You may also like to read:

You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels and short stories at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Personal Archiving


It's Monday, What are You Reading?

Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage

Edited by Donald T. Hawkins


This post is the seventy-second entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

This is a LibraryThing Early Reviewers book


Book Description from Amazon.com:

This multi-authored work offers one of the first and most robust explorations of the emerging field of personal digital archiving. Editor Donald T. Hawkins and his expert contributors cover a range of innovative projects and practical topics: archiving individual and family histories; new and nascent services and software products; social media and email applications,; legal issues including digital inheritance and privacy; evolving formats and media considerations; academic research projects; Library of Congress initiatives; the pioneering role of the Internet Archive; research at Microsoft; and case studies of digital archiving in practice.
The book's contributors are passionate about personal archiving, their enthusiasm matched only by their expertise in this must-read text for genealogists, historians, archivists, librarians, collectors, creators, and anyone with a mass of digital information they want to organize and preserve.

http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Archiving-Preserving-Digital-Heritage/dp/1573874809/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387502227&sr=1-1&keywords=personal+archiving+preserving+our+digital+heritage

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Christmas at the Homeplace" Book Blog Tour WrapUp




"Christmas at the Homeplace"
Book Blog Tour WrapUp

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Homeplace-William-Leverne-Smith/dp/1493510401/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384372871&sr=1-1&keywords=christmas+at+the+homeplace
[Click image to go directly to Amazon.com]

THANKS to everyone who participated in the Book Blog Tour during the past week.

You can still see what people are saying about this new Christmas book, based on our family history research and life experiences. It is historical fiction in "The Homeplace Saga" series, but you very well may recognized some folks from your own family and the world around you as you get involved with these family activities.


Here is schedule for the recent tour, running from November 15-25:

Thursday, Nov 14 - Tour Schedule at The Homeplace Saga blog

Friday, Nov 15 - Tour Schedule at Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar blog

Monday, Nov 18 - Interview with Jessica at Literaryetc.com 

Tuesday, Nov 19  - Guest Post with Lisa DuVal at I Feel So Unnecessary

Wednesday, Nov 20 - Review with Lisa DuVal at I Feel So Unnecessary

Thursday, Nov 21 - Guest Post with Kayla Emerson at Green Mountain Couple

Friday, Nov 22 - Review with Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest

Saturday, Nov 23 - Review with Mindy Wall at Books, Books, and More Books

Sunday, Nov 24 - Guest Post with Brandee Price at Bookworm Brandee

Monday, Nov 25 - Tour Wrap-Up at Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar blog

Feel free to visit each of the blogs that interest you for that day, to see the related post! ;-)

For a preview, view the Book Trailer, here, on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/pnilAflMESg

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Christmas at the Homeplace" - Book Blog Tour Starts Here, Right Now




"Christmas at the Homeplace"
Book Blog Tour Starts Here, Right Now

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Homeplace-William-Leverne-Smith/dp/1493510401/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384372871&sr=1-1&keywords=christmas+at+the+homeplace
[Click image to go directly to Amazon.com]

See what people are saying about this new Christmas book, based on our family history research and life experiences. It is historical fiction in "The Homeplace Saga" series, but you very well may recognized some folks from your own family and the world around you as you get involved with these family activities.


Here is the tentative schedule for the upcoming tour, running from November 15-25:

Thursday, Nov 14 - Tour Schedule at The Homeplace Saga blog

Friday, Nov 15 - Tour Schedule at Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar blog

Monday, Nov 18 - Interview with Jessica at Literaryetc.com 

Tuesday, Nov 19  - Guest Post with Lisa DuVal at I Feel So Unnecessary

Wednesday, Nov 20 - Review with Lisa DuVal at I Feel So Unnecessary

Thursday, Nov 21 - Guest Post with Kayla Emerson at Green Mountain Couple

Friday, Nov 22 - Review with Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest

Saturday, Nov 23 - Review with Mindy Wall at Books, Books, and More Books

Sunday, Nov 24 - Guest Post with Brandee Price at Bookworm Brandee

Monday, Nov 25 - Tour Wrap-Up at Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar blog

Hope you join us on the tour, each day!

For a preview, view the Book Trailer, here, on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/pnilAflMESg

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Bully Pulpit




The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Pulpit-Theodore-Roosevelt-Journalism/dp/141654786X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384127795&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bully+pulpit


This post is the seventy-first entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


I've started Teddy Roosevelt bios before, and never finished. This looks like one I might enjoy… like Team of Rivals… 928 pages in daunting, but, on Kindle, you really don't notice as much… and it isn't as heavy, for sure. I've really enjoyed the first 7-8%!!

Early description also makes it look worth the effort.


From Amazon.com:

The gap between rich and poor has never been wider . . . legislative stalemate paralyzes the country . . . corporations resist federal regulations . . . spectacular mergers produce giant companies . . . the influence of money in politics deepens . . . bombs explode in crowded streets . . . small wars proliferate far from our shores . . . a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.

These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history.

The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure.

Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men.

The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? W is for Wasted


It's Monday, What are You Reading?

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton


This post is the seventieth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I have read each of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mystery books. These are probably my favorite books, in a series! ;-)

This is the first time, however, that we got the Kindle Edition rather than the hard copy - sorry, Annette (she has all the rest in her library, now!).


From Amazon.com:

Of the #1 New York Times–bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, NPR said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.”

Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall. One of them I knew and the other I’d never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.

The first was a local PI of suspect reputation. He’d been gunned down near the beach at Santa Teresa. It looked like a robbery gone bad. The other was on the beach six weeks later. He’d been sleeping rough. Probably homeless. No identification. A slip of paper with Millhone’s name and number was in his pants pocket. The coroner asked her to come to the morgue to see if she could ID him.

Two seemingly unrelated deaths, one a murder, the other apparently of natural causes.

But as Kinsey digs deeper into the mystery of the John Doe, some very strange linkages begin to emerge. And before long at least one aspect is solved as Kinsey literally finds the key to his identity. “And just like that,” she says, “the lid to Pandora’s box flew open. It would take me another day before I understood how many imps had been freed, but for the moment, I was inordinately pleased with myself.”

In this multilayered tale, the surfaces seem clear, but the underpinnings are full of betrayals, misunderstandings, and outright murderous fraud. And Kinsey, through no fault of her own, is thoroughly compromised.

W is for . . . wanderer . . . worthless . . . wronged . . .

W is for wasted.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thunderbird Conspiracy - Book Tour - Author Interview


Thunderbird Conspiracy
Virtual Book Tour
Author Interview




It is a great pleasure to occupy early slots of this Virtual Book Tour, as I said yesterday, begun by Teddy Rose of "So Many Precious Books, So Little Time," on Friday. Yesterday, you got to see my review. Today, I get to share my interview with R.K. Price. I really enjoyed his answers to my 'off-the-wall' questions. This is a very special book we should all read, regardless of your point view on the issues at hand, as well as a very special author. Thanks for stopping by! ;-)


Let's learn a little more about R.K. Price:

R.K. Price is a Colorado native. He lived in Pueblo for a number of years, earning his way through college as a radio/television and newspaper reporter. He moved north to Denver in the mid 70s, joining a major advertising/public relations firm as a writer, producer and press agent. Later, he formed his own media relations and political consulting firm. He spent the early 1980s in Washington D.C. actively involved in national politics, and returned to Denver in the mid 80s to become an investment and mortgage banker — a profession he remains in today. He now lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife Janet and daughter Sara in Alexandria, Va.

R.K. Price Website: http://rkprice.com/
R.K. Price Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rkpriceauthor
R.K. Price Twitter: https://twitter.com/RK_Price





-->Here are questions and the responses from R.K.:
Please tell us one or two early incidents or events in the story that readers should pay special attention to early in the story that will be most helpful in understanding later events?

In Thunderbird Conspiracy, reading the Preface followed by the Epilogue will provide you a clear perspective on the characters, incidents and events which bind the story together.  The Book is really about two men, Bud Carlson and Robert Kaye, and how their totally divergent lives came together, interwoven, one by choice, the other an unwitting victim of the most notorious crime of the twentieth century. Betrayal plays key throughout.  With Bud, Connie was the first.  And then Robert in a very profound way.  With Robert it was his father, then Deborah, and then, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald, all of whom in their own way deceived and destroyed him.  All events lead up to the assassination and beyond, and my effort here was to tell a tale, true in many respects, of two compelling characters who played tangential roles in Kennedy’s murder.       

I'm fascinated by names. Robert Kaye is one of your main characters and you go by the initials R.K. Not coincidence, I'm sure. Please talk to us about how you approach naming your characters.

Wow.  Never thought of that.  No, R. K. are my initials, not a pen name.  Robert Kaye was one of many aliases that he used throughout his life as part of his effort to hide, I believe, from himself and those he encountered.  I too love naming characters, and besides those in real life, like Bud, Hank, Connie, Oswald, Garrison, Shaw, etc., I look at naming people by the physical mind’s-eye vision I have of them.  Clarence, for instance, in his wheelchair; Boudreaux, the wise and devoted Cajun companion;  Deborah, sultry, sly and shameless, Miss Hattie, the demure damsel living in the past, and Miss Claire, haunted and haunting.

I've recently read Jeff Greenfield's books fictionalizing "what if" on earlier and later JFK assassinations.  Can you share your thoughts on other assassination investigations, based on the research you have done?

Like I said in the Epilogue, I didn’t set out to prove another assassination theory. I’ve read dozens over the years, some plausible, others totally far-fetched.   What I intended to do was present a true-to-life personality, Robert Kaye, as someone who may have conspired with Oswald and others in their plot to kill the President.  I fervently believe he was, indeed, part of the plot, based upon my Uncle’s telling, and how Kaye’s name, after nearly 50 years, was finally exposed in the official Kennedy assassination files kept by the National Archives.  Despite the fact that after his arrest the FBI disregarded all that Kaye told them, labeling him a crackpot, I will forever remain convinced he was deliberately cast aside (and possibly eliminated) as part of  the cover-up and rush to judgement. No one will ever explain the binoculars found in Oswald’s room and linked to Kaye, nor why my Uncle was detained and harassed for months by the FBI unless his connection to Kaye was not significant.  In any case, 50 years have passed and the mystery remains.  Two-hundred years from now our country may still not know the truth.


I really appreciate R.K. taking the time to respond to my questions! THANKS! ;-)


Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thunderbird Conspiracy - Virtual Book Tour - Book Review


Thunderbird Conspiracy
Virtual Book Tour
Author Review


It is a great pleasure to occupy early slots of this Virtual Book Tour begun by Teddy Rose of "So Many Precious Books, So Little Time," on Friday. Today, you get to see my review. Tomorrow, I get to share my interview with R.K. Price with you. Don't miss it! I really enjoyed his answers to my 'off-the-wall' questions, asked long before I read the book. Thanks for stopping by! ;-)


Book Description:

Publisher: Quiet Owl Books (June 29, 2012)
Category/Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 978-0615658353
Tour Date: October 21/November, 2013

Available in: Print & ebook, 338 Pages

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death!

The Thunderbird Conspiracy is the remarkable tale of Robert Kaye, a Hungarian freedom fighter who claimed he knew and collaborated with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. R. K. Price’s second novel is also a tale of a Nebraska farm boy who was a great admirer of President Kennedy and a true patriot who desperately wanted to believe his government’s hurried conclusion that Oswald had no accomplice. Yet his own harrowing experience at the hands of his government created profound doubt in his mind, and it haunted him to his death.

These two men, one willfully acting, the other a true victim, became entangled in the most notorious crime of the 20th century. This saga of intrigue and murder was revealed to the author on a wintry Colorado day about three weeks before the farm boy’s ravaged heart gave out.

That man was R. K. Price’s uncle. His name was Bud Carlson. Price stashed away Bud’s account of Robert Kaye, letting it lay dormant for nearly forty years until he could corroborate his uncle’s story with the release of previously secret FBI files from the National Archives.

Now nearing the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination Price has brought Robert Kaye and Bud Carlson back to life. Their incredible story will leave you questioning just how and why JFK was taken from America far too early.


Let's learn a little more about R.K. Price:

R.K. Price is a Colorado native. He lived in Pueblo for a number of years, earning his way through college as a radio/television and newspaper reporter. He moved north to Denver in the mid 70s, joining a major advertising/public relations firm as a writer, producer and press agent. Later, he formed his own media relations and political consulting firm. He spent the early 1980s in Washington D.C. actively involved in national politics, and returned to Denver in the mid 80s to become an investment and mortgage banker — a profession he remains in today. He now lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife Janet and daughter Sara in Alexandria, Va.

R.K. Price Website: http://rkprice.com/
R.K. Price Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rkpriceauthor
R.K. Price Twitter: https://twitter.com/RK_Price

My review:

"I was surprised, and perhaps a bit shocked, by the extended detail of the background of Robert Kaye in this book. However, it is probably that detail that makes the story so compelling and makes you want to keep reading to see what can possibly come next."

These were the first words that I wrote for this review, perhaps 20% through my read of this truly outstanding book. I was put off by the extreme amount of "dreams scenes" to set up Robert Kaye's mental state. Thankfully, I kept reading beyond about the 30% mark where I really wanted to put it away, and give it up - but, I had a review to write. Thank goodness!

When Robert finally arrived to work for Bud in Denver, and they started to talk politics, I felt a reprieve and from that point on, I could hardly put it down, in spite of some family obligations that had to be met.

This was a very plausible story, and I think you would enjoy reading it. I'm a student of presidential politics, having read dozens of presidential biographies and related material. In my youth, I was a personal staffer to a small state governor touted as a presidential candidate - thankfully, he never chose to run. But, my fixation on everything Presidential was born. I did not vote for Kennedy, but served him faithful as an Air Force Lt. during the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his assasination. I'll admit to a continuing fascination with "the Oswald story."

I did not read the epilogue until the end. I'm glad I didn't. I really needed to read the full story to appreciate the information the author provided there. He did a really fine job of filling in the gaps in the documents he had discovered, creating complimenting characters, and creating a plausible story. As he said, none of us will never know "the truth," as is so often the case in historical events. Thank you, R.K., for sharing this story!

I hardily recommend this book to your reading pleasure.

* * * * *

I was provided a pdf of the manuscript for an honest review. However, it did not read well on my several readers, so I bought the Kindle edition, and am glad I did. What fun!  ;-)


Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The best way to thank an author...


The best way to thank an author
is to write a review


Thanks to Lisa J. Lickel at Author Culture blog for 1) the image above, and 2) the following great list

of people can do to support a writer they like:



Which reminds me, of course, my "Christmas at the Homeplace" novel will be released on Friday, October 25, 2013. If you would like to review it, please drop me a note: billsmith2003 at gmail.com
[I'll be happy to provide a PDF in exchange for the review - it need not be long, a couple of lines, a couple of paragraphs - your personal thoughts!]
THANKS! ;-)


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tinseltown Riff - Book Review


Book Review
Tinseltown Riff
by Shelly Frome

I am pleased to be the second stop on this Virtual Author Book Tour - Thanks for stopping by! ;-)


Publisher: Sunbury Press (March 2013)

Category: Hollywood Crime Caper, Action/Adventure, Thriller
ISBN-13: 978-1620062050
Available in: Print and ebook, 239 Pages

About the Book:

Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something Hollywood screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.



About Shelly Frome:

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of mysteries, books on theater and film, and articles on the performing arts appearing in a number of periodicals in the U.S. and the U.K. He is also a film critic and a contributor to writers’ blogs.

His fiction includes Lilac Moon, Sun Dance for Andy Horn, the trans-Atlantic cozy The Twinning Murders and Twilight of the Drifter, a southern gothic crime-and-blues odyssey. Among his works of non-fiction are the acclaimed The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Tinseltown Riff, his latest novel, is both a social commentary and a Hollywood crime caper.

Shelly Frome’s Website: www.shellyfrome.com

Shelly Frome Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shellyfrome

Shelly Frome Twitter: https://twitter.com/shellyFrome


My comments: Tinseltown Riff is a special read. I really enjoy a book that reads like I am watching a movie. I appreciate the multiple, distinctive characters that I learn to love, hate, or simply wonder about. This is the first Shelly Frome novel for me, so it was a special treat. He has a very unique writing style that I assume most readers will enjoy.

I wanted to read this book to get a sense of behind the scenes Hollywood, and I was not disappointed. His attention to the detail of the environment and the physical world of the characters really brings it alive and puts the reader right into this world with the characters. What fun!

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter




It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Ancestors of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter by Jeff Carter


This post is the sixty-ninth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

This is an Advanced Readers Copy I received from LibraryThing… I really wanted to see 'family history' book of a famous family. I had read several of Jimmy Carter books, but not the details of his genealogy/family history.

Click to go to Amazon, to learn more about the book

From the Back Cover of the book:

During his presidency, Jimmy Carter received a comprehensive analysis of his family's genealogy, dating back 12 generations, from leaders of the Mormon Church. More recently Carter's son Jeff took over the family history, determined to discover all that he could about his ancestors. This resulting volume traces back to the original immigrants to America and chronicles their origins, occupations, and life dates. Among his forebears Carter found cabinet makers, farmers, preachers, illegitimate children, slave owners, indentured servants, a former Hessian soldier who fought against Napoleon, and even a spy for General George Washington at Valley Forge. With never-before-published historic photographs and a foreword by President Jimmy Carter, this is the definitive saga of a remarkable American family.

The son of President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, Jeff Carter is a researcher for the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.


Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Then Everything Changed



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan
by Jeff Greenfield

This post is the sixty-eighth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


I chose this book to read because I will be getting an Advanced Reader copy of Jeff Greenfield's "If Kennedy Lived" (due out in October) from LibraryThing. Thought it would be interesting to read this first.



From Amazon.com Editorial Reviews - From Booklist (extracted 7 Sep 2013):

Greenfield, chief political correspondent for CBS News, is also a successful novelist. Here, he tries something different: alternate history, delivering takes on three different moments in the not-so-distant American past. Not many people remember that in December 1960, President-elect Kennedy was almost assassinated. What if Richard Pavlick had gotten to Kennedy three years before Lee Harvey Oswald? Conversely, what if Robert Kennedy had not gone through the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel where Sirhan Sirhan lay in wait? And, in 1976, had Gerald Ford not made a mistake in his debate with Jimmy Carter, that election might have gone a different way. Inevitably, speculation plays a role in Greenfield's accounts, but he bolsters possible scenarios with ancedotes, quotes, and oral histories, all of which are sourced at the end of the book. This reliance on sources is why Greenfield prefers that his work be called nonfiction, though some may disagree. Perhaps readers who remember the actual events and casts of players will be the book's best audience, but any history buff will appreciate these fascinating reinterpertations.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sharing published Short Story - Echoes of the Ozarks, Vol VIII


Echoes of the Ozarks
published short story



Happy to have received today, the hard copy of Volume VIII, Echoes of the Ozarks, an anthology of short stories by writers of the Ozarks Writers League (OWL), in which one of my Founding short stories appears. Always nice to actually see it in print with those of other admired authors.

The story, "First plantings," has appeared here in slightly edited form (especially the lead paragraph) earlier this year. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Bill  ;-)

Cross posted on The Homeplace Series blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? It's Classified


It's Monday, What are You Reading?
It's Classified by Nicolle Wallace


This post is the sixty-seventh entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


The second novel by Nicolle Wallace. I read the first, Eighteen Acres, a week ago.

From Amazon.com Reviews section, extracted 25 Aug 2013:

The latest “must for political junkies and fans of political fiction”* from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Wallace.
The four most powerful women in Washington are at the top of their political game. . . . What could possibly go wrong?
Charlotte Kramer, America’s first female president, is beginning her second term and is determined to make her mark on history though events do seem to be conspiring against her. Melanie Kingston, her best friend, just signed on as secretary of defense. Will their relationship survive? Dale Smith is the senior communications advisor to the vice president and knows a secret that could not only ruin her own career, but put the credibility of the White House on the line. Tara Meyers is the most popular vice president in recent history, but does her public image match her private life?
When a classified terror threat is made public, all the weaknesses of this presidency are laid bare—and with the country’s safety at stake, someone in the White House isn’t taking any chances.
From the bestselling author of Eighteen Acres comes a novel with a true insider’s look at the lives of Washington’s political elite. It’s Classified reveals the intrigue and drama that go on behind the closed doors of the White House and opens up a world few have access to.

About the Author
Nicolle Wallace is a political strategist and former political analyst for CBS Evening News whose recent posts include White House Communications Director under George W. Bush and campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Wallace lives in New York City and Connecticut.




Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Eighteen Acres



It's Monday, What are You Reading? 
Eighteen Acres
by Nicolle Wallace

This post is the sixty-sixth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]




Noticed mention of this novel (and the second one in the series) in an article about Hillary Clinton in the Washington Post. Surprised I hadn't seen it before. Got it on the Kindle. Pretty sure I'll enjoy it!

From Amazon Editorial Reviews section, extracted 11 Aug 2013:

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
:
Melanie Kingston, White House chief of staff to the nation’s forty-fifth president, Charlotte Kramer, has spent 15 years in the 18 acres that constitute the White House complex. As her boss and dear friend President Kramer considers running for a second term, the two are confronted with political and personal turmoil that threatens their collective and individual careers. Melanie has no social life to speak of as she navigates the politics within and outside the White House. Charlotte’s marriage is falling apart, her husband is having an affair, and her closest adviser and friend makes a judgment that threatens national security and tests the bonds of friendship. Dale Smith, a reporter in love with the president’s husband, fights her conscience and professional ethics as she struggles to climb to the top of television news reporting. Wallace draws on 13 years experience as a political commentator and news reporter, many of those years spent working in the White House, to deliver a portrait of three women caught in the whirlwind of Washington politics. --Vanessa Bush

About the Author
Nicolle Wallace is a political strategist and former political analyst for CBS Evening News whose recent posts include White House Communications Director under George W. Bush and campaign advisor for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Wallace lives in New York City and Connecticut.





Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What difference does a name make?


What difference does a name make?



What difference does a name make?

Bob Greene, writing for CNN, posted this story that is very telling. Each of us as authors and prospective authors needs to fully understand the implications of what this story tells us.

Publishing is a very fickle busy - we all know that, I hope, but this really brings it home.

Each of us must decide, on our own, what it means to us.

What will you decide?

Happy reading... and writing!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Old Man River


It's Monday, What are You Reading?

Old Man River: The MIssissippi River in North American History
by Paul Schneider


This post is the sixty-fifth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

I received this Advanced Readers copy as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

From the Publisher, on Amazon:

In Old Man River, Paul Schneider tells the story of the river at the center of America’s rich history—the Mississippi. Some fifteen thousand years ago, the majestic river provided Paleolithic humans with the routes by which early man began to explore the continent’s interior. Since then, the river has been the site of historical significance, from the arrival of Spanish and French explorers in the 16th century to the Civil War. George Washington fought his first battle near the river, and Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman both came to President Lincoln’s attention after their spectacular victories on the lower Mississippi.
In the 19th century, home-grown folk heroes such as Daniel Boone and the half-alligator, half-horse, Mike Fink, were creatures of the river. Mark Twain and Herman Melville led their characters down its stream in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Confidence-Man. A conduit of real-life American prowess, the Mississippi is also a river of stories and myth.
Schneider traces the history of the Mississippi from its origins in the deep geologic past to the present. Though the busiest waterway on the planet today, the Mississippi remains a paradox—a devastated product of American ingenuity, and a magnificent natural wonder.





Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Revolutionary Summer

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Revolutionary Summer

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence 
by Joseph J. Ellis


This post is the sixty-fourth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


My middle daughter, Allison, got this one for me for my Birthday.
Joseph Ellis wrote 'Founding Brothers" in 2000 which was one the books that really got me started reading about the American Revolutionary period. I have since read, I will guess, 50-60 books, perhaps more, including biographies and other non-fiction works of the period.

From the Publisher, on Amazon:

A distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis.

The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country’s founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire, the British were dispatching the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic to crush the rebellion in the cradle. The Continental Congress and the Continental Army were forced to make decisions on the run, improvising as history congealed around them. In a brilliant and seamless narrative, Ellis meticulously examines the most influential figures in this propitious moment, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Britain’s Admiral Lord Richard and General William Howe. He weaves together the political and military experiences as two sides of a single story, and shows how events on one front influenced outcomes on the other.
Revolutionary Summer tells an old story in a new way, with a freshness at once colorful and compelling.




Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Martha Jefferson Randolph

Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello 
by Cynthia A. Kierner


This post is the sixty-third entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

My oldest daughter, Annette, got this one for me for my Birthday, today (back when we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries in Utah, a couple of weeks ago).

From the Publisher, on Amazon:

As the oldest and favorite daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836) was extremely well educated, traveled in the circles of presidents and aristocrats, and was known on two continents for her particular grace and sincerity. Yet, as mistress of a large household, she was not spared the tedium, frustration, and great sorrow that most women of her time faced. Though Patsy's name is familiar because of her famous father, Kierner is the first historian to place Patsy at the center of her own story, taking readers into the largely ignored private spaces of the founding era. Randolph's life story reveals the privileges and limits of celebrity and shows that women were able to venture beyond their domestic roles in surprising ways.
Following her mother's death, Patsy lived in Paris with her father and later served as hostess at the President's House and at Monticello. Her marriage to Thomas Mann Randolph, a member of Congress and governor of Virginia, was often troubled. She and her eleven children lived mostly at Monticello, greeting famous guests and debating issues ranging from a woman's place to slavery, religion, and democracy. And later, after her family's financial ruin, Patsy became a fixture in Washington society during Andrew Jackson's presidency. In this extraordinary biography, Kierner offers a unique look at American history from the perspective of this intelligent, tactfully assertive woman.




Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Mastering Genealogical Proof



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Mastering Genealogical Proof 
by Thomas W. Jones


This post is the sixty-second entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

My oldest daughter, Annette, was good enough to get me a copy for Father's Day, and got one for herself at the same time. I had written about the book earlier, and am looking forward to spending more time with it.

From the website for the book, at The National Genealogical Society:

"Mastering Genealogical Proof aims to help researchers, students and new family historians reconstruct relationships and lives of people they cannot see. It presents content in digestible chunks. Each chapter concludes with problems providing practice for proficiently applying the chapter's concepts. Those problems, like examples throughout the book, use real records, real research, and real issues. Answers are at the back along with a glossary of technical terms and and extensive resource list."

You can order your copy from the link, above.


[Cross-posted on Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories blog]

Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Presidents Club


It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Presidents Club

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity
by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy


This post is the sixty-first entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


My oldest daughter, Annette, was good enough to get this fun book for me, on my Kindle, for Father's Day.  I love good books about the American Presidency. This is well researched and well written. Very insightful!


Book Description from Amazon.com:

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.
Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.






Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Surrender the Wind


It's Monday, What are You Reading?

Surrender the Wind by Rita Gerlach


This post is the sixtieth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


This "inspirational historical romance novel" was on my Kindle when I was sort of 'in between' books. It started out in the Virginia backwoods near the end of the Revolutionary War… the first chapter caught my attention, and I was hooked…  ;-)


Book Description from Amazon.com:
Publication Date: August 1, 2009:

(Inspirational Historical Romance) A quick~match tale of unexpected love . . . A fuse that burned rapidly. A tale of love and betrayal in Georgian England.

When Juleah Braxton meets her best friend's American brother, he is nothing what she imagined he would be. He is battle scared from the Revolution, determined to restore his father's home in Virginia when he unexpectedly inherits his grandfather's estate in faraway England. Juleah's independent spirit and gentle soul wins Seth's heart and she becomes lady of the manor, enraging the man who sought her hand and schemed to make Ten Width his own.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Robert D Ray - An Iowa Treasure



It's Monday, What are You Reading?

 Robert D Ray - An Iowa Treasure


This post is the fifty-ninth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


Nancy got this book for me in advance of Father's Day. I worked for Governor Ray for four of his sixteen years as Governor of Iowa, back in the 1970, two on his personal staff. He did so much more in the State of Iowa after he left office, as well. Many of those days are recognized in the timeline included in this very neat book.


Book Description from Amazon.com:


Robert D. Ray An Iowa Treasure - A photographic journey of the life and travels of former Governor of Iowa Robert D. Ray. The book includes photos of him, and taken by him, as a public servant, humanitarian, community leader, conservationist, and world traveler. Proceeds go to assist the funding of the Keep Iowa Beautiful Organization.


Order direct from "Keep Iowa Beautiful" here: http://www.keepiowabeautiful.com/keep-iowa-beautiful/robert-d-ray-an-iowa-treasure

or at Amazon.com:




Happy Reading! ;-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Drift by Rachel Maddow




It's Monday, What are You Reading?

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power 
by Rachel Maddow


This post is the fifty-eighth entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


I read the Kindle edition of this book. Excellent read, but a bit unsettling. Looks of data we would like to ignore… which, of course, is a major part of the problem being discussed.


Book Description from Amazon.com:

Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse.
   Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.





Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Murder by the Homeplace - Book Blog Tour


Tuesday's Tip
"Murder at the Homeplace"
Book Blog Tour


This is the first Book Blog Tour for The Homeplace Series, a continuing Family Saga, another historical fiction book.

This week we feature the most recent addition to the series, Murder at the Homeplace, a novella by William Leverne Smith. It's place in the series, in timing, is shortly following Back to the Homeplace, in the fall of 1987.

A secondary character in Back to the Homeplace is discovered dead near Oak Creek in the opening sequence. The reporter, Penny Nixon, for the local paper, the Oak Springs Enterprise, gets on the story, but gets almost too close to the murderer…

"If you haven't read it, it is new to you!"  WLS


Available in print or kindle editions:




List of the tour stops - this week

May 15 - Wednesday

Julie Goucher
Angler's Rest
http://anglersrest.blogspot.com/

May 16 - Thursday

Brandee
Bookworm Brandiee
http://bookwormbrandee.blogspot.ca/

May 17 - Friday

Mindy Wall
Books, Books, and More Books
http://dream-reader-dreamer2229.blogspot.com/


May 18 - Saturday

WrapUp at The Homeplace Series blog
http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/


Happy Reading!  ;-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Echoes from the Cliffs



Echoes from the Cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park
Reminiscences from Max E. Robinson and Clay M. Robinson

 This post is the fifty-seventh entry for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

We picked up this little book at the Capital Reef Book Store a few years ago…
It was published in 2005 to be sold at the book store, it appears… no ISBN #, for example.

This little book is a collection of eights short stories about some of the early residents of the area in and around what is now Capitol Reef National Park.

These two brothers were born in the early 1920s to parents who lived in the area. The father was a mostly a teacher and school principal, and had a mail contract in the early years that allowed them to travel throughout the area and meet the residents, many of whom were relatives. They especially share interesting stories of ranches and towns that generally no longer in existence. Many early photos in sepia are very effective in enhancing the stories. The book is only 64 pages long but does a fine job doing what it set out to do.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Murder in the Ozarks


Murder in the Ozarks by Steve Weems


This post is the fifty-sixth entries for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]


This a book from my wife, Nancy's shelf… I think it was meant for me, as well… I certainly enjoyed the read, very much! ;-)


Book Description from Amazon (just out in Kindle, see below):

Sent to the Ozarks on a simple assignment, depressed and disillusioned accountant Andy Bosher is drawn into the danger and intrigue of the backwoods culture he finds. Far from his safe, but empty big-city life, the assignment is not what he first thinks it to be. When there is a murder, Andy stubbornly sets out to separate the layers of deception from the truth despite the peril.







Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Specialist


It's Monday, What are You Reading? The Specialist
 The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job by Charles and Phillip Sheppard

This post is the fifty-fifth entries for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

My comments: This book is/was really 'out-of-the-ordinary' reading for me. It is the 'conception' of Phillip W. Sheppard and written by his brother, Charles Peterson Sheppard. Phillip, of course, has twice been a contestant on the Reality Television Series, "Survivor," where he took on the persona of "The Specialist" with his Stealth R Us and other 'far our' terminologies. Reading the book is much like listening to Phillip talk on the TV show, including about his ancestors speaking to him and his interactions with nature. In the book, it is a colorful bird with blue tail feathers… It was a fascinating action adventure story with agents from many lands, drug cartels, many named weapons and weapon systems and, it would be rated R (by me) for violence and sexual content (but not language).

Book Description from Amazon:

After barely surviving thirty-nine days of hell in Costa Rica-the site of his first-ever botched assignment-the Specialist is just coming off a six-month hiatus when the beautiful Mimi Sabo contacts him. Desperate to find her kidnapped father and with just days to come up with millions in ransom, Mimi needs the Specialist's expertise, and quick. But there is only one problem: she is from Costa Rica-the last place the Specialist ever wants to be again.
The Specialist is prepared to decline the job until Mimi slaps a fat check on his desk. When he begins his investigation, he enlists the help of his friend and former Israeli secret service member and soon discovers that things are not as they appear. Swept up in a life-or-death mission, the Specialist heads to Costa Rica, where he must walk a path of corruption and betrayal, pitted against drug cartels, dirty cops, turncoat agents, and a terrorist bomber. But even the Specialist could never have predicted what happens next.
In this gripping thriller, one man must return to the place that has given him so much trouble and face his demons in order to solve a case for a beautiful client.



Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review: The Happiness Handbook


Book Review: The Happiness Handbook



This book was reviewed as part of a Virtual Author Book Tours.com book blog tour.

It was a really fun read.


Description of The Happiness Handbook by Jenn Flaa:


Publisher: Bush Street Press (May, 2012)
Category: Self Help, Non-Fiction, Self Discovery, Happiness
Tour Dates: Mid April, 2013
Available in: Print and ebook 158 pages

#1 on Amazon Hot New Releases!

We arrive on this planet naked and without operating instructions. We live our lives and learn from trial and error (lots of errors) what works, what doesn't work, what makes us happy and what pisses us off.

Each new person that comes into our lives gets no user's manual and has to figure us out the hard way.  But what if we changed the rules?  What if we wrote our own user's manual, The Happiness Handbook, about what makes us tick and gave it to the people we love most?

Imagine how that would change our interactions and our lives. People would begin to do what makes us happy and ... we would be happy!  If someone received our Happiness Handbook and chose not to follow it, well then, we could choose not to hang out with them more quickly.
The Happiness Handbook is about empowering the reader to discover their own unique ways of being that lead to unlocking their full potential and becomes their guide for leading the extraordinary life they were born to fulfill.

The Happiness Handbook is written in a warm, friendly and informal tone; as if a girl friend were guiding the reader through their process of self discovery. Peppered with humbling, humorous anecdotes and stories; the reader has a practical, seasoned guide and partner in crime as they work the exercises and use the tools to move from unhappy to happy!

My comments: As a seventy-three year old male curmudgeon happily married for nearly fifty-four years, I might not seem to be part of the target market for this handbook. However, I must share with you that I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend it to readers of any age and either gender. It is humorous, entertaining, and, in my long experience - it is spot-on in terms of recommendations for finding and maintaining happiness in ones own life.

I especially enjoyed Jenn's new terms of happiness to help each of us achieve happiness for ourselves, and therefore, most likely, for those around us. Some of her exercises may seem silly, but each will certainly work for someone - perhaps where nothing else has. She is also very clear to only pay attention to what applies to each person at particular times. Just be sure to do that. Some of the silly things may be exactly what you need!

You also will want to pass this handbook on to a friend - or more than one! ;-)

Meet the Author, Jenn Flaa:


Serial entrepreneur with deep roots in technology and a passion for music. Jenn merges creativity and tech with fun and energy.

After starting her career as an engineer at NASA and a stint in Silicon Valley as a Quality Assurance Manager, Jenn started her first of four companies.  Vettanna provides high tech resources and communications training on-camera.

Not content to use one side of her brain, Jenn is also the rock vocalist and song writer for the band Urban Fiction, the author of The Happiness Handbook and the Better Boyfriend blog.

Be sure to check out her website, as well: http://www.happiness-handbook.com/




Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? Happiness Handbook and Days on the Road



It's Monday, What are You Reading?
Happiness Handbook and Days on the Road

This post is the fifty-third and fourth entries for this meme suggested by Sheila@ One Persons Journey Through A World of Books. [Entries 22-25 in the series were posted at  the Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories]

Happiness Handbook by Jenn Flea was a book I read last week for the Virtual Author Blog Tour and my review is posted for this coming Friday

Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865 - The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon, Foreward by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien

This is a book from 2003 that I have enjoyed very much… especially the first few pages that specified day by day, place by place, their travel from northeastern Missouri, across southern Iowa (following what is now US 34), earlier the Mormon Trail, to south of Council Bluffs. There, they ferried across to begin their trek west.

A couple of things are very unique about this story. First, the 24-year-old Sarah is a very good writer. She is traveling with her mother and two brothers, along with many others - and she most often rides her pony, Dick, which gives her a great amount of freedom. They keep switching trains, and this makes for an interesting story in itself. Also, they choose to go to the Montana gold fields (where my great-grandfather happened to also be!!) rather than go to California or Oregon as many of their fellow travelers chose to do. It is a fascinating story. No editing needed! 





Happy Reading!

Dr. Bill  ;-)