Saturday, April 10, 2010

COMICS CORNER: HER MAJESTY'S BULLDOG BRIGADE!

COMICS CORNER: HER MAJESTY'S BULLDOG BRIGADE!

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY JOSEPH CALABRESE, HARSHO MOHAN CHATTORAJ, BRENDAN KEOUGH. COVER BY IGNACIO CALERO - ATLANTIS STUDIOS


IN ISSUE #1 (of 3): Fresh out of Oxford University, Lieutenant Jonathan Harrows arrives to India to map the Western mountains, so the crown can finally gain the upper hand against the Peasant Rebels. But in the shadows of this mystical land, an ancient evil yearns to be reborn.


Based on the award-winning action/fantasy screenplay, "The Eyes of Mara," and inspired by Rudyard Kipling's classic tales, HER MAJESTY'S BULLDOG BRIGADE goes back to a time of British might weakening over Colonial India. To make matters worse, a young, inexperienced officer is the only one around who can rally the peasant rebels to battle the undead and stop an ancient evil from being unleashed.


Standard Comic ~ Full Color ~ Page Count: 24


FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

COCKTAIL NATION #119 ~ COCKTAIL ANGST!

COCKTAIL NATION #119 ~ COCKTAIL ANGST!

Thanks to Tiki Shark, it’s the Cocktail Nation with Koop Kooper! On the show this week, Koop talks to Toby Williams from the New York lounge act, Cocktail Angst, there’s news from Don Tiki, the Martini Kings, and some of the swankest events to attend, and the Ask Koop segment Ask Koop tackles uncomfortable shopping experiences.


The Cocktail Nation, the only show where jacket and tie are necessary.


PLAYLIST:


Royal Crown Revue ~ Besame Mija

B Sharp Big Band ~ Can't By Me Love

Cocktail Angst ~ Muy Loco Psycho Mambo

Alvino Rey ~ A swingin fling

Martini Kings ~ Desafinado

Janet Seidel ~ Slow Hot Wind

Billy May ~ I'll Have To Change My Plan

Tikiyaki Orchestra ~ Crossing Kilauea

BobThompson ~ The Song Is You

Diana Holt ~ Sinner Or Saint

Bobby Darin ~ All Night Long

Vibes On Velvet ~ Fever

Enoch Light ~ Fly Me to the Moon

Don Tiki ~ Odd Man Out

Esquivel ~ La Bikina


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

SURF CORNER: SURF OHIO!

SURF CORNER: SURF OHIO!


FESTIKI 2010, DAYTON, OH


A legendary surf rock band, reunited for the first time in 10 years, will headline Surf Ohio FesTiki 2010 on Saturday, Aug. 14, in Dayton, Ohio.


The second annual celebration of classic surf, tiki and hot rod culture will move to its new home at historic Old River Park – Dayton’s “vintage playground” – a 33-acre park encircled by a 1.5-mile scenic lagoon.


The day-long band lineup is highlighted by the Space Cossacks, one of the top-selling bands of the 1990s surf music revival. FesTiki is proud to be one of only two Midwest dates on the Space Cossacks’ 10-year reunion tour.


The lineup features seven surf rock, rockabilly and Hawaiian music bands that also include Vegas 66, the Madeira, Crazy Joe and the Mad River Outlaws, the Nick Kizirnis Band, Tyrd Fyrgysyn and the MasterXploders, and Llacuna and Silva with Leilani.


FesTiki is an exotic trip back to America’s “Polynesian Pop” era of the 1950s and ’60s. The family fun also includes hula and fire dancers, tiki carvers, retro vendors, a giant sand sculpture, tropical-themed bounce houses, vintage hot rod displays, and a cruise-in for pre-1970s cars, motorcycles and scooters. Food and drink will be available for purchase.


The inaugural FesTiki in 2009 attracted a total of 1,500 people to Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, according to officials from Dayton History, the nonprofit organization that manages both Carillon and Old River parks.


FesTiki is a production of SurfOhio.com and the Fraternal Order of Moai. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the world’s waves and beaches.


Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages 10-17; and free for ages 9 and under. Parking is free. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. No outside food or drink permitted.


For more information please visit

www.surfohio.com

or

www.festiki.com


Mahalo!

THE CAT'S MEOW!

JAZZ CORNER: COOL MAN COOL / SAY THAT!

JAZZ CORNER: COOL MAN COOL / SAY THAT!

GRANT GEISSMAN


On Cool Man Cool, jazz guitarist Grant Geissman takes you places you might not expect to go, but the destination is always cool, man, cool. With cool special guests including Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Tom Scott, Jerry Hahn, Russell Ferrante, Patrice Rushen, Mike Finnigan, and Van Dyke Parks.


Also featuring: Emilio Palame, Tom Ranier, Jim Cox (piano and organ), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Brian Scanlon (woodwinds),Trey Henry (acoustic bass and tuba), Ray Brinker (drums), Alex Acuna, Brian Kilgore (percussion), Dennis C. Brown (guitar), and Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre (guitar). Cool original cover artwork by Miles Thompson!

SAY THAT

Are you listening more, and enjoying it less? Then SAY THAT!


Legendary guitarist Grant Geissman has thrown down the gauntlet that separates the Jazz men from the Smooth Jazz boys!


Say That! is a triumph, a collection of thirteen original Grant Geissman compositions that play like a righteous melding of 1960s Wes Montgomery, Horace Silver, and Jimmy Smith. It's real music that swings, simmers, smolders, and burns.


It's good for the soul, and anything but "smooth"!


"Say That! is an iron fist upside the mushy head of smooth jazz, and Grant Geissman's defiant declaration of independence." -- Bill Milkowski


FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

MONSTER MASH-UP CENTRAL: SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD

MONSTER MASH-UP CENTRAL: SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD

LORI HANDELAND


Something wicked this way comes . . . and it keeps coming and coming and coming. . . .


William Shakespeare was one of history’s greatest writers, a master of words with a body of work that is truly impressive . . . some may say a little too impressive for a single man to accomplish in one lifetime. Perhaps, as many have speculated, he had assistance. Or perhaps the explanation is more . . . unusual.


Who was William Shakespeare?


Who was the Dark Lady of the Sonnets?


Why are the undead stalking the alleyways of London?


And can they be stopped?


Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.


So brace yourself for a wild ride through twisted streets and shadowed graveyards of Elizabethan London, where you’ll discover how the Bard got his Bite.


TO VISIT THE AUTHOR’S COOL WEBSITE CLICK HERE

COMICS CORNER: HONEY WEST!

COMICS CORNER: HONEY WEST!

ISSUE #1 ~ COMING SOON FROM MOONSTONE!

PULP CENTRAL: SERGEANT ZERO: TRENCHES IN HELL

PULP CENTRAL: SERGEANT ZERO: TRENCHES IN HELL

PULP TONE’S ANTHONY SCHIAVINO TELLS US THERE WILL BE A FIVE PAGE BRIEF FOR THE SECOND ISSUE OF HIS SERGEANT ZERO COMIC, SERGEANT ZERO: TRENCHES IN HELL. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SERGEANT ZERO’S FIRST CAPER YOU ARE MISSING OUT, SO GET ON OVER TO PULP TONE NOW AND GET IN ON THE PULP COOLNESS . . .


TO CHECK OUT PULP TONE CLICK HERE

COMIC CORNER: DOMINO LADY #5!

COMIC CORNER: DOMINO LADY #5!

Join Buffy novelist Nancy Holder as she uncovers the sexy noir thriller secrets of 'The Grapes of Graft.' The Santa Anita Race track was all the rage – rage, as in a murderous rage - with a nice Chianti. It's up to Domino Lady to reveal her assets to get to the bottom of things!


FOR MORE CLICK HERE

ESPIONAGE CORNER: CODEBREAKERS!

ESPIONAGE CORNER: CODEBREAKERS!

Busting foreign spies on domestic soil. Cracking the code on drug and human trafficking. Shutting down the mob. These are the tasks of the FBI’s elite Cryptanalysis Unit. This April, BOOM! Studios brings you CODEBREAKERS, a four issue mini-series that focuses on the proud few who examine the encrypted information of criminals in support of law enforcement investigations and prosecutions.

But what happens to the Cryptanalysis Unit when one of their own goes missing? Is it a puzzle the puzzle-solvers can't solve? And will this cipher reveal dark truths about themselves?


Written by comics newcomer Carey Malloy with art by upcoming fan-favorite Scott Godlewski, CODEBREAKERS sports covers by UNTHINKABLE’s Julian Totino Tedesco and THE SURROGATES’ Brett Weldele.

“I can’t wait for fans to get a hold of this book,” said BOOM!’s Managing Editor Matt Gagnon. “Inspired by our modern obsession with the technical aspect of law enforcement, CODEBREAKERS totally delivers realistic action that will have you dying to turn the next page.”


CODEBREAKERS #1 features two covers in a 50/50 split, illustrated by Julian Totino Tedesco and Brett Weldele. Written by Carey Malloy and featuring interior art by Scott Godlewski (co-founder of Mysterious Adventure Magazine).

Friday, April 9, 2010

FANTASY CORNER: THE FALLEN BLADE!

FANTASY CORNER: THE FALLEN BLADE!

JON COURTENAY GRIMWOOD

In the depths of night, officers board a galley. They find a naked boy chained to the bulkhead. Stunningly beautiful but half-starved, the boy escapes after they release him. The city of Serenissima is at the height of its power. Duke Alonzo commands the seas.

In a chapel, Alonzo’s cousin prays—but it is her bad fortune to be there when pirates break in and kidnap her. Marco, the Duke’s chief assassin, prepares to kill the man who let in the pirates. After he cuts the traitor’s throat, he turns back, and finds a stranger drinking blood from the dead man’s wound. The speed with which the boy scales a pillar stuns Marco. He knows he has to find the boy, because only he could be fit to be his apprentice.


TO VISIT THE AUTHOR’S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

STEAMPUNK CORNER: COLD MAGIC!

STEAMPUNK CORNER: COLD MAGIC!

KATE ELLIOTT


Cat and her cousin Bee are young women attending college at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Though they know of magical beings among them, like mages and trolls, they have no idea of the magical forces that control their world—or the war that is brewing between these forces.

That is, until Cat is taken from her home and married to a powerful Cold Mage to fulfill a contract that was drawn up decades ago. In the course of her adventures, Cat enters the spirit world to protect Bee, and discovers her own unique powers. These two young women will be the key to mankind’s survival in the coming war.


TO VISIT THE AUTHOR’S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

FANTASY CORNER: TRUTH SEEKER!

FANTASY CORNER: TRUTH SEEKER!

C. E. MURPHY


Across two extraordinary worlds, truth is the deadliest magic . . .


Though gifted with an uncanny intuition that allows her to discern when someone is lying, Lara Jansen is sure there’s nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwynn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help clear his name by solving his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.


Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Now caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.


TO CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

ROBIN HOOD ~ KING OF SHERWOOD!

ROBIN HOOD ~ KING OF SHERWOOD!


AIRSHIP27 - NOW AVAILABLE!


Airship 27 Productions & Cornerstone Book Publishers are proud to announce the release of Robin Hood – King of Sherwood, a brand new full length novel by I.A. Watson.


In 1190, two years after resting the crown from his father, Henry II, Richard the Lionhearted departed France for the Holy Lands and the Third Crusade. He left behind regents, Hugh, Bishop of Durham and his chancellor, William de Longchamp. But his younger brother, Prince John, lusted after the crown and saw Richard’s absence as a golden opportunity to seize control. John began a program of heavy taxation that threatened to destroy the social-economic stability of the England.


While the royals conspired against each other, it was the people of the land who suffered. Working under inhumane laws, they became no more than indentured slaves to the landed gentry. Amidst this age of turmoil and pain, there arose a man with the courage to challenge the aristocracy and fight for the weak and helpless. He was an outlaw named Robin of Loxley and how he became the champion of the people is a time worn legend that has entertained readers young and old.


Now, I.A. Watson brings his own vivid imagination to the saga, setting it against the backdrop of history but maintaining the iconic elements that have endeared the tale of Robin Hood throughout the ages. It is a fresh and rousing retelling of an old legend, imbuing it with a modern sensibility readers will applaud. The book features a stunning painted cover by professional artist, Mike Manley and black and white interior illustrations by the book’s designer, Rob Davis.


FOR MORE CLICK HERE

PULP CENTRAL: THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN COMBAT!

PULP CENTRAL: THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN COMBAT!


BARRY BARTON


NEW FROM AGE OF ACES - COMING VERY SOON!


While Death flies the Swastika across the bloody skies of World War II one American pilot stands before the pendulum of history! Amidst the vivid flames of the European conflict, Bill Combat has made it his personal mission to bring down the German Fuhrer and his Nazi henchmen. He knows first hand the ruthlessness of the Nazis, for they had already murdered his mother and uncle. And now he finds himself in the #1 spot on the Nazi's "Most Wanted" list. But Captain Combat has vowed that when the battle smoke clears, freedom and dignity will reign while Nazi evil shall be banished from the earth!


The Captain Combat stories were originally published bi-monthly from March to August 1940, over a year before America would be thrust into the Second World War. Age of Aces Books has gathered together all three of Barry Barton’s dynamic and thrilling novels of modern war into one volume for the first time.


The Complete Captain Combat is a 386 page, 6x9 trade paperback for $16.99. Like all Age of Aces Books, it will be available from AMAZON, MIKE CHOMKO BOOKS, and ADVENTURE HOUSE

THE CAT'S MEOW ~ DOUBLE PLAY!

SILLOF’S WORKSHOP!

SILLOF’S WORKSHOP!


HERE ARE SOME COOL CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES WITH A REAL PULP SENSIBILITY . . .


TO CHECK OUT THE WHOLE SITE CLICK HERE

NOIR CORNER: CEMETERY ROAD!

NOIR CORNER: CEMETERY ROAD!


GAR ANTHONY HAYWOOD


CONGRATULATIONS TO MY BUDDY GAR ANTHONY HAYWOOD FOR A GREAT REVIEW IN THE LA TIMES OF HIS NEW NOVEL CEMETERY ROAD . . .


Gar Anthony Haywood's new novel, "Cemetery Road," his first in a decade, opens in the winter of 1979, with three young men -- Errol "Handy" White, the story's narrator, and his trusted homeboys R.J. Burrow and O'Neal Holden (usually known simply as O) -- gathering together to burn $140,000 in a steel barbecue drum. Handy lights a match, tossing "the yellow flame into the grill before regret had any chance to take over the room," and the three accomplices watch all that dough go up in smoke. Why they do it remains, at this stage, a mystery, although the reader already senses that regret and guilt will indeed be the subjects here.


FOR THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE #94!

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE #94!

Join the BIG W every Friday evening as he continues to explore, with drink in hand, the Space-Age Pop Hi-Fi musical sounds of the 1950’s and the 1960’s in LIVING STEREO!


PLAYLIST:


• Down For Double - Mel Tormé

• Tico Tico - Terry Gibbs

• From This Moment On - Shirley Bassey

• I Get No Satisfaction - Al Caiola

• Blue Skies - Keely Smith

• Boulevard Of Broken Dreams - Esquivel

• Let’s Get Away From It All - Skip Jacks

• Tequila - Claus Ogerman

• The Right To Be Wrong - Bobby Darin

• It Was A Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra

• Mambo/West Side Story - Buddy Morrow

• What Kind Of Fool Am I? - Sammy Davis, Jr.

• The King Swings - Johnny Williams

• Fake Out Baby - Kirby Stone Four

• Mexican Market Day - Ray Anthony

• Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do - Buddy Greco

• One Last Kiss - Bill Potts

• Put On A Happy Face - James Darren

• Call Me - Allan Sherman

• This Is A Great Country - Ray Ellis


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

RETRO FRIDAY @ ANGIEVILLE!

RETRO FRIDAY @ ANGIEVILLE!


OUR REGULAR FRIDAY FORGOTTEN BOOKS POSTINGS ARE MIRRORED OVER AT ANGIEVILLE, A VERY COOL BOOK READERS STYLE BLOG. TODAY, THE DELIGHTFUL ANGIE COVERS A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT BY LAURA WHITCOMB.


I FOUND BOTH THE COVER AND THE PREMISE ARRESTING . . .


The book I've chosen for you today is an absolute keeper, but one that I rarely see featured for review for some reason. It hasn't been out that long really, but it's one I feel deserves more attention. I found it back in January of 2006 while browsing the Staff Picks shelf at my local bookstore. I'm always intrigued by the staff picks at bookstores and libraries. I love seeing what other bibliophiles pick when asked to recommend one title per month or so for the masses. In this case, the cover caught me in its net immediately. I fell in love on the spot and walked out with the book in hand. The hair falling over the lip of the chipped old-fashioned tub. The ghosty hands held up before her like they belong to someone else. The faded, slightly sinister wallpaper. And then, of course, the title. If you're an Emily Dickinson fan or a reader of ghost stories, A Certain Slant of Light is a guaranteed home run.


TO READ THE FULL POST AND CHECK OUT ANGIEVILLE FOR YOURSELF CLICK HERE

FANTASY CORNER: THE AGE OF ZEUS!

FANTASY CORNER: THE AGE OF ZEUS!

JAMES LOVERGROVE


The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind is under the jackboot of divine oppression.


Then former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down, the chance to join a small band of guerrilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battle suits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which not all of them will survive!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB!


KIM NEWMAN


I’ve been having a blast flashing back to the past with this delightful short story collection from one of the best minds in the British fantasy/horror genre.


For anyone who loves The Avengers and their precursor Adam Adamant Lives!, the stories in The Man From The Diogenes Club will take you back to that Day-Glo era of impossible crimes solved with a stiff upper lip, a quick quip, a light sprinkling of sex and kink – and in this case, a hip wardrobe glam enough to make the Velvet Underground jealous.


THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB


Introducing Richard Jeperson . . . in the 1970s the most valued member of a venerable institution, the Diogenes Club — least publicized of Britain’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies. His cases involve haunted trains and seaside resorts, murders in utopian communities and London’s vice district, voodoo and mind-altering therapies. His fashion sense is gaudy, his enemies deadly, and his associates glamorous.


As originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes stories, the Diogenes Club – established by Holmes’ older brother, Mycroft –was a place where anti-social gentlemen could gather to be left alone to read, relax, and escape human interaction. Talking was forbidden. It was director Billy Wilder, however, who first saw the club’s potential for intrigue when he placed it at the heart of his ‘70s film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.


Since then The Diogenes Club has popped up in numerous Holmsian pastiches, gradually evolving through the hands of several writers into a front for the British Secret Service.


Newman’s stories in The Man From The Diogenes Club and other collections make full use of this conceit to chronicle the activities of various agents of the Club (described in his stories as "an institution that quietly existed to cope with matters beyond the purview of regular police and intelligence services") throughout the 20th century, particularly in the 1920s, 1940s and 1970s – a secret cabal dedicated to protecting England from menaces too bizarre for public knowledge.


As in The Avengers, Newman's stories most often revolve around plots of a paranormal or occult nature. In fact, there are times Newman appears to be channeling Avenger’s creator and head writer Brian Clemens, so close does he come to capturing the fluff and fun of that show.


Richard Jeperson (think Jason King from the British TV series of the same name), the titular hero of The Man from the Diogenes Club, is the organization's top agent during the 1960s and 1970s. He dresses and behaves like a glam rocker – much to the distress of some of the club's more traditional members. He is Steed by character, not wardrobe.


His partner Vanessa has equally mysterious origins and their ambiguous yet percolating sexuality echoes Steed and Emma Peel’s classic mod-spy adult relationship.


Heavily laced with references to British pop culture, Jeperson and Vanessa take on mind-control, supercomputers, reality-warping psychics, ritual murders, Egyptian curses, megalomaniacs, utopias, and more – every case giving a fresh twist to pulp-fiction tropes. The adventures ooze glam and mod stylishness. These are clever and amusing stories, true pastiches which never slip into parody or satire. Genuine thrills.


A second collection of Newman’s Diogenes Club stories was published in 2008 with a third collection set for this year. I’ll be digging out my matching outfit to Jespersen’s "floor-length green suede Edwardian motorist’s coat over tiger-striped orange-and-black silk shirt, zebra-striped white and black flared jeans and handmade zigzag-striped yellow-and-black leather moccasins,” and be settling in for a good read.

OF KINDLES AND COVERS!

OF KINDLES AND COVERS!

I’ve been almost exclusively reading on my Kindle for the past month and have found the experience to be mostly satisfying. The Kindle e-book format does exactly what it claims in a mostly efficient manner. While the i-Pad is certainly flashier, I’ll be waiting for at least the 2.0 version before upgrading (does the term i-Pad always sound like an electronic upgrade for a tampon to anyone else but me?).


In the meantime, while the i-Pad has many bells and whistles (apps for which I generally have no use) and wonderful touch screen technology Kindle can only dream about at this point, the Kindle does have several advantages of its own. First is Kindle’s Whispernet cell phone technology connection, which is far more accessible than the i-Pad’s Wi-Fi hookup.


Secondly, I used my Kindle for several hours each day for over two weeks (keeping the whispernet off when not in use) and still had power left before recharging. The i-Pad is significantly behind in this area.


Also, the size of the Kindle is much more portable, and should I lose it (Heaven forbid), I’m only out a quarter the cost of a fully upgraded i-Pad.


So, while I’m very happy with my Kindle (I love carrying a virtual bookstore around with me at all times – having browsed and downloaded books at all times of the day and night and in all kinds of places from work to church to the bathroom – I know, TMI), have I abandoned books all together? Hardly, and I doubt I will any time in the near future.


I still take at least one paper book with me when I travel due to irrational fears of losing my Kindle, setting it down and having it stolen, or having internal gremlins fry my Kindle’s innards leaving me stuck with nothing to read except the operation manual.


However, for me, the biggest difference between paper books and my Kindle is when I’m reading e-books, I miss book covers . . . Okay, I know this sounds strange, but book covers do have a big influence in my psyche – they don’t absolutely determine whether or not I read/buy a book, but a great cover will get me to buy a book I might not otherwise pick up. Conversely, a bad cover will reduce my chances of picking up an unknown book I might otherwise enjoy.


I realized this phenomenon as I was preparing this week’s Forgotten Books post about The Man From The Diogenes Club. The cover of this book kept making me want to pick it up and read more. It defined the characters, the tone, and the tempo of the book perfectly – it was part of the reading experience. I realized I missed seeing an intriguing cover each time I picked up my Kindle. I first wanted to read The Man From The Diogenes Club because the cover caught my eye. The same holds true for the sequel, The Secret Files of the Diogonese Club, pictured above.


By comparison, many other covers are so drab and clunky, I wouldn’t pick them up or buy them unless I had prior experience with a series or author. As a result, I often pay more money for a British hardcover and pass on the American publication (Dick Francis novels in particular) because I almost always find the British covers to be superior.


There are a lot of pulp stories available for the Kindle. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a bit of it, but almost half the experience of reading the pulps for me is the garish covers and the cool interior illustrations – both of which are missing in the e-book experience.


Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle. I’m hooked on e-books and believe they will eventually revolutionize the publishing business in the same way MP3s turned the music business on its head. But I still need physical books around me.


How about you? How much do covers influence your choice of books you buy. Will you buy a book for its cover (I certainly will if it’s a McGinnis cover), or not buy a book because you hate the cover?


I’ve written in the past about not buying books with swastikas or pets on the cover. What are your cover peeves?


And what about the controversy, especially in the young adult genre, of whitewashing – blanding out the ethnicity of cover characters? Absolutely wrong, or an understandable marketing tool?

NOIR CORNER: NEEDLE ~ A MAGAZINE OF NOIR!

NOIR CORNER: NEEDLE ~ A MAGAZINE OF NOIR!


ISSUE #1 ~ SPRING 2010 ~ NOW AVAILABLE!


Needle Magazine is hardboiled, lean and mean. No silly reviews. No poetry. No advertising. Nothing but hard hitting stories. In your face and busting up your kiss-maker. Kapow.


FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CHILDREN’S HOMEWORK!!

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR CHILDREN’S HOMEWORK!!


HERE'S THE REPLY THE TEACHER RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING DAY AFTER SENDING HOME A NOTE TO A CHILD’S MOTHER PERTAINING TO HER CONCERNS ABOUT THE ABOVE DRAWING . . .


Dear Mrs. Jones,


I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an Exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.


From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


Sincerely, Mrs. Smith


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FANTASY CORNER: AMAZON INK!

FANTASY CORNER: AMAZON INK!

LORI DEVOTI


Meet Mel: Business owner. Dedicated mom. Natural-born Amazon.


It's been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin, while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone's idea of normal, but Mel thinks she's succeeded at blending in as human.


Turns out she's wrong. Someone knows all about her, someone who's targeting young Amazon girls, and no way is Mel going to let Harmony become tangled in this deadly web. With her mother love in overdrive, Ms. Melanippe Saka is quite a force...even when she's facing a barrage of distractions -- including a persistent detective whose interest in Mel goes beyond professional, a sexy tattoo artist with secrets of his own, and a seriously angry Amazon queen who views Mel as a prime suspect.

To find answers, Mel will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do: embrace her powers and admit that you can take the girl out of the tribe...but you can't take the tribe out of the girl.


AMAZON QUEEN


Being an Amazon ruler just became a royal pain.Amazon queen Zery Kostovska has never questioned tribe traditions. After all, these rules have kept the tribe strong for millennia and enabled them to live undetected, even in modern-day America. Zery is tough, fair, commanding—the perfect Amazon leader.At least, she was. A new high priestess with a penchant for secrecy and technology is threatening Zery’s rule. Plus, with the discovery of the Amazon sons, males with the same skills as their female counterparts, even Zery can’t deny that the tribe must change. But how? Some want to cooperate with the sons.

Others believe brutal new leadership is needed—and are willing to kill to make it happen.Once, Zery’s word was law. Now, she has no idea who to trust, especially with one powerful Amazon son making her question all her instincts.


For Zery, tribe comes first, but the battle drawing near is unlike any she’s faced before . . . and losing might cost her both the tribe and her life.

FANTASY CORNER: THE RETURNERS!

FANTASY CORNER: THE RETURNERS!


GEMMA MALLEY


What happens when your past catches up with you and you don’t like what you see?


A powerful novel that questions how we take responsibility for our actions


Will Hodges’ life is a mess! His mother is dead, he has no friends and he thinks he is being followed by a strange group of people who tell him they know him. But Will can’t remember them . . . at first. And when he does, he doesn’t like what he can remember.


While Will is struggling with unsettling memories, he learns that his past is a lot deeper than many people’s, and he has to find out if he is strong enough to break links with the powerful hold that history has on him.


This compelling novel, set in an alternate future, challenges readers to consider the role we all have to play in making our society, and asks how much we are prepared to stand up for what’s right.

NOIR CORNER: PETER GUNN VS. MIKE SHANE!

NOIR CORNER: PETER GUNN VS. MIKE SHANE!

IN A TV NOIR FACE OFF, PATRICK MURTHA SETS THE SCENE . . .


I decided to approach this week’s TV Noir of the Week in a different manner than usual. Instead of looking in depth at one episode of a show or one installment of an anthology, I will compare the general qualities of two similar shows that were broadcast in the same time-frame. Despite their similarities on many points, Peter Gunn (1958-1961) strikes me as more noir than Michael Shayne (1960-1961), and I would like to explore why in a non-scientific, impressionistic way (I’m not licensed to use the Noir-o-meter!).



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A SHRUG OF THE SHOULDER HOLSTER TO BILL CRIDER