Category Archives: Humor

A Review of Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn

rubber-soul-cover-final-hartterRubber Soul

by Greg Kihn

I loved this book! I had the biggest smile on my face as I was reading Rubber Soul. It was just so much fun. It may have been that it hit a chord with me because I lived through the rise of The Beatles in America. I remember my brother telling me that he had just heard a new song by an English group called The Beatles. He said the DJ on CKLW in Windsor had said that they were already huge in Britain. He predicted that they were going to be “The Next Big Thing”. And of course they were. But reading this book just brought it all back to me. I would smile and nod my head when Mr. Kihn would mention a song by an artist that I remembered from that time. I didn’t know every tune or group that he talked about, but there was enough real music from the late 50s through the early 60s to make the whole story feel authentic. He would talk about a place or event that I remembered and I would just have to stop reading and shake my head in amazement. It was just such ball!

Was this a great novel? Does it have an intricate plot line? Are you surprised by the plot twists? WHO CARES! This is just a fun narrative about an amazing time in the early 60s and the guys who changed the face of popular music. Read it if you ever had a touch of Beatlemania. I hope that you have as much fun with this as I did.

This book nearly feels like one of The Beatles movies. It’s a funny, somewhat unbelievable, quick-moving story. Everything is good. All the villains come and go quickly and don’t interfere with the good times. Just keep moving and it will all work out.

I give this book 5 Stars out of 5 and 2 Big Thumbs Up! If you are ready for a fun read, and like The Beatles, then grab this book and be ready for a good time. This book is even more fun if you can put some early Beatles songs on while you are reading! Really helps you get into it. Groovy, Far Out!

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.

Book Description

Release date: September 3, 2013

Greg Kihn continues to pioneer the Rock Thriller Genre with RUBBER SOUL, a murder mystery and an action packed ride through Beatlemania, featuring THE BEATLES themselves.

Dust Bin Bob runs a second-hand shop at the Flea Market on Penny Lane. He has an extensive collection of American R&B singles that he gets from Merchant Marines returning from Baltimore and New York. The action starts when he befriends some blokes by the name of John, Paul, George and Ringo and becomes their lifelong friend sharing the vinyl that will start a revolution.

From then on, it’s a rocket ride from the Beatles earliest days in Liverpool to six shows a night in Hamburg to the Cavern Club and to full-fledged Beatlemania.

Along the way, Dust Bin Bob thwarts a plot by Marcos loyalists to assassinate the Beatles in Manila after they snub Imelda Marcos, blowing off a reception at the palace and narrowly avoiding an international incident. It could have happened!

Product Details

Hardcover: 306 pages

Publisher: Premier Digital Publishing (September 3, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1624670946

ISBN-13: 978-1624670947

About the Author

NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man.” His career stretches from the dawn of punk and indie rock to the discos of the 80’s to the glory days of MTV. As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, he helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll.

He’s toured the world, had hit records, appeared on Saturday Night Live and American Bandstand, opened for the Rolling Stones, jammed with Bruce Springsteen, won the ASCAP and Midem Awards for his worldwide #1 hit JEOPARDY and THE BREAKUP SONG, was parodied by Weird Al Yankovic, lived the rock star lifestyle to the hilt, won and lost several fortunes, and lived to tell about it. But music is only part of the story.

In the 90’s Greg turned his attention to writing fiction. He published four novels, a handful of short stories in various anthologies, and edited a compilation of original fiction by famous musicians. HORROR SHOW was nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.

It was also in the 90’s that he began his radio career. After a year of seven-midnight, Greg spent sixteen years hosting the top-rated morning show for KFOX radio in San Jose/San Francisco. He also hosted and performed at the annual KIHNCERT at the Shoreline Amphitheater featuring some of the most important bands of our generation.

Greg was inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall Of Fame in 2008 and the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2012.

Greg recently retained the rights to all his old recordings and is currently re-releasing his entire catalogue with the original artwork. The New Yorker recently described Greg’s music as having “a high degree of intelligence and subtlety.” The recent review of the Greg Kihn Band’s Greatest Hits by Apple iTunes called the group “a rock band of genuine consequence.” The band continues to tour with Greg’s son Ry Kihn replacing Joe Satriani on lead guitar.

Greg maintains a strong Internet presence with professional website design and social media managed by Michael Brandvold Marketing. Thousands of fans engage him daily on Facebook and Twitter. Greg also retains a cutting-edge publicist, Christopher Buttner at PrthatRocks.com, the lauded San Francisco based PR agency voted Best Publicist Of The Year by the National Association of Record Industry Professionals.

RUBBER SOUL is Greg’s most recent novel. This completely unique murder mystery features the Beatles as characters in the story. The idea came while interviewing original Beatles drummer Pete Best. Greg asked where the Beatles got those rare American R&B 45’s that constituted their early repertoire. Pete revealed that it was from Merchant Marines who carried the records back to Liverpool from America. That gave him the inspiration for the character “Dust Bin Bob” who befriends the Beatles from their penniless early days to the height of Beatlemania. The story climaxes with an assassination attempt in Manila during their world tour in 1966.

Through interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Geoff Emerick (engineer), Alf Bicknell (driver), Yoko Ono and Patti Harrison, Greg got invaluable insights into the inner world of the Beatles. Even though RUBBER SOUL is a work of fiction, it is 100% historically accurate.

After a lifetime of rock & roll, and decades on the road and behind the microphone, no one else but Greg Kihn could have written this story.

The book description is from Amazon. Rubber Soul

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A Review of Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer

Double WhammyDouble Whammy

by Gretchen Archer

Davis Way is trying to find a job. She has two college degrees, one in Criminal Justice and the other in Computer and Information Science. She used to be the deputy for the Pine Apple, Alabama Police Force. Her father is the Sheriff. She is interviewing for a job in Biloxi, Mississippi. She has been interviewing for this job for six weeks, been to sixteen interviews, and now she is at the final interview with the CEO, Richard Sanders. Davis still has no idea what the job is. She takes the job and finds out that she will be doing undercover work for the Bellissimo Casino and Hotel.

Ms. Archer has written a fun, kind of slapstick type of female detective mystery. Davis gets in one tight spot after another as she tries to find out what is wrong with the Double Whammy Deuces Wild slot machines. They seem to be fixed. Her ex-ex-husband, Eddie Crawford, is right in the middle of the fix. Before too long the dead bodies start to show up and all the clues point right toward Davis. She ends up in solitary, the police don’t believe that her name is Davis Way, so she is listed as Jane Doe, and no one knows that she is even in jail, or where she is.

All of this makes for a very fun, humorous, and entertaining read. I enjoyed this new novel by a new author. I think that this series has promise and look forward to reading the next book by Ms. Archer. I give this book 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I recommend this fine first novel to anyone who likes reading books with strong female leads, humorous situations, and romantic interludes.

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com

Book Description

Publication Date: May 14, 2013

Davis Way thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free–in fact, it lands her in the pokey.

Buried under a mistaken identity, unable to seek help from her family, her hot streak runs cold until her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. With his help, Davis must win this high stakes game before her luck runs out.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all! DOUBLE WHAMMY is the first book in the Davis Way humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions.

Praise for DOUBLE WHAMMY:

“Funny & wonderful & human. It gets the Stephanie Plum seal of approval.” -Janet Evanovich

Product Details

Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (May 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938383362
ISBN-13: 978-1938383366

About The Author

Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife, mom of three, grocery-list and crime-caper writer. She’s the author of the Davis Way Mystery series.

The book description is from Amazon. Double Whammy

A Review of Close to the Bone by Stuart MacBride

Close to the BoneClose to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8) 

by Stuart MacBride

One of these days I will learn that jumping into the middle of an ongoing series can be tough. This series is a bit tougher for us Yanks to dive right into, because a few of Mr. MacBride’s characters speak in a strong Scottish accent. But once you are able to put it all together, the story overcomes the obstacles and is quite good.

The police are an odd bunch of men and women that are always trying to jab at one another. It has a crazy feel, kind of like an old police sitcom, but with a real mystery to figure out and a crime to solve. The language can be a bit blue and maybe even more off-color than that if you really understand the dialect. But the writing is good, with a sense of reality to it. The plot keeps you off-balance and even though most of the clues are there, the majority of readers won’t figure it out before DI Logan McRae does.

I give this book 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I think that if you are willing to put a little work into it, you will enjoy this series. It has a bunch of interesting and fun characters. I will be putting some of the earlier books on my to read list. I think that they will grow on you.

This novel would probably be easier to listen to as an audiobook than to read, so if you have that opportunity, go for it. I think I’ll see if my library has any of the first books in this series available as audiobooks.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from Edelweiss.com after being approved by HarperCollins.

Book Description

Release date: May 14, 2013 | Series: Logan McRae (Book 8)

The third consecutive No.1 bestselling crime novel from the author of the DI Logan McRae series and Birthdays for the Dead.

The first body is chained to a stake: strangled, and stabbed, with a burning tyre around its neck. But is this a gangland execution or something much darker?

Someone’s leaving little knots of bones outside Detective Inspector Logan McRae’s house, but he’s got more pressing things to worry about. Rival drug gangs are fighting over product and territory; two teenage lovers are missing; someone’s crippling Asian immigrants; and Logan’s been lumbered with an ambitious new Detective Sergeant, a mountain of paperwork, and the unwelcome attention of his superiors and the local crime boss.

When another body turns up, it looks as if the similarities between these murders and the plot of a bestselling novel are more than just a coincidence. And perhaps those little knots of bones are more important than they look…

Product Details

Hardcover: 528 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0007344260

ISBN-13: 978-0007344260

Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds

About the Author

Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, near Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen at the age of two. After dropping out of university to work offshore he went to work for himself as a graphic designer, eventually becoming studio manager for a nationwide marketing company. He gave it all up to have a go at becoming an actor, until it became clear to him that he was never going to be good enough to make a decent living out of it. Whilst progressing through a whole new career in the IT sector ending up as project manager for a global IT company, he also wrote in his spare time.

Stuart MacBride is the author of several bestselling novels featuring DS Logan McRae, including Shatter the Bones, which reached No. 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list.

The McRae novels have won him the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 crime thriller awards.

Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.

He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cat, Grendel.

The book description is from Amazon  Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)  and author information is from HarperCollins Author Profile

A Review of Board Stiff by Kendal Lynn

Board StiffBoard Stiff
by Kendal Lynn
Board Stiff is a lighthearted detective novel that has a similar feel to the Janet Evanovich Numbers series with Stephanie Plum and her cast of over the top characters. The feel is similar, but the characters are more normal. There is a female lead who has some humorous idiosyncrasies and a couple of men that are competing for her attentions. Ms. Lynn gives us a few suspects, some dangerous and exciting action, and a couple of unexpected twists, along with funny dialog and humorous situations. This book fits in between Ms. Evanovich’s Numbers and Ms. Grafton’s Alphabet series’. If you like both of those authors, I’m sure that you will enjoy Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn.
Elliot Lisbon is the Director of The Ballantyne Foundation. She fixes problems that come up for the Board Members and is trying to get her Private Investigator’s license. If a Board Member is involved in a scandal, she will investigate and try to find a solution that won’t reflect badly upon The Ballantyne Foundation. She is using these investigative hours to fulfill the State P.I. License requirement.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and a Thumbs Up because it is a well written light hearted and fun mystery by a promising new writer. I recommend this book to all the Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich fans.
I received this book for free from NetGalley.com.

Book Description
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, South Carolina, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing more serious than retrieving a pilfered Pomeranian. Until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne’s reputation tanks, Jane’s headed to a jail cell, and Elliott’s sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.
Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the deeper she digs to clear Jane’s name, the guiltier Jane looks. The closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation becomes: a brutal attack on her own suspect and the murder of a witness. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she’s next on the killer’s list.
Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all! BOARD STIFF is the first book in the Elliott Lisbon humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions. To get a preview of Elliott and her adventures, check out Switch Back, the prequel to BOARD STIFF featured in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE.
Praise for Kendel Lynn’s Elliott Lisbon Humorous Mystery Series:
“[OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE is] a cozy triple-scoop that tastes divine…the pleasantly contrasting novellas make it easy to finish off a story in one sitting, plus each novella serves as a prequel to the respective author’s full-length work.” – Library Journal
“Lost luggage has never been this fun! With well-drawn characters, OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE is your first class ticket to three fast-paced adventures full of mystery, murder, and magic.” – Elizabeth Craig, Author of the Southern Quilting Series
“Kendel Lynn’s Switch Back is a clever, entertaining mystery with small town flavor and Texas flair!” – Debra Webb, USA Today bestselling author

Product Details
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (April 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193838332X
ISBN-13: 978-1938383328
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

About the Author
Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. She read her first Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators at age seven and has loved mysteries ever since. Her debut novel, Board Stiff (April 2013), won several literary competitions, including the Zola Award for Mystery/Suspense. Along with writing and reading, she spends her time editing, designing, and figuring out ways to avoid the gym but still eat cupcakes for dinner. Catch up with her at kendellynn.com.
The book description is from Amazon.

A Review of Little Elvises (Junior Bender #2) by Timothy Hallinan

Little Elvises LargeLittle Elvises (Junior Bender #2)

By Timothy Hallinan

Soho Press:   Jan 29 2013

I’m delighted to see that Junior Bender has returned in another fun, action packed, but sometimes thoughtful detective novel. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Crashed, make sure that you get a hold of a copy and read it too. You will enjoy that book also. Take a look at my review of Crashed that I wrote last November. A Review of Crashed by Timothy Hallinan

In this story, you see a little deeper into the human side of Junior. He has found a woman, Ronnie, that he thinks he is starting to have feelings for. He spends a lot of time with his thirteen year old daughter, Rina, and has to figure out how to deal with her male friend, Tyrone, and how to explain his relationship with Ronnie to Rina, when he isn’t really sure where it’s going himself.

Meanwhile, he is dodging someone in a huge Humvee that is trying to kill him, as he tries to figure out who killed an investigative reporter, Derek Bigelow, who was also a blackmailer. If he can’t solve this murder, a crooked cop, DiGaudio, is going set him up as a fall guy for an armed robbery of an elderly, wealthy, Beverly Hills couple. Junior is screwed if he can’t figure this out quickly because the DA is looking for a rapid resolution to this high-profile case.

Mr. Hallinan knows how to write. He keeps you engaged and wanting to keep reading, even when you need to do something else, so leave yourself a few hours and enjoy another Junior Bender adventure. I give this book 5 stars out of 5 and a big thumbs up. Just read “Little Elvises“, you will enjoy it.

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com.

Description

Junior Bender untangles one of the weirdest mysteries in Tinseltown 

LA burglar Junior Bender has (unfortunately) developed a reputation as a competent private investigator for crooks. The unfortunate part about this is that regardless of whether he solves the crime or not, someone dangerous is going to be unhappy with him, either his suspect or his employer.

Now Junior is being bullied into proving aging music industry mogul Vinnie DiGaudio is innocent of the murder of a nasty tabloid journalist he’d threatened to kill a couple times. It doesn’t help that the dead journalist’s widow is one pretty lady, and she’s trying to get Junior to mix pleasure with business. Just as the investigation is spiraling out of control, Junior’s hard-drinking landlady begs him to solve the disappearance of her daughter, who got involved with a very questionable character. And, worst news of all, both Junior’s ex-wife and his thirteen-year-old daughter, Rina, seem to have new boyfriends. What a mess.

Product Details

Hardcover: 347 pages

Publisher: Soho Crime (January 29, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616952776

ISBN-13: 978-1616952778

Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces

About the Author

2011 Edgar Nominee Timothy Hallinan has written ten published novels, all thrillers, all critically praised.

In the 1990s he wrote six mysteries featuring the erudite private eye Simeon Grist, beginning with “The Four Last Things,” which made several Ten Best lists, including that of The Drood Review. The other books in the series were widely and well reviewed, and several of them were optioned for motion pictures. The series is now regarded as a cult favorite.

In 2007, the first of his Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers, “A Nail Through the Heart”, was published to unanimously enthusiastic reviews. “Hallinan scores big-time,” said Kirkus Reviews, which went on to call the book “dark, often funny, and ultimately enthralling.” “Nail” was a Booksense Pick of the Month and was named one of the top mysteries of the year by The Japan Times and several major online review sites.

Rafferty’s Bangkok adventures continued with “The Fourth Watcher” (2008) and “Breathing Water” (2009), both of which also appeared on “year’s best” lists. New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart said about the 2010 book, “The Queen of Patpong,” “You won’t read a better thriller this year,” and Ken Bruen said, “John Burdett writes about Bangkok. Tim Hallinan is Bangkok. I adore this book.”

Hallinan has written full-time since 2006. Since 1982 he has divided his time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, the setting for his Poke Rafferty novels.

The book description and author information is from Amazon.   Little Elvises (Junior Bender #2)

A Review of Suicide Squeeze (The Fourth Outfielder Series, #1) by R. W. Bennett

Suicide SqueezeSuicide Squeeze (The Fourth Outfielder Series, #1)

by R. W. Bennett

Mark Mercer (Merc), a veteran outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, has been rehabbing a shoulder injury in the offseason. He is an experienced long distance runner and so he has been assigned a young outfielder, Carlos (Cinco), to mentor. Merc’s job is to get the guy who is going to replace him in shape, so that on opening day Carlos will be playing his position in the outfield and Merc will be sitting on the bench. This might be a problem for some players, but Merc is a team player and knows that he will have plenty of chances to play, so everything is cool.

Merc is taking Carlos on a morning run in the mountains of West Virginia when they are surprised by an explosion not too far off the trail that they are running on. They take cover and are able to observe a hijacking of a truck carrying explosives to the nearby mine. Carlos tosses a large boulder though the windshield of one of the terrorist’s vehicles which then runs off the road and down the mountainside. When the other SUV stops, Merc is able to bean the leader of the group with a rock, but the driver drags his boss back in the truck and they drive off.

From this point, Merc and Cinco have to get ready to play Spring ball and evade the terrorists, who are out for revenge. They also have to deal with the normal demands of Spring Training, while trying to figure out what the terrorists are planning.

This is a fun beginning to a new light-hearted mystery adventure series with a baseball backdrop. The tone and writing style reminds me of a cross between the “Elvis Cole” series by Robert Crais and the “Myron Bolitar” series by Harlan Coben, so if you like either of these, you are certain to enjoy this new series. I am looking forward to reading more about Merc, Cinco and the rest of the characters playing for the Boston Red Sox. I give this book a big thumbs up and 5 stars out of 5.

I received this book from the author. All he asked was that I read it and give it an honest review.

Book Description

Publication Date: December 15, 2012

Divorced, missing his daughter, with a non-existent love life and on the verge of losing his position on the Boston Red Sox, Mark Mercer thought his life could get no worse. He was wrong. When he and Carlos, the rookie he coaches, stumble upon and thwart a hijacking, they find themselves in the middle of a vicious terror plot. Together with a beautiful FBI agent and Carlos, Mark now is in a race against time to save not just himself but tens of thousands of others targeted by the terrorists.

Product Details

Paperback: 312 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 15, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1481202790

ISBN-13: 978-1481202794

Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

RW Bennett has transitioned from a long business career to writing and composing. Bennett has been a Sales and Marketing VP, a financial systems consultant, a restaurateur, a day trader and a CPA but has always loved the written, spoken and sung word. Bennett majored in chemistry and business administration at Wartburg College in Iowa where he was a varsity wrestler and rugby player. He earned an MBA from University of Denver. Bennett’s interests in sports – he was a top-flight marathoner – as well as a better than average cyclist, tennis player, golfer and skier show through in his writing. He also has interests in vocal music, cooking, wine, politics and theology. Bennett lives in Denver with his wife Barbara and their Papillon dogs, Doodle and Dandy.

The product descriptions and author information is from Amazon. Suicide Squeeze