Category Archives: Books

Winners of Spooktacular Giveaway are…

 

Winners are:

The Adventures of Holly Holstein: Patricia S.

The Kansas City Establishment: Mia

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards: Penny O.

Winners, be sure to send me your mailing addresses (cyannris@gmail.com).

Authors who are reading this blog post – remember that I am creating a Holiday Gift Magazine of books to send to my newsletter subscribers.  For more information visit the “Holiday Magazine” page.

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Holiday Book Magazine

Hop on over to my Page “Holiday Magazine” and see the information I need if you wish to have your book(s) listed in the 2017 Holiday Gift Magazine I will be sending to all my newsletter subscribers.

If you participate by having your book(s) in the magazine, I will give you a pdf file of the magazine to share with your newsletter subscribers.

This is a great way to promote your book(s) FREE of charge…well, you will need to spend a little bit of time getting me the information for the magazine then sending it out to your readers.

The more that participate the more circulation your books will have!

And, I will feature a book a day on this blog throughout the Holiday Season!

 

 

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St. John’s Bible

I work in Special Collections at Kansas State University.  A few years ago, someone donated a set of St. John’s Bible for the department to share with the community.

Docents take these large Bibles out to the community to allow folks to look and touch them.

You can watch a short video with Donald Jackson, Calligrapher, about the St. John’s Bible here.

There are several videos on YouTube about the St. John’s Bible project.

“In the Beginning – Creating the Saint John’s Bible”

And if you have time to watch a longer video with Father Eric Hollas.

Eric Hollas, O. S. B.: Text and Pen: The Legacy of Biblical Art and The Saint John’s Bible

“Donald Jackson  and his team of scribes and artists have combined ancient calligraphic techniques with computer technology to create on calf-skin vellum the first hand-written and hand-illuminated bible commissioned in over 500 years.”

Learn more at Saint John’s Bible.

 

 

 

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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

A month of spooks, goblins and ghost stories.

I am participating in BookHounds “Spooktacular Giveaway Hop” starting today, October 15 and going through to midnight on Halloween night.

To enter my giveaway, sign-up for my newsletter at the link below.  If you are already signed up for my newsletter, leave a comment or click “Like.”

(Note- I value my privacy and I will value yours.  I will never trade, sell, or give away your email address.)

Sign-up for my newsletter, Cindy’s Notebook:

http://eepurl.com/cZ-FiD 

 

The Adventures of Holly Holstein: Holly Greets the World

By: Jim Shroyer

About the Book:

It is Grandma Helen’s birthday and the family has come for a visit. Mika wants to see a newborn calf. When a calf is born, Farmer Tom shows Mika how to feed the calf. Once the calf is nice and warm, Mika asks to name the calf. Most farmers don’t name their cows, but Farmer Tom agrees to name the calf Holly.

 

The Kansas City Establishment: Leadership through Two Centuries in a Midwestern Metropolis

By: Richard P. Coleman

About the Book:

Through the one-hundred years of its existence, Kansas City’s Establishment has maintained its leadership standing by absorbing into its ranks those newly rising men and women judged most valuable for their potential contribution. This differs markedly from the policies of closed aristocracy attributed by social scientists and novelists to the tiptop strata in the older cities of the East and South, Boston and Philadelphia for example.  Comparatively, Kansas City’s Establishment world has been dynamic and democratic.

 

To celebrate Halloween, I am giving away a cozy mystery.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

By: Lilian Jackson Braun

About the Book:

The world of modern art is a mystery to many. But for Jim Qwilleran, it turns into a mystery of another sort when his assignment to the art beat for The Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder. A stabbing in an art gallery, vandalized paintings, a fatal fall from a scaffolding–this is not at all what Qwilleran expects when he turns his reportorial talents to art. But Qwilleran and his newly found partner, Koko the brilliant Siamese, are back in their element–sniffing out clues and confounding criminals intent on mayhem and murder.

 

Don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter.

http://eepurl.com/cZ-FiD

If you have already signed up for my newsletter, leave a comment below or click “Like” to be entered in the giveaway.

 

This Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is Hosted by Bookhounds

Click here to see a list of other participating in the Giveaway Hop.

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Happy Friday the 13th!

 

Bookhounds Spooktacular Giveaway Hop begins on Sunday, October 15th

Stop by between October 15 and October 31 to enter my giveaway!

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Brief Review, Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Ice Blue
By: Anne Stuart
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: 2007

Brief Review:

Anne Stuart has created a story that should be on the silver screen.  With well-developed characters, fast-moving plot, and an exotic location, this could be a movie similar to the James Bond films.

Ice Blue is the third book in the Ice Series.

Hana Hayashi hid a Japanese ice-blue ceramic bowl in the care of her charge, Summer Hawthrone, a museum curator.  After Hana Hayashi was killed in an accident the bowl held great sentimental value for Summer.  The bowl, a ceremonial kimono, and a handmade kimono were all that Summer had left of Hana.

Lianne Lovitz promised the bowl to the leader of the True Realization Fellowship without asking her daughter and Summer was bound and determined the man wouldn’t get it.  What she didn’t know was there were more than just the True Realization Fellowship after the bowl and both sides were ready to kill for it.

After a museum exhibit which featured the ice-blue bowl, Summer is kidnapped then rescued by Takashi O’Brien, an international operative for The Committee.  His orders were clear, keep the bowl out of the hands of the True Realization Fellowship and kill anyone who knew the whereabouts of the Hayashi mystical location.  Did Summer know the whereabouts of this location?  Takashi thought so.

 

Author Bio: (From author’s Amazon page)

I’ve been writing since the dawn of time. A child prodigy, I made my first professional sale to Jack and Jill Magazine at the age of 7, for which I received $25 (admittedly my father worked for the publisher). Since then I’ve written gothics, regencies, romantic suspense, historical romance, series romance — anything with sex and violence, love and redemption. I misbehave frequently but somehow have managed to amass lots of glittering prizes, like NYT, PW and USA Today bestseller status, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America, and a decent smattering of Romantic times and RITA awards.

I live on a lake in Northern Vermont with my incredibly fabulous husband. My two children have flown the coop, but the three cats do their best to keep us from being lonely.

In my spare time I quilt and play around with wearable art, and the rest of the time I write write write. Apparently, women of a certain age get a rush of creativity, and I’m currently enjoying it. Too many stories to write, not enough hours in the day.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Fiction, Genre, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Travel

Review of The Good Spy by Kai Bird

The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames
By: Kai Bird
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publication Date: May 26, 2015

 

Brief Review:

I was military, stationed in Germany in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  I do not remember how many times my company was on high alert.  There were threats coming from the Middle East, especially on November 4, 1979, when a group of Iranian students stormed the U. S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages.  The rescue attempt on April 24, 1980, known as Operation Eagle Claw, failed, resulting in the accidental deaths of eight American servicemen and one Iranian civilian, as well as the destruction of two helicopters.  The hostages were held captive for 444 days.  They were released on January 20, 1981, minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States.  This was only one incident that took place during “Peacetime” or during the “Cold War.”  Personally, I didn’t see “Peacetime” so peaceful.  We could have gone to war at any given time.  I had all of this on my mind as I read The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird.

Robert Ames was a CIA Operative who died in the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983. He was one of 63 people killed that day of which 17 were Americans.

What does Bird’s title, The Good Spy mean?  Ames worked hard and he was a devoted family man.  He appeared to be a kind and decent man who had a thirst for Middle East knowledge: he learned Arabic and learned about the history and culture of each area he was stationed at.  He made friends, not just contacts.  Ames was somewhat of a rogue who operated independently and didn’t always see eye to eye with his fellow operatives. Yet, he was “good” at his job.

The Good Spy, in my opinion, is best read in small chunks so that the reader can get to know Ames and all the many players, movers and shakers of the Middle East.   Bird does an excellent job with an overview history of the Middle East and the role that Ames played in that history.

This book left me with this question: If Robert Ames had lived beyond 1983, would the course of history, especially in the Middle East, been changed?

 

Listen to an interview between Kai Bird and Charlie Rose at:

https://kaibird.com

 

About the Author: (from Amazon)

Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer. His new book is The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames. A biography of a CIA officer, The Good Spy was released on May 20, 2014, by Crown/Random House. Kai’s last book was a memoir about the Middle East entitled Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 (Scribner, April 27, 2010). It was a 2011 Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. He is the co-author with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2005), which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and the Duff Cooper Prize for History in London. He wrote The Chairman: John J. McCloy, the Making of the American Establishment (1992) and The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy & William Bundy, Brothers in Arms (1998). He is also co-editor with Lawrence Lifschultz of Hiroshima’s Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy (1998). He is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s writing fellowship, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study Center, Bellagio, Italy and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He is a member of the Society of American Historians and a contributing editor of The Nation. He lives in Miami Beach.

 

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“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”

Today is Clementine Paddleford’s birthday.  If she were alive today she would be 119 years old!

 

“Hometown Appetites: She Served Up Americana (With a Side Dish of Quirk)”
By: Benjamin Schmerler

Clementine Paddleford wrote, “We all have home-town appetites.  Every other person is a bundle of longing for the simplicities of good taste once enjoyed on the farm or in the home they left behind.”

Benjamin Schmerler of the New York Post wrote, “If the food writer Clementine Paddleford were alive today, she would have at least two Food Network shows (one devoted to cooking, a second to travel), a weekly newspaper column, a cookbook series and, of course, a blog.  Or so it is easy to imagine by reading Kelly Alexander and Cynthia Harris’s smartly drawn, surprising uplifting biography ‘Hometown Appetites'”.

Schmerler continues, “Thankfully, the authors share Paddleford’s eye for a good story, deftly documenting their subject’s well-deserved contributions to food journalism, but balancing them with biographical color.”

 

 

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and be entered into a giveaway drawing. Giveaway ends, September 30.

http://eepurl.com/cZ-FiD

Giving away a signed hardback copy of Hometown Appetites; a $20 Amazon Gift Card; and a paperback copy of A Flower for My Mother.

 

 

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128 Words with Senses that Started out as Underworld Slang

This list of words is good for writers writing about the mob/mafia and want to use the correct wordage for the time period.

**********

From Daily Writing Tips, August 10, 2017

The slang senses of many words we use in conversation and in informal writing originated in jargon employed by criminals, often coined to disguise the activities they were describing when they spoke among one another. This post lists and defines a number of those words.

action: bet, or betting, or criminal activity
aggro: aggressive behavior
angle: approach, or plan
bananas: crazy (originally, “sexually perverted”)
beat: escape, avoid
beef: quarrel
blow: leave
boob: stupid person
boost: steal
bought: bribed
break it up: stop argument or fight
broad: woman
buddy: man (as in addressing a person the speaker does not know)
bum’s rush: act of being forcibly removed
bump/bump off: kill
bunk: nonsense
buy: bribe
case: check the site of a potential robbery
chisel: cheat
clam up: stop talking, or refuse to talk, to avoid giving information
con: scheme to trick someone into relinquishing money
con man: person who steals through trickery
cop/copper: police officer or private detective
crew: group of rank-and-file criminals subordinate to a leader; by extension, a group of people with whom one associates
crumb: worthless person; originally, a noncriminal
deep-six: bury
dive: low-quality establishment, such as a dark, dingy bar
doll: attractive woman
dope: drugs, or information
dough: money
dump: see dive
Feds: federal law-enforcement personnel
fence: trade stolen items, or one who does so
finger: identify
fix: situation in which law-enforcement personnel have been bribed to overlook criminal activity
fruit: homosexual (derogatory)
fuzz: police
glom: steal (by extension, “grab”)
go straight: cease criminal activity
goofy: crazy (by extension, “silly”)
goon: low-level criminal
graft: see con
grand: thousand (dollars)
grease: see buy
grill: interrogate
grifter: see “con man”
haywire: mentally unbalanced
heat: attention from law-enforcement personnel, or a gun (by extension, “psychological pressure”)
heel: an incompetent criminal (by extension, “a villain or someone who takes on a villainous persona or role,” as in professional wrestling)
hit: planned murder (by extension, “an attack on someone’s reputation”)
hood(lum): see goon
horn: telephone
hot: stolen
hype: cheat by short-changing, or hypodermic needle
jam: trouble, or a troublesome situation
jaw: talk
joe: coffee
joint: place
junkie: drug user
keister: buttocks, or a safe
kisser: mouth
knock off: see bump/“bump off”
knock over: rob
large: see grand
lay low: remain out of sight so as to avoid attention after committing a crime
legit: pertaining to legal business activities
lit: drunk
loan shark: one who loans money at high rates of interest
looker: see doll
lug: stupid person (by extension, “clumsy person”—often used affectionately and jocularly)
mark: person targeted to be a victim of criminal activity
marker: IOU, note acknowledging a debt
mitt: hand
muscle: force, or intimidate, or someone who forces or intimidates
mug: face
nail: capture
nick: steal
nix: no, or say no to something
on the carpet: situation in which a criminal is called on the carpet, or disciplined, by a leader (by extension, pertains to any similar event)
on the lam: moving secretly to avoid arrest after committing a crime
on the spot: targeted for assassination (by extension, pertaining to being held accountable for a failure or mistake)
packing heat: armed with a gun
patsy: person framed for a crime (by extension, “fool”)
paw: hand
piece: share of the proceeds from criminal activity (see action), or a gun
pig: police officer
pinch: arrest
pop: see bump/“bump off”
punk: see goon (originally, a submissive homosexual)
put the screws on: see grill
queer: counterfeit
rap: criminal charge
rat: give information about associates’ criminal activities to law-enforcement personnel, or someone who does so
ringer: fake
rub out: see bump/“bump off”
rube: easy victim
sap: stupid person
score: succeed in obtaining stolen money or goods
scram: see blow
scratch: money
sing: see rat (verb)
skip out: leave without paying
skirt: woman
slug: punch, or knock unconscious, or a bullet
snatch: kidnap
sock: punch
spill: see rat (verb), or talk (verb)
square: honest
stiff: corpse
sting: see con (by extension, “a law-enforcement operation to prompt and observe criminal behavior”)
stir: jail
stir-crazy: mentally disturbed because of incarceration
stool pigeon/stoolie: see rat (noun)
straighten out: resolve a dispute
string along: deceive
sucker: see rube
swag: stolen goods (by extension, “gifts offered to promote through publicity”)
tag: designation (by extension, “graffiti signature”)
tail: track a criminal’s activities, or a law-enforcement official who does so
take: share of profits from criminal activity
take a powder: leave
take (someone) for a ride: see bump/“bump off”
take the fall: be targeted for blame for a crime
tighten the screws: pressure
trap: see kisser
two bits: twenty-five cents
vendetta: vow of vengeance (by extension, “a passionate, sustained effort to avenge oneself or one’s family or group”)
yap: see kisser

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Filed under Authors, Books, Crime Fiction, Genre, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Writing

Banned Book Week Giveaway Hop

 

I really dropped the ball on this giveaway!  I meant to have everything posted on Friday, September 15th.

This giveaway runs September 15-30, 2017.

Click here to hop to other giveaways

Click on the link below to sign up for “Cindy’s Notebook” newsletter and be entered in my giveaway.

http://eepurl.com/cZ-FiD

I am giving away:

A signed hardback copy of Hometown Appetites.  This is a book I co-wrote in 2008.  I have a few on my bookshelf at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Flower for My Mother by Clementine Paddleford was written for her mother, Jennie Paddleford.  This book is full of short stories about Clementine growing up at Stockdale, Kansas.  Stockdale was inundated by the Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

This book will go to a winner directly from Amazon.

 

 

 

I will also be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card.

Sign up for my newsletter to be entered.

Good Luck

http://eepurl.com/cZ-FiD

 

 

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