Kids Friday Fun Read 09/28/2018

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants is my pick for Kids Friday Fun read.

“George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school–and now they’re going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret, even HE doesn’t know who he is!
Acclaimed author and Caldecott Honor illustrator Dav Pilkey provides young readers with the adventure of a lifetime in this outrageously funny, action-packed, easy-to-read chapter book. With hilarious pictures on every page, THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS is great for both beginning and chapter-book readers. And like Dav’s other best-selling books of humor, it is sure to provide even the most reluctant readers with hours of fun.”


Your Friday Fun Read 09/28/2018

Son of a Wanted Man

Your Friday Fun Read for 09/28/2018 is Louis L’Amour’s Son of a Wanted Man. This is the book that got me hooked on westerns twenty something years ago.

“An outlaw’s legacy…

In a remote corner of Utah lies the secret outlaw kingdom of Ben Curry. For fifteen years Curry has ruled supreme, as his men have pulled jobs from Canada to Mexico. But the king is getting old… he wants to turn his legacy over to someone younger, tougher. Mike Bastian is Ben’s adopted son, a young man who can handle a knife, a gun, his fists, but a man who’s never broken the law.

Now, as treachery explodes among Ben’s riders, and two honest lawmen—Tyrel Sackett and Borden Chantry—begin to zero in on the gang, Mike must choose…between his loyalty to Ben and his yearning for a different life. Yet when the guns start echoing off the Vermilion Cliffs, the time for choosing is over—and the time for battle has begun.”

At 208 pages, this can clearly be knocked out in a weekend!

Alex Bledsoe: Eddie LaCrosse Questions

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-What was your inspiration for the Eddie LaCrosse series?

A whole mix of things. Tom Skerritt’s deadpan performance in Alien, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels, a desire to see a level of irony missing from the fantasy I was reading, and the Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon.” I wrote the first version of Eddie way back in high school, and oddly the first third of the initial novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, remained relatively constant even as the rest of the novel changed drastically over the years.

-Does Eddie LaCrosse reflect you in any way?

Ha! I wish. Eddie is smart, professionally competent, and always ready with a sharp comment or sword. In other words, nothing like me. I also gave him the superpower I wish I had, which is the ability to judge people accurately.

-What were the challenges of placing a mystery series in a fantasy setting?

The biggest challenge was finding the right voice. I must’ve rewritten it a hundred times over the years, each time in third person, trying to force it into the epic fantasy mold. When I finally tried writing it as if it was a pulp detective novel instead of a Wheel of Time knock-off, that’s when it really came alive. Writing in that voice was easy. And typically, it only took me damn near twenty years to figure that out.

-What kind of research was necessary for a series like this?

Not much of the technical kind, like you’d do for a novel set in the contemporary “real” world. It was more finding out what had already been done, and looking for details no one else had exploited. Each novel had one central concept, around which everything else orbited: dragon eggs as nuclear weapons in Burn Me Deadly, the story of the real pirate Black Sam Bellamy in Wake of the Bloody Angel, and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale in He Drank, and Saw the Spider.

I did take a fencing class while writing the second novel, to understand a bit about fighting with swords. It was me, and a dozen kids with the oldest being sixteen.  I showed them no mercy.

-Will there be more Eddie LaCrosse books in the future?

As always, that depends on economics. If there’s a sudden surge of interest (i.e., bigger sales), then I’m sure there will be. And I’ve done a few short stories here and there. And if there is interest in a new novel, I know exactly what the plot will be. So here’s hoping.

Title: The Sword-Edged Blonde (Eddie LaCrosse Series #1), Author: Alex BledsoeTitle: Burn Me Deadly (Eddie LaCrosse Series #2), Author: Alex BledsoeTitle: Dark Jenny (Eddie LaCrosse Series #3), Author: Alex Bledsoe

Title: Wake of the Bloody Angel (Eddie LaCrosse Series #4), Author: Alex BledsoeTitle: He Drank, and Saw the Spider (Eddie LaCrosse Series #5), Author: Alex BledsoeTitle: The Key to the Coward's Spell: A Tor.Com Original, Author: Alex Bledsoe


The Moody Reader…Continued

I’ve always said I am a moody reader. By that I mean, what am I in the mood to read. The problem with being a moody reader is that my mood can change with the flick of a switch. It upsets me at time and I am working on getting a grip on it.

The last book I read was deep, cerebral, and it stuck with me. Not in the bookgasm sense but in the sense that it made me think days after reading it. The book was Hampton Sides’ Ghost Soldiers.

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

After reading this, I want to go to some lighter fare. There are parts of my mind that want to embrace horror. Other parts say thriller and then there is the voice that keeps whispering science fiction. I know, I can knock out all three voices by reading a book from the Alien franchise or the Predator franchise. It would be nice if my mind worked like that. But noooooooooooooooooo….it does not.

Right now, my mind is leaning in these directions:

Title: Carrion Comfort: A Novel, Author: Dan SimmonsTitle: Memory Man (Amos Decker Series #1), Author: David BaldacciTitle: Power Play: A Jake Ross Political Thriller, Author: Ben BovaTitle: Straight Outta Tombstone, Author: David BoopTitle: Aliens: Bug Hunt, Author: Jonathan MaberryPredator: If It Bleeds

Yeah, yeah, I know.there is an Alien and a Predator book on the list. I am a huge fan of both franchises!

The funny thing is the books shown above is what my mind considers “Lighter Fare”. I could ask what that says about me, but we all know I am a bit off center! Shoot, by the time tonight rolls around, I may go in a totally different direction! I hope not, but then again a couple of those anthologies listed above might just do the trick!


5 Questions With Thana Niveau

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It has been said that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. With that in mind, please answer the following questions.

-What book got you interested in reading?

I can’t honestly remember a time when I didn’t love reading. My mom used to read to me when I was little and I always loved scary stories. One of my favourites was Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

-Do you have a favorite genre to read?

Mostly SF and horror, although I do venture into other genres occasionally, including nonfiction.

-Is there a book you have read more than one time?

Oh yes – so many! Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle are two of my all-time favourites. Also Ready Player One, Dune, Watership Down, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Pet Sematary and Lolita. Just to name a few.

What got you interested in writing?

It’s hard to know for sure, but I like to think it was Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart”.

-Was there a book of yours that was difficult to write? Which one was it and what made it so difficult?

My debut novel The House of Frozen Screams wasn’t difficult to write all the way through, but there were a couple of scenes that disturbed me too much to be fun. But I can’t really say why without spoiling it.

However, I can tell you about a story I wrote a few years ago that was difficult in a different way. “White Roses, Bloody Silk” is a Victorian horror story with a large group of people at a dinner party in a country house. I kept losing track of who was where and I eventually had to draw a map of where everyone was sitting to keep track. I expect mystery writers have to do that all the time, but it was a first for me.

The House of Frozen Screams by [Niveau, Thana]

Ninetoes book of the Week 09/23-29/2018

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

My choice for Book of the Week is Hampton Sides book Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission. I finished reading it last night. Enclosed is my review.

TITLE: Ghost Soldiers

AUTHOR: Hampton Sides

GENRE: History

PAGES: 384

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time, sixteen years long time. For some reason it has eluded me. I would go to look for it, and it was nowhere to be found. A few weeks ago it appeared on the Nook on sale! Naturally, I snatched it up. I started digging into it, and let me tell you, this is one fantastic read.

This book tells the history of The Bataan Death March and events thereafter in the Philippines. Hampton Sides spares no detail, so if you are somewhat squeamish, there are parts you might gloss over. Seriously, the conditions in the prison camps are beyond deplorable, the soldiers packed in train cars tighter than sardines will stick with you for a very long time, the disposal of the bodies at the camps will give you nightmares.

Mr. Sides delves into the brutality suffered under the hands of the Japanese and explained why it was so harsh by highlighting the differences between the Japanese and the American way of training. He also shows the differences between the two army’s ways of discipline. In this respect the book really shines and opens your eyes.

As much as it is a horrific read, it is also a story of courage, rescue, and prisoners hanging onto a dream of home life, true heroes in every sense. Hampton Sides relates all of the emotion from the prisoners and the rangers coming to their rescue.

I will also say that this is a long read because you really cannot afford to gloss over areas because you will miss something important that may not seem important at the time. It is so rich in detail that you will feel the heat and humidity; you can smell the jungle, the work camp, the dead bodies and even the unwashed bodies.

The rescue of the soldiers is the stuff that Hollywood blockbuster movies are made of. When he got down to that part, the book moves fast, and you should hold on to your seats. This book is most definitely the stuff that heroes are made of.

One of the drawbacks to this book is there are parts that may seem repetitive. Hampton Sides does a great job showing particular soldiers suffering, but after a while it becomes confusing as to who he is talking about, or you get the feeling of “Didn’t I just read that?”

Aside from that issue, this is a great read, a deep read and a heavy read. A lot of information comes your way with emotion, and this emotion greatly expresses the horrors of war.

4 1/2 bookmarks out of 5