December 2008 Blog Posts (187)

A Happy Holidays Meme

What's the most original Christmas gift you received?

A strawberry rhubarb pie from Dangerously Delicious. It was amazing, and Brian gets an A for effort there, because I spent the summer keeping an eye out for strawberry rhubarb, and never saw it once.

What book did you get for Christmas?

A Choir of Ill Children by Tom… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on December 31, 2008 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

Don't I Look Like Myself? (R)

In novels, characters are often defined by their physical appearance. The man who frowns all the time is negative and irritable; the woman whose conscience is clear shows it in her relaxed demeanor. It's a useful tool, and it may often be true that our natures are betrayed in physical manifestation. But I don't think that's always the case.

I direct a choir of some fifty people, and if their expressions while singing were used as a judgment of their mental state, one would conclude… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on December 31, 2008 at 10:23pm — 3 Comments

Happy New Year's Eve

The approach of a new year always brings a rather random collection of thoughts to mind. I remember the first time as a child that I was allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. When you reach middle age you're kind of forced to. Being an optimist I do want to stay up until midnight to see the New Year in, although I know some who stay up just to make sure the old year leaves. We all make New Year's resolutions, knowing that they just go in one year and out the other. But my favorite New… Continue

Added by Austin S. Camacho on December 31, 2008 at 10:15pm — No Comments


Frost frames memories of holiday seasons past. This was my first Christmas in Ballard since 2002. Same house -- same menu. My former in-laws were there, although the days of Mrs. Johnsen cooking the Christmas meal ended long ago. She used to feed us all; then she couldn't feed herself. Parkinson's is supposed to be a "progressive disease," like materialism. Someone neglected explaining this to Mrs. Johnsen. Today she feeds herself, and while she held my arm to walk, the wheelchair remains… Continue

Added by Burl Barer on December 31, 2008 at 5:32pm — No Comments

New Year's Eve Eve

Catching up a bit:

Finished THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Steig Larsson. As one may have noticed in yesterday's posting, it made my Top Ten list for the year. I can see why people have loved it. The characters are intriguing in Lisbeth and Blomqvist, but to me, the real strength lies in the plotting. So much going on but not overly so. First, it's a cold case, which I've always loved. And there's family secrects and revenge and financial shenanigans and sociopath Lisbeth's… Continue

Added by PK the Bookeemonster on December 31, 2008 at 8:33am — No Comments

Bookeemonster's Top Ten/ Bottoms




COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland


THE SERPENT'S TALE by Ariana Franklin

THE BRASS VERDICT by Michael Connelly




ABSOLUTION by Caro Ramsay



THAI DIE by Monica Ferris


Added by PK the Bookeemonster on December 31, 2008 at 8:28am — No Comments

About Titles

Another blog post discussed covers recently, but my pet peeve at the moment concerns titles. Why must titles be pompous, abstract, or chosen for mere shock value? What is wrong with having a title that fits the story and allows a reader to associate the title with the plot?

I've just tossed two mysteries (by best-selling authors), one after the other, when I realized I'd already read them.

One is by Ruth Rendell (END IN TEARS), surely a title that could fit every single… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on December 31, 2008 at 5:18am — 1 Comment

A Few Words on Ann Savage

Actress Ann Savage died on Christmas Day, but I'm only now getting around to posting about her.

First of all, the kids at Busted Flush Press asked me to contribute a few words for their recent tribute.

Also, my pal Lisa Morton (from whom the fantastic photo above was shamelessly nicked) is writing a book about the versatile actress and… Continue

Added by Christa Faust on December 31, 2008 at 4:05am — No Comments

Quick Updates

WHAT BURNS WITHIN has made the top 10 best reads list compiled by the lovely librarian blogger, Lesa Holstine, and I consider that a real honour.

I was also recently interviewed for Shots Magazine, and you can find out the answers to whether or not I agree that I'm… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on December 31, 2008 at 12:40am — 7 Comments

Two Days Left in 2008

Can you believe it? Two days left of this crazy busy year? 2008 has been wonderful in so many ways and the blessings continue to mound. I hope it's been good to you too.

One note of thanks goes to the many fabulous friends I've met or bumped into here this year. Thank you for following my posts and my writing career. Thank you for stopping to answer my questions or leave a comment on some of my posts. Thanks for making me laugh with me when I needed it most and for your constant… Continue

Added by Marta Stephens on December 30, 2008 at 11:10pm — No Comments

Judging Writers

I've been thinking about judging, reviewing, and opining on books lately for two reasons. First, I've asked a reviewer/judge/friend to guest blog in this spot for the first four Wednesdays of 2009. P.J. Coldren is a reader for the Malice Domestic Contest as well as a frequent book reviewer. She will explain her credentials in her blog and give some ideas on what makes a winner, whether in a contest or as a published novel.

The other reason for my thoughts on judging is that I… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on December 30, 2008 at 10:34pm — No Comments

Best Reads of 2008

(Cross posted on One Bite at a Time. Feel free to leave comments and browse there, if you like.)

Not all of these books came out in 2008; I read them as I get to them. These were the ten (plus one)best books I read for first time this year, listed alphabetically by author. Books I reviewed contain links to the review, as do the names of authors I was able to interview.…


Added by Dana King on December 30, 2008 at 5:30am — No Comments

Cheap reads and PROMO

Battling wintertime woes? Fighting the flu? Want a great book to keep you thawed out and entertained? Red Rose Publishing is having a half price sale on all ebboks for ONE day only. January 1, 2009 is the sale day and includes book being released that day also.

Why don’t you be daring and try out a mainstream fiction novel, a cozy mystery from me?

Here is a blurb for you and the purchasing info. I hope you will try out my book since it will be at the lowest price ever… Continue

Added by Kim Smith on December 30, 2008 at 3:36am — No Comments

How Your Brain Feels about Your New Year's Resolutions

Some of the scariest modern research, at least for me, is the stuff that looks into how the brain works and how it affects the body. The person I thought I was, that creation with Free Will, is largely imaginary. The real me is a mix of chemicals and neural pathways that have little to do with choice and a lot to do with repetition. In real life we don't choose very often, at least not with anything like free will. That makes resolutions sort of superficial, dependent on whether our brains will… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on December 29, 2008 at 10:56pm — No Comments

Another Cool Review

I like to use this blog to direct you to interesting web sites, and once in a while that site is my own. I always have a featured review posted there and this week it comes from Diane Leslie.

I met Diane at the Northern Virginia Christmas Market. She took home a copy of Blood and Bone and was kind enough to write to me after she read it. Her comments were very positive. In fact, she seemed to be at a loss of words and referred to a previous appraisal from Midwest Book… Continue

Added by Austin S. Camacho on December 29, 2008 at 10:44pm — No Comments

Link Problem - New Covey Cover Awards Voting Page

A number of people have contacted me after my previous blog post 'A Late Plea for Votes' to inform me that the link to the New Covey Cover Awards led them to a Biblical site that has nothing to do with the awards. Why this should be so I have no idea and must apologize to those who have gone to the trouble to try and place a vote for my cover of 'The Nemesis Cell' in this month's awards.

I've checked the link myself and teh onformation contained… Continue

Added by Brian L Porter on December 29, 2008 at 7:53pm — No Comments

Less Gloom, More Shopping

I heard shopping was way down in retail stores this year, but I think nobody told the crowd in Springfield Mall Saturday. I had a book signing at the Borders Express and I don't remember the place being so busy. In fact, I signed more books that afternoon than on either of my last two visits there. It's nice to have a strong showing at the bookstore closest to my home.

If you missed me you can hunt for my novels at

Added by Austin S. Camacho on December 29, 2008 at 10:44am — No Comments


ELDERCIDE, my second mystery novel, has been out since the summer. The response has been gratifying from those who've bought and read it, but the title and cover art have definitely scared some people away. When I showed it to my family doctor, he studied the cover and pronounced it "ghastly." And one independent bookseller of advanced years declined to stock it because she hates the word "elder." Other authors have also advised me that the word "elder" may be a turnoff. So I've decided to… Continue

Added by Julie Lomoe on December 28, 2008 at 12:01pm — 4 Comments

Review: "And Then There Was No One" by Gilbert Adair - the postmodernist always rings thrice.....

And Then There Was No One is the third and possibly last book to feature Gilbert Adair's Agatha Christie pastiche caricature, Evadne Mount. She first appeared in the Boxing Day country-house mystery The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, which I read, and then A Mysterious Affair of Style, which I didn't.

This novel is written as a first person narration in the persona of the author 'Gilbert Adair' – a writer, who could be mistaken for David Hockney, who has written two… Continue

Added by WhereDunnit on December 28, 2008 at 9:15am — No Comments

Spending Time by Margot Justes

I have not turned my computer on in several days-I spent time with family and friends. Our annual party was a success, but plans for my time at home veered off course-snow, a lot of snow and I’m a coward when it comes to driving or for that matter, riding in a car when there is ice overlaid by snow. It was a perfect winter wonderland scene, huge snow flakes gently falling on an already white canvas. Best appreciated in a warm, comfortable home, while sipping eggnog with a touch of… Continue

Added by Margot Justes on December 28, 2008 at 4:36am — No Comments

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