Monday, November 23, 2015

New Book Covers

Check out these reworked covers! Aren't they awesome?

Sabrina, photographer extraordinaire, whom I have bragged about a lot, helped me rework these recently. She was so patient and diligent and insightful--and then we ended up with this wonderful results!

Once again, I owe a huge thank you to Nancy and Patrick, who once again agreed to pose for the cover of book three. It's a boring job, with lots of minute adjustments and hundreds of photos in order for us to get that one perfect image. But they took everything in stride like old pros, and the image is stunning. Nancy, Patrick, you guys rock, and the covers wouldn't be the same without you.

Here are the covers:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review of Laurie R. King's "A Letter Of Mary" (Mary Russell #3)

Review of A Letter Of Mary by Laurie R. King

*Contains spoilers

This is the third installment in the Mary Russell series, and as it is an improvement over its predecessor, it bolstered some of the faith I have in this series. It was not as good as the first book, but it gives me hope that the series is on the upswing.

In reading other reviews of this book, as well as the first two books, I've seen they are all over the map. Three primary issues seem to be dividing the field: the relationship between Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, King's feminism and religion, and King's writing. These are all the points I've hit on in my reviews, as well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On The Road: Effigy Mounds National Monument

On The Road: Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument is located in northeastern Iowa. I wasn't really sure what this place was before I went, but I was near enough I couldn't pass up the opportunity. And I'm so glad I went! What an amazing place.

The Monument

This site is home to 206 prehistoric mounds. As little as a one hundred years ago, there were more than 10,000 mounds throughout northeastern Iowa, but today fewer than 1,000 remain. Many of the mounds were plowed over to make way for farmland, which necessitated the establishment of this monument.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"The Major Leagues" Part 5

After checking in with no fewer than three people, Rutger was finally funneled into a concrete room with a bank of metal lockers lining one wall. He emptied his pockets into the locker and removed everything else he wasn’t permitted to bring in. Taking the key out of the locker, he went to the final checkpoint. He turned over his key to someone who placed it with his driver’s license, then waited while another guard patted him down one more time. He passed through a steel door into a room as cold as the last, with two rows of steel benches bolted to the floor. Predominately, they were occupied by women.
After ten minutes, another steel door opened, and a guard filled the doorway. He read four names from the clipboard he held then made check marks as each of the four people moved into what Rutger discovered was a concrete hallway. Rutger followed the three women ahead of him down the hallway, around a corner and out into what was called the “visitation area.” The guard, who had followed him, posted himself near the middle where he could see all four visitors and all four inmates.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On The Road: Crazy Horse Memorial

On The Road: Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse, Crazy Horse, Crazy Horse. I have to be careful what I write here. Please note, whatever follows is my opinion, and nothing more.

Crazy Horse Memorial is located in the Black Hills, four miles north of Custer, South Dakota. Crazy Horse Memorial is a private enterprise, owned and operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, though it is open to the public. In addition to the mountain itself, there is an enormous, sprawling campus that consists of a huge visitors center, Native American museum, gift shop, restaurant, sculpture's museum, and a gift shop. And the university is here as well.

I get the feeling Crazy Horse Memorial began as a really organic dream and a sort of grassroots-type project. In the years--decades--since, it has morphed into something else entirely, something very commercial. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review of Laurie R. King's "A Monstrous Regiment Of Women" (Mary Russell #2)

Review of A Monstrous Regiment Of Women by Laurie R. King

*Contains spoilers

I confess I am feeling rather apathetic about this book, the second in the Mary Russell series. For reasons I cannot quite articulate, I find I believe in this series; I seem to sense some nuggets of quality and excitement. This second book does little to bolster my faith, however.

This book takes place five years after Mary Russell first encounters Sherlock Holmes. She's graduated Oxford and comes full into the massive fortune her father left her. This story is about Russell's involvement with the New Temple of God church and the investigation into the seemingly strange deaths of four of its members.