Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happily Ever After: B. K. Stevens | Trace Evidence

Happily Ever After: B. K. Stevens | Trace Evidence: In this post, B. K. Stevens offers insights and reflections on the bittersweet prospect of wrapping up a long-running series. Stevens has long been adept at juggling multiple series, and several of her recurring characters have appeared in AHMM, including P.I. Iphigenia Woodhouse and academic amateur sleuth Leah Abrams.

Emissary -- Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers is best known for her series featuring Houston bounty hunter Dixie Flanagan.  This time out, she's going for something completely different.  Emissary is a cross-genre thriller.

Ruel is an emissary from the Szhen, a planet on the brink of destruction.  Ruel and his kind have a lot to offer to humans, but getting this across is tricky.  Ruel is more or less pure energy, and he can reside in human hosts without their knowledge.  His first host is the president of the U.S., Addison Hale.  She's involved in a tricky situation in Africa, and things get even worse.  Ruel changes hosts, but the results are far from what he'd hoped.  He saves the situation, but gains nothing for himself.

Meanwhile in Houston, Kirk Longshadow, a cop, shoots and kills a woman, saving the life of man. Longshadow has lost everyone he cares about (wife, child, brother), and the shooting further damages him.  He's on a downward alcoholic spiral.  I won't spoil things by telling you how these two stories come together, but Longshadow becomes Ruel's host, and they go off to Mexico to find the solution to a serious crime.  When Ruel makes himself known to Longshadow, Longshadow believes Ruel is just some crazy voice in his head.  It takes some serious action (including torture) for the cop to figure out that Ruel is real and that his help is needed.

Rogers writes with confidence and authority about everything from African politics to Houston police procedure to Mexican drug gangs.  There's plenty of action, and the book is populated with interesting characters from political figures to tattoo artists.  At the end, there are enough loose ends to ensure that Longshadow and Ruel will return, something that readers will be looking forward to.  Check this one out when you're looking for a real slam-bang change of pace. 

I Want to Believe!

 Daily Mail Online: What is the world's oldest wooden statue trying to tell us? Etchings on haunting seven-faced Shigir Idol 'could hold a message to modern man'

Song of the Day

Buddy Holly - Rave on! - YouTube:

The 20 horror books every fan should read

The 20 horror books every fan should read

Annoying slideshow alert.

Today's Vintage Ad


Brooklyn Leads the Way

Man brings gun to a knife fight on Brooklyn bus  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Horror Movies Directed by Women

Horror Movies Directed by Women

PaperBack



Isabel Bluefield, The Girls in the Band, Belmont, 1971

Archaeology Update

Head of sphinx discovered at mysterious Greek tomb 

44 Great American Independent Bookstores

44 Great American Independent Bookstores

Gator Update (Dirty Dancing Edition)

SEE IT: Louisiana man performs 'Dirty Dancing' trick with alligators  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

21 Books with Psychedelic Covers

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick21 Books with Psychedelic Covers: Picking up a book in the 1960s and 70s was a real groovy trip, and that was before cracking it open. Harlan Ellison and Philip K. Dick were at the height of their game, and far out science fiction was as popular as ever. Imaginative stories set in fantastical universes opened the door to creative book design, resulting in mind-bending covers depicting beautiful supernatural women and optical illusions bursting with every color in the spectrum.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The 50 best celebrity Halloween costumes of all time

The 50 best celebrity Halloween costumes of all time  

Sure, it's an annoying slideshow, but you have to click only a few times to get to the star of the show.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman Sets Boyfriend on Fire in Clearwater

Interview with James Reasoner

Interview with James Reasoner

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Uncle accused of stabbing nephew over pork chop

Nelson Bunker Hunt, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Nelson Bunker Hunt, the down-home Texas oil tycoon who owned a thousand race horses, drove an old Cadillac and once tried to corner the world’s silver market only to lose most of his fortune when the price collapsed, died on Tuesday in Dallas. He was 88.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

“Words and Pictures: Short Stories, Novels, and Screenplays” by Paul D. Marks

“Words and Pictures: Short Stories, Novels, and Screenplays” by Paul D. Marks | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Archaeology Update

6,000 Year Old Temple for Sacrifices Found in Ukraine 

I Taught at HPU for 12 Years

PaulandPaula
But not when these two were there.

Paul and Paula to Return to HPU for Homecoming 2014: In the early 1960s, excitement swept the Howard Payne University campus when two students achieved international fame. Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson Landon – known around the world as Paul and Paula – recorded their smash hit “Hey Paula” which spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1963. The pair will return to campus this Friday for a concert and unveiling of a Texas historical marker in their honor.

The Hummingbird Effect

The Hummingbird Effect: How Galileo Invented Time and Gave Rise to the Modern Tyranny of the Clock 

Song of the Day

The Statler Brothers -- Carry Me Back - YouTube:

The 50 Scariest Short Stories of All Time

The 50 Scariest Short Stories of All Time

Today's Vintage Ad


Popular Halloween Costumes of the Last 25 Years

Popular Halloween Costumes of the Last 25 Years  

Link via The Presurfer.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man arrested in Martinsburg after dispute over using too much nacho cheese   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman wielded hole-punch in office attack

PaperBack



Tom Gill, Gentleman of the Jungle, Dell, 1950

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Drunken trombone-playing clown fires gun from garage, police say 

Uh-Oh or OK?

Tommy Lee Jones Selected To Direct Remake Of John Wayne's 'THE COWBOYS''

15 Tales of Female Ghosts

15 Tales of Female Ghosts 

Raphael Ravenscroft, R. I. P.

BBC News: The musician behind one of the most recognisable saxophone solos - on Gerry Rafferty's hit Baker Street - has died. 

Raphael Ravenscroft, 60, who found fame almost overnight following the release of the 1978 track, died following a suspected heart attack early on Sunday.

10 Most Expensive Experiences You Can't Afford

10 Most Expensive Experiences You Can't Afford

Time to Form PETP

Modern Farmer: Eating a leaf off a plant may not kill it, but that doesn't mean the plant likes it. The newest study to examine the intelligence (or at least behavior) of plants finds that plants can tell when they're being eaten -- and send out defenses to stop it from happening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Honoring Jerry Healy's Memory

By Brendan DuBois:

I'm so very pleased to announce that through the efforts, suggestions and recommendations of Sandra Balzo,  Andi Malala Shechter, SJ Rozan and her terrific sister, Deborah B. Rosan, that a means of commemorating Jeremiah Healy's works and life has been established. Besides his work as an attorney and an author, Jeremiah Healy was a U.S. Army vet, and was also a lover of dogs. We have therefore reached out to a service dog organization in Maryland that trains dogs to assist wounded veterans, and they will be thrilled to receive donations in Jerry's name.

The group is called Hero Dogs, and is based in Maryland. Their website is listed below. They are an IRS approved 501(c)(3) organization and operate entirely on donations. You can donate via their website, or by sending a check to Hero Dogs, P.O. 64, Brookeville, MD 20833-0064. But please ensure either by writing on the memo section of your check, or using the form on their website, that you're making this donation in Jerry's name. That way, Hero Dogs can track how many donations come in, so that they can be used in some way to keep Jerry's memory alive in years to come. Please donate what you can, and please share this link. Thanks to all of you who were friends or fans of Jerry's. http://www.hero-dogs.org/

S.J. Rozan Interview

Chatterrific: S.J. Rozan talks BLOOD OF THE LAMB by Sam Cabot

Ben Bradlee, R. I. P.

The Washington Post: Benjamin C. Bradlee, who presided over The Washington Post newsroom for 26 years and guided The Post’s transformation into one of the world’s leading newspapers, died Oct. 21 at his home in Washington of natural causes. He was 93.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Further Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles - Kindle edition by Edward A. Grainger. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.: Nine rousing, noir Western tales with a hardboiled edge are collected in this third volume of short stories, Further Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles.

10 Most Beautiful Natural Lakes of the World

10 Most Beautiful Natural Lakes of the World

Song of the Day

A LITTLE BIT OF SOUL THE MUSIC EXPLOSION - YouTube:

The REAL face of King Tut

Daily Mail Online: The REAL face of King Tut

Soon We'll Have No Personal Freedoms Left at All

Man Arrested After Exercising Naked in Arlington Street

Today's Vintage Ad


So It's Come to This

New DC Restaurant to Charge For "Artisanal" Ice Cubes

Hat tip to Art Scott.

PaperBack



Richard Gehman, Sinatra and His Rat Pack, Belmont, 1961

Yes, Nic Cage Is Included

When Actors Explain Their Unpopular Movies

Authors Share Their Best Writing Tips

Authors Share Their Best Writing Tips with The New York Public Library

I Want to Believe!

Baltic Sea UFO Still a Mystery, Claimed to be More Than 140000 Years Old 

Some Forgotten Films

10 Famous Stars And Their Embarrassing First Films 

Paul Craft, R. I. P.

Rolling Stone: Thirteen days after his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Paul Craft — the man behind offbeat, wisecracking country hits like "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)" and "It's Me Again, Margaret" — has died. He was 76 years old.

Overlooked Movies: Straight Time

Straight Time is based on the Edward Bunker novel No Beast So Fierce.  If you've ever doubted that Dustin Hoffman is a great actor, just see this movie.  He plays Max Dembo, a guy who's just out of prison.  His parole officer, Earl, is played with M. Emmett Walsh, who plays sleazy as well as anyone ever did.

Max gets a job through an employment agency, where a secretary named Jenny (a young and beautiful Theresa Russell) falls for him.  Hoffman seems set for the straight life.

But he's not.  His old buddy Willy (Gary Busey) pays him a visit and shoots up in the apartment.  Earl snoops around later and sends Max to jail, where he's proved to be clean.  Earl lets him sit there for a week, anyway.  When Earl picks Max up, Max gets his revenge and realizes that he can never live the straight life.  He goes back to his old ways, robbing a bank with his good friend Jerry (Harry Dean Stanton).  That goes okay, but after that it's all downhill.  

I'd call this a noir film if not for the ending.  It's close, even at that.  I've never read the novel, so I don't know how it ends.  

Straight Time isn't a great movie, but it has some wonderful performances by everybody I've mentioned and also Kathy Bates as Gary Busey's wife.  Well worth a look if you're interested in the forgotten films of the '70s.

STRAIGHT TIME - HQ Trailer ( 1978 ) - YouTube

STRAIGHT TIME - HQ Trailer ( 1978 ) - YouTube: