Book Review: The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Publishing Date: 2007

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.8/5

Review: A grand tale that canvasses a world torn by intrigue and war. Beneath the black umbrella of fate are characters with uniquely complex pasts that continue to evolve within the story line. 

The Bloody Nine is a seemingly simple man that continues to surprise with hidden depths, delivered in his ‘matter of fact’ commentary. Was is deeply hidden is terrifying to those on the receiving end of his wrath yet much must transpire in order to reveal. A great character that should have a novel of his own. Ferro is just as grand in the making and balances the scenes when joined with the Nine.

The other characters are awesome in their own rights. You just have to read this novel to capture the entirety. 

I am so looking forward to “Before They Are Hanged”. 

Book Review: Warrior Wench by (The Asarlai Wars #1) by Marie Andreas

Publishing Date: 2016

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.6/5

Review: A fairly mundane attempt at the ‘Space Operatic’ with bold characterization and fairly good world building.

The Bad: Vas, while being hotter than a two-dollar pistol, is also a borderline sociopath that kills with a justified contract or you just plane pissed her off somehow. She has tons of enemies that want to kill her yet remains underfoot within a crowded galaxy. Confused? Me too. Despite her tendencies towards the erratic, she is a pirate/mercenary/captain with a heart of gold. Not too deep down (as she lacks complexity) she has feewings for Deven and resists the urge to kill people here and there.

The Ugly: The idea that she and her crew will be the laughingstock of the entire galaxy because her new ship was once a flying brothel is not believable… the slightest. The insertion (haha) and subsequent transformation from a hard core space captain into a love-addled dolt really drove this novel into the dirt.

The Good: The supporting characters and their individual instances are quite funny and spin the novel in a direction not to be taken seriously….at any level. It is a funny space romp with a hint of seriousness and a dash of the inventive. The characters grow on you as does the ribald humor. Forget the strained scifi tropes and the patterned archetypes that reside within, and have some fun you tight-ass sumbitch.

I will not continue on with the series unless the author gives me a free copy or grants me Beta reading powers.

The Liebster Award




I was nominated last year and really thought that my contributions to blogging were limited at best. Thought I would step out of my self-imposed shell this go around.

The Rules:

1. Post the award on your blog.

2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.

3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers; notify them in their own blogs.

5. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

I would like to thank Ana at  Ana’s Lair for nominating me. I like her insightful and well considered reviews.

11 Random Facts:

1. I am an extremely private person (so this is hard for me).

2. I love dogs, specifically Labradors.

3. I have a black belt in an Okinawan style of karate and miss my old dojo in California.

4. I place wildlife and their habitats above people in terms of importance.

5. I have 5 brothers that beat the crap out of me growing up yet I love them all.

6. My mom moved to India when I was in High School.

7. I grew up on a river.

8. I love a good cigar (send me Cubans!!!).

9. My wife saved my life from myself.

10. I am through my first year of guitar lessons (used to play the piano).

11. Allergic to Caffeine.

My Nominees:

1. Ellis Nelson at Ellis Nelson Books.

She is a good writer and has always taken the time to read my reviews. Thanks Ellis!

2. Keith Yatsuhashi at It’s Kind of an Electronic Book.

One of my favorite break out authors. Good reviewer as well.

3. Dennis Cardiff at Gotta Find a Home.

He is doing good work out there. Check him out.

4. KG Bethlehem at KG Bethlehem.

A poet that makes me think outside my mental/political constraints.

5. Lulu at Roadside Reader.

A real nice blog with a soft touch.

6. Lola at Hit or Miss Books.

A prolific reviewer with many followers.

7. Helen Treharne at Tea Talks.

Another promising writer with a recently well crafted novel “Relative Strangers”.

8. Husband and Husband.

A funny, witty and artistic blog that will make you laugh.

9. Stefan’s Bookshelf.

I really like his reviewing style.

10.  Tammy Salyer.

A writer I want to meet and drink whiskey with.

11. One Lazy Robot.

I really like this witty reviewer/blogger.

Answering Ana’s Questions:

1. What do you look for in a book? Movement coupled with character development.

2. Which is the first book you remember reading and thoroughly enjoying?   The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.

3. What is your favourite book format?   Kindle.

4. How many books are currently in your shelf (virtual or rl) waiting to be read?    I have about ten or so that are usually in queue.

5. What do you do to get over reading slumps?   Start reading another at the same time.

6. Do you pre-order books? Why?    No.

7. Do you buy second-hand books? Why?   Not anymore.

8. What are your reading related pet peeves?  Repeated phrasing to expedite dialogue.

9. What motivated you to start your blog?   Ego.

10. Has it developed the way you first envisioned?     Not really. Thought I might have more followers by now yet my style is often too acerbic and pointed.

11. Dream project that you would love to fulfill?      Build another house on 100 acres and travel more of the world.

My 11 questions:

1. Where would you like to go in the world and for how long?

2. Are you anxious about anything?

3. Under what circumstances do you find yourself in the moment?

4. If given the choice would you rather get stung by a scorpion or bit by a bullet ant.

5. Do you think that females seek relationships based more on a native drive for security?

6. Do you think President Clinton could take Madonna in a fight?

7. Who is your favorite musician (alive or dead) and why?

8. What do you think Kim Jong-Un does in the bathroom that takes 30 minutes?

9. Who is your favorite author and why?

10. In three words describe yourself.

11. Who is the most important person to you and why?


That’s it tater chip!



Review: AC/DC FAQ by Susan Masino




Publisher: Backbeat

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781480394506 

Genre: Biog

Rating: 2.0/5

Publisher Description: Featuring 37 chapters, AC/DC FAQ chronicles the personal history of each of the band members, all their albums, tours, and various anecdotes. Rebounding from the tragic loss of their singer Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson and went on to record Back in Black, which is now one of the top five biggest-selling albums in music history.

Review: Kind of a synopsis of the bands coming together from the personal backgrounds up to the band inception. Written anecdotally, almost like the band didn’t proof or verify much of what was written. At one point the name of the band comes up where either there sister got it from the back of her sewing machine while making Angus his outfits and another from someone else getting it off a vacuum cleaner. Either way, if you are doing a biography you should be able to verify the facts that your pre-supposing??

The writing style is flat and often reaches the mundane when the author ascribes herself a personal affinity with band members as the photos attest to. Good biographies are written strictly about the band and authors egos should take a back seat when writing about them. This is really a one star work but gets another just for Angus.




Habitat for Wolves

12.25 (2)

I may begin to include the 30 years of my professional life into this blog in order to provide possible solution pathways on resource issues from a political, geopolitical and practical context.
Hopefully more will follow in that regard.

This is a picture from a monitoring station on 600 acres of ag-land that I purchased in Northern Idaho 12 years ago. Up until this point, there were no wolves on this property. Once we acquire blocks of habitat we conduct operation and maintenance activities that include debris cleanup and habitat improvement actions. This picture represents untold person hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars of dedicated effort in the wolf and wildlife habitat recovery effort.