Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Reading Through the Holiday

Well, Thanksgiving, a busy and favorite holiday for many, is over for another year and I'm thankful to my friends who wrote special greetings. Thomas Kemp, my favorite poet sent the following:

Even around my neck
And I do not have a double chin,
the snow finds away to get in,
this morning it is blowing west to east,
like writing on a chalk board,
and it melts as in crashes onto my skin.
My jacket collar is as tight as I can pull it,
Only, my Mom could pull it tighter,
as we both waited for the string to

At least she knew what she was doing.
The snow is so heavy and wet,
My question is,
who taught it how to fall and fly so straight?
Thomas Kemp/poet

Memories are always part of this particular holiday, aren't they? And it is good to share them--thank you Thomas for sharing your latest work. And it will be included in his upcoming book of poetry...

Fortunately, when people are busy and you need an escape, there is always this book or that to pick up and read.

I finished Dark Truth by Mariah Stewart. And I have her two truth series books on their way from  In Dark Truth, the main character, Nina Madden is faced with having seen her father charged with the serial killings of students on the campus.  When, after sixteen years, and another killing spree starts, she comes to believe her father was innocent.  Her investigations lead to surprise after surprise as this "whodunit?" twists and turns...and you won't believe who did what to whom!  This was a great read!  Try it, you'll like it!

Mad Jack by Catherine Coulter also got placed back on my bookshelf with her other works!.  This was a fun read because it was so different than anything else I had read by Coulter.  It's set in 1811 London and Mad Jack turns out to be a young woman who has run away from her stepfather who plans to have her marry a sinister old man.  She is aided by becoming the "male" valet to two lovely aunts of, of course, an attractive single Lord of the manor.  Now, you may think, oh,this is just another love story...Not true!  For instance, Lord Durban meets Mad Jack after "he" has stolen Durban's horse and when he catches "him," he attacks "him" as the horse thief Mad Jack is...well, you get the picture...soon he finds out that he has been beating up on a young lady--quite a pretty young lady indeed.  Only to have her kidnapped...  Ah, quite a romp around merry ole England...what?

Changing gears entirely, Void Moon, by Michael Connelly, one of my favorite authors, also immediately got me involved.  This time with a beautiful woman in a Porsche--an ex-con no less!  Robert B. Parker said, "In Void Moon, as in all of Michael Connelly's books, you care about the people, you care what happens to them, and you can't stop reading until you find out.  Connelly is so good he's beginning to annoy me." Now, don't you dare ask me who Robert B. Parker is?  Surely he's one of your must-read authors?  In any event, Parker is right--these people who are right in the midst of acts of crime draw you in so quickly that you are hoping the bad guys don't get caught, because you think they are the "really" bad guys, but fortunately are not!  Sound a little confusing?  Well, Connelly is known for that...there is just no way that you can sit down with Michael and not become totally controlled by his books until you are finished...So, what about the beautiful woman in the Porsche...well, I'll tell you...she did steal the money...Get the'll be glad you did!

Most of my work week was filled with Decoding Potential.  I've finished the review and it will be posted shortly...


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Enjoy Your Holiday

Anybody who has email probably gets messages, poems, pictures--and anything else you can think of--sent to them as a "forward" from someone else.  A long time ago, I decided that this wasn't for me.  If something was worth sharing, it was worth editing.  So everytime (most of the time, OK?  LOL) I get something that means something to me, I cut and paste it as a new message, sometimes adding my thoughts.  I did this with the poem I received this morning, forward through my sister:

Just two little boys walking down a dusty lane.....
They came upon this old white house...
with broken window panes.
The paint was faded, the shine was gone....
the grass had grown so high.....
still they used their little feet...
to see what was inside.
They opened up the squeaky door.
and then it came to light....
This must have been an old church house...
once upon a time.
Dirty, dusty wooden pews..
a pulpit that still stood...
A bible laid upon it....
though the pages weren't too good. 
An offering plate and song books too...
were lying on the floor.
They must have left this old church fast...
the day they closed these doors.
And over in the corner.
a piano was still there..
it must have played a pretty tune...
but I guess nobody cared.

So little Bill looked up at Tommy...
and Tommy looked at Bill...
Why don't we clean this old church up,
and get these old pews filled?"
They took a rag and wiped the dust...
to try and make things shine....
And then they took the offering plate...
and put in it their last dime.
They took a broom and swept the floor...
and picked up broken glass....
They got it all so nice and neat...
and then they mowed the grass.
They lifted up the old church sign...
and stood it by a tree...
right down by that old dirt road....
where everyone could see.
They ran back home, to find Daddy gone...
but their Momma was inside....
Just to find her hurt again..
where Daddy had made her cry.
"Don't cry Momma, wipe those tears,"
Little Bill and Tommy smiled....
"Cause we have a big surprise for you....
just down the road a mile."
Hand in hand they tugged at her...
until they made her run....
"What is it Bill, Oh Tommy,
just what have you two kids done?"
And then they came upon the house...
once hidden by the weeds...
and there it stood a country church...
just like it used to be.
"But what is it, Mother? What's with your tears?
We thought this would bring you joy."
"Yes, but hush kids now and listen close...
my two sweet precious boys." 
They both got quiet and stood real still....
for the words they heard so true....
was Daddy praying in the church...
with his head bowed on the pew.

"Forgive me Lord! Forgive me Lord!
though I'm not worthy of Your love...
shine down on this sinner man...
sweet Salvation from above."
"For I've been out in the world, You know....
living my life all wrong....
until I came upon this church;
the place where I belong."
"I never noticed it before...
all those times I passed it up....
I guess I wasn't looking, Lord....
or maybe I was drunk."
"Bless oh Lord, yes, bless oh Lord...
the one who made me see....
this little church that used to hide...
behind all those tall weeds."
And then he raised his head and stood....
with his hands high in the air....
to find two, dirty, tear-faced boys...
with Momma standing there.
They ran up to him, hugged him tight...
as their tears fell on the floor.
"Don't worry kids, I'm not the Dad,
the one you've known before."
Things are different for us now...
so keep on those pretty smiles...
and let's go gather people in...
to walk down these church aisles."
Then Bill looked up at Tommy...
and Tommy looked at Bill...
"Come on brother, let's get to work....
to get these old pews filled."
"For we need no special blessing...
for cleaning up this church....
cause, God gave us back our Daddy...
and that's more than gold is worth."
Sunday morning, pews all filled....
and smiles on every face...
Especially two little country boys...
the ones who found this place.
Though it was hid back in the weeds....
and so far out of sight...
Nothing's ever hard to find...
if you're walking toward God's light.
                       --author unknown

I hope the coming holiday brings you

to bow down and to give thanks,

for surely God is first in line

in providing blessings to all mankind.

                                      HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Decoding Potential Review Started

Take a few minutes to read what I did first thing this morning. It is delightful and for me, living in my log cabin, just a bit sentimental and a little more rewarding than it may be for some...

This lovely couple has become online friends: The Browns! Remember, I just finished reading David's second book in his Warrior Citizen series! Rebecca, his lovely wife, as you can see, keeps busy in addition to editing David's work...

I'm reading an older Catherine Coulter book right now. Mad Jack is set in the 1800's and is quite different from my past reads from Coulter. It is interesting to come to know an author through their recent books and then take the time to go back and read some of their earlier works. Have you ever noticed that many of the top women writers of today actually started in the romance genre.

I don't read too many romance books, but I've found that going back to read books by my favorite authors always is
rewarding. Even then, there is a certain spark, a style of writing that puts their works above others. To someone who enjoys mystery and suspense, I'm always glad they've expanded their horizons. Still, reading for comparative purposes always is enjoyable.

I'm involved with a new review for Decoding Potential. This nonfiction book is by Dr. Robert J. Flower, and is proving to be both a challenging and informative read.

Some of the most important words I read are those in hymns of praise. Based upon Psalm 100, have you heard these words:

I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter his courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for He has made me glad

He has made me glad
He has made me glad
I will rejoice for He has made me glad
He has made me glad
He has made me glad
I will rejoice for he has made me glad.

Sorry you couldn't hear the music to go with those

beautiful words. When I do, I normally wind up clapping my hands and smiling.

I hope as the days move toward Thanksgiving, that you too are thanking God for his blessings.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Doug Skeen's Book Review Available

I finished reading the first draft manuscript for Honor Defended! In my opinion it is better than the first, so I encouraged him to do a final edit and submit it. I'm hoping and praying a publisher will see what I'm seeing and "grab" the Warrior Citizen series. Check out my review of the first book and cross your fingers for this new author!

My apologies went out to Doug Skeen yesterday! I had posted my review every place...except we didn't get it on our own site! Bummer! Take a look at another first-time author's effort--it is great reading!

It's interesting to note my last paragraph. When I heard from David Skeen after I had provided my review, he admitted that the book was longer, but an editor had
suggested he cut it. Awwww shucks, guys, if you had it in your head once, go ahead and include it in your first draft. If someone says cut it...check their credentials, first...and second, get another opinion! The only one that should be working on cutting your book is the publisher! Trust yourself first...take suggestions...listen carefully to criticisms...but in the end, it's your happy with it when it hits the bookshelves!

I also finished my review of Beyond the Horizons by Douglas Boren.
Take a look at the review of Doug's first book, which was somewhat different than the norm. If you are a reader of history and especially the early days in America...this is undoubtedly a Must-Read for you.

Doug submitted another book at the same time so Bettie Tucker, director of the site, provided its review. As you can see, Doug takes his own interests and weaves them into his stories...that's the best advice for anyone writing...following your heart! This book can be read by teens through any age! I'll be borrowing it soon and can't wait to read it myself!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Douglas Boren's Book Review Soon

Am back reading Honor Defended by D. H. BROWN today. Think about it...what would you do if terrorists showed up in your area and kidnapped a friend? Action is just starting! Anxious to get back to it!

I finished The Patient by Michael Palmer. It certainly is a page-turner! Again, what would you do if you were a serial killer and developed a tumor in your brain? The Patient is obviously extremely wealthy and he begins searching for the best neurosurgeon to perform the operation. If you fail to meet his
requirements, you are eliminated! Thus we come to the main character, Dr. Jessie Copeland, who has been researching and working on the creation of a minuature robot that enters through the patient's nose and is guided by the neurosurgeon in the extraction of the tumor.

Ok, Dr. Copeland may be the neurosurgeon that could perform the surgery, but how can that occur without the possibility of being captured?

I think this book, published in 2000, is the best I've read by Dr. Palmer, although The Sisterhood was almost as chilling! If you enjoy medical thrillers, look for Michael Palmer's books.

I also finished Beyond the Horizons and wrote the Book Review. It should be posted this week at This historical action book by Douglas Boren is an excellent first novel. More later!

About half-way through Mariah Stewart's Dark Truth. She's become a must-read author for me. This book is the third in her Truth series...If you haven't read them, check out date of publication so you'll be sure to start right from the beginning! Great reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Most Important Book of All!

Be Exalted, O God!

I'm ready, God, so ready,
ready from head to toe,
Ready to sing, ready to raise a tune:
"Wake up, soul!
Wake up, harp! wake up, lute!
Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!"

I'm thanking you, GOD, out loud in the streets,
singing your praises in town and country.
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.

Soar high in the skies, O God!
Cover the whole earth with your glory!

Psalm 57:7-11 The Message

One of the things I enjoy about having a computer is what mail it can bring to read each day. For instance, the above reading arrived this morning! Isn't it a beautiful psalm?

Wait, I must share another reading that I had this morning! It was the "first day's reading" of a new Bible just out by Guideposts called The Daily Bible!

You may already have many bibles on your bookshelf, but this is the very first one that is going to work for me! It's in chronological order! And each day's section includes a brief introductory
narrative describing and highlighting the following text. It is the New International Version.

Now for somebody like me, who is a reader, I have always "fought" through the Bible searching...knowing that I'd read a particular passage somewhere else and trying to remember how they fit together. Well, this book solves the problem. By placing it chronologically I will have the opportunity to review (and mentally edit - LOL) the entire story, no matter where it is located in the book. I am excited and
thrilled to have found it...and guess what! I learned about it through an email message!

Admittedly I don't plan to read this "through" like my many other books; however, I wanted to highlight it now and I'll mention it from time to time as I get further into how the chronologically placed material has helped me study! Wow...this is an exciting beginning to an adventure I've never had before!

And speaking of an adventure! Douglas Boren certainly took me on an adventure in his book, Beyond the Horizons which I just finished.  I'll be working on writing my review during the next few days and will highlight its posting soon!

P.S.  Be on the lookout for a new book of stamps that will be used to raise funds for cancer.  The cost will only be an extra $.60.  This is a wonderful opportunity for just a very little contribution to mean so much (they estimate an income of $35M!

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Read the Comments

I was so pleased to receive comments on the poem by Thomas! I'll be sure to let him know to come read the notes.  For those who commented, check back here often to look for news on his book!  And, he's still writing, so I'll continue to give you teasers every so often!

I am in the midst of reading Beyond The Horizon.  I'm constantly amazed when I am asked to review books by new authors...books that might never have been read or even available if the new POD publishers did not exist.  Oh yes, there is some controversy about the quality of material; however, believe me, the percentage of what I receive of high quality versus low is incredible.  Technology has given a wonderful opportunity to the world, in my opinion...Plan to make use of it...reading or writing!

I finished Catherine Coulter's new book, Point Blank, quickly!  Couldn't help myself...and took the time to learn what happened at the end.  Her two characters, Savich and Sherlock, special agents for the FBI are delightful!  They got into a fight in the book because Savich was thinking as her husband (which he is) rather than as her boss (which he also is).  He wanted to protect her and Sherlock, naturally, wanted nothing to do with it.  It was an interesting scene and thoroughly enjoyable.

Well, the woman who went into the cave and got lost was later found in a small town, fortunately near the home of the Sheriff.  She had lost her memory from the trauma experienced.  Helping her to recover brought the woman who they agreed to call "Madonna" into the Sheriff's home, with his two sons.  His wife had disappeared several years ago and was still an open case.

Soon they discover that "Madonna" is actually a special agent as well.  Savich and Sherlock join them to determine exactly what happened to her.  As they search the cave where she had been lost, they discover a body of a young woman.  She is a student at a local college. Murders of individuals related to her death follow.

In the meantime, Savich and Sherlock have an unlikely pair, an elderly man and a young teenage girl, following them, planning and executing attempts for their demise!

Once again enjoying the multiple plots that keep the action hot and heavy, I was not surprised to watch romance develop for the sheriff.  I was hoping, though, that they somehow tied up the disappearance of his wife, which may have been left open for a followup book...I hope!  Other than that little unsolved mystery, Catherine Coulter continues to be one of my favorite'd enjoy reading this if you are a suspense/action fan!

Started a chilling book by Michael Palmer, The Patient, last night.  Written in 2000, my niece loaned me a it was my bedtime story!  I got at least a third of the way into it and wow! Well...will tell you more later!

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Beautiful Words from The Poet!

I fell in love with a picture or two,

a smile and two beautiful eyes

I fell in love with a woman

and then discovered

it was you. . .

I fell in love at a distance ... thank God.

I knew that if you were any closer

it would be so hard to dream and write

And heal the old ridges and wrinkles left over

from loving another woman who left me

wounded and beaten.

Some of the sages say

love is a savage who decrees portions

of starry nights and warm hands

and snow and ice to cling to our lips.

I fell in love with a picture or two

I fell in love with you.


Aren't those beautiful words?

It's the latest hot-off-the-press poetry from my friend and author, Thomas Kemp,

I am presently working on editing his new book, Your Poet Is..., which will be a compilation of most of the poetry he has thus far written.

Thomas claims that I fell in love with him--the him that comes to me through his beautiful words by a young marine in the Vietnam war. Maybe I did...but isn't that a wonderful thing? To enjoy somebody else's words so much that you yearn to hear more?  I always ask him--is this poem just for me?  He sends his "LOL" through the email.  Then I reread his latest poem and cut and paste it into the manuscript--let's see, where should this one go? 


Monday, November 7, 2005

Starting a New Review

Well...I'm up to Chapter 10 of Honor Defended, but must stop on this exciting book for awhile.

I've just received Beyond the Horizons by Douglas Boren, who has asked for a review. As I've already told him, the cover has been "begging" me to get started reading, but first I took a tour through his site at Neat stuff he promised--neat stuff he has! Take a look when you get a chance!

Catherine Coulter's book is getting near the end and I hate to put it totally what I normally do when I have requests for reviews is that I work on the book to be reviewed during normal "office hours" of the day and then switch to reading for enjoyment in the evening. Hey, it works for me!

Anyway, it's going to be a busy week! Better get going! 

Keep Reading!  And, authors, Keep Writing!

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Blustery, stormy day - time to read!

Just finished reading The Arraignment by Steve Martini. It was pretty good, but the ending ruined it for me. The Arraignment--never happened...kind of strange to have a title that covers just a small part of the book. Oh well, anyway, two men, one a lawyer are killed in a drive-by, right before the arraignment of the other man. Was it a murder of both men, only one, or was it random?

Paul Madriani, the main character, and also a lawyer, seeks to find out what happened to his friend, following the clues
, while at the same time representing his friend's wife in an insurance claim.

The story moves along well and I enjoyed the character, Madriani; however, the resolution of what was happening was provided in a monlogue of ten pages, given as the book's epilogue. The old mandate, "show, don't tell," surely needed to be remembered. This book could have been really wonderful, if the author had moved most of the epilogue into the earlier chapters and had it as part of the action and suspense. Instead, everything
that provided readers "completion" for the who and why behind the actions was thrown at us, almost as an afterthought. It became dull and boring just finishing the book...not something you like to have happened after you've been moving along ated a fast-actioned pace.

I've read Martini in the past--I was disappointed with The Arraignment...and disappointed by the author's closure to what was otherwise a good book!

Friday, November 4, 2005

Reading unpublished manuscript!

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is being the first to read a newly completed book by an author with whom I've worked. So, in the midst of cleaning house this morning, I'm stopping to rest and read chapters from the second book in The Citizen Warrior Series, Honor Defended, by D. H. Brown.

After completing a review of the first book, Honor Due,, I was pleased to have him ask me to look over the very first draft of his second book--wow, it doesn't get any
more "hot-off-the-press" than that! Actually, this is an opportunity for me to check my editing skills as well since it gives me the opportunity to question or suggest my thoughts to the author. Not every author will allow you to do I was pleased and honored when my new "warrior brother" shared his unedited version!

As with the first book, the second is already proving to be an exciting fast-paced action thriller. I'm not quite sure how he does that...because his style of writing is
first person and his dialogue sounds like you're overhearing a conversation between some "good ole boys" who are just passing the time of day. Yet he's pulling you into his story and the action that is going hot and heavy! You just got to admire that kind of talent!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Point Blank A Winner

I love when a book grabs me right from the beginning...I'm only into the second chapter of Catherine Coulter's new book, Point Blank, and hooked already.  The first chapter has you going treasure hunting in a cave with a woman--alone!  And she finds herself in a large cavern so huge she cannot touch any walls! 

Catherine Coulter became a favorite author when I first read The Maze and she has become a must-read author.

I've always enjoyed stories that include spelunking.  I was pleasantly surprised when I recently received a copy of my family's history and learned that the property where Laurel Caverns is located once belonged to my ancestors!  Wow...I would love to have had access to those as a family member...just imagine being able to explore to your heart's content...

While I say that, and have thoroughly enjoyed visiting there...I'm not sure I would be so brave as to go into unknown parts such as some do.  Still the beauty of this underground world has always drawn I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in this Virginia Cave!

I also started The Arraignment last night--I normally have a hard back and paper cover book going at the same time.  This book didn't grab me--but we'll see how it goes...legalese...sometimes it's hard to get the legal activities started?  LOL between getting some work done around the Cabin...that's what I'll be reading for the next few days!  Later!

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Just finished another from Nora!

Everybody has some sense of fascination with fire, its beauty, its heat...yet reading about what terror and horror it can bring makes you so much more aware of the care needed in using the beautiful gift of fire.

Of course, the story ended happily. I think it reminded me most of my best friend, Bettie's daughter, who married into an Italian family and now has a larger group supporting them as they move through their married life. Those who enjoy reading about a close-knit family would enjoy Blue Smoke!

So, before I move on to my next book, thought I would mention that I've also finished Flashback.this week. It was my first book for Cait London. Pretty Good! Although not too graphic, this book does include child sexual abuse, so care should be taken...but it was a good mystery, as the main character, Rachel, sought to uncover why her adopted sister committed suicide. Of course, there was a fun love story to keep the story lighter than it really was...still...would recommend for adults!

Then The Color of Death by Elizabeth Lowell was consumed! She's become one of our favorite authors (Tracey and mine). Our first encounter with Elizabeth was with a series involving jewels--Pearl Cove, Amber Beach, Jade Island, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. All Great! If you see her name on a book shelf...don't hesitate to grab it!

I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday when I got an author-signed copy of Cave Canem:Beware of Dog.

Now, I'm not so sure I would have named this very interesting book as the author did--because it really does not give a hint as to what this book covers! Still, there are also people like me who read a book and will talk about you like historical fiction...that takes you realistically into the past, and are especially interested in the area around Rome...then get this book!
The major character is a wanderer whose travels takesyou deeply into the times and people in the year 19 B.C.

Check out Independent Professional Book Reviewers! for two full reviews. This is a major effort by a first-time 50+ is worth space on your historical fiction shelf!


Well, I've not ever been much for writing a diary; however, I have always wanted to figure out how to keep some type of track for my books, how I felt about them... and to encourage reading as a "joy" in itself.

I'm writing from my home, a log cabin (a real one built by the hands of family and from the fruit of the land surrounding the cabin...13 acres of beautiful forest, tall, majestic, and always speaking of God's wonderful greatness!

Today I think I will finish Nora Roberts' Blue Smoke.  As usual, it is excellent!  My niece, Tracey, and I have collected all of her books and keep each other up to date on what's new.  I was a fan of J.D.Robb, while Tracey first got hooked on Nora, so we've together completed a complete library to keep up to date.  I love having Tracey share my interest in books; she's the only one in my family who does--of course I always claimed that she's was part mine even though my sister gave birth!

Blue Smoke encompasses the life of fire fighters and investigators and the main character has become a arson investigator on the police force, primarily due to the loss of the family business when she was just eleven.  It's not a whodunit since the reader knows pretty quickly who is "the creator of the fires" affecting her life.  Still it's suspenseful and has a more than adequate cute and funny love story that keepts me smiling!

Think I'll go back and finish it!  I'll get a cup of Tea and enjoy!