Saturday, April 7, 2012

News From Dead Mule Swamp, by Joan H. Young - Five Stars.

I grew up in a town so small that when my family moved, in we increased the population by 10%. In News From Dead Mule Swamp, author Joan H. Young captures the essence of small-town living and creates inhabitants so life-like, you'll swear if you only had a map, you could drive right up and have coffee with these people.

Young writes with a confident and conversational style, and leads the reader effortlessly through a maze of clues.

Newly divorced Anastasia Raven buys an old fixer-upper in Dead Mule Swamp, and while ripping out walls, discovers an old newspaper. Before she gets a chance to look it over, it's stolen by neighbor Cliff Sorenson. And before Anastasia (“Just call me Ana,” I added. “It rhymes with on-a, like ‘on a roll,’ which I think I am.") can figure out why Cliff took it, he turns up dead.

Unlike some mysteries which make the mistake of introducing the most pertinent evidence too late in the story (which is to say, only when the sleuth is disclosing whodunnit, how and why) Young carefully plants the clues along the way.

Wonderfully well done. I give it five stars.

Available for $.99 at

To see all books by Joan H. Young, go to

Friday, March 30, 2012

Why I Like GHI

Mind if I deviate from the book talk for a bit? I just want to say a little something about one of the few things on TV I really enjoy.

Ghost Hunters International, a spin-off from Ghost Hunters, is one show I do not miss. Okay, so now you know, I'm a little bit of a nerd. I'm okay with that.

I love a good old fashioned ghost story, but that's not all that draws me to this show. There are a lot of programs about people who chase evidence of paranormal activity, some with more credibility than others.

GHI, like their parent group, TAPS, uses a wide range of gadgets to capture evidence and some tried and true means of debunking claims as well. New equipment comes into play and the less effective or more controversial pieces are retired as new ways of detecting evidence comes to light. And like TAPS, GHI's leaders are respectful and considerate of their hosts - not to mention how they treat members of other paranormal societies.

And the locations? Puh-leez! It's better than any travel show.

But all of this aside, it's the team that makes this show. Barry is a natural leader, and none of the gang seems put-off that Kris is co-leader. They've come a long way since when the young women of TAPS were referred to as 'the girls'. Joe Chin and Scott Tepperman are some pretty unflappable guys; you know they're not afraid of their own shadows. Susan may be one of the newer members, but she's not just a pretty face. She gets right in there too. She does not back down. And then there's Paul, the tech manager, smart, funny, fun to watch. And a total nerd. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Let's hope SyFy keeps the haunting coming!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Winter Comes to Wintan - Anthony R. Prescott

Not very often can a new writer come blasting out of the gate with such a smooth, rhythmic pace. Anthony Prescott is one who did and he will be one whose work I'll keep an eye out for. Well done!

Winter Comes to Wintan by Anthony R. Prescott is available through Smashwords for $.99.