Monday, May 31, 2010

Soldier for a Day

Billy wasn't going to college. He didn't like rules, books or writing things down on paper. Billy was an action guy. He worked, and he played, and he had a real talent for automobile engines. If your car wasn't running right, Billy knew why, and he could fix it with a screwdriver, pliars, or a wad of gum.

After high school, Billy went to work at an auto dealer and was on his way. A full mechanic's spot meant his own workstation, a regular line of cars to fix, and a steady, very nice paycheck for a 20-year-old. He met a girl. They planned on getting married.

There was a problem, though. See, the year was 1966, and America was fighting alongside South Vietnam in their civil war with North Vietnam. America had a draft. And Billy got drafted. We threw a big party for Billy and we all said goodbye and worried about him.

And with good cause. The day Billy landed in Saigon, they put his unit on a truck and headed out for a fire station that needed replacements. The truck ran over a mine. Billy and dozens of other brand new soldiers were killed.

We said goodbye again a month later. We said goodbye to a flag-drapped coffin. And not a Memorial Day goes by that we don't think of Billy and the life he never got to live.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Omniscient Takes a Hit

Boy, am I glad they didn't say this about The Famous Author's new book. If he HAD a new book.

"There could have been an element of suspense involved had (the author) not chosen to take an omniscient approach to writing the book; from the reader's perspective, there is nothing remotely surprising or thrilling to any aspect of this often lurid story. Worse, there's a rather silly pseudo-romantic subplot involving (the lead detective) and (another character) that has absolutely no reason for being ... other than as filler to pad the already overlong text."

I know it doesn't matter what they say, as long as they spell your name right. But ouch.

Tell'em to drink Drano, Ms. E.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Angie in New TV Crime Show

Tess Gerritsen didn't send us any ARCs or promotional items, but we're still pretty excited about her Rizzoli & Isles series being made into a television show set for next month. That's because Angie Harmon stars as Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, who joins forces with medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) to solve crimes.

Take a long look at Angie. Oh, my. Can this show be anything but a hit?

Rizzoli & Isles is scheduled to premiere Monday, July 12th at 10 PM on TNT. Click on the link to see some film. Maybe I should show a few more shots of Angie.




Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Media Birdbrains Skip the Story

By DOUG SIMPSON, AOL News

While the world remains fixated on the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, L.D. Manuel says people are forgetting an important fact: 11 men, including his son, died when the oil rig blew up.

"I'm following the coverage, but I don't know that I like what I'm seeing. Everyone talks about the birds and the damage to the gulf and everything, but they never talk about the guys that got hurt," said Manuel, who lost his son Blair in the explosion. "That really bothers me."

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded just over a month ago, on April 20, and relatives of the 11 men who were killed said that it's understandable that the news media and the public are focused on environmental concerns, government regulations, politics, the future of offshore drilling.

But they fear that the 11 victims -- their husbands, sons, grandsons, brothers -- have been forgotten.

"I can see that, definitely, the oil spill is everyone's first priority now. It's such an environmental problem. I understand that," said Nelda Winslette, whose grandson Adam Weise was killed in the blast.

"But those 11 men were trying to prevent that spill. Nothing ever gets mentioned about those men, and who they were."

A memorial service on May 1 was held for the 24-year-old Weise at the Lutheran church in Yorktown, Texas, his hometown. Relatives said it seemed the whole town came to pay their respects.

"It was filled to capacity in the balcony. That was really something, and it showed what a special young man he was. It was unfortunate he only had 24 years," Weise's sister, Judy Henze, told AOL News.

Weise was a standout lineman on the Yorktown High School football team. He was a sportsman who caught redfish, speckled trout and flounder in the gulf. He hunted deer and bobcats.

"He was a fisherman, a hunter, he was a prankster. He was the kindest hearted young man," Winslette said. "He would drop whatever he was doing to help anyone else."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Redhead of the Week an Aristocrat

Damian Lewis, an English actor and producer, starred as Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life, which The Famous Author and I loved. We also liked Damian as Major Richard Winters (handpicked by Spielberg) in the HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, and as Soames Forsyte in the British miniseries, The Forsyte Saga.

The dude has quite the pedigree. "I went to English boarding schools and grew up around people very much like Soames and in a milieu very much like the Forsytes's," Lewis told PBS in 2002.

Lewis was born in St. John's Wood, Westminster, the son of Charlotte Mary and J. Watcyn Lewis, a City broker. His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Ian Frank Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn (a doctor to the royal family) and philanthropist Alfred Yarrow.

He was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in the village of Forest Row in East Sussex and at Eton College and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993, after which he served as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Lewis also appeared in Jonathan Kent's production of Hamlet, playing Laertes opposite Ralph Fiennes' Hamlet. This production was seen by Steven Spielberg, who subsequently cast Lewis as Richard Winters in the HBO/BBC World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, his first role of several that required a credible American accent.

In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the U.S. television series Life on NBC. He starred as a police officer who had been framed for murder and held in prison for 12 years from 1995 to 2007. The series began with his exoneration and a trial reinstatement in his former position as a detective in the LA Police force after winning a 50 million dollar law suit over his wrongful internment. Detective Crews, who had studied Zen during his years in prison, closed his cases in a unique manner, as he secretly continued to track down the people who had set him up.

The show, which premiered in the United States on 26 September 2007, became a victim of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Only half of the second season's shows were produced. When the critically acclaimed show returned, it was shuffled from night to night.

Damian is married to the actress Helen McCrory. They have two children.

Thanks to Damian, Ann OD, and Wikipedia

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Auction for Writers, Readers

Bestselling author Brenda Novak runs a fundraiser in honor of her youngest son who was diagnosed with Type 1 at five years old, and the millions of others who suffer from diabetes. The proceeds have one purpose—to help find a cure—and will go to the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research is a registered 501(c)3, so any cash donation is tax deductible.

This year the auction is dedicated to Brenda's dear friend who passed away last fall, Kate Duffy. Kate was an editor at Kensington Books. Last year, Brenda raised over $270,000. She's hoping to break that record this year.

Click on the flashing top banner to check out the goodies. If you're a reader, there are hundreds of autographed books and lunches with authors. For writers, there are dozens of editor, author, and agent critiques, lunches, and edits. The prices are cheap (so far) compared to what you'd pay a professional editor. The Famous Author Himself may bid on one evaluation by a hot shot mystery editor: For $47 bucks (current bid) he's thinking about getting the bosses at Tyrus Books to read his manuscript. Check out Brenda's auction ... for diabetes research.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Did We Miss Cinco de Mayo?

Oh, my. The Famous Author came by for a heart-to-heart last week. We needed to hash out this Mama Bones thing, get a few mutual goals back in perspective. We had a shot of tequila, then another, and another. He told me he still wants me to be the star, but his Devil Agent believes Mama Bones may keep the series alive. I told him, if that's what it took, fine. But I think the old lady ought to get her own freaking blog.

We just woke up this morning, realized it was May 7, and that our favorite holiday had passed. Guess me and TFA started too early. Anyway, Happy Cinco de Mayo, gang!