Review: Last Stop in Brooklyn by Lawrence H. Levy

 

 

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Last Stop in Brooklyn
By Lawrence H. Levy

“It’s the summer of 1894, and an infidelity case has brought PI Mary Handley to a far corner of Brooklyn: Coney Island. In the midst of her investigation, Mary is contacted by a convicted man’s brother to reopen a murder case. A prostitute was killed by a Jack the Ripper copycat years ago in her New York hotel room, but her true killer was never found. Once again it’s up to Mary to make right the city’s wrongs.”

 

I wish that I could tell you I loved this book. All of the mystery, murder, retro elements are there for me and, by all right, I should have fallen in love with this story. I did not. The descriptions went overboard, the story seemed bland, and the dialogue left me cringing. I rated this a 2 stars and have happily left it behind.

 

*I was sent this book free of charge by blogging for books*

Short Story Sunday

“Anna?” Jane knocked on her friend’s cabin door again. “What’s wrong Anna? You have to come out sometime! OR at least answer your phone!”

“NO! I—I can’t!” Anna stubbornly responded, slamming books around for good measure.

“Why not?”

“Remember Franme’s parting shot?” Anna sighed defeatedly, knowing that Jane would never stop hounding her.

“You mean the light show that FREAK hit you with? Yeah, I remember,” Jane was so frustrated now that she punched her hand like a catcher getting ready for the pitch. Her best friend had gone to take a nap the day before and was now refusing to sen unlock the cabin door. This line of questioning was obviously getting them no where but at least it was a conversation. “Did it make your tummy hurt sweetie? You didn’t grow a tail or fur or anything, right?”

“Well, it definitely did more than we thought.”

SCRAPE! POP! CLICK! CREAK! Anna slowly unlocked and opened the door, preparing to face her nightmare. “I think I know what all that babbling about ‘True Forms’ meant now…”

Jane stood frozen, eyes wide with disbelief and mouth slightly agape. She had gotten exactly what she wanted, her best friend had finally opened the door…too bad it was to show off a brand new pair of glistening, shimmering, butterfly wings!

“I can’t come out Janie,” Anna whispered, “We’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean. There is no where else to hide.” And with a soft click and tumbler, the door was once again in Jane’s baffled face.

The Storm

I am once again sorry for the Short Story Sunday delay…I do have excuses (as always!)…my daughter’s 2nd birthday was this weekend, my brother (best college friend) brought his girlfriend to meet us (First girl we’ve met in about a decade or so…they got engaged the day after they left here), I fed the church family lunch on Sunday in honor of Monkey’s birthday, and I’ve been trying to get the classroom organized after the first week of classes found me woefully unprepared and completely lacking in any organization that I thought I might have…however; none of these things are a good excuse. I will try harder this coming week to have the story up on the day I have promised to have it up!

In fact, I hope to be able to actually post blog posts throughout the week starting this week, with this post! (Well, with the last post but you know what I mean 😀 )

 

Ok, enough talk from me. I hope that you enjoy today’s edition of (Late) Short Story Sunday!

 

The Storm:

This heat is like a second skin that I can’t shake off. Even with the fan blowing canned air in my direction, the slick of burning salt doesn’t go away…I don’t know what is going to happen to me…

Annabelle wearily sat back and rubbed her eyes, only then realizing that the whooshing in her ears was from a torrential downpour parading through her open windows and streaking the green walls gray. Sighing heavily at her own forgetfulness, the authoress forced stiffened muscles from her comfy desk chair and went to close the 5 windows that made up her amazing ‘tower bay’ wall.

The view was amazing from her third story oasis, crashing waves on melting sand framed by sharp cuts of light in the sky. The perfect night for writing a thrilling mystery was unfolding around her…and all Anna wanted to do was anything else at all.

Her heroine was in trouble, deep trouble that wouldn’t end well for anyone involved at this point, and Anna had no idea how to bring her out of this unscathed..or at least alive to finish out the book. She had been sitting at the keyboard for hours, immersed in writing for only the first 30 minutes. The rest of her time had been caught in re-reading and tweaking whatever she came across as her subconscious crowded out anything but the most technical of thoughts. At this rate, the entire first half of the book would be revised and edited to perfection before the second half was ever drafted the first time.

Staring out the window despondently, Anna jumped and screamed when her phone pealed out the beginning to an old boy band song that she was embarrassed to still rock out to. Laughing at her own frightened reflection in the rain stained glass, the writer quick stepped over to see what her best friend wanted at this late hour…

“I caught you!” Genevive crowed ecstatically, cackling into the phone as soon as Anna answered. “You have been locked in your tower all day again, Haven’t You!?”

“Well, yeah, I have to…”

“I KNEW IT!” GEN shouted, “Why don’t you come down from there and live a little, huh? Seriously, life goes on, the book will get finished when it gets finished, and really, it is much harder to find a decent dinner companion than it is to write a novel. Am I right?”

“No,” Anna sighed and suppressed the urge to lecture her friend yet again. Gen wasn’t really that much of a ditz. She wasn’t even really that self-involved. What she was, though, was a an out going people person who was working at her dream job as a high powered middle-exec for some fashion company somewhere. Anna wasn’t even exactly sure what Genevive’s job was, but she worked great hours in even better clothes. People like Gen could never understand why people like Anna stayed inside and scribbled all day.

“I don’t know Gen,” Anna tuned back in to hear her friend begging for a night out. “Why don’t you call one of those numbers you’ve got hidden in the little purple book? Hmm? I have deadlines you know.”

“You need to eat and I know how you shop when you’re working,” Gen countered, honking the horn to prove that she had, indeed, just pulled up outside. Her little sporty two-door hybrid hadn’t even made a dent in the gloom surrounding Annabelle’s house.

“If I didn’t love you…” Anna began

“You’de kill me, I know,” Gen sighed along with her friend. “Now hurry up before they give our reservation to some group of college imbeciles!”

“You got a reservation? Nevermind,” Anna ran down the stairs, grabbed her good scarf and ratty umbrella, and raced through the rain, stopping with her hand on the door handle. It had just hit her, what had to happen next in her story. It was right there, layer out in technicolor brilliance like a certain golden toned stone walkway of yore.

Turning bright eyes toward her house, Anna was frightened once again by her dearest friend as Genevive rolled down the window, pointed at a notebook and pen set, and glared so ferociously that Anna quickly gave in. Sliding in to the seat, Anna snatched at the colored pens and novelty notebook as if it were a lifeline in the storm. And you know, perhaps it was….

What are YOU Reading this Wednesday??

Hopefully you are all deep into a Tyree Tomes Publication, since both my father and I have a book free for download this week. However, the numbers would suggest otherwise 😦

If you just haven’t gotten around to picking them up yet, you can find Dragon on the Green (Stone Dragon Saga Book 3) and Monsoon McKreel and the Rose waiting for you on Amazon.com! (among our numerous other amazing word works of wisdom and whimsy 😉 )

This week I am reading over some of my own works that are nearing readiness for publication, along with actually writing on Dragons in the Deep : The Stone Dragon Saga Book 4. I may be about halfway through the storyline at this point. I hope so anyway. Other than that, I’m reading a lot of smaller books to my 20 month old. She loves to bring me Dr. Seuss and random Scholastic readers, crawl into my lap, and tell me a story about them before I read her the story. I think she likes to see what she gets right, which is something we used to do with the 4th graders before reading a new story so this good training for her!

Now tell me, what are you reading this fine middle of the week? Have you discovered a saucy and sweet summer snack of a book? Or are you delving into the cold world of a hot mystery? Have you found anything you want to suggest to us? Let me know! I do so love hearing from you!

Have a blessed week!

Writing: A short short

“I got nothin’,” the writer sighed, setting her bright pen down carefully on the stark white page, “I can’t even get a first sentence out tonight.”

“You know,” a voice filtered through the fog, “It’s been said that writer’s block happens when your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you.”

“Oh they’re talking to me,” she replied absentmindedly, not thinking to wonder where the voice had come from, “But unless you want me to write my Short Story Sunday piece on whose hair looks better today, they’re pretty useless right now.”

“Maybe that should be your story,” the whisper hissed helpfully, slowly fading as though the unseen person were backing away from her stone bench. “The non-story of how you don’t have any prompts…”

“Maybe…thank you,” she turned to smile at her advisor, but there was no one to be seen. Just the empty lake front and her, sitting alone in the chilly air. “Huh, a non-story,” she picked her pen up again, not giving much thought to her mysterious aid, she had learned long ago to not to. “Naw, that would never work!”  

 

 

        (Photos taken by me, Elizabeth S. Tyree, during the fall of 2012 at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Ok.)

The Mystery of the Missing Moon

This week’s short story jumped around my brain but wouldn’t sit still long enough to turn into anything other than this poem…my first attempt at poetry in a very long time! I hope you enjoy and have a Blessed Day!

 

The Mystery of the Missing Moon

“Mommy, where’s the moon?” was whispered with quiet fear

If the moon is gone, what else might be here?

“The moon is never gone,” she assured,

Deep down she was worried.

The moon never ran away,

The moon never even hurried.

Where might the silver disc have gone,

When would it return?

No silver light meant they were dark until dawn.

Suddenly they heard the big woman’s voice,

“Little girl, why are all the spoons in your toy box?’

A laugh, a squeal, a forced choice,

A scrape, a pull, a soft clang,

The light suddenly reflected once more,

The ‘moon’ was home again,

And little Marty Mouse was tucked in safe under the counter.

 

WHO are you reading this weekend?

Mystery Series Week is officially over for another year. So tell me, did you devour an old favorite series? Did you dive into a new mysterious series? Or did you even take the time to watch a mystery series on television? Who wrote what you read? Do they have other genres or books that they’ve written that you enjoy?

For me, the biggest mystery of the week was ‘How am I going to get this book re-written, edited, re-edited, formatted, and ready for publication by the end of the month???’ However, I did have a little bit of time to read a Nora Roberts mystery series novel (love her!) I also drooled over Sherlock Holmes a bit, but we won’t get into that.

Now that the week is over, will you be continuing the journey through your series? If so, October is the perfect month to get into the spooky and mysterious worlds! If not, whose work ARE you planning to read?

 

I would love to hear back from you about who you read, if my suggestions helped anyone, and who, or what, you’ll be reading this week! Until then, Have A Blessed Weekend!

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Cats love a good mystery!

Cats love a good mystery!

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also sent said kitty on many adventures! Several of which are in the “Cat Who…” series by Lilian Jackson Braun. This series may not be a fresh face, but old cats still have new tricks up their sleeves!
I hope that everyone is enjoying their Mystery Series Week! Until next time: Stay Mysterious and Have a Blessed Day!

Not Necessarily Mysterious

Not Necessarily Mysteries:

 I was going to just talk about Young Adult/Teen mystery series today, but then I began to think.

There are several great book series that contain mysteries within their plotlines, even though they may not be designated as such. A good example of this in the Young Adult/Teen section is that of Rick Riordan’s three mythology based series. Each one is shelved as a fantasy novel, but each one also contains mysterious elements which lead the protagonists on their journeys and build suspense for the reader. 

Other such novels, like the Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Claire, build suspense and keep readers coming back for more by dropping hints and providing small and large mysteries that float throughout the stories.  Harry Potter has mysteries sprinkled in each book and even romance stories, like the Just a Little series by Tracie Puckett weaves tales of mystery and dropping clues, even if just to discover what that cute guys ‘deal’ is!

 

If, at the end of the day, you prefer just a good old fashioned mysterious book then I suggest these titles for your reading pleasure:

 

 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

 

The Catalyst Series by Heidi Willard (supernatural thriller mysteries)

 

The Academy Series by C. L. Stone

 

Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries by Sarah Woodbury

Children’s Mystery Series Suggestions

Mystery Series Week Continued: Early Reader/Children’s Mystery Series

 

One of my favorite areas to visit in a bookstore is the children’s section.  Not only are there all different kinds of fabulous books, the fun atmosphere can draw a young person into the section, and thus into the books. Though usually broken down by age levels, reading levels, and then genre, each book has the potential to catch a young reader’s imagination and open their minds up to a vast world of new possibilities and thus, hopefully, instilling a love of books that will last their entire lifetime.  All they have to do is open the book and fall in, which can be difficult to make happen at times.  Mysteries can often snag a reader’s attention, and help with their reasoning skills, while other books seems boring to the active child.

 

I have found just a few of those mystery series that were very popular in the school I taught at, and am including them here for you:

 

Busy Town Mysteries:

                Written by: Natalie Shaw

For toddlers to kindergarteners and beyond, the Busy Town Mysteries series is an engagingly bright and fun series of board books and paperbacks that follow a group of animal friends as they discover mysteries and the clues to solve them, working together to find the answers and learn a thing or two along the way.

 

The Curious George Series:

                Written by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey

Technically not a mystery series, I have included the George books because he is always curious and searching for answers, which is exactly how children know to learn from birth.  George, and his young readers, are all detectives in their own ways.

Though the main core of Curious George books are written for the age range of 4-8 year olds (pre-k to 3rd grade), the books are often made into board books, touch and feel books, and flap books suitable for babies and toddlers.  

 

Young Cam Jansen Series:

                Written by: David Adler

This series follows the escapades of a young girl with a photographic memory who strives to solve mysteries in the world around her.  A young reader early chapter book series, these books are meant for children ages 4 – 8 (pre-k to 3rd grade) and feed into the Cam Jansen series, which follows a little older Cam, who has grown through school with her readers.  The older series is meant for ages 8+, and all are a fun read.

 

Trixie Belden Mysteries:

                Written By: Julie Campbell and Kathryn Kenny

These books follow the title character, Trixie, and her group of friends, The Bobwhites, as they help solve mysteries throughout their small town and even across America.  Originally written between the years of 1948 and 1986, the series has been brought back in reprints and is now available to love all over again.  As with the similar series of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys (both of which I also highly recommend) these books have been written with clear morals, clean speak, and none of the overt sexuality that seems to be seeping down into even mid-level readers. Trixie Belden and her friends are a great choice for some good clean fun and an escape into a simpler time; even with a mystery to solve!

 

100 Cupboards

                Written by: N. D. Wilson

 

                A trilogy which follows 12 year old Henry as he moves in with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins and discovers that everything may not be as he has always believed. The sudden appearance of cupboards in his attic room’s ceiling ushers the family into adventures beyond Henry’s imagination.

Written for age levels 9-12+ (4th – 6th grades), these books may be a little violent for some readers, but the story is well written, magical, and mysterious.

 

I encourage you to always read a book before handing it over to young readers, especially if you’re at all concerned that they might be sensitive to anything in those books. Remember, innocent minds shouldn’t be inundated with frightening or odd things that could cause nightmares, then the entire house is up all night! I also encourage you to read with the children, to the children, or both with and to the children.  The benefits are numerous for everyone involved!

I hope this blog has helped you in some way. I will now get off my soap box, tuck it away, and get back to writing my own book for now.  Until we meet again, Have a Blessed Day!