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by bill - 2008-04-12 - ( culture / writing / books )

The Lazy Pug Cafe

The Lazy Pug Cafe -- As recently as a few months ago, the Lazy Pug Café was nothing more than a dilapidated old two-story farmhouse. Set back just forty yards from the road -- closer than most out in the country -- it had a beautiful old weeping willow in front and a massive ancient oak tree out back. Abandoned years ago, the old estate's only purpose lately had been to serve as a sad but charming reminder of days gone by. Locals witnessing its resurrection these past few months were grateful someone was finally bringing the "old girl" back to life.

Another Way: Beyond the Status Quo

Another Way -- Dobie wants to save the world. His old boss, Colonel Charonne, wants to stop him. While on tour in support of his "conspiracy solutions" book, he meets Kaylie — a simple country girl who might be smarter than he is — and they fall in love while enduring attacks at every turn. Can they outwit or at least outrun the Colonel's henchman, Major Watson? Will Kaylie succumb to Watson's subliminal messaging and choose him over Dobie? What's up with the blue alien? And what about the hit man that even Watson doesn't know about?

Last Train Out. Also available on iBooks, Nook) and paperback

Clay and his adopted daughter, Jenna, look forward to their upcoming "homeland tour" to Russia. His intentions are pure. Hers, not so much. When she goes missing, his worst fears are realized. She is not the innocent little girl he thought she was. Not even close. Their only hope now is to catch the Last Train Out.

Lottery President

Lottery President -- For most people, winning $300 million in the lottery would be enough. They would buy a big house, travel the world and retire. Not Benny. He decided to take the money and run... for President. The house he had in mind was the White House. He didn't want to travel the world so much as save it... from politicians. Retire? 'I'll retire when I'm dead!' he would say, not realizing so many people had a retirement plan in mind that would make him very dead. Welcome to the world of politics, Benny.

Here's one of my brothers reading my book, Lottery President. He seems to be enjoying it. I swear I didn't pay him to do this.

Operation Detour (or, the first half of it here, free)

Operation Detour -- Riva, a beautiful young black ops agent on her first assignment, tries to turn Alex into her own asset just to prove she can. When he loses both his job and his girlfriend, she thinks he's putty in her hands. When he decides to go out with a bang, she is afraid she hasoverplayed her hand.

Temporary Insanity

Temporary Insanity -- Long before winning the lottery and running for president, Benny was living in L.A. working as a temporary word processor (typist). For his latest assignment, he thought he was taking just another temp job. He didn't anticipate Venelia and the Dynamos. The what?

Books/publications by other family members

Scared to Life ... and Loving It!: One Man's Journey With Prostate Cancer

My Life - Lionel Joseph Holmes

by Lionel Holmes
"This is Lionel Joseph Holmes's autobiography, illustrated with pictures taken over his life."

Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area

by Lionel Holmes and Joseph D'Allessandro
"This book tells the tales of the Portuguese "Pioneers" of the Sacramento area. Many old pictures"

For Control of Oz

by Steve Holmes
"This novel might be "historical fiction" or "Faction" since it's created from facts (at least according to the Internet). It is a compilation of pretty much all current "conspiracy" ideas put in story form. There are 5 parts. It started with Ken who was unfamiliar with "conspiracies" being put into the world of them. He met a Daniel and the Daniel's sister, Margot, who were involved in a New World Order conspiracy. The story was how Ken jumped into the whole thing, how the New World Order came to be, how it affected the world, and how it was defeated."

A Pictorial American River Bike Trail Trip

by Steve Holmes
"This is a pictorial trip on the American River (Jedediah Smith) bike trail from Old Sacramento, to Beals Point, and back to Old Sacramento"

All Across America?

by Steve Holmes
"This story is about a group of teenagers cycling across the USA, from east to west along the BikeCentennial bike trail. The leader of the group had the enthusiasm for the trip but lacked knowledge, so he got a friend to help with that. Along with them is are two couples who are friends, a younger teenager who thinks he's a real racer, and another young woman who brought along her young cousin."

The Big Race

by Steve Holmes
"This is the story of a cyclist who likes to race in local races. Lots of the story takes place in Ventura, California."

Descendants of Wolves

by Steve Holmes
"This is sort of a silly "conspiracy" story about wolves and dogs that talk"

Bill's bookshelf: read

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever 1-3 Lord Foul's Bane Stranger in a Strange Land The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Brave New World

Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva. I'm told this is an excellent book.

Once it comes down in price, I might buy it.

Thoughts on writing

Louis L'Amour once said he could write while sitting in the middle of the freeway. That didn't impress me at the time, but now it does.

Old reviews

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

This one was pretty good. Once I got used to the narrative switching back and forth, by chapter, from first-person to third-person, I couldn't put it down. Really good plot. Here's a hyperlink to his web site: harlancoben.com

Killing Time by Caleb Carr

This one stank. I'd read The Alienist by the same author several years ago, so I gave this one a chance. Bad choice. I don't know how many times I threw it down in disgust. I get that way when a book doesn't keep my interest. Anyway, click on the following hyperlink for a copy of its back cover on Amazon's web site. Something, probably its juvenile quality, tells me he wrote this as a teenager, dragged it out of the closet, and submitted it to his publisher merely for the sake of having something to publish. Its locale and discussions of terrorism are eerily prescient in light of September 11, but that's pretty much all it has going for it.

Big Trouble by Dave Barry

Yes, that Dave Barry. It was actually a good, funny, light-hearted action adventure novel. Maybe you've seen the movie they made out of it? Anyway, I'm always surprised when a novel can keep me interested and turning its pages, which this one definitely did.

[from 1993]

The Player by Michael Tolkin

It's been made into a movie. Maybe you've seen it? Anyway, the book is very well-written, and we don't say that often. It's about a Hollywood movie studio mogul and what happens to him after a disgruntled writer threatens to kill him. We can't really tell you any more without giving it away. All we can say is that, sadly, it doesn't end the way we would have liked. But it's still good.

The Firm by John Grisham

I had heard it was good. But it's not, particularly. In fact, I'm pretty amazed it became a bestseller. It must be people's apparent fascination with lawyers that makes it so appealing. It sure isn't the writing. I'm a pretty tough critic, but I figure a bestseller should be well written. Call me crazy. The book starts off well, but by the end the whole thing gets pretty "hackneyed," as they say. Oops, after saying this, I just remembered that it didn't start off well. It was at least page 100 before anything interesting happened! The only reason I kept reading beyond that was because I had heard it was good! Oh well, the middle 100 pages are okay, I guess. Maybe the movie will be better.

[It was.]

Focault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Virtually unreadable, though every once in a while I pick it up again and make another stab at it. If I ever finish it, I'll let you know.

The Edge by Dick Francis

See "Focault's Pendulum" review.

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