Monday, May 12, 2008

I've Moved

Bill's world and Reviews has changed to Red Ink Review

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Carved in Bone, the remarkable break-out novel by Jefferson Bass, is forensic fiction at its best. "Jefferson Bass" is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass, world-renowned forensic anthropologist, and Jon Jefferson, veteran writer/film maker. These two entangle the reader in a story about skeletons, literally and figuratively, from the very first page.

Page one introduces the “body farm” where Dr. Bill Brockton is pushing a knife through the back of one of his male cadavers for a murder case he’s working on. The body farm is a three-acre patch of ground located near the University of Tennessee, used for forensic science; it houses dozens of bodies in different state of decomposition.

A visiting Deputy from Cook County interrupts Dr. Brocton in the middle of his experiment with an interesting case: a mummified corpse of a young woman dead for 30 years has been discovered in a cave in the Appalachian Mountains.

Brockton’s investigation threatens to kick open the door of Cook County family skeleton closets and he finds himself on the wrong end of a gun more than once. Dealing with the death of his wife, Brockton is vigilant in solving the mystery of the dead woman.

This tale is thick with the typical forensic questions and has amazing detail when it comes to the subject of anthropology - not for the weak-stomached or the squeamish.

Carved in Bone has an array of compelling characters ranging from chicken-fighting FBI agents to attractive anthropology assistants and on to towering redneck sidekicks. The characters, setting and dialogue are all first-rate and compete with the best writers of today.

The book also includes an intriguing “Q & A” with Dr. Bill Bass, covering some of the “ins and outs” in the field of anthropology.

Next out for this series is Flesh and Bone, coming in hardcover next month.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hunters of the Dark Sea

Mel Odom weaves an intricate tale in his historical horror and sci-fi adventure in Hunters of the Dark Sea. The main story opens in 1813. The young United States is at war with Great Britain and the high seas are crawling with British war-ships, privateers, cutthroat pirates and a visitor from not of this world.

Twenty-six year old Ethan Swain is first mate of the whaling ship Reliant. He and the crew have been at sea for two years and the ships holds are half full with the precious cargo of whale oil. Ethan has a dark past he must hide in order to keep his life intact. Keeping his past a secrete and being torn between the ships captain and the crew which is on the verge of a mutiny is only a small part of the turmoil he must juggle.

On board the research ship Brown-Eyed Sue is Professor Bullock and his intelligent and artistic daughter Katherine. They have been dispatched by the President of the United Sates to investigate reports of a sea monster named Death-in-the-water by the natives of Easter Island. Bullock soon learns the beginning of the reports coincide with a falling star hitting the water 16 years back. While anchored off the coast of Easter Island a dying man washes ashore with his painful and swollen skin practically blistering off the bone. A futile attempt by Bullock at saving the mans life renders an unknown venom the monster uses to kill its prey.

Vengeful Jonah McAfee, part of Ethan Swain’s dark past, is captain of the pirate ship Sunfisher. McAfee in pursuit of Ethan for revenge, catches wind of the monster and focuses his efforts on finding the monster.
Hunters of the Dark Sea ends with Ethan battling McAfee, a British war ship, and the monster in a dynamite finish.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Odom brings the characters to life in a way comparable to King. I also enjoyed the life-like setting of the high seas and the day-to-day life in my opinion was probably close to the real thing for the whalers of that time period. It’s quite obvious Mel Odom did his research for this book.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To Hell and Back

As some of you might know, I went to the doctor last week for lower abdominal pain. After a quick examinations for a hernia and testicular lumps I passed with flying colors. Yeah! Don’t want to be doing that again anytime soon. The Doc decided to send me in to have a CT scan of my abdomen and a x-ray of my back. The CT scan will be searching for a problem called Diverticulosis and I’m sure anything else that may be wrong. The x-ray he said would be for proper back alignment and tumor. TUMOR? I thought. Good God, I should have been in here a month ago if this turns out to be a tumor.

So, Sunday night I drink the nasty banana smoothie which to me is reminessant of thin spoiled yogert. Monday morning I get up and drink another yummy smoothie and drive in. I get to the hospital, sign in, and have a seat in the lobby. The check in lady calls my name and I give her all the important information and a check for $250.00. Yeah! I get a CT scan for Christmas! I was beginning to believe Santa didn’t exist. She also did this really strange tongue-rolling thing while she typed in the information. Not the most attractive thing I’ve seen a woman do. I’m not sure if she was conscious of the conduct of her tongue or not.

Tongue-roller leads me to the Radiology Department which makes me think I’m a rat in one of those maze tests because it seemed like a half-mile of turns and twists to get there. Finally we arrive and I walk into the Radiology Department where I’m caught off guard by the green drab décor and sterile waiting area. They should call this place the Death Department I think to myself. I pull out my new book Diablo (I never go anywhere without a book) and start reading. This nice lady comes up and hands me yet another bottle of bananna barf. I tell her she’s my favorite person and chug it like a Tecate.

A few minutes later I climb onto the CT scan bed and receive an IV, which I never felt. I tell the lady she should go to work for the blood doner place. They seem to never get my vein on the first try and always turn my arm purple.

Then the IV lady tells me when she starts IV I’ll probably get a strange taste in my mouth and feel like I’m peeing my pants, and have some hot flashes. I think to myself, this will be like that time I drank so much beer… She was right. First came the flavor of vodka, then my head felt like it was dunked in hot water, and sure enough here came the peeing my pants part. Weird, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

On to x-ray. Why are these places so cold? After several x-rays the technician leaves to check and make sure they got everything they need. She comes back and repositions me and takes another one. This is where the Hell part of this story come in, remember the x-ray is for searching for a tumor. I think to myself, they must have seen something and want a better picture (heart starts to beat a bit faster). In the waiting area they ask me if I can come back on Wednesday for another x-ray (my chest is dropkicked like a punted football by my now pounding heart). They say the barrium from the bananna barf shake is interfering with the x-ray of my lower back they tell me. Likely excuse I think. Did they not know this before I went in? The tecnician says the doctor will call you by tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrw afternoon comes after about 5 anxiety attacks and the drop kicked football, still no call from ole doc. At 3:00 PM I decide to give him a call. "we haven't got the results back yet but we'll call as soon as we get them," the secretary says.

Wednesday morning comes, I get out of bed, take the kids to school, and head for my x-ray. After the x-ray I ask if they held the results from the CT scan until this morning's x-ray. Nope, we sent these over yesterday. Football heart starts again. I start to think doc is putting off the inevitable poor prognosis. 2:00 PM comes and I decide to call again. The secretary tells me that doc has alot of CT scans to go through and they will let me know as soon as they get mine done. I think to myself, I have alot of bills to pay and maybe I should stop payment on his check until I can get to it. But I payed him with a debit card, darn the luck.

5:30 PM the call comes along with the football. You have a condition calle Vacuum Disc Phenominom. That's air inside your disc. Mine happens to be on the last disc between the lumbar vertebrate and the saccrum.
Whew! No tumor! I feel like i dodged a good sized bullet. I've stopped taking my suppliments last friday and would you know the pain has gradually went away. I still have some but on a scale of 1 to 10 my pain is probably 1/2 as I write this. He said for me to call when I was ready for an MRI of my back and discuss options. I think I'll wait awhile for now, I feel like I've been to Hell and Back.

God bless and Merry Christmas!,

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Storm Force offered by Silhouette Bombshell

Storm Force by Meredith Fletcher is a great story putting you on the edge of your seat from the start.

The pressure gets high when the main character, Kate Garrett who is a wilderness guide, is kidnapped by escaped convicts and forced to lead the clandestine gang through the swamp to retrieve hidden cash. To make matters worse her kids are in danger of the category 5 hurricane Genevieve headed for the coast of South Florida. When it comes to her kids though, look out nothing gets in her way.

What a great roller coaster ride from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the multi-layered character of Kate who can certainly think for herself and has strong character traits. She surly made an interesting heroine.

This is the third installment from Meredith Fletcher in Bombshell. I recommend putting aside some time to read this one straight through because you won’t want to put it down.

Oh yeah, who’s the hottie that modeled for the awesome cover? Just kidding honey…honey?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Click the Movie

Although I’m not the biggest Adam Sandler fan, I enjoyed his movie Click.

Workaholic Michael Newman finds himself in a precarious situation when offered a universal remote control that will fast foreword him through the annoying distractions of everyday life. The remote soon takes over control of his life and Michael finds himself at his death and everything he loves has changed for the worse for him. Without giving too much away, this was a great movie with some really funny parts and a great ending. If you get a chance, rent this one, it’s worth the couple of bucks.

Skyline Ministries

Not to beat the Thanksgiving thing totally into the ground, but after visiting Skyline this last Saturday was a real eye opener and made me thankful for a lot of things I’ve taken for granted over the last few years.

At 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon Belinda, my wife, went up to the church to help start preparing the meal that would be served that evening. She asked me if I wanted to come help prepare the food and of course I said no. I was feeling like playing on the net with the new Google Earth I had downloaded. More on that in a later post. She called me about 30 minutes later and was telling me she wished she was home to watch the Bedlam game – GO SOONERS!- and here I was playing on the computer. So after some time with my good ole friend Guilt, I showered, shaved off 5 days worth of growth and went in to help.

After arriving and standing around for a while we went upstairs to the worship chapel and had a seat. The Pastor soon passed out some cards for prayer request. While listening to some of the request I realized how blessed by God I am. People were requesting prayers for help finding a warmer place to live before it gets cold, help with drug addictions, people with health problems that can’t get the medical care they need, requests for help keeping the utilities on…
It made me think. How can these people go on day to day? I don’t know if I could if I were homeless, with no money to eat with, and hooked on drugs.

God bless them all!

Things I’m Thankful for:
A free country to worship whom or what ever I want to.
My church
My family
Healthy kids, wife and myself
Stable job and decent income
Good friends
Most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus. If you don’t understand, ask me sometime and I’ll explain it the best I can.

If you ever have a chance, go down to Skyline and serve the homeless a meal. You may get a blessing you didn’t expect!

God bless!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Spider Stone by Alex Archer

Rogue Angel - The Spider Stone
By Alex Archer

The third book in the Rogue Angel series The Spider Stone will be hitting the stores in early November. Though I haven’t had the pleasure of reading the first two, The Spider Stone is exactly the type of book I like to read. Having had the privilege of getting an advance copy of The Spider Stone for review has got me hooked on this series.

The book opens in West Africa, in the year 1755, Yohance the keeper of the Spider Stone has been captured and sold in the slave market and is destined for America.

Flash forward to present day. Annja Creed, an archeologist by formal training is called in to support a group of people excavating the remains of slaves that were buried in an underground explosion dating back to the Underground Railroad and the Civil War.

At the dig site a marvelous tigers eye stone is found. The stone is a gift to the Hausa tribe from the spider god Anansi. According to the legend, as long as the stone was in possession of the tribe, they would always have a home.

Etched within the Spider Stone is ancient writing and a map with directions to an ancient treasure. Annja tries to decipher the writing on the stone and the group of archeologists falls prey to an attack from a group of hired mercenaries with ties to an African warlord and Al Qaeda.

With the help of Homeland Security, Annja finds herself in turmoil facing the African warlord who hired the mercenaries in a head to head battle for life and treasure in the African savanna.

This is a great book. Fast paced, good characterization with an absolute real setting, this book will keep you turning the pages. Archer is an awesome author and I can’t wait for more from the Rogue Angel series.