The Wand Has It

For those that think a cover has little to do with a reader’s selection, I beg to differ. How could I pass up a title like Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey? This is like finding a whole new subculture. I found the cover tastefully provocative. No, I won’t explain what that means.

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Unjustly Jailed?

I opened my emails this morning (11 November 2017) to find an offer from Wild Blue Press to review a copy of Targeted by M. William Phelps. The book is a non-fiction true-crime novel, a type that I really like but so many of the ones I have read put me off to the point that I avoid the genre. This one, however, was inciteful, thoughtful, balanced, and so detailed that the general reader might shy away from it. But just as the reader might be nodding off like some of the jurors Phelps describes, the author takes a break and follows a new tangent to draw the reader’s attention back to the wider, more comprehensive, less detailed but still interesting context.

Tracy Fortson is a murder. Juries have spoken, judges have decided sentencing, Tracy is in prison currently serving a mandated life plus ten-year sentence for killing Doug Benton and this condition is unlikely to change short of possible parole board clemency. There is no surprise ending, no “gotcha” moment in the book. So, why read the novel? I am a “Law and Order,” “Homicide Hunter,” and “CSI” fan as well as a former sheriff’s deputy. Tracy Fortson is a former sheriff’s deputy. So much for why I am interested. Feel free to read and review this and explain why you think it is interesting.

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Samurai Links

I like the discovery possibilities that come with Amazon Samples. Most times they are good value and since I am in one of my positive moods (inspired by this sample) I won’t waste my time (or yours) with going into the negatives. Except for one and it is my fault, not Amazon’s. In a fairly short period of time, my unread samples list rivals my currently-I-am-really-going-to-read-this-next list. To attack this problem, I dedicate my Kindle Paperwhite to (mostly) Sample reading and I’ll leave the lengthy stuff to the Kindle apps on my laptop. Facing strident phone calls from my friendly Yamaha dealer to report for periodic service with my bike, I packed my book reader along with the intent to get through several samples during a lengthy bike service procedure.

Daughter of the Samurai by Etsu Sugimoto made my enforced confinement at the dealership too short. I was amazed that I finished the sample and still had time to return and review several points that provided me new information while making me smile at the skill and adroitness of the author’s expression. This was a great start to the day. I am unfamiliar with Japan, its history, its language and its culture. Anything I know about Japan comes from cursory observations provided by mass media which means that this sample provided a culture shock, although a pleasant one.

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You Can Go Home Again, It Ain’t Easy

This is a reviewed copy from the author.

Many have heard of the term “nuclear family.” Without reference to the Hermit Kingdom, it is generally known that collections of nuclear stuff can achieve critical mass with explosive results. Material scatters everywhere. That is what happened in Idabel Allen’s novel Rooted. Readers did not witness this explosion; we will join the decimated family as a group with its fewest members in the beginning chapter of the novel. After the explosion, after a few years, the same scattered material may begin to coalesce. Allen will relate the painful process and problems with this “coming together.” As Allen points out “It all comes from the root. And Grover McQuiston was the root of it all.” (loc56-57).

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Wisdom Silenced

Truly something to ponder, a timely meditation for the baby boomers among us.
Pronouns indicate this features the more multi-task oriented females among us. Pity the poor male with only the ability to focus on one thing at a time. Confusion multiplies.
For lovers of poetry, this is food for thought; my boss is one of them and I wanted to call this to her attention.
This is a selection I will offer participants in a discussion group that studies poetry in the context of English as a Foreign Language. Each of the first three sections describes a horror that seniors might face. It will be interesting in my cross-cultural context classroom to get participant reactions.
I’ll give them the fourth section which deals less with the individual, she is resigned. It shifts focus to society’s regret.
A super serious piece of contemplation for a care-free Friday.

like mercury colliding...

“With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,”—W.B. Yeats

Wisdom Photo from – Free Photos

wisdom is silenced behind sterile walls
while entertaining the reaper’s minions
attended by strangers with vapid intentions
sedated, benumbed by cruel inattention

wisdom is hidden ‘neath thin sheets of flesh
draped loosely on frames of sinew and bone
dull synapsed grey matter turning slowly to stone
pebbles of acumen dribbled softly in moans

wisdom remembers the lessons of youth
often repeating her tales of the past
the din of tweets twittering, rife media blasts
soon drown out her treasure, precious pearls vainly cast

wisdom is lingering, time’s running short
fools claim she’s crazy; that they can’t relate
in fluorescent lit hallways she patiently waits
one day they might miss her, but it will be too late

For Jane Dougherty’s “A Month with Yeats” poetry challenge – Day 3. I don’t know what…

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A Collection of Horror Gems

I follow, like, and read short stories by Tobias Wade, a contributor to this collection of short stories. I obtained the novel from his website. Wade writes approximately short stories several times per week and sends them out in email alerts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Some are brilliant, others are merely good but he is a writer that will hold the interest of genre horror fans.

This collection was written by four authors and has a total of 41 stories. David Maloney is an English teacher living in China. An expat English teacher and also a writer? With13 stories in this collection, he joins a well-populated subculture. Ha-yong Glen Bak lists editor among other credentials. Offering 11 titled stories plus a bonus story, writers must fear him as they fear all editors. Kyle Alexander is described as a professional graffiti artist. Is this another form of the ultimate short story, or flash fiction? Alexander contributes two short stories and a collection Teenagers which is presented in three chapters. Tobias Wade seems to be an outlier as far as writer associated occupations with a former profession of neuroscience researcher. Wade brings 12 stories to this collection. I have read another collection of his, 51 Sleepless Nights, and am currently reading The Last Man. I also enjoy his weekly horror wake-up calls. With so many stories to choose from, I will comment on my favorite contribution from each author.

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Lame Story With Tacos

Despite the self-deprecating title, this is the third edition, published in 2015, of Dan’s Lame Novel by Dan C. Rinnert. The first edition was published in 2012, the second in 2013, then there was a stumble with no edition published in 2014, a further support to the claim of being lame.

There can be little critical comment about any breaking of rules of good writing because Rinnert preemptively criticizes himself. In a foreword, wisely written after completion of most of the novel, Rinnert identified most writing canon that he had blown up (pun intended) and proudly proclaimed that he had the right to do so. The warning for the reader is “You have been warned that this is a lame novel, read it at your own risk.”

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