Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Review of Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman

If you're looking to set the tone for Halloween season, Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman is a good place to start

Haunting Jordan has all the juicy elements for a intriguing Halloween read: a couple of unsolved murder mysteries, a spooky Victorian house, and several ghosts looking for closure. The story is part of the Port Chatham Mystery Series which takes place in the Pacific Northwest

Besides all the spooky elements, Haunting Jordan is a really good “who done it.” The story is about a modern day woman named Jordan Marsh who moves to the town of Port Chatham to escape the pressure of being accused in the murder of her husband. Hoping to distract herself from the case, Jordan tries to focus her attention on restoring an old Victorian house. As luck would have it, Jordan is visited by two ghosts who live in the house, seeking to know the truth about a murder that happened in 1890. I normally can guess who the guilty party is, but not so in this case. I was pleasantly and genuinely surprised by the outcome of this mystery.

Thanks to the intricate plot speckled with humorous dialog, I gave Haunting Jordan four out of five stars on my Goodreads Page:

Alderman has a second novel also set in Port Chatham called Ghost Ship. Once again, Jordan Marsh finds herself with a murder mystery to solve. I couldn't resist ordering this book to continue on with my Halloween reading

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My Review of Some Dead Genius by Lenny Kleinfeld

When my Aunt Monica gave Some Dead Genius by Lenny Kleinfeld as a Christmas gift, I didn't even have to read the back of the book to know I would like it. Monica has spent most of her life working in theatre, film and other artistic endeavors and, as a result, has made it her business to connect with equally creative people. Needless to say, I had a positive bias when it came to this particular novel.

What did I like about Some Dead Genius? For starters, the humor. I read a lot of “who done its,” but most of them are dead serious. Criminals, (including fictitious ones), are notoriously stupid, so I'm confused as to why many authors ignore this folly. Not so with the characters who live in the pages of Some Dead Genius.

Kleinfeld's plot involves desperate artists, loan sharks trying to make money off them, and two delightfully funny detectives trying to unravel a plot with many twists and turns. The action takes place in Chicago which was a plus for me since I've had several opportunities to visit that amazing city.

I normally don't pay much attention to chapter heads, but in the case of Some Dead Genius, it is highly advised. In order to give context to the plot, Kleinfeld goes back in time to help the reader understand why the characters find themselves in such a pickle. The chapter heads alert the reader as to the year in which a particular scene takes place.

NPR named Some Dead Genius as one of the Best Books of 2014. Others have likened his style to Elmore Lenard and Carl Hiaasen. Here's a sample of what you can find in this comical detective story:

To learn more about Kleinfeld's previous work as playwright, screenwriter and columnist for periodicals such as the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, check out his website:

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Bacchae -- A Myth ReTold by Christy Potter

A Note from Adele Park:  Today I have the opportunity to let my blog readers know about a great new book called The Bacchae -- A Myth ReTold by Christy Potter.  This exciting new novel promises adventure and intrigue.  I would encourage everyone to give it a look.

As an influential newspaper publisher in post-World War II New York, Zachary Benton seems infallible. But when his beautiful and icy wife, Hanna, discovers he’s been having an affair with Sarah, his Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, and that the girl is pregnant, Zachary realizes just how much he has to lose. Zachary’s once-charmed life becomes a hellscape as he attempts to keep Sarah safe from the increasingly frightening Hanna, while dealing with his paper’s escalating coverage of the war in Vietnam. Sarah, now visibly pregnant and hiding in a small town in Oklahoma, is unable to stay away from the newspaper business and her instincts for investigative reporting turn up far more than she expected. As their son, Dax, grows to adulthood, he struggles to find his own identity. When he leaves New York to study journalism at the University of Chicago, Dax begins to craft two new lives for himself: one as an outstanding student and intern at the Chicago Tribune, and the other as a playboy, seducing the rich and neglected wives of Chicago. When Dax forms the Wine Enthusiasts Club, his two worlds merge into one, surrounding him with a group of women so fanatically devoted to him that they’re willing to do anything for him – even murder.

The Bacchae is available in paperback or as an e-book from me directly at or on Amazon. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

AME Radio with Jason Dowd

If art, music and entertainment is your thing, you won't want miss the AME Radio Show with host Jason Dowd.  The show is a wonderful platform for artistic types who are looking for a way to showcase their talents.  I had the privilege of being a guest on the show and found Jason to be a welcoming and interesting interviewer

In addition to hosting a radio show, Dowd also has a very impressive online magazine that covers everything from modeling to cooking to photography

As if all that isn't enough, Dowd also hosts an online television show called AME Television

If you have a story idea or want to share your art with others, you can connect with Dowd through his website

Monday, August 31, 2015

A Review of Mind Magic by Marta Hiatt

I had mixed feelings about Mind Magic – Techniques for Transforming Your Life by Marta Hiatt.

I truly appreciated Hiatt's reminders about the important role the subconscious mind plays in our lives. In the simplest of terms, our innermost thoughts are reflected in our conscious daily lives. When we subconsciously think negative thoughts, this is reflected in our “outer” lives.

Hiatt does an excellent job in explaining how the subconscious mind affects they way we feel. The great news is, by changing our subconscious thoughts, we can how we think on a conscious level. To accomplish this, Hiatt outlines a plan for self-hypnosis.

I'm was skeptical about about the whole self-hypnosis thing. Nonetheless, I was willing to give it a try. Hiatt's instructions were simple enough to follow, mostly involving a lot of deep relaxation techniques. I doubt I ever succeeded in attaining self-hypnosis, but I did get some results as a result of trying to contact my sub-conscious while in a highly relaxed state.

Mind Magic also delves into topics like visualization and the Law of Attraction, though I'm not sure Hiatt used that exact term. While all these subjects are of interest to me, I didn't really find anything new or profound in Hiatt's coverage of them.

To learn more about Mind Magic, read a sample of the book on