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Steve Weddle "Steve Weddle" RSS Feed (Virginia, USA)

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THUGLIT Issue 16
THUGLIT Issue 16
by Ed Kurtz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Raw noir done right, March 25, 2015
This review is from: THUGLIT Issue 16 (Paperback)
Can't go wrong with Eric Beetner, Devon Robbins, Ed Kurtz, Erik Arneson, Bracken MacLeod, Mark Rapacz, Scott Loring Sanders and Rob Hart. Thuglit consistently leads the way in raw, hardcore noir.

Price: $10.99
24 used & new from $8.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, inspiring music, March 2, 2015
This review is from: Backyards (Audio CD)
I first heard Henry Frayne when he played in a band called THE MOON SEVEN TIMES. This was back in the late 80s or early 90s, and they had a song on a compilation that we had in heavy rotation at the college radio station where I worked. While the lyrics of the song "Miranda" were captivating, I guess what really set the hook for that song was the lyrical guitar, weaving through and carrying you along on a subtle tide. The music was haunting. So when Frayne started instrumental work through Lanterna, picking up the CDs was an easy call.

This new one is as lyrical and haunting as anything Lanterna has done today, and it seems to represent a coming-together of sound, a sort of evolution that long-time listeners will appreciate and new listeners will use as a catalyst to explore the back catalog.

Great stuff.

Cry Father
Cry Father
by Benjamin Whitmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.80
112 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rating: All the stars, September 16, 2014
This review is from: Cry Father (Hardcover)
From the woods of Colorado to the dive bars of Denver, Benjamin Whitmer’s CRY FATHER creates a setting, a mood that digs into you like a splinter. Hiding in a small cabin with his dog, Patterson Wells works professionally at disaster clean-up, travelling across the country following storms to clear debris and get the power back on. In his personal life, though, he can’t seem to do the same. For Patterson, the disaster was the death of his son due to a doctor’s mistake. Not only did this take the life of Patterson’s son, but it also destroyed his relationship with the boy’s mother. Now, she comes calling on Patterson to join her in a suit against the doctor, to put some sort of closure on the tragedy. But Patterson isn’t interested in clearing the debris of his son. Instead, he lives with his son’s memory, writing the boy letters much like you or I would write a diary. In the meantime, Patterson’s neighbor is having trouble with his own drug-running son, Junior, a man with his own broken relationships. This novel is about fathers and sons, sure. But it's also about relationships of all kinds, including those we have with ourselves.
Soon enough, Patterson and Junior are pushed together, in a world fueled with drugs and violence.
As Patterson tells it, “The main problem with cocaine is that you never really have enough of it. Even on a binge, you’ve usually got just enough to keep yourself in nosebleeds and self-hatred.”
And that’s this book – the external and internal battles, everyone fighting against everyone, including themselves. This story is rich in darkness, not just in the sense of the violence and drugs and despair, but in the delving down into the souls of the characters, the digging deeper than most novels even consider. You can argue pigments and colors all you like, but I’ll tell you this much: CRY FATHER is not dark because of an absence of light, but dark because it contains so much.
The ending of this novel, as befits a book by Benjamin Whitmer, is as unavoidable as it is surprising.

Full disclosure: Ben Whitmer said a nice thing about my novel last year. Review first appeared at DoSomeDamage.

The Good Life
The Good Life
by Frank Wheeler Jr.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.38
21 used & new from $10.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling, vibrant tale of a troubled man, August 29, 2014
This review is from: The Good Life (Paperback)
I snagged an early copy of the new Frank Wheeler because he and I are repped by the same literary agency. This is his first book since The Wowzer wowed readers in 2012. The Wowzer is about a rough cop in Arkansas. This is about a rough cop in Nebraska. That's the biggest similarity between that book and this one and, for the most part, the only one.

The Good Life introduces us to Junior, a returning son thrust into his father's shadow. He's intent on cleaning up the area, becoming a vigilante with a badge. He sets in motion a plan that follows what his father taught him: Order is built on bloodshed.

Not only is Junior thrown back into an older life, an order life is thrown back onto Junior when his ex shows up on his doorstep. She was his ex for a reason, just as there are reasons he is an ex-Denver cop. As we work our way through Junior's quest for order in his town, we see all the disorder that brought him back.

The Good Life is a compelling, vibrant tale of a troubled man returning home to face troubles he left behind and troubles that have followed him. Small-town violence and big-time troubles keep this book moving along, all the while grounded in the main character -- Junior -- and what he has to live up to, what he has to get away from.

Bear Motion for iPad Air - Ultra thin Folio Case with Detachable Bluetooth Keyboard for Apple iPad Air
Bear Motion for iPad Air - Ultra thin Folio Case with Detachable Bluetooth Keyboard for Apple iPad Air
Offered by Pro Ebiz
Price: $28.99
8 used & new from $19.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well, though keyboard has small flaw, July 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Has worked great. Protects the iPad. Stands up just fine. Wonderful. Only complaint is that the upper right key on the keyboard is a DELETE/LOCK key, which frequently locks the darn iPad when I'm trying to backspace.
Surprised at how well and long the keyboard holds a charge, too.

Koko Takes a Holiday
Koko Takes a Holiday
Price: $7.19

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kicking expectations, July 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Full disclosure: Kieran Shea and I are represented by the same literary agency. He's a nice guy and I consider us pals. That's great for me, but causes problems when I want to review his book. If I didn't like it, I'd probably just not review it online. But as a fellow writer, I appreciate so many of things he's doing in this book that I have to mention them. So, you know, keep in mind that I'm writing this about a fantastic book by a guy I know personally. Grain of salt, pound of salt -- whatever. OK. Here we go --

One of the things that Kieran Shea is so good at is kicking expectations in the crotch. Koko Takes a Holiday opens with a shoot-out in a bar. On display is Koko's skill with weapons. The killing and all. Ba,. Etc. It's vivid, clear, and exciting.

Koko escapes. Here comes some bloodbath, right?

Nope. Koko ends up having to ditch all her weapons before the next stop.

It's the little stuff like this that shows Kieran Shea's skills -- on full display. Show your character is a master at something, then take away that strength. See what's left. It's a stripping away to get at, well, at the character of the character. It's brilliant.

Fast-paced and clever, this is the book you want.

Blood Always Tells
Blood Always Tells
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Davidson novel, June 4, 2014
I know Hilary Davidson. She blurbed my book. I've interviewed her a number of times for the DoSomeDamage blog. She's good people. So, if I hadn't liked this book, I would have just not said anything. That happens sometimes among writers. Luckily, that's not what happened this time.
BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS is my favorite Davidson novel, and that's saying something.
I really enjoyed the Lily Moore books - the travel and intrigue and all.
This novel takes all that was great about those and adds something, that "heavy idea" underpinning the whole thing. I think this novel really steps things up.
I guess "intense intrigue" is the phrase you'll hear quite a bit, but what I liked most was the well drawn characters in here -- especially Dominique Monaghan, whose motivation is pretty clear from the beginning. Then stuff starts happening and, before I knew it, I was in a book that moved the story forward quickly and clearly, yet also cared a great deal about the deeper questions and concerns, the fate and the nurture and the struggles and all more important matters that hold a quick plot together and make the book matter.
Fantastic work.

Baboon Fart Story
Baboon Fart Story
by Phronk
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.76
19 used & new from $11.78

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nose for fiction, April 29, 2014
This review is from: Baboon Fart Story (Paperback)
But first, I don't want to be a grammar/typo stinker and point out any excessive use of colons and whatnot, but let me just say that this book was a little tough to get into at first, but only at first. But, to be fair, the middle did seem to drag out a little bit, even seeming a little repetitive. But, I couldn't believe the surprise coming out in the end. But I don't want this spoiled for you, so let me just say: I had some expectations here, but this book completely wrecked 'em. Thumbs all up in this one!

Dead Things
Dead Things
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great world, April 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dead Things (Kindle Edition)
One of the best things about a book like this is how the author works with character development and world building. That's tricky as heck, of course, but Blackmoore excels at both. I've never met Blackmoore, though we know each other online. Lucky me. That means I get early news of his upcoming books. I'll certainly be looking for more with this world.
The magic made sense in the world created here -- fitting in with the mythos. And the character had goals -- internal and external. And the plot was filled with conflict -- on large and small scales. Everything just seemed to work together so well, creating a book that was a fun, quick read and thoroughly rewarding. Well done.

Map Home
Map Home
Price: $7.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What poetry is, March 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Map Home (Kindle Edition)
Over the past couple decades, I've read a great deal of poetry that tries to extract meaning from everyday objects. You know, something like "The Single Mother at the Diner Considers the Roast Beef Plate Lunch" and so forth. Heck, I've written those poems.
These aren't those poems. MAP HOME from David Havird (a professor of mine many years ago) is a book of poems -- some from The New Yorker and Poetry magazine -- that looks at various places around the globe and through history, but has its vision in the human heart, the soul, that part of you that we need our poetry to consider. This is the type of poetry that FEELS like a poem, like something worthwhile. And, yet, it's the sort of writing you can learn from, not just about being human -- but about writing your own stories. The way the language moves in these poems is wonderful.
If you like to read and write -- hell, if you like to breathe -- you'll be impacted by the beauty in this book.

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