. Cops have to qualify annually with their sidearm. The ones I worked with went to the range regularly. At least once a month. The security professionals I know are mostly retired cops or former military people who not only shoot regularly, but also seek out additional training in threat assessment, target acquisition, and handgun combat tactics. The security field is fiercely competitive. Who protects your money in the bank? A guard with a gun. Who protects your businesses money in transport? Guards with guns. Who protects your property? Your home from invaders with guns? You do with a gun and the cops that respond to your calls for help with their guns. Every year people successfully protect themselves, their loved ones, and strangers from harm with a gun. If you doubt it, or can't find such stories because the news doesn't report such things you can contact the NRA. They keep an annual list. Moving on. Who protects our politicians? Secret Service and cops with guns. Who defends nations when invaded by hostile armies? The American soldier and our allies with guns. It's just the world we live in today. We have laws in place to screen gun buyers. We have laws in place to allow psychologist to send in a letter to law enforcement banning gun buyers deemed a threat. There's no way to determine when someone is going to wig out and go on a killing spree. We can only be prepared for it. Support legislation on a national level to put armed guards in every school lobby in America. Don't say it's logistically impossible. They use to say the same about the postal service. Are you really going to tell me that this country can recruit, screen, train, and post agents for multiple agencies such as the Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Defense, but we can't staff schools? Get serious. Let's get it done.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
My wife recently gave me a book for Christmas by one of my childhood hero's, Chuck Norris. This is Chucks story. All about Chuck, as told by Chuck. Or, should I say Carlos? That's right. The man the world knows as a larger than life action hero, and six time undefeated World Karate Champion is not in fact Chuck Norris. His real name is Carlos. That's the name on his birth certificate as he tells in this unusual, and inspirational book about the legends life. Chuck is a nickname given to him by his pals in the U.S. Air Force. And, the name stuck. Chuck came from humble beginnings growing up poor with two brothers with his mom who instilled in them a Christian faith. Faith was often all they had as kids. His dad was a drunkard that couldn't hold a job. Dad got drafted to fight the Nazis, and ended up missing in action only to return home with an even worse drinking problem that came with the added pleasure of violent behavior. They moved constantly, existing on handouts, and the generosity of family. They had no toys. They played with clothes pins, and spent every weekend they could watching westerns in the theaters for a dime. A shy kid that couldn't speak in front of a class he was chased by a bully everyday from school at one point. Until a gas station attendant stopped him, and made him turn around to fight the bully. Chuck won and the bully never chased him again. He went to Korea in the Air Force. But, because he wasn't much of an athlete, or academically inclined he learned Judo. Then he convinced a local villager to train him in Tang Soo Do which is one of the many martial arts forms later incorporated into Tae Kwon Do. Chuck came back to the states a black belt, taught classes on the side for extra money, opened a school, then two, then struggled financially loosing everything, and starting all over again. It just goes on and on with moments in time that mark pivotal points in his life where he had to make decisions to negotiate obstacles to move forward. Always drawing on his perseverance from training in Korea, and his faith in GOD. The story details meetings and friendships with the biggest names in Hollywood, politics, and the martial arts world. The struggles with his marriage, and how he got into acting. Do you think you know Chuck Norris? You don't know Chuck Norris until you've read this book. Oh, his family and closest friends call him Carlos. It is after all his real name.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
As our country moves ahead following the aftermath in Connecticut, and as we discuss ideas on how to safe guard our children in the future, let us not be dismissive of measures because they cost too much. Make no mistake. There isn't a terrorists in the world that hasn't noticed how badly America hurt because of this incident. Only a good person with a gun can take down a bad person with a gun. There may be copy cat crimes in our future. Terrorists may make our schools their new front line. So, I am a proponent of armed guards in our schools. All of our schools. No matter the grade. No matter the location. I think our children deserve that last full measure of security to protect them, and by time for local authorities to respond. In terms of logistics and budgets this may seem a daunting task. The good news is that police and armed security officers are everywhere. They are vetted and trained already. And, they are comprised primarily of people who have an innate desire to help. If asked I'm certain they will donate man hours to schools out of human decency and the kindness in their hearts. We are a generous people we Americans. We help each other. We protect each other, our friends, strangers on the street, and our children. We put armed guards in banks to protect money. Lets do the same for our kids in schools. Contact your Congressman, your House of Representatives, The White House. Lets get legislation going to protect our kids. It's up to us America. It's up to us to protect the future.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I'd like to take this moment to think about the families in Connecticut who lost their loved ones today. All our prayers and love are with you. As we grieve we must remember that there is evil in this world. And only good people who are prepared to combat it can stand in its way. The faculty of the school unarmed and with only their convictions of right and wrong confronted that evil and lost their lives. The fireman next door to the school ran to the scene unarmed, but prepared to help. The children ages five to ten completely defenseless cared for, and comforted each other, and as one report said directed friends away from danger. I have mind to start a nonprofit that will place an armed security guard in every school in the country. No matter what grade level, no matter where they are. I don't know if it's logistically possible. I'd like children to have at least one gun to protect them when evil comes. We can no longer leave them defenseless. We can no longer turn our backs and pretend it wont happen to us, in our town, with our kids. It's time we provide a last measure of defense for our children, as a community, as a country. The nonprofit idea would be responsible for raising donations to pay for training, back round clearances, and salary for armed security. perhaps it can be broken down to state and local levels where each community takes care of its schools as they currently do in part with police. Perhaps it can be done nation wide with legislation. Perhaps we can do something. I think for now in the short term every police and security department should volunteer man hours to staff schools in their areas. And, I think the legislation route may be in order for the long run. So, contact your congressman, senators, or the White House and ask for help to defend our kids. This doesn't have to happen again. One trained officer with a gun could stop evil next time.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Every once in a while I make up my mind to get into a real book. You know one of those kind your hands get tired of holding because it's so thick. And, Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor with 766 pages about fits that mold. A story of American military might and ingenuity pitted against an enemy that never forgot. The Japanese. It's a complicated plot to take over the world both financially and militarily. Each piece of the puzzle performed in plain sight, yet so subtle no one puts the pieces together until it's too late. No one that is of course, but Jack Ryan the new head of National Security to the President of the United States. Clancy brings, as readers of his work already know, a level of detail inexperienced readers may find a bit dry, even boring, but for those of us who love tales of espionage, spy vs. spy, or global domination, it's that level of detail, that level of expertise, that weaves the story so well. It's what makes Clancy's work so good.
The latest in the House of Night series continues to deliver the drama with Zoey Redbird and her circle of friends. Once again it is up to them to do battle with the evil Neferet, and the darkness she has allied herself with. It is Neferet's plan to rule humanity, but first she insists on trying to kill Zoey Redbird. Zoey is the young high priestess gifted by Nyx with an infinity for all the elements, and is the only one in Neferet's way. It wasn't enough for Neferet to kill Zoey's mother, so now she will go after Granny. The source of Zoey's strength, and ancient Cherokee majick. Even with her circle of besties they simply may not be able to battle back the shadowy, snake like tentacles at Neferet's command. Zoey may have an unlikely ally. Kalona, her one time enemy. Can Zoey get over the fact that Kalona killed her one time love Heath? Will Zoey's circle hold even if someone decides to leave? Yep. There is one who thinks she is done with the whole make a circle and battle evil thing. Will Zoey quit? She hasn't quit yet, but then again, grandma was never facing certain death before. It may all be too much. She'll have to dig deep to find what she needs to come out on top in this, the greatest battle of her life. Always entertaining. This is a delightful, and cleverly written story from cover to cover. A must have for any reader.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
K.B. Miller has brought Compulsion back bigger and better than ever. A hot new cover just in time for Halloween, thousands of additional words, and a new character direct from Irish lore, a brogadh. A being that goes around killing vampires. There's a character for everyone to like in this one. At it's heart is a forbidden love story between Lily, a newly empowered witch fresh out of high school, and a hot vampire named Mason, who's been around a while. No one is sulking or glittery in this one. And, Lily is not timid or scared. She is the epitome of a young girl who's been handed an incredible amount of stuff to deal with, and she goes about it in a female John Wayne fashion by kicking butt as she learns and grows along the way. In this tale Lily's family is from Ireland, and they are all witches, and they are suppose to kill the vampire abominations. We find out in the back story that it is due to one of their own creating them in the first place performing magick gone horribly wrong trying to save a loved one. And, the vampires want to kill the witches, blaming them for their existence , no matter who they are, and take their powers. And, there's more. The vamps have help from an evil witch named Maylee. If the vamps succeed they will destroy humanity and rule the world. Only the witches of the Moon Coven stand in their way. It was Lily's grandmother Leeny Moon who protected them all and led the coven of old. But, Leeny is killed, and Lily must take her place, and learn about her magick, and protect her family which makes up her coven, and teach the new generation of witches about their magick, and protect the town from hungry vamps, and themselves, and they have to do it by Halloween or it'll be too late. Oh, and Lily must decide if the guy she's crushin on "Mason" is a good vampire, or is in league with the enemy. K.B. Miller writes with a fresh, vibrant imagination that captures the reader from the first sentence to the last, and at this rate is destined to become one of the greatest female authors of all time. Compulsion is her debut novel, her baby, and there are ten companion novellas, five full length novels, and a book of shadows to come in this exciting series. To tantalize her readers the first Novella "Haunted Moon" is available as a free download, and has been number one on amazon's YA books list for some time now. The author like her character Lily Moon has a bad case of A.D.D., and is diligently working on a number of other series simultaneously when she isn't guzzling coffee, or answering interviewers from places like Romania, Japan, India, and London. I only named four because she did thirty just last weekend alone. You can read about her series and place your orders at K.B.Miller@Weebly.com Congratulations K.B. Miller and thank you for adding so much entertaining fodder to the world wide fabric of literary art.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
A wonderful witchy read. The ghost of Tillie MacDougal great aunt of Mara Stephens, a young witch with plenty yet to learn, and her live in gay roommate Gus are off to save the world. Leaving Mara's magical baby behind(the result of a possessed romp), with Paul, (reluctant daddy), Mara, Gus, Tillie, and oh yes Gundleshank, (ghost frog), are full speed ahead to the Geraghty Girls House. A B&B run by witches Birdy, Lilly, and younger witch Stacy who is a sceptic, but also is (the seeker of justice). The threat is of a soul seeker running about on All Hallows Eve who wants to feed the souls of unsuspecting trick or treaters to a hungry demon soul eater in order to bring about hell on earth. With magical wands, and swords flashing it's a night they'll not soon forget. Aside from minor punctuation errors, (the dreaded comma), and a couple, (two) words that didn't belong the story rocked the reader along as if on a roller coaster for little ones at an amusement park. It would make a great bed time story for little ones to read to themselves before turning out the light. It was up beat, the language was colorful at times, and enjoyable enough that I read it straight through. A talented author well worth your time.
A twisted tale of murder, and lies. San Francisco Detective Thomas James looses his best friend Detective Michael Kirkland while on investigation of a not too common homicide, and is drug through hell. Literally, where he is raped by demons, and forced to witness the most heinous of evil deeds. But, was the whole hell thing real, or induced hallucinations brought on by a former Nazi who gets his kicks from gassing the innocent. All is not certain. He is also faced with the wicked murder of his own child hood crush. And, it is up to him, the F.B.I., his loving Captain (a mother figure), and a strange former K.G.B. agent to figure out how the devil himself is playing his part in a series of murders through the last century. It's a rightfully entertaining story for the genre of horror fiction. And, it is an honest first attempt at a debut book from a former theatrical play writer. The reader will have to excuse the editing for that step seems to have been skipped. There are missed words, and punctuation errors everywhere, and it was for that frustration that I did not read it straight through. However, it is a story I found myself going back to in my spare time to read what happened next, and it serves the purpose of a brief perusal very well. I recommend you check it out. And, give this budding author a chance to scare you.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I've been in a Forsyth mood lately. In The Phantom of Manhattan Mr. Forsyth continues the story of the classic Phantom of the Opera. A story most only know from twentieth century movies, and plays. It's a story created by a Frenchman long ago utilizing the Paris opera house. The only conceivable opera house in which a phantom could exist. Details of the opera house are revealed like the seven stories of it that are below ground the lowest of which comes to an underground lake formed by water over the years seeping into the foundations. It's a love story that picks up where the old story leaves off explaining what happened to the phantom? What happened to the songbird he fell in love with? What happened between them before she was rescued? It's an impressive tale of resilience, of secrets, of love and passion that never dies. It's a quick read that will tug on your heart strings and leave you smiling in the end at how Mr. Forsyth neatly wraps this one up.
In this age of Obama politics I yearned for a time gone by I remember with fondness. A time when the lines between good and evil were more clearly defined. A time when the leader of the free world was one to be admired for his courage and not because he is a likable black guy. A time when same said leader didn't apologize for his own country. A time when nuclear war depended on the chess moves of the worlds military might. I'm talking about the time when America and its allay's were pitted against the U.S.S.R. West verses East. I found such a time period in the pages of The Forth Protocol. A story about Russia's attempt to take over the British government using it's top spy to set off a low yield nuke at an American air base in Briton. Just in time for British elections. Just in time to sway public opinion to support a party more in line with Moscow's interest than Briton's and America's. Such a disaster would have people calling for American troops to be sent away along with nuclear disarmament leaving all of Western Europe defenseless against soviet aggression. Enter MI5 and MI6 to track down the spy. discover the plot, and save western civilization. GOD save the queen. I've long been a Forsyth fan and this one deserves as much attention today as it did the day it was published. If only to remind us of where we all came from.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This is a manly mans story about an elite unit of Australian solders who try to capture an enemy General. Their mission is thwarted however when an unexpected fire fight breaks out, and they are forced to withdraw thinking they just blew up the intended target. There's a heck of a-lot of detail given to the engagements, to the sights on the soldiers weapons, the vehicle they seem to favor, and a whole lot more. It's set in the time period following the 9/11 attack on America, and brings to light the efforts, and sacrifices of our beloved Aussie friends whom we appreciate, and love. A decent book for an adult military fiction lover.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Let it not be said that I am a fan of YA fantasy books, but every so often I have a taste for something shall we say without hurting any feelings here more mature. Meaning books written before my time. Like the odessa file. And no I haven't forgotten to use caps. It's written that way. All lower case. Published in 1972 which is before I was born. Mr. Forsyth intertwines the very real life story of SS Captain Roschmann with that of a head strong reporter by the name of Miller (no relation) who seeks to find the self exiled Captain, and bring him to justice. Because of Mr. Forsyth's knowledge of events, and that time period not only from living in London, but as a Reuters, and BBC reporter, and as a RAF pilot undoubtedly with his own list of contacts he can call to meet in a pub for a pint. The reader is brought to the time, and place described in exacting detail throughout the story. And, what a story it is. According to the publisher Roschmann's story is backed by SS, and West German Records. Anyone with a love of history particularly WWII history will wonder how much of the thrill of the chase is fact or fiction? Which characters are real? Which are not? For it's already known that some are. Miller thinks it'll be no big deal to track down a man in hiding. He learns quickly he'll be against the men of the odessa former SS men themselves, and hired sympathizers who don't play well with others. Does Miller find his man, or end up floating in a canal. If you've never read odessa now is the time. A note of warning however. If you've never read, or spoken German before you may struggle with some of the town names in the book. but, be assured they are real places as described. And, the writing style is not what one who is new to reading would be use to. Be brave. Challenge yourself to read, or as in my case to re-read, and re-read again a master's work.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
During an earthquake a great seal is broken allowing evil demons to come forth. Inhabiting people in order to take over the world the battle to save humanity is on. Demons turn into smoke, and enter their victims bodies turning eyes to red, and forcing them to do their bidding. The battle isn't going well as even the United States ceases to exist. Lead by an old Navy Admiral remnants of the human resistance are on their last legs. But, the Admiral's daughter Remy a teenage girl gifted at hand to hand combat, her monstrously strong brother Greg, and her Einstein brilliant sister Shan have a plan. It's dangerous, and they may all perish, but it is their only option. If they're successful they'll have the upper hand. They may even have help in the form of a Druid named Daelen whom even the demons seem to fear. Entertaining, and a quick read. Oceans of Red rocks it from start to finish.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Liz s a newly turned vampire thanks in part to her new found love Michael, and both are in trouble before the council. Liz is whisked off to a cell thinking she's doomed, but nope. Just wanted to read your mind to see if you could keep our secret sweetie. Quirky little things like that carry on throughout the tale making it a delight to read. Who knew vampires had a sense of humor, or were so human? Liz finds herself on the cusps of a revolt in the vampire world. She must find out all about how to be a vampire, and how to fight against those who plot to over throw the current rulers of the vampire nation. She must feed on occasion, preferably not on the innocent, pursue her love interest, learn to use magic, fight demons, possibly become queen, and save the world. A tall order you may ask? Not if you are Liz. And, not if Willow Cross is your author. Willow as always packs a punch writing in a lot of this and that to create a fun story of vamps, witch craft, and wizardry that will have you passing the time with a smile on your face. Willow has fast become one of my all time favorite authors who's stories I actively seek out. I've yet to be disappointed with her work, and don't imagine you will be either.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Willow is one of very few authors that can pack a-lot in a short story. Afterlife has got it all. It starts with a young Confederate soldier, Private William Townsend discovering himself as a ghost after being fatally shot in the head. William becomes embarrassed when a very beautiful girl by the name of Miss Angelica whom he mistakes for a fairy princess happens upon him while William is cursing his efforts to throw himself back into his body. It was hilarious. Miss Angelica turns out to be a vampire living a secluded life in a large cabin in the woods, protected by her mother who wishes her hundred year old daughter to remain seventeen forever, and the muscled up Michael. William is smitten by Miss Angelica's beauty and decides to hang around her as she seems to be the only one who can see him, and because she seems to know more about what he can do as a ghost than he does, They spat like young lovers do. And, she throws temper tantrums at her mother like teenagers do. She disobeys, and runs off because she is self assured she knows all only to run into a town populated by werewolves. Danger is all around, but wait there's help from a couple of witches named Marie, and Damien who are blessed with the gift of sight, and know of their situation. What will happen? I can't tell you. I can only say that this book, this short story, this gem of a tale was a delight to read. The men characters were written like men. Not some metro sexual , cross fairy , cross thing, and as a man I appreciated that. The women characters were alluring, and behaved as women do according to my own experience, and I also appreciated that. There's magic there's intrigue, and I loved it, and can't wait for more.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
We all got a taste of what Kymberlee Burks-Miller could do when she released her debut novel Compulsion. And, we all fell in love with it instantly as evidenced by all of the artwork, personal stories, and volunteerism of fans from all over the world. In the beginning of the story we met Lily, The teenage girl main character who would go on to become a powerful witch leading her Moon Coven against evil vampires. Lily receives a cell phone call from her dad. He gives her the news her grandmother had died. From that moment on the story escalated into the phenomena we know today. But, who was her grandmother? Aileen-Fionna Moon, or Leeny as she was called by her loved ones was much loved by Lilly. And, we all felt our heart strings pulled for the grandmother lost. But, we never really knew her. Who was she really? What kind of a witch was she? Was she particularly powerful? What kind of person was she? Kymberlee didn't leave us hanging. In fact she seems to have planned in advance with a witches intuition of her own. Haunted Moon is Leeny's story. Starting from the time she was a child. We get to see the family dynamic of how she interacted with her parents. We see the love of family. We even see the spats between Leeny, and her younger sister. We get to see how Leeny comes into her magic. The training under her Mom's tutelage. And, we even get to see her fight.This novella is a treasured glimpse into Granny's beginnings that every Compulsion fan must have. Even better news is that right now Kymberlee is reworking Compulsion into an absolute masterpiece with added scenes, details, and a vibrant new cover that should be available around the same time her second novella comes out , Harvest Moon. There is much more from Kymberlee coming our way soon. You can follow her on facebook. Kymberlee Burks-Miller/Author.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Forsyth shows his impressive BBC reporter side in this one. He has so much detail, and there is so much research backing it, and the scope is so vast, and complex that other authors would simply think embarking on a similar project themselves too difficult. So, they wouldn't do it. Making Forsyth the king, and one to be studied, and learned from. He is the professor of story telling, and his class in The Afghan is on tribal history, dialects, sociology in how they behave amongst themselves, with each other, and in the political arena. He weaves together with his story a history of Bin Laden, Al Qaeda how they came to be, and how America along with her closest friends the British deal with them. Mike Martin is an Englishman retired from British military service as an elite para trooper, and secret agent. He was restoring an old farmhouse when one night over a cup of hot tea in an orchard he agreed to come back into service for a clandestine operation that will infiltrate him into the Middle East. Intelligence Services has learned of a plot, but of course they don't know anything more. Mike Martin is perfectly suited for the mission as he has a working knowledge of the area, the language, and the people from his past missions. Also as the child with parentage from the area he looks the part, and speaks the dialects better than most. One small problem may come up. He may run into people who remember him from his past missions. People who know who he really is. This story is set in the time following 9/11 and Forsyth tells it as if he'd lived it himself. His depth of knowledge will satisfy any hunger for detail you as the reader may have. If you like espionage, or spy thrillers of any kind, you'll love this one. And, if you're a writer. You may just be taught a thing or two.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
A sweet little girl named Samantha with blue sparkly eyes looses her mom, and dad tragically one day. This sends her from a world of music, and happiness to one of utter despair with her aunt who hates music. Her aunt insists on silence, and even takes Samantha's radio. She can't stop young Samantha from listening to the trees though as they dance in the breeze, or the yellow song bird, or the music from the forests. Will Samantha rediscover happiness with nature? Will she be an influence on her aunt? This story isn't all doom, and gloom. It does have a happy ending. And, at the heart of it all is Sparkle's Song. A wonderful book for kids facing adversity. Highly recommended.
Lost in London is a wonderful children's book featuring adorable, lovable, dog detective jack, and his deputy Poco Loco. The Ravens at The Tower of London have disappeared, and it's up to this perceptive duo to find them. According to legend the Ravens have mystical powers, and protect the kingdom. Their absence spells disaster if they are not found, and returned. Fortunately for our detectives they get hot leads from Rat Riddler the self proclaimed eyes, and ears of the city. This is an entertaining, and beautifully illustrated book for kids of any age. The book is huge making the pictures large, and colorful. The colors are bright as cartoon stills, yet have a warm feel as if done with water color paint. I would have loved, and treasured this one if it was mine as a kid. I highly recommend this for your little boy, or girl. It's simply charming.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Beware the review trolls lurking in the shadows, stalking the web for fresh new books to sink their claws into. Why call them trolls you may ask? Simple. They are the most vial, wicked, nasty, slimy, viscous, evil creatures out there if you are an author seeking an honest review of your pride, and joy book. They are trolls because they don't bother to even read the book they are allegedly reviewing. Trolls can't read. And, skimming through a book looking for pictures doesn't count. Trolls are dumb, stupid, grotesque creatures that want nothing more than to ruin an authors chances for success jealous that they were unable to write anything in coherent sentences themselves. You will know if a troll has posted a review of your work by the way they complain about parts of the story that don't exist anywhere except for in the infantile imagination of their puny troll brain. If you have been a victim of a troll review please tell your friends, and band together to rid the intellectual community of these dark beasts. Our strength is in our numbers, and the trolls are now on notice.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Some of you who have reviewed my back round know that I spent a number of years in the service of a particular police agency. Some of the finest people I ever had the pleasure to know worked with me. At the time psychology was a hobby of mine. I used it to understand my surroundings, and the people around me. I wanted to know what deep seeded motivations drove people to do a job that is for most intolerable. I'm not talking about the modern day Roman Centurions patrolling their assigned area dolling out tickets to raise revenue for their masters. That's where they all start. Granted that's all some of them will ever do, but no I'm referring to the ones who try to catch the real baddies out there. In an unprecedented study of seven years devoted to observation, and informal interviews I've come up with four types of cops. In no particular order here they are. First, is The Bully Cop. They imposed their will when they were younger, and they look at having a badge, and gun as a way to impose themselves now. They walk with a swagger sometimes trading their issued side arm for a larger, flashy one. They will shout down a citizen, and are fast to react violently. But, they are usually really good at giving out tickets on a daily basis. Often setting new department records. Type two is The Coward Cop. These people have a genuine fear of society. Afraid of strangers, afraid of who might have a gun. Fearful of burglars, of car jackers, of dogs. They are not the ones you want pulling you over for a speeding ticket as one wrong move on your part, and you'll find yourself full of holes. They often perform their jobs with gusto providing they have backup. Otherwise they will avoid confrontation. The third is The Drifter Cop. These people usually have a military back round. They applied to various departments, and companies after the service and their police agency just happened to call first. They passed all the tests, and now they're cops. They're generally laid back, easy going, sociable people. They won't volunteer to do too much, but they will go with you to a local bar for a beer. The forth type is The Hero Cop. These are the ones driving the tires off of their cars to get to the scene first. They often had a positive experience when they were younger involving law enforcement, and are looking to return the favor. They want to do the job because they're looking to make a difference. They are usually very helpful. So, there you are. Take it for what it's worth.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Seems to me there are two sides of an argument here. Either one is on the side of editing is king, therefore nothing else matters, or one is on the side of anything but editing is important. Unfortunately for both sides it's not that black, and white. As with all arguments, and with all subject matters with any importance at all; there are many shades of grey. Lets take the editing is king crowd first. These people look at a work of writing,of perhaps any kind, from an article in the newspaper containing their favorite comic strips, to a novel by a well known author, with much more than passing interest. It's an obsession. They look for errors because they either can't help not to, or they make it their life's work to nit pick someone else's stuff. They may not be up to the task of putting a book together themselves, so they turn to what is easier for them, clinging to the right, and wrong of what they were taught, instead of using the imagination they were born with. They may not have the spark of creative genius, to render anything in writing, so as to contribute to the knowledge, the very fabric of intellectual material making up the writing world. They are perhaps editors themselves, or worse college students who think that because they've got a college professor teaching them how to use punctuation, and review lines for grammatical errors that they suddenly know everything about it. Or, tragically they feel that they are in a position, to preach to the rest of the world, how wrong the rest of us are. But, if we would only look to them for guidance, they will fix everything. Never mind, the fact that school boards meet every year, and I do mean college educators meet every single year, to discuss among themselves how to use, and teach the use of writing, and punctuation. The use of the comma, colon, and semi colon simply cannot be decided, and thus, they're use changes each year. Any one who has talked to their college English professor about grammar should already know this. These people too cannot be defined in black, or white terms because they could be anybody with an interest in editing, or a will to discover what was previously perceived to not exist. Mistakes. It's only natural. It's human. We have an inner drive to discover what isn't there. Each of us. It's not a failing. It's to be admired. It's how we humans built civilizations, and have gone to the moon after all. It's that can do attitude to find a solution, and if there isn't one than to create it that's won wars. That's spawned inventions that have made our lives easier, and more enjoyable. So, lets now look at the other side shall we. Those that either do not hold editing in such high regard, either because they, heaven forbid, don't care, or because they simply don't know that much about it to do so with any effectiveness. These are the free writers. Those who can spin a tale. Those with a natural ability to simply sit, and talk from sun up to sun down. Those who's stories have captured the imaginations of people the world over. Those who's works will stand the test of time. These are the one's under constant scrutiny from the other side. So what can these people do. if they even care to avoid such criticism? It's up to them isn't it? Damn right. In order to avoid the editing correct crowd they must pursue perfection in editing their works. However, since the rules for editing change year after year perfection can never be obtained. This makes any criticism what so ever completely pointless, and meaningless. I mean spelling is a given. That's something everyone can fix. We have dictionaries for that. Please do reference a dictionary in book form instead of looking up your words on line as much of what is online may be wrong. It should be a mission of the writer to put forth their very best work for public consumption. That is in keeping with the traditions of their chosen craft. Some have an advantage in that others will edit their work for them. Some have entire teams of editors working on their stuff. Honestly, I have reviewed books edited allegedly by fifteen different editor types, and still found mistakes. Only one good one that knows what they are doing is necessary. So whether your with a huge company, or independent odds are equal in getting it right. For the writer can also teach themselves the finer points of editing because all the information in current, and past use is available on line for free. Just be aware that this free information like the dictionary may be wrong. If however you the writer fall into the trap of putting your trust into anyone, but yourself to edit your material before it is released than I'm sorry to say the repercussions are all yours. You must be the one to review your work last. And, you must maintain control of how it looks, and how it's put together if you wish to be happy with what is out there with your name on it. I know of some people who have made it their life's work to create small publishing companies promising hopeful authors the world only to find that they were thieves. And, when things went wrong, when they broke with their hopeful author, when they sent back the files containing said author's hopes, and dreams, they had someone riddle it with spelling, and grammatical errors first. This happens more than anyone knows. And, some e book distributors will replace the sabotaged copies once they are redone, and some will not. So beware of such things, and always, always be the last to see your stuff before it goes out. Now, I think that just about covers it for me. I hope this was helpful to someone, anyone who may be struggling with themselves trying to figure where they are in this global crisis. I was taught by my English professor to use a book titled a writers reference which is full of rules for punctuation. Keeping in mind she was the one who told me about the meetings each year, and it was the book being utilized for that year. I however only followed said rules sparingly here. Feel free to edit me. I know where the mistakes are, but it would be fun for me to see what you come up with. Good luck, and best wishes to you all whatever side you are on.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Evie is at it again. She left IPCA to have a normal life with her not so normal boyfriend Lend. But, when her old boss Raquel tracks her down, and offers her reemployment our bored to death with normal life Evie just can't refuse. Ahh, but she's still an empty one, and all the paranormal world may still hold a destiny for her. She tries to pick, and choose missions she really has no choice in, avoid the ever persistent faery Reth, and juggle her school, work, and social life in the real world. Evie finds having her cake, and eating it too difficult to say the least. Evie takes us with the help of a mischievous boy named Jack on adventure after adventure dodging trolls, socking vamps, and avoiding the Unseelie queen's Ire, well almost. She had a nice boat. Evie is endearing with snarky comments you'd picture a teenage girl to make, an emotional basket case, a loyal friend, and a fierce fighter. One of the greatest joys of reading is to be drawn into the story, and picture yourself right there with the characters. To see what they see, and to experience what they feel. Kiersten accomplishes this brilliantly. I enjoyed this as much as the first, and look forward to a third.
A wonderful departure from reality's normality. That best sums up this unique world of IPCA a group of agents tasked with locating, tagging, and bagging paranormal creatures the world over. And the star of this organization, the only person on earth to see through the glamors these creatures show the rest of us to hide their true natures is a pretty, young girl. An orphan who had been taken in by the agency, who has been trained, and who has worked for all her known years. A teenager who longs for a normal life in high school, with classes, and gossip, and her very own locker. A girl named Evie. Using faery paths to travel, a pink teaser only she could carry, and trying desperately to act like a normal teen despite falling for a guy made of water, and trying to avoid a faery named Reth who wants her for himself. Evie fights to save paranormals from being slaughtered by a fire girl who oddly enough glows with the same luminescence that's on her own heart, and wrists thanks to Reth. Whether part of a grand scheme, or whether she can do anything at all to stop the killing this young lady takes the reader on an epic journey far away from reality. The reading smooth, and easy on the eyes, as well as the mind, and flows like water. I am now a fan, and will own all this writer puts forth. A quick history lesson. The word (faery) spelled this way is the archaic form of the word. It isn't wrong. It's one of those precious few words with different spellings. Modern English spells it fairy. They are one in the same, and make reading charming. Keltic is another one. Much of faery lore comes from Ireland. Kiersten incorperates both in this truely enjoyable series.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Book four the last of The Iron Fey stories is an emotional roller coaster ride to the End Of The World. That's where Ash the Winter Prince who swore himself to his love Meghan Chase the new Iron Queen must journey in order to fulfill his promise to her. His promise to find a way to exist, and thus be with her in the Iron Realm. Ash knows he must journey to the Testing Grounds at The End Of The World. There he can hope to win a soul of his own which will make him a mortal, and thus iron won't harm him. With a soul he could be with his Meghan, but his former love Ariella is also there tormenting his heart, and Puck is there not making things easy as he's professed to love Meghan as well. Many decisions, and sacrifices will be made. Thankfully Grimalkin the cat seith is there to keep things in order in true I don't care if you live or die cat fashion. That is if he doesn't get eaten by their other more menacing companion The Big Bad Wolf who's along on the journey with his own agenda in mind. I was delighted to read this story. I was upset. I was happy. I was most of all sad that it is now over, and there is no more. I want more. I can imagine another series just begging to be written. Maybe the fans of The Iron Fey can convince Julie to give us more. This set has become one of my favorites that I know I'll read again, and again. Well done Miss Kagawa. Well done indeed.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Banished to the mortal world for the pursuite of love young Meghan Chase, and the former Winter Prince Ash are off to confront the new false Iron King who is destroying the Nevernever, and bring him down once, and for all. But, Meghan's not just blindly running into the frey this time. She's convinced Ash to teach her how to fight, how to use her glamour, she's tired of being helpless. She has unfinished business with Leanansidhe the exile's queen who has helped her before, giving her refuge in her manor. However, Meghan has learned Leanansidhe has also been keeping her dad among the humans she's collected over the years for her own amuzement. The dad who had raised her as his own, and disappeared when she was very young. The Puck is there to keep things light, but it will take more than pranks to bring down the Iron King's army. Alliances must be made. In the world of the fey promises must be kept. And, in the end someone must sacrafice everything to make things right. The Iron Fey series is a carnival ride of love, laughs, excitement, and surprises. I expected the writing to drindle letting detail wayne, but no. Julie keeps up her craft honerably. Not perfect, but the text mistakes again can be counted on one hand which puts her head, and shoulders above most in her field, and makes the reading truely enjoyable. This is a set I would be happy reading again, and again.
Meghan Chase is held at the Unseelie Winter Court in Tir Na Nog. Brought there by her supposed love Ash the winter prince son of Mab the queen who is at odds with her father Oberon the Erlking of the Seelie Summer Court. Poor Meghan is forced to endure the cold torment of her less than hospitable host. That is until the scepter of the seasons is stolen from Mab's thrown room. A traitor is at work as swords clash, and blood is spilled sending the seasons out of balance The Winter and Summer Courts to war, and Meghan on an impossible quest to find who stole the scepter, and return it. She isn't alone as old friend Robin Goodfellow (the Puck) ever by her side protective as always tries to win her heart with a grin, and a joke, but Meghan only has eyes for Ash who Puck must fight in a desperate battle to the death. Somehow they must work together to help Meghan find the scepter to stop the war all the while facing the even more imposing threat of a new Iron King. Though Meghan killed the original Iron King another has risen to take his place. Only with the help of Grimalkin a cat sith who turns up only when he feels like it, and who's help always comes at a price, and a mighty Iron fey warrior former enemy Iron Horse, and a host of other banished characters in the In Between will she have a chance to make it out of this adventure alive. The Iron Fey stories bristle with folklore, myth, and legends. Clearly the author has done her homework, and clearly if complete submersion in a world of fairy tales, and dreams is what your looking for than you will love book two as much as you loved the first.
Friday, February 17, 2012
It's Presidents Day weekend. I am reminded of the only President I ever loved, probably because I was a kid, and while other things were going on I watched him speaking whenever he was on the tele. I'm talking about President Ronald Reagan. It was a dark time for America. We were in the middle of a Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Eagle against the Bear. Our President, a handsome, charismatic, former Hollywood actor who knew how to work the camera represented our line of defense against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Each one had the ability to launch an all out nuclear war with a single phone call. It should not be forgotten. Students during this time period were practicing huddling under their desks in schools all over the country. The threat of mutual assured destruction was the only thing holding each side in check. Each one playing the greatest military chess match the world has ever seen. Whenever they met no one knew what the outcome would be. They were so much different in ideology, and neither was willing to loose ground giving the other a strategic advantage over the other. One thing is certain though. Reagan represented us well. He didn't back down. When he spoke the world listened, and those in prison in the Soviet Union because they fought for freedom cheered. When Reagan was elected our Navy ships were on patrol in the Persian Gulf. Iranian fighters would buzz the ships, but the former president didn't allow our ships to engage them. Reagan was elected, and one of the first things he did was give the go ahead to our Navy. The next time those fighters came around they got targeted with anti air radar. The pilots knew they could be shot down, and they never buzzed the ships again. Another little known fact was that American hostages were released upon Reagan's election. The hostages were taken by terrorists, and the former president couldn't get them back. Well, word went out that Reagan wasn't playing, so they were released immediately. And, Reagan didn't gloat. He allowed the former President to meet them as they returned. Reagan never sought credit for it. He took up the business of government very seriously insisting on a suit coat and tie in the White House at all times. He believed in America, in American people, and American business. he knew we had everything necessary to be the greatest nation on earth. And, he wanted to protect it. Keep in mind that the Soviet Union had hundreds of intercontinental ballistic missiles targeted at American cities. Mutual assured destruction remember. There is no defense once they are launched. Not unless you can find a way to shoot them down. Reagan came up with Star Wars, the technology hadn't been invented yet. Reagan tasked the Pentagon think tanks to invent it anyway. That's what American do. If it doesn't exist we invent it. This sent America into a spending war with Russia trying to come up with it first, and it was highly provocative. We won. The Air Force now has a satellite capable of shooting down incoming missiles, and both land, and sea base anti missile systems are currently in place. We are well protected, both sides have reduced their missile supply steadily ever since, the Berlin wall came down. Remember when Reagan stood at the wall giving a speech, and told Gorbachev to tear it down. Before that if you tried to sneak across you were shot by Soviet soldiers with machine guns. At the end of his presidency Reagan fell to Alzheimer's. His wife Nancy never failed him. Gorbachev came to Washington to pay his respects to his former chess mate. Will we ever have another President like him? I don't think so. It was a different time and America's threats were well known. The world has changed as it always does. We've had President's remembered for "Read my Lips", another for infidelity, one who took the fight to the terrorists, I would have nuked them myself, and one who to my knowledge hasn't so much as run a school store now in control of the largest economy on earth. No, I don't think we'll see his like again.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Bloody brilliant! The devil is truly in the details with this gem of a tale Julie perfectly blends parts of real Irish folklore about the fey (fairies) with Shakespeare's Mid Summer Nights Dream taking Goodfellow (Puck) from the play and working her own bit of glamour (magic) to make a lovely story about a girl named Meghan Chase who lost her father as a child and so was brought up by her mom and her step dad Luke a pig farmer. Ethan her four year old half brother and their dog Beau a german shepherd are her only concerns Until her brother is switched with a changeling by fey and she is led into the world of the nevernever (fairyland) by her guide Puck. The Erlking Oberon (her father) as it is discovered wished she never found her way into the world of fairy as he presides over the Seelie Court of Arcadia a warm colorful part of the fairyland because his enemies may use her against him In fairyland everything has a price She's already bartered her life with a talking cat and escaped being dinner to hungry trolls. She's lost her heart to the winter prince of the Unseelie Court who is as likely to kill her as whatever took her brother, and the dangers just keep coming. I could curse this author for I love stories of this type, but seldom am I satisfied with the level detail provided talking about such things. This is the first in the series, and I am hooked. The pictures she paints with the words make you feel part of the adventure. You see, feel, and taste what the characters do. You are drawn into the land of fairy with them. Complete submersion, and that is something I love. I was satisfied with what was presented, and at the end I hungered for more. We won't discuss editing for I've yet to see a YA book that is perfect, but the number of errors I discovered can be counted on one hand. This story is fabulous, fantastic, exceptional, and wonderfully written. I love it.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wow ! I can't believe how much I enjoyed The Pirate Princess. It's a children's book ! But, wait there's more ! Big World Network has it on audio on line ! Tawn Krakowski author, and narrator of this magnificent little gem has a clear, soothing, yet engaging, and entertaining voice I just loved listening too. I did not at all find it childish, or boring, or tiring in the least. I was instantly hooked, at first by the title, and then by the courage of a very brave eleven year old girl. Tasked by a family legacy to sail the seas under the guise of having been abducted by pirates who would be under her fathers employ the king of Pufftania. This to insure she will have no one interfering with her quest. Only young princess Penny once she is aboard her fake pirate vessel doesn't know who to trust fully feeling in her gut that there is a spy among them. Her legacy of a map handed down for three hundred years, and under her care for being the ninth royal child of the line in her family leads her through a stormy sea to a devilish island. Here she'll explore until she finds an oasis in the heart of a volcano, and with time suspended by a mermaid learn the true nature of why she had to undertake such a perilous adventure. The story just heats up as the spy among her crew is revealed, swords are drawn, people are stabbed, and the treachery is afoot. Can Penny save herself, and those of her crew who are loyal to her? Can they stop the evil plan of a wizard from three hundred years ago who was thwarted once before from destroying her family, and ruling Pufftania. This story rocked with grace, charm, and I love it. I lounged on the couch listening contentedly while drinking my tea one segment at a time. This format has some real appeal for those who want to do something with their hands while still getting reading in. Well done ! Very well done !
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I don't really know what to think about this one. It took me a long while to get through it. I found myself walking away from it to think about what was happening. I found I didn't forget a single part of it. Once I'd read it that was it. I didn't need to go over it again. It was as if I'd read it before. Jamais vu perhaps. I was at first irritated because it seemed the star character an attractive young girl named Darby was already dead. Then she wasn't, but then there was a whole lot of phycho babble trying to make sense of everything that was happening. It was an excellent argument for taking gun safety seriously. There's a boy she shouldn't be seeing. A looser who's too critical of her and fancie's her sister instead. She falls for a pill popping, motorcycle riding, singer in a band named Kasey. She has feelings for his possibly evil friend named Matt. She's at odds with her family over what happened to her. And, then she discovers she has the power to change it all. All she's seen, and experienced. All that wasn't right. She could simply fix it. All of this happening while discussing it with her shrink. It's as if your inside the head of a teenage girl arguing with herself over the great questions of life. Is there GOD? Is there good and evil? Is there anything I can do about it either way? What do I have to do with anything? Where do I fit in? Ect, ect, ect... It was interesting from the start. It held my interest. I kept reading. It's a story with a complexity of many characters with many story lines interwoven. It was done very well. In the end I liked it. I may have been bored, but then again for any guy who likes Die Hard movies just reading a book with female phycho analysis is a feat. It may have seemed dry, and I may have been uninterested in it at times, but in the end I really, really liked it. The author has brought forth what all of us eventually ask ourselves. What we all struggle with. And, some of the experiences perhaps more than a few of us have seen, and gone through. It was brilliant. This is one you should definitely buy, and quietly enjoy in your favorite reading place.
When wifey came to me and said she was ready to be a writer I was very, very pleased. She's written all her life always carrying around a notebook, and pen. Always jotting down ideas that popped in her head. I knew she'd hit on a winner. I knew that if she could follow through with it she could write forever bringing to the masses many entertaining stories. Naturally, I was all for it. She wrote Compulsion, and then came up the whole how do I get it on book store shelves question. A publisher? Well one publisher approached her saying how wonderful the story was, and how it was the next big thing. They had offices in America and London. They would handle everything. And, she would maintain control of it all. Yea right. Not only did they try to back out of what they promised they tried to withdraw monies from her bank account for work they were not authorized to do. One guy got fresh with her then when they were called on all this they cut off communication. Just disappeared. Then she got out of that mess, and talked to another. Seemingly real people with much in common. Supposedly with their own radio show with sixty five million listeners. Supposedly able to publish and promote for any one who joined them. Okey doky, not. Turns out they paid for their air time, but didn't pay the bill was no where near the audiance number for the show any way. They could not publish as they promised so wifey did it herself. They lied, they stole, they lied some more, and when wifey broke from them it was the best thing that could have happened. Wifey and I are editing, thanks to classes, self publishing thanks to investigating the how to parts of it. And, things are now moving forward. It's ashame said publisher has tried to derail our efforts since we left by acting childish. They tried to access accounts using past pass words. We were notified of the attempt. Dummy. They like just to unlike trying to knock down ratings. We can see it. Dummy. They write trash on line trying to discourage sales. We can see it. And, we can tell who's writing it. Dummy. And, to top it off they contacted distributors telling tall tales so they wont do business with us. We were notified. Didn't work. Dummy. So, beware. Beware of publishers who promise the world. Beware of those who try to be friends. If you fall in with such publishers run for the hills. It should be a business relationship, and nothing more. Just business. Protect your pass words, and maintain your abillity to break the contract at any time. And if you go indy and self publish it could be the best thing that ever happened to you. All the best, and much success. The End.
I'm in my late thirties. I've been with the same woman who is my loving wife for over thirteen years. We have a highly intelligent, and handsome son of nine. I've got over 10 years on with the state, and i love my job. But, ask anyone, and I work for my wife. I graduated high school, and I was a terrible student, so I took some collage classes after. I taught karate since I was twelve. Ended up with a back round in police investigations, and security. Life at home is warm, pleasant, and loving. Wife had a dream of being a writer. I completely support her ambition, and she has since produced Compulsion, and is working on many others. Kid is a prodigy, and is looking forward to a career as a cancer doctor. I've always wanted to be a country music artist, and I've written a couple hundred songs. With any luck I'll produce a cd for Christmas maybe sooner. For now I'm trying to help wifey as much as possible. Genealogically speaking I'm an unofficial U.K representative. Completely Scottish on my mother's side. The Fraiser clan. And, both Irish, and English on dad's. Completely American. So, as life goes on I'll review books here because I love to read, and wife will write, and kid will get A's, and as writing slowly takes over more and more of life I'll enjoy bringing you the common man's perspective. Unless the Steelers are playing, Thank you for following this blog, thank you to those many of you who have submitted books for review, and thank you to those of you who have shown love, and support to wifey. Now you'll have to excuse me, son has scrabble set up. Darn it. He always beats me at scrabble.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
An interesting story about that bump in the night that scares kids to death. Giles spin a tale about a beastie on the hill outside of town that comes looking for children to eat. The kids all cry when he comes to they're home, but beastie does too. He tricks them into thinking he only wants to play, and when the kids come out of hiding he gobbles them all up, but not little Pete. Pete runs to get his Gran who chops the beastie open with her ax freeing the children, and turns the beastie into beastie stew. It's hilarious to see the pictures of an ax wielding granny and a pot of beastie stew in the end. The story really is cool. I read it with my boy here, and although he's nine, and long since left this kind of reading behind he thought it was funny too. I liked it, and recommend it for anyone who has a gran, and is wanting a way to make the little ones feel better about sounds in the night.
As any other typical guy who gets a kick out of violence I was more than willing to read a book about aliens ripping it up in North America. An initial look at the plane, and claw marks on the front cover, and the comments on the back, and I thought to myself "Ok, so a bunch of people will fly up north, and get eaten by aliens. Maybe someone survives to tell the tale. The End." Well yes, and no. Picking up where The Spirit Box left off we find detective John Hazard all stressed out from his past experience, and turning paranormal investigator in San Francisco, but first he needs certification, so he takes a class on the subject, and falls for a girl in the group running from her own problems. Mob types that want her dead for witnessing a murder. The class is run by professor Macy Renner, and to complete the course with an A she's leading her students on a field trip to investigate an area where hikers, and planes have gone missing. Renner hopes to find an answer to her sister's child hood alien abduction. Reflecting San Francisco's circus like environment there are people from all walks of life to deal with. There's a stripper, thug type wannabes, and transsexuals. Everyone has issues of their own, and for this trip they are prepared for anything. Well almost. They may not be prepared to be an alien smorgasbord. This book is enjoyable for the same reason you'd watch action adventure films. All, and all it's a cool little story delivering exactly what you'd expect with a little cultural diversity to mix things up a bit.