Saturday, April 09, 2011

Dead Man's Revenge --Colby Jackson

Okay, folks, the third book in the Rancho Diablo series for Kindle has been on Amazon for several days now, and I'm not as rich as Joe Konrath. Nor am I turning down high six-figure offers from major traditional publishers so I can go straight to Kindle. You people need to buy the book so I can start living in the style to which I want to become accustomed.

He's Counting the Days

Man banned from standing naked next to his window | "A naturist who likes to stand naked at his bedroom window has been banned from doing so for ten years."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sidney Lumet, R. I. P.

Sidney Lumet, Director of American Classics, Dies at 86 - "Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “The Verdict,” “Network” — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86."

No Comment Department

Link via Dave Barry's Blog.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

And now for something completely different, a nonfiction book from Thomas Nelson. You may have heard the story about the band that played on the Titanic as the ship went down, but you haven't heard the whole story.

It's all here, with photos, letters, and eyewitness accounts: "When Titanic collided with an iceberg at 23:40 on April 14th, the eight members of the band had already retired for the evening. Still, they put on overcoats and mufflers came out to play in the lounge. When most of the First Class passengers had taken to their lifeboats, the musicians simply moved to the deck and continued to play, calming the passengers as the ship sank. One second class passenger said: “Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame.” Survivors’ accounts differ about whether their final tune was “L’Automme” or “Nearer My God To Thee.” What has never been disputed is the courage of these musicians who deliberately sacrificed the possibility of escape in order to produce a mood of tranquility at a time of extreme anxiety. But who were they? What journeys brought them to this deck on this icy ocean? Had any of them previously displayed signs of great courage? Who did they leave behind? Historian and biographer Steve Turner delves into the lives of these brave men, revealing eight unique portraits of bravery."

Flutes in Space!

Astro-Lung: Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson To Duet With Astronaut on International Space Station: "Jethro Tull lead singer and flutist Ian Anderson has made some out-of-this-world music, but his upcoming collaboration could be his spaciest concert yet.

That's because part of it will be from space itself: The International Space Station, to be specific.

On April 12, Anderson will be taking part in a duet with U.S. astronaut Col. Catherine Coleman, also a flutist, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight in 1961."

This Wasn't Sheriff Rhodes, I Hasten to Say

Deputy LaDonna Williams Claims She Was Fired for Refusing Threesome With Sheriff - True Crime Report

A Contest with a Great Prize

The Rap Sheet: And Good Luck to Everyone!: "Don’t forget about The Rap Sheet’s contest to give away two free sets of four classic Ross Macdonald novels: Blue City, The Three Roads, Meet Me at the Morgue, and The Ferguson Affair. If you would like to enter, all you have to do is e-mail your name and snail-mail address to And please be sure to write “Ross Macdonald Contest” in the subject line. Entries will be accepted between now and midnight this coming Monday, April 11. Winners will be selected at random, and their names listed on this page the following day."

Today's Vintage Ad

Naked Penguins Would Be a Good Name for a Rock Band

'Naked' penguins baffle experts: "The appearance of 'naked' penguins -- afflicted with what is known as feather-loss disorder -- in penguin colonies on both sides of the South Atlantic in recent years has scientists puzzled as to what could be causing the condition."

Two Bills (Horine & Crider)


Leigh Brackett, An Eye for an Eye, Bantam, 1961

Today's Rant

CBS Sacramento: "As officers attempted to put the suspect in the car, he began yelling that he was not a U.S. citizen and that they had no rights to arrest him.

Following is an excerpt of the suspect’s rant.

“I’m, uh, not a citizen of the United…you took my pants off? Look at this! This is…I will sue for this. I will [inaudible] for this in my court, because my court isn’t your court of California. The courts, the, the…do you know what the bar is? It’s the British Accredited Registry. That’s why lawyers are accredited by Britain, not America! It’s a fake system! It’s all for control!”"

Rant video at the link.

Not the 50 books you must read before you die

Not the 50 books you must read before you die

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Fatal Flaw :: Cathi Stoler

Cardboard Thieves!

Miami News - Riptide 2.0: "But apparently all Miami thieves want from Collier County is their precious, bountiful supply of cardboard. Yes, two Miami men have been charged with grand theft after police foiled a plot to steal large amounts of cardboard from Naples businesses."

Today's Western Movie Poster

And Keep Off His Lawn!

I recommend clicking the link to see the mugshot.

Man Celebrates 64th Birthday by Allegedly Flashing School Bus: "Investigators with the Pasco Sheriff's Office in Port Richey, Fla., say Jack Snyder celebrated his 64th birthday Monday by dropping his pants and shaking his genitals at a school bus loaded with elementary school students."

What if Record Albums Had Been Books?

The Record Books - a set on Flickr

Morgan Freeman's Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Morgan Freeman

The Univited

Friday, April 08, 2011

Rodent Update "A woman in Braintree made a startling discovery under the hood of her car Wednesday.

Joanie Ranahan was having a little engine trouble, so she took her car to a mechanic. The problem was immediately obvious — there was a family of squirrels nesting inside."

Books Bound in Metal - Full Metal Jacket: Books Bound in Metal

This Happened Often in Classes I Taught

Mail Online: "A student was taken to hospital after she yawned so hard during a lecture that her mouth got stuck wide open."

Craig Thomas, R. I. P.

BBC News - Techno thriller writer Craig Thomas dies: "Thriller writer Craig Thomas has died at the age of 69, it has been announced.

Fans regard the Cardiff-born author as the inventor of the techno-thriller genre which includes his book, Firefox, made into a Hollywood blockbuster.

The 1982 movie starred Clint Eastwood as the US fighter pilot and spy Mitchell Gant, a character in a series of Thomas's books."

Link via Mystery Fanfare.

2011 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductees

Locus Online News: "2011 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2011 inductees to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame are Harlan Ellison, Vincent Di Fate, Moebius, and Gardner Dozois."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Outrage After Officer Pepper Sprays Baby Squirrel: "A YouTube video of a police officer using pepper spray on a baby squirrel has sparked outrage in the city of Mesquite, Tx."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Lumen is what I'd call a literary crime novel, one that has an interesting setting: Nazi-occupied Cracow. It's from Bitter Lemon Press, and here's the full description: "Equal parts wartime political intrigue, detective story, psychological thriller and religious mystery, Pastor's debut follows a German army captain and a Chicago priest as they investigate the death of a nun in Nazi-occupied Poland. Mother Kazimierza's alleged power to see the future has brought her a devoted following; her motto, "Lumen Christi Adiuva Nos" ("Light of Christ, help us"), gives the novel its title. In October 1939, Captain Martin Bora discovers the abbess shot dead in her convent garden. Father Malecki has come to Cracow at the pope's bidding, to investigate Mother Kazimierza's powers. Now the Vatican orders him to stay and assist in the inquiry into her killing. Meanwhile, the Germans are consolidating their hold on their Polish territory, dispossessing farmers, beating civilians and forcing Jews into labour gangs. Stunned by the violence of the occupation and by the ideology of his colleagues, Bora’s sense of Prussian duty is tested to the breaking point. The interference of seductive actress Ewa Kowalska does not help but after two suicides, much detective work and conversations with Malecki, never easy for Bora, about choice and chance, good and evil, Bora and Malecki discover the true story of the abbess's death."

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Two 'Jersey Shore' Spin-Offs Set for 2012 -

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Chico Enterprise Record: "Dad turns down son's music with shotgun"

Will Texas Lead the Way? "In Texas, it seems 80 mph just isn't fast enough.

A bill passed in the state House of Representatives would raise the speed limit to 85 miles per hour on certain long stretches of road or designated lanes. The Senate is working on a similar proposal.

If the bill becomes a law, Texas will have the highest speed limit in the country."

Today's Vintage Ad

Lauren's Run -- Part 4 Now On-Line

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- Part 4


Russell Kirk, The Surly Sullen Bell, Paperback Library, 1964

Grilling Michael Connelly

Here I am, putting the tough questions to Michael Connelly at yesterday's luncheon sponsored by Murder by the Book.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man admits attacking pregnant sister at wedding: "A Three Forks man accused of hitting his pregnant sister in the mouth with a wrench during her wedding reception has pleaded no contest to criminal endangerment."

Blast from the Past

Sales of doomsday nuclear bunkers soars 1000%

Today's Western Movie Poster

AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in March 2011

AbeBooks: AbeBooks’ Top 10 Most Expensive Sales in March 2011

I Am Not Among Them

The Sleepless Elite - "For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural 'short sleepers,' as they're officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

While it's unclear if all short sleepers are high achievers, they do have more time in the day to do things, and keep finding more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at once."

Need a Pen?

Rocket Pen

Forgotten Books: The Elmore Leonard Reader -- Elmore Leonard

There are those who would argue that this isn't a real book. We'll just ignore them.

Back in 1982 or 1983, Avon published this 96-page book of excerpts from six of Leonard's novels in an obvious attempt to coax readers into buying the full versions. Each excerpt is preceded by a few quotations from reviews.

I remember seeing stacks of these little books on the check-out counters of places like Waldenbooks (remember them?) in nearby malls. Naturally I picked one up, and the other day, I happened to run across it. I sat down and read a few of the excerpts. My favorite is from Split Images, because that book, while not one of Leonard's best-known, has a swell opening paragraph.

After I read the excerpts, I checked out the prices for the books on Abebooks. I wish I'd picked up a handful instead of just one.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . "Police say an inmate at the Utah State Hospital may have killed another prisoner over his snoring."

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton won't return borrowed jewels-lawsuit | Reuters: "Paris Hilton is holding $60,000 of jewelry that does not belong to her and should give it back, a new lawsuit contends.

A German insurer, Allianz SE (ALVG.DE), has sued the celebrity socialite and heiress to the Hilton Hotels fortune, saying she has ignored several attempts to recover the borrowed jewels."

Hat tip to John Duke.

Everything Old is New Again

Top Gun Returning To Theaters - "Maverick and his buddy Goose are flying back into theaters for two nights only on April 30th and May 2nd in AMC Theaters. You’ll be able to ride into the Danger Zone with your friends all over again, or if you’re under thirty then probably for your first time in theaters, in hundreds of different locations around Canada and the United States listed right here."

Today's Vintage Ad


Douglas Heyes, The Kiss-off, Signet, 1952

Lauren's Run -- Part 3 Now Up on Top Suspense

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- Part 3

Gator Update (Banned! Edition)

Kansas city bans alligators: "Dodge City isn't so wild anymore."

Top 10 Cars of All Times

Top 10 Cars of All Times

Worse Than a Bite?

Ruff Life: "Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Spring Issue of Mysterical-E Is Now On-Line

Mysterical-E has lots of new stories by writers you know. Check it out.

Michael Connelly Interview

Judy and I will be driving over to Houston a little later this morning for the luncheon sponsored by Murder by the Book. The guest is Michael Connelly, and I'll have the pleasure of interviewing him. I have plenty of questions to ask him, but I'll probably forget half of them. I suspect he's there to plug The Fifth Witness and the new movie of The Lincoln Lawyer, and while I'm interested in those things, there are a lot of other things that I'd rather ask about. Should be fun.

Croc Update (Meat Smuggling Edition) "Customs agents at Dulles International Airport had a strange find over the weekend.

Agents found 7 pounds of cooked antelope and a whole cooked crocodile in the luggage of a woman arriving on a flight from Ethiopia."

National Recording Registry Update

Library of Congress Adds Tammy Wynette, De La Soul to Registry | .Politics: "The Library of Congress this week added 25 recordings for preservation in its National Recording Registry. They’re diverse and interesting. Here’s the list and the Library of Congress descriptions of the significance of each recording:"

Gator Update (Baggy Pants Edition)

Lake Charles, Louisiana: "Baggy pants saved a Florida teen after he was attacked by an alligator while walking through an apartment complex."

Three Strangers

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I'm Shocked -- Shocked!

27% of communication by members of Congress is taunting, professor concludes

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Stephen Unger's In the Footsteps of Dracula is a different kind of travel book. It has everything you need to know if you're planning to take a trip to the land of Vlad the Impaler, including a sample itinerary, a practical guide to the Dracula trail, and a whole lot more. If you're like me and don't plan to make the trip, there are over 185 great photos, most of them in color. For twenty bucks, this might be the best trip you ever took while sitting at home. Check it out.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

This is a good new p.i. novel from Perfect Crime Books. It's about Hayes Rutherford (not Rutherford Hayes). Hayes is an ex-con turned off-the-books p.i. on a case that begins in Hollywood and ends in D. C. You can read more about it on Ed Gorman's blog. Perfect Crime Books publishes some good stuff, and all their books are worth your attention.

Antiques Knock-Off -- Barbara Allan (Barbara and Max Allan Collins)

Brandy Borne, seven months pregnant with a child that isn't hers, and Vivian, her mother, who is really her grandmother, are back on the scene, and sure enough, there's another murder. This time it involves Brandy's sister, who is really her mother. If you think that sounds confusing, it's not, and it's all actually very funny. In fact, the first page of this book is so funny and so well done that I just had to stop reading for a while and admire it.

I enjoy Brandy's narrative voice, and Vivian's, too, though she gets short shrift, only one chapter per book, or one-and-a-half in this case (and two in the previous book). This time, both Brandy and Vivian are off their meds for most of the book, and that makes things just that much more entertaining.

I mentioned the murder, right? Okay, Vivian immediately confesses to it, and her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. Her time in jail is great reading, and it provides a nice coda for the whole book. This one is highly recommended.

Today's Vintage Ad

A Reminder

My contribution to the Rancho Diablo series is now live on Amazon. Sam Blaylock just wants to establish his ranch and get his family settled in, but someone, or something, doesn't like that idea. This time even the law doesn't seem to be on Sam's side. A mere $2.99. Check it out. Kindle only right now. Nook to come later, assuming I can figure out how.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man Arrested in Paper Towel Dispute at MARTA Station: "A man police say grabbed paper towels from a maintenance cart at a rail station in Atlanta and used them to blow his nose wound up in jail."


James M. Reasoner, Texas Wind, Manor, 1980

Feeling Safer Now?

My Way News - Boeing didn't expect 737 cracks so soon: "Boeing engineers figured the joints holding the skin in place on their older 737 jetliners would begin to wear, but only as the planes neared retirement. They never expected it to happen in middle age."

Hat tip to Steve Stilwell.

Part 2 of Lauren's Run Now On-Line

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- Part 2

Famous Crime Firsts

Inside Bay Area: "A crime first: Pleasanton woman's vehicle bee-jacked"

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Need Cheering Up?

These mugshots should do the trick.


Today's Western Movie Poster


"10 Famous Females Who Used Male Pen names"

The Last Veterans of the Golden Age

SF Signal: The Last Veterans of the Golden Age

And They Still Make These, Too

Commodore USA: "It's back... and better than ever! The new Commodore 64 is a modern functional PC as close to the original in design as humanly possible. It houses a modern mini-ITX PC motherboard featuring a Dual Core 525 Atom processor and the latest Nvidia Ion2 graphics chipset. It comes in the original taupe brown/beige color, with other colors to follow."

Yes, You Can Still Buy One

The Classic Manual Typewriter - Hammacher Schlemmer: "This is the classic manual typewriter, the indispensable tool used by celebrated 20th Century authors Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Jack Kerouac. Though supplanted by computers, the mechanical typewriter still has its devotees (authors Larry McMurtry and David McCullough among them), many who claim the click-clacking of its keys inspires creative thinking. This typewriter also proves invaluable for addressing envelopes, creating labels, or filling out forms--simple tasks that can be confounding with a computer printer. Not a reconditioned model, it comes from the ever-dwindling reserve of new manuals
still being manufactured."


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Rap Sheet is Giving Away Ross Macdonald Books!

The Rap Sheet: Giving Away Books, Asking for Opinions

Return of the Western?

Warner Bros. To Make Their Own Wyatt Earp Movie, Wild Guns - "In December, True Grit made over $240 million, and kicked off what appears to be the rebirth of the western, which is the only explanation for two Wyatt Earp movies to be in development since Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner went head-to-head in the early 90s.

THR reports that Warner Bros. has picked up a spec script called Wild Guns, a project described as having 'shades of Tombstone and Sherlock Holmes.' The project, which centers on the legendary Earp as well as Doc Holliday, is the second to be set up with the characters to in the last month, The First Ride of Wyatt Earp having been announced last month. In the story, written by T.S. Nowlin for Gianni Nunnari, Earp and Holliday are hired to rescue the daughter of Sitting Bull after she is kidnapped by a powerful Shaman."

Blood Crimes -- Dave Zeltserman

Okay, let's say you're a vampire with conscience. Let's say you decide that since you can't live without blood, you'll take it, but only from the worst of the worst. Dexter with a vampire? Not exactly. Zeltserman's e-book is more intense and even bloodier. I'd call it the anti-Twilight, and in my book that's a good thing.

Jim and and his so-far non-vampire partner, Carol, are on a road trip hunting killers to kill. But someone's after them, too. This is Book One in a planned series of five, so get in on it now.

Criminal Geniuses of the Day

Cops: Perp Left T-Shirt With His Mug Shot at Crime Scene: "Police in Charlotte, N.C., say they arrested a home invasion suspect who accidentally left a T-shirt featuring his own face -- in the form of a mug shot -- at the scene of the crime."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

The Newspaper of Cleveland County: "A mother accused her son of punching her out after she took a bite of his Dairy Queen Blizzard, according to a Gastonia police report."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Mike Nevins, who wrote the introduction to this collection of two novels by William Ard, is a convincing guy. After hearing his presentation on Ard at a long-ago Bouchercon, I rushed into the dealers' room and bought a bunch of Ard novels. Now you can get a couple of them (The Perfect Frame and .38 aka You Can't Stop Me) by mail, both in one volume from Ramble House, with a classic Nevins intro thrown into the mix.

"In 1951 William Ard, in response to the wave of sadism and cruelty that was personified in the novels of Mickey Spillane, introduced Timothy Dane, a kinder, gentler PI. He set the tone for a series of Timothy Dane mysteries and Ramble House is proud to be bringing them back, two at a time, for all the young readers who may have missed the great William Ard. It's also for us oldsters who remember reading Ard the first time but can't easily find the rare Monarch and Popular Library vintage paperbacks.

Read Francis M. Nevins' informative introduction to see why William Ard matters and why all of his books need to be brought back into print."

In Case You Were Wondering, . . .

10 Colleges That Allow Guns on Campus

Today's Vintage Ad

Evil at a New Low Price

For two weeks you can get the first book in the Dead Man series for your Kindle at the low, low price of 99 cents. Check it out. And while you're at it, you might also want to readthis interview with Lee Goldberg, who talks about the series.

New Round Robin Story and New Contest Begin at Top Suspense

Top Suspense Group: Lauren's Run -- A New Round Robin Story from TSG: "As a way to celebrate the official release date of our Top Suspense Anthology (and wouldn't today be a perfect day to pick up our anthology for $2.99 for either the Kindle or Nook?), here's the first part of the sequel to The Chase, Lauren's Run. The same rules have been in effect for Lauren's Run--no planning, no safety nets, the only difference is we have a new set of players. While the original six members of Top Suspense (Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, Vicki Hendricks, Harry Shannon and myself) wrote The Chase, the new six (Stephen Gallagher, Lee Goldberg, Joel Goldman, Libby Hellmann, Naomi Hirahara and Paul Levine) decided to strut their stuff and write the sequel. Over the next 12 days, I'll be posting a new part of the story with the author's name removed, so you can have fun trying to guess who wrote what (hint. buy our anthology! if you read it you'll be able to figure it out). And anyone who guesses all 12 story parts correctly will win free e-books from each of these six!"


Max Brand (Frederick Faust), Six-Gun Ambush (aka Pleasant Jim), Popular Library, 1955

A Great Interview . . . and Don't Miss the Photos!

The Chicago Blog: Playing poker with Parker: An interview with Brian Garfield

8 once-amazing sci-fi devices now inferior to real-life gadgets

8 once-amazing sci-fi devices now inferior to real-life gadgets

Top 10 Useless Inventions

Top 10 Useless Inventions

Today's Western Movie Poster

The 8 Best Easter Toys (To Give Your Kids Nightmares)

The 8 Best Easter Toys (To Give Your Kids Nightmares)

Link via Neatorama.

Just in Time for Easter

Supersized Superbunny - Science News: "It may not be Harvey (it’s visible), but paleontologists have found fossils of a giant rabbit — the largest ever described — on the Mediterranean island of Minorca.

Three to 5 million years ago, a rabbit species there grew about half a meter high with an estimated weight of 12 kilograms (about 26 pounds), researchers report in the March Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology."

It's What You've been Waiting for, Folks!

'Bill And Ted 3': Keanu Reeves Says Third Film Coming: "Party on, dudes: Bill and Ted are coming back!

Twenty years after the Wyld Stallions played hero and became the biggest band in the universe, the boys from San Dimas will be coming back to the big screen."

Forgotten Films: Undersea Kingdom

Undersea Kingdom is the second serial from Republic Studios, not a "film." Still, it's one of my favorites, so I thought I'd give it a mention. If you watched the trailer (see previous post), you know that this serial has "everything you want: mechanical men, . . rocket submarines, rocket aeroplanes, earthquakes!" It also has disintegrator rays. And, speaking of rays, it has Ray "Crash" Corrigan, too. Plus Lon Chaney, Jr., and the alleged comedy of Smiley Burnett, of which the less said, the better. You have your super-weapons and robots in the same society with guys riding horses and having sword fights. What's not to like?

It's all quite similar to the first Flash Gordon serial (which is certainly deliberate), and I like it just as much (no matter what MST3K) might do to it. There's no need to describe the plot, which is just about like any other serial. You either go for this kind of thing or you don't. I do.

Undersea Kingdom

Monday, April 04, 2011

2011 Scribe Nominees



BURN NOTICE: The Giveaway by Tod Goldberg
MIKE HAMMER: THE BIG BANG by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane

MURDER SHE WROTE: The Queen's Jewels by Donald Bain

PSYCH: The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin



GUILD WARS: GHOSTS OF ASCALON by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb






GOD OF WAR by Matthew Stover & Robert E. Vardeman

THE WOLFMAN by Jonathan Maberry





The Fifth Annual Scribe Awards will be given at a ceremony and panel discussion held during Comic Con International in San Diego in July 2011. Details will be announced soon.

For more information contact

Max Allan Collins (

Lee Goldberg (

Have They Never Heard of Gozilla? "'We have no choice but to release water tainted with radioactive materials into the ocean as a safety measure,' Yukio Edano, the government’s chief spokesman told a new conference."

Published Today for Kindle!

Be the first in your neighborhood to own a copy!

And Who Can Blame Him?

Bad Case of the Munchies: "Cops in Ocala, Fla., arrested a 20-year-old for allegedly stealing a truck loaded with 338 boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Big Caper Novel

And I do mean BIG. There's even an Alvin connection!

Conde Nast Paid $8 Million To Scammer Who Sent One Email - William P. Barrett - Informer - Forbes: "A suburb of Houston, Alvin (pop. 21,473) is better known as the hometown of baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan, where a museum honors him. Another claim to fame is the 43 inches of rain that a tropical storm dumped one day in 1979, the all-time U.S. record for a 24-hour period. Alvin is way off the beaten path of world media content centers, even for the most experienced Traveler. So still to be explained: Why $8 million of payments going into the newly opened bank account of a home-based business from one of the world’s most famous publishers drew no attention until Quad/Graphics Inc. complained it hadn’t been paid."

Hat tip to Jay Rogers.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Texas Tales Illustrated by Mike Kearby and Mack White: "'In the grand tradition of Rosenfield and Patton's Texas History Movies and the wonderful graphic novels of Jack Jackson, we now have Mike Kearby and Mack White's marvelous Texas Tales illustrated. Clear writing, great art, and solid history make for a winning combination that will delight and educate readers both young and old.'
--Paul Andrew Hutton, University of New Mexico

“…Texas Tales is a historically accurate and refreshing approach to educating and entertaining readers of all ages on the Texas Revolution ...”
--Stephen Moore, author of Eighteen Minutes: The Battle of San Jacinto
and the Texas Independence Campaign."

And check out the website for a neat video.

Today's Vintage Ad

20 Terrific TED Talks for Language Lovers

20 Terrific TED Talks for Language Lovers


Glen Watkins, The Hard-Boiled Blonde, Knickerbocker, no date

Naked Cheetos Would Be an Excellent Name for a Rock Band "Naked Cheetos would not seem to have much commercial future. Nor might some brands of pickles. The pickling process turns them an unappetizing gray. Dye is responsible for their robust green. Gummi worms without artificial coloring would look, like, well, muddily translucent worms. Jell-O would emerge out of the refrigerator a watery tan.

No doubt the world would be a considerably duller place without artificial food coloring. But might it also be a safer place? The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, asked the government last week to ban artificial coloring because the dyes that are used in some foods might worsen hyperactivity in some children."

10 Most Memorable NCAA Tourney Mid-Majors

10 Most Memorable NCAA Tourney Mid-Majors

Today's Western Movie Poster

There Was One Worse than Pluto Nash?

Ranking Eddie Murphy's movies ... bottom to top

Yes, It's True. I'm Everywhere.

Criminal-E: Bill Crider interview: Dead On The Island

The Top Suspense Group on Creating & Sustaining Suspense

Booklife: "In the Hands of a Master: The Top Suspense Group on Creating & Sustaining Suspense"

It's a Good Thing She Didn't Have Access to Duct Tape

The Smoking Gun: "Drunk Teacher Who Allegedly Flapped Arms And Made Chicken Noises Removed From Classroom"

All Righty, Then "Scientists say it's impossible, but Chinese farmer Liu Naiying believes he is the proud owner of a miracle - a sheep that has given birth to a dog.

The 'puppy' has wool like a lamb but its mouth, nose, eyes, paws and tail look more like those of a dog. Thousands of people have visited Mr Liu's Shaanxi province farm to see for themselves."

Photographic proof at the link.

No Comment Department

WSVN-TV - Mother angry after teacher tapes student's mouth: "Jazlyn Freel attends New Renaissance Middle School. She said on Thursday her teacher placed tape over her mouth. 'She asked me to stop talking, and then a couple minutes went by, and I started to talk again, and she came to me and put it on my mouth,' Jazlyn said. 'I had to cough, so I took the first piece off, so she went into her desk, and she took another piece out, and she put it on my mouth again.'"

Pillow Talk

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Parnell Hall Strikes Again

Gator Update (Judicial Edition)

WSAV TV: "A divided Georgia Court of Appeals panel has ruled that a golf club and homeowners association may be held liable for damage inflicted by alligators that patrol a system of lagoons."

James Reasoner Interview in The Writer

Brett Weiss: Words of Wonder: Recently published in...The Writer

Get a FREE eBook!

Adventures In Writing: Get a FREE eBook!

The First Time Ever "On this day in 1973 -- on April 3 of that year -- a man did something no one had ever done before.

You may bless him for it or curse him for it. At this juncture, it hardly matters. The impact of what he did is so enormous that judging it now is almost beside the point.

The man's name was Martin Cooper. He was 44 at the time.

He made a cell phone call."

UFO Update

UFO sighting in Chicago? | "An unusual sight was reported by some residents on Chicago's South Side. They say something in the sky looked like UFOs were flying over Chicago."

Gone Phishing

Houston Chronicle: "An Irving, Texas-based firm that handles email marketing for a lot of big-name companies has been hacked, and there's a good chance you do business with someone on its client list.

The result: You may be the target of phishing attempts that feature names you'd normally trust."

Details at the link.

Lake Charles -- Ed Lynskey

You think you have troubles? Just be glad you're not Brendan Fishback, who's accused of the murder of the daughter of one of the most powerful me in Yellow Snake, Tennessee. Brendan's not entirely sure he didn't kill Ashleigh Sizemore because after they smoked a little pot and had sex, he passed out. When he work up, she was dead.

Now out on bail, Brendan goes fishing at Lake Charles (not the one in Louisiana) with his twin sister, Edna, and her husband. Edna disappears, and Brendan and her husband go looking for her. Before long, Brendan has two dead bodies on his hands, and he still hasn't found Edna. He enlists the help of his brother-in-law's father, a guy with a secret past and an arsenal that a Bond villain would admire.

The setting in this one is different and well drawn, and you'll be drawn into the story as Brendan tries to find out what really happened to Ashleigh Sizemore and to his sister. Good stuff from Ed Lynskey, and recommended hardboiled reading.

Today's Vintage Ad

Gator Update (Cutting Tail Edition)

FloriDUH: "Jason Arnold Brewer, of Orlando, is accused of illegally cutting off a 50-inch alligator tail. He reportedly told deputies he used a knife he kept in his Taco Bell pants to kill the gator along the banks of the St. Johns River, reports the Orlando Sentinel."

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Ian Rankin Picks His Favorite Literary Crime Novels


Bruce Manning, Cafe Society Sinner, Intimate Books, 1953

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Thieves steal $85,000 worth of hair extensions stolen from Missouri City store | "Many women know beauty comes at a price, and it's seems criminals are quickly learning that as well.

Top 10 Interesting Ghost Towns Around The World

Top 10 Interesting Ghost Towns Around The World

In Case You Were Wondering, . . .

How Do You Pronounce That Again? - Photo Gallery - LIFE

Today's Western Movie Poster