Archive for May, 2016

Cale laughed. “So they know I’m not here to spy on their activities.” He looked at Gaby. “Or to steal their women.” He smiled and flexed his eyebrows at her. [Gabi is shown below.]

“Even though we both did,” Brady said. He smiled warmly at his wife and touched her arm.

“Actually,” Cale said. “Gaby stole me first. Had me prisoner in a globe.”

“Huh?” Brady’s face turned to stone.

“Right. She was totally nude.” He pointed his chopstick at her breasts.

Gaby slapped his hand away as if he were going to touch her. She blushed and looked down at her array of sea cucumbers covered by sweet and sour sauce.

“Sorry, Gaby.”

“You want to explain that?” Brady wiped his fingers on his cloth napkin.

Cale snorted. “Okay. It was a dream I had years ago back in Illinois.” He smiled. “We were having a family reunion on my sister’s farm, and we . . . thought my brother had disappeared into a crop circle.”


“Surely you have those in Canada.”

“Not many, but, yeah, we do.”

“Eventually it got me too. ‘”


Read from February 04 to March 10, 2016
Format Paperback
Review Actually I finished THE EMOTION THESAURUS before the shown date, but I hesitated on the review because it is not an easy work to define in its entirety. This reference work by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, however, is an excellent follow-up to SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS since both deal with the importance of showing instead of telling. Both works start the same, but the book by Renni Browne and Dave King, which I reviewed prior to this book, continues as a lecturing text giving extended advice to writers of novels and short stories. Ackerman and Puglisi, on the other hand, after a lengthy introduction where they emphasize the importance of nonverbal communication (body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc.) so that readers can connect with characters on an emotional level, offer a book of lists.

As a reference tool, this work, like others, belongs within arm’s reach of the writer’s work station. It is unique in what it offers — a compendium of emotions with attached subcategories to show how they might be used on the page in a believable manner. This must have been a grueling work to compile, drawing upon, as they mention, other writers in a critique circle.

Two uniformly structured pages are devoted to one particular emotion shown in caps at the top of the left page. Each word is followed by a short definition. The first subcategory is “Physical signals” followed by examples of about 30 words or short phrases. The next subcategories are “Internal Sensations,” “Mental Responses,” “Cues of Acute or Long-term Determination,” “May Escalate to (other emotions and page numbers),” and “Cues of Suppressed Determination.”

Writer’s tips are provided at the bottom of each right page, supplying advice on how to present or utilize these emotions in a believable manner.

This is not, as I mentioned at the outset, an easy work to read through because it does not flow with the continuity if a typical text. For me, it was a matter of highlighting certain examples of words and phrases which showed what characters could be feeling, selecting words that I might use in my current work of fiction in progress, particularly works that would apply to the immediacy of a situation rather than to those that were more extensive and required reaching beyond a particular scene.

Anyway, use this book as it benefits you. It is certainly accessible.

This is a wafer-thin book printed by Amazon, and involves little more than an essay with examples and alternate interpretations of what happened regarding the alleged plane hijackings prior to the actual collision with the World Trade Center buildings on 9-11. Being a conspiracy theory person, I have read other books on the topic, such as the earlier but comprehensive tome by the irrepressible Texas journalist Jim Marrs.

This work is not in that category because it narrows its focus considerably. That said, it is brief work that is certainly a valuable addition to the libraries of conspiracy information, particularly those books and films that question the official findings of that day’s events. I can’t help but wonder what Jim Marrs or Jesse Ventura (or other researchers, for that matter) would think of this addition to the other findings.


When I read Russ Baker’s book FAMILY OF SECRETS and Roger Stone and Saint John Hunt’s book JEB! AND THE BUSH CRIME FAMILY immediately following it (before I decided to tackle this review), I remembered how as a kid growing up with 1950s movies I naively believed that the good guys (at least one of them) defeated evil and the bad guys, even organized crime, were defeated. Sometimes the good guy died also, but it was always a noble sacrifice for the honest government and the innocent, honest people. Little did I realize then that, in real life, the reverse was true.

On a weekly comedy show, a shadowy figure in combat fatigues was shown knifing another shadowy figure in a dark hallway. The spoken and written caption said: “The CIA. You don’t know. You don’t want to know.” Truth in fiction, even comedy fiction. Readers who might really be masochistic enough to WANT to know may have some questions answered in Baker’s book.

FAMILY OF SECRETS is an infuriating read, not because of Baker’s writing, which is researched like a scholarly treatise and carefully detailed, but because of the subject matter that is tirelessly and (apparently) objectively revealed. This must have have a grueling labor of love (or hate, if you are a fan of the Bush dynasty). The number of characters rival that of Leo Tolstoy’s WAR AND PEACE while the digressions rival those of a William Faulkner novel.

The biographies of such persons as John Dean, who turned against President Nixon during the Watergate testimonies, are usually quite extensive, often taking us away from the focus on the Bushes and their numerous connections, cronies, and sycophants.

Baker interviewed countless persons across the country, dug through all sorts of files and records of business and campaign dealings, neighbors, ex-girlfriends (evidently W. had to have several indiscretions covered up — surprise, surprise), and the whole nine yards. He uncovered questionable operations and shady activities that were “beyond accountability” because of a certain belief that wealth has its privileges and that rules that apply to the rest of us don’t apply to the elite.

Anyone who complained or blew the whistle were dealt with in various degrees of severity. Even journalists doing their jobs as reporters (and not all newspapers revealed all the truth because of intimidation) by asking questions (e.g., asking W. about his real experience with the National Guard) were heatedly asked who they thought they were or were branded as stupid.

The subtitle for this work is “What their influence means for America.” Wow. Appropriate. Read this detailed work if you dare, but don’t expect to feel comfortable when you get to the end.

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Evil creatures, spellbinding history, breathless suspense, chills, and quirky intriguing characters.

Format: Kindle Edition

A truly spectacular novel. It combines history, horror, intrigue and superb writing. It is a very well written and intricate story so be alert and pay attention. But that won’t be a problem as Charles’ writing is utterly addictive. I personally read this novel in a day, in two sittings. I was totally spellbound.

The plot is as follows. We have a character named Dr. Harper Paget, who is a mythologist and paranormal researcher. He is residing in Atlanta. He has contacts within a prestigious university in McAbee, IL. including Floyd and Emma Hardin. Not forgetting a scholarship student Lina Wibosono from Indonesia.

Harper’s wife, Pauline, is tragically murdered in San Diego. Then, when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, his pen-pal lover, Mira, is murdered in China. But Mira’s murder is anything but normal. She was attacked and killed by creatures that can appear to be the lamiae from ancient Greece but who are able to re-appear in different times throughout history by traveling between dimensions.

The lamiae have found their way to the U.S. to destroy Harper just as the lamiae battled against his ancestors.

He must battle these creatures not only with the help of his friends but also with the aid of a psychic rune reader and an upstairs neighbor. This is a multidimensional paranormal novel where the living meet the dead and where no one is safe.

Just after reading the plot I am sure you are now dying to read this epic novel. But the book goes so much further and boasts multiple appeals. It won’t simply satisfy horror lovers, but will be adored by bookworms and avid readers alike. I was amazed.

The creatures that Dr Harper battles are terrifying, yet undeniably interesting. Their form and abilities and compelling history with the Doctor. I feel as though this novel was a cross between a Dan Brown book, a thrilling historical smart movie that would star Nicolas Cage or Tom Hanks, and a unique independent horror flick.
The horror element in this goes much further than jumps and jerks or blood and gore. It gives you ongoing chills that will plague your subconscious. The darkness within this novel will haunt your dreams and waking thoughts.

Props have to go to the author as this is a spectacular read. Evil creatures, spellbinding history, breathless suspense, chills, and quirky intriguing characters. And it doesn’t end here. You’ll be glad to know it is just the beginning in a franchise!

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