Monthly Bullet Points

 

BulletPoints

This one’s going to be somewhat-short and bittersweet (like the women I’m drawn to these days) because as stated on last month’s bullet points; my life ain’t that interesting. I’m just a humble cog in the machine. Read on.

*First off, I need to apologize to anyone who read my free short story Killing Crows, because it’s been brought to my attention that the piece has a bunch of typos, and grammatical errors. I’ve since taken it down from all vendor sites (all except Goodreads, I’m still trying to figure out how to do that on there—they don’t make it easy) Now, it would be easy to place the blame squarely on the editor, but no, this one’s on me since at the end of the day my name’s on the damn thing and I should’ve checked it till my eyes bled. When it comes to getting my work out there, I need to curb my tunnel vision, my enthusiasm. Readers that like my stuff are kind and forgiving; readers who I want to bring into the fold, not so much —lesson learned, maybe.

*I saw one of those great little movies that Hollyweird is deathly afraid of making these days, meaning there’s no bombastic soundtrack drowning out the actors dialogue, absurd explosions or CGI. This one’s about something that they rarely do. It’s was about a story, and its call Manhattan Night, based on a book call Manhattan Nocturne written by Colin Harrison.

Here’s the blurb from IMDB:

‘When a seductive stranger asks tabloid writer Porter Wren to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail – one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.’

The cast, direction, cinematography, editing and story are solid. The stunning Yvonne Strahovski is a revelation on this (in more ways than one-wink, wink) however I think her role could have used more meat. If you get a chance, check it out. Of course this doesn’t mean that I don’t like a good actioner filled with explosions and CG up the wazzo. Which reminds me; I also saw The Brother’s Grimsby (beware; if you’ve never seen an elephant doing the dirty; you’re in luck, here you will), that Cohen bastard is one funny fuck, nasty but funny.

*George Zimmerman said he has sold the Kel-Tec PF9 9mm handgun he used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012 for $250,000. And my faith in humanity sinks lower than it already is. He claims the funds for the sale will go toward several ‘worthy causes’ such as: countering violence against law enforcement officers by the group Black Lives Matter and to fight Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s ‘anti-firearm rhetoric.’ I get it; he’s got to make a living, I mean who would hire this guy? Here’s an idea Georgie; you want to make some scratch? Why not sale your used confederate flag underwear online to lonely old hags? What a douche.

*I dislike politicos as much as I dislike bedbugs. There’s a book out here which cements my dislike, a 65-page manifesto called “The Confessions of Congressman X.” The supposedly veteran politician lays bare a rotten and corrupt Congress enslaved by lobbyists and interested only in re-elections. Here are a few tidbits from Congressman X:

“Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver,” he admits. “But what the hell? It makes them happy hearing it . . . My main job is to keep my job.”

He admits that more time is spent fundraising than reading bills and calls Washington a “sinkhole of leeches.” No shit, really? What tip you off buddy? There’s more…

“We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation. It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election,”

“Voters are incredibly ignorant. It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification. . .,”

“We are running a fucking casino” Like what bankers do? Here’s another morsel…

“America’s on an irreversible decline and no one in Washington seems to care . . . God help us.”

Most informed folks out there know this about them already, but I think it’s refreshing to see an insider come out and admit to it (even if he’s saying it anonymously). This however does not change my opinion about politicians in general. I still think they’re a bunch of self-serving sociopaths, a bag of dildos if you will. Perhaps there’s a well-meaning one in the bunch, how can we tell? You still need to go out and vote though.

I told you; short and bittersweet. Thanks for reading my rant.

Credit for the Congressman X tidbits goes to the New York Post.

Mini Book Reviews

Put on that beaten up fedora and blood-stained London Fog. Pull that bourbon filled flack, and get your nicotine snacks ready because today I have not one-but two pulpy reviews for you. Because sometimes a bit ‘o pulp is just what the doctor ordered. Here we go.

Machines of easy virtueMachine of Easy Virtue by Jack Price.

A futuristic neo-noir; think ‘I Robot’ meets ‘The Big Sleep’ with a dash of ‘Blade Runner’ It reads like a classic, pulpy detective story, albeit set in the borderline dystopian world of the late 21st century where robots do most of the work and humans are on drugs (including the protagonist private dick Red Bourbon) it seems a though all humans are scraping by while the rich kids are proud owners of designer genes (not the denim type)

It’s safe to say that I’ve never read anything like this. A mashed –up of genres. The druggie gumshoe, meets the knock-out babe who hires him to solve the murder of her father. The book may not be for everyone; however it is an interesting take on the old detective mystery. It has the classic detective tropes plus cool gadgets, sex bots, and an unnerving future.

I stumbled upon this book as a Kindle freebie. It’s a surprisingly good read.

4 out of 4

 

Blood on the minkBlood on the Mink by Robert Silverberg.

Delving into the Hard Case Crime archives I found this little gem originally published in 1962 by a pulp author who was primarily a Sci-Fi writer.

A Philadelphia set caper full of sex, violence, and triple crosses.

Nick aka Vic Lowney is a chameleonic federal agent whose job is to switch places and impersonate a California operative in order to take down a Philly outfit who specializes in forging money or ‘Queer’ (apparently is what it was called back in the day) Things quickly get out of control as other greedy hoods contact Nick to get their dirty paws on the forgery plates.

Crackling cool dialog, gun battles, and femme fatales, all neatly wrap in a short novel which includes an afterword and two short stories; ‘Dangerous Doll’ and ‘One Night of   Violence’ all written by the author.

A fast paced entertaining read. With twist galore.

5 out of 5

I’m not a book reviewer, so don’t ask me to review your book-sorry, I don’t do that.

 

A GR Give-Away Adventure

grlogo

Image Credit: userlogos.org

Here’s a great concept that any self- respecting, indie, self-publisher can’t overlook: The Good Reads giveaway. For those of you who don’t know; it’s a way for an author to set up a giveaway of any books he or she has published, and it’s on the Good Reads website. The process is free and painless (only hardcovers and paperbacks though-no e-books- which means that the author has to buy the books and pay for the postage) the understanding is that by doing so the author may gain exposure, new readers, perhaps folks may sign up to the author’s mailing list, and best of all; the author may bag a few reviews. There are no guarantees but hey, why the hell not? It’s about having faith right?

And so, with a bag full ‘o faith I went through the process three times with my two collections of contemporary pulpy crime fiction. I had a busload of entries, once the winners were selected (the winners are pick randomly by Good Reads) I jumped for joy, bought my books and mailed them out.

Almost a year later and its cricket’s central on my end. Zero, zip, nada. Self-doubt crept in; I must be a really sucky writer- I thought, and the few readers that got the books probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings (As stated on the Good Reads give-away rules; you the author may not contact the winners or any of the give-away entrants, failure to comply with this rule will get you, the author, banned—not that I would do such a thing, but there it is, just so you know.) Whatever, I moved on, went about my life as usual; writing a few things here and there, but mainly working on another book. Then one day I went to visit my favorite sub-reddit which is r/selfpublishers on Reddit. While reading a tread about effective ways to get the word out about your books; someone mentioned that a fair amount (if not all) of the entries and winners on the Good Reads giveaways are SPAM—talk about a sinking heart.

Okay whatever this commenter is probably bullshitting-I thought.

Three weeks later, I read an article saying that Good Reads is planning on expanding their author give-away program to include e-books—woo-hoo! Upon further reading though, the article mentions that it’s going to cost the writers/publishers one hundred plus smackaroos to do this new thing. On the comments section of this article a few authors weigh in by saying:

Katie M Klosterman:

“My print give-away with Goodreads resulted in every book showing up for sale on Amazon less than 48 hours after they were received. I will never do another. I am not convinced about this being worth over $100.”

Jeanne Felfe:

“So people got your free books, then turned around and sold them used? Sux.”

Katie M Klosterman:

Exactly…told them (Goodreads?) and they didn’t have an answer…

I would like to provide a link to this article but I was reading it on my cellphone at work, however, I did manage to get a screenshot of the above exchange.

Screenshot

So it seems that the only winners here are Good Reads which is own by Amazon, moral of the story? I should have done my research.

I’m currently in the process of editing a short novel which I’ll publish soon. (I know, I know; regular readers of my rants are sick and tired of reading about it. Editing is a biach. Bear with me please.) The question is: will I do a Good Reads give-away? Zero, zip, nada—nope…then again; as an indie, self-publisher; I can never say never. It’s about faith after all. Right…Right?

My 2 cents.

Drops the mic Obama style, and walks away in shame for saying that.