Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
I really can’t think of anything as frightening as those strange creatures in the movie
unless it is a bear. I am at
home with horses, farm animals, and other large creatures, but bears have the
capability of generating their own special brand of terror. I was attacked by a
brown bear once, and have a picture around here somewhere of the bear’s eyes at
the moment our foreheads collided. I was lucky that our collision occurred at
the exact moment that the flash on the camera fired. The bear ran off, growling
and protesting. I am lucky that she didn’t carry a body part or two with her
when she left. Jurassic
The best stories occur when they spring full-grown from real experiences. Bear Essentials is short enough that you won’t kick your feet around too much while you’re reading it, but it will get your blood pumping. If will be free starting tomorrow on Kindle for your reading pleasure. Drop by Amazon and get your copy, and if you like it, write a review or drop me a note. I hope you enjoy reading it. You can get your copy here. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FCEAYUU
Posted by Joe Prentis at 10:05 AM
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I have always loved music, but there are few of us who can remember the tunes of a few years ago that seemed so important to us at the time. Here is a list of songs that were big on the charts for weeks on end, and then faded away along with the artists that recorded them. See how many of them you can remember without taking a peek at the answers. The answers are below.
3. The Night the Lights Went Out in
4. Afternoon Delight
6. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
7. The Hustle
8. The Purple People Eater
9. Teen Angel
1. The New Vaudeville Band
2. Tony Basil
3. Vicki Lawrence
4. Starland Vocal Band
5. Richard Harris
6. Bobby McFerrin
7. Van McCoy
8. Sheb Wooley
9. Mark Dinning
Posted by Joe Prentis at 7:19 PM
Monday, July 29, 2013
Many fantasy, time travel, and science fiction books are written for young children or teens, so it is delightful to find one that is aimed at an older group of readers. Ellen Wilson’s novel, ‘In the Shadow of Shakespeare,’ is better understood by someone having a detailed knowledge of
during the years in which Shakespeare lived. Most time travel stories require a
strong suspension of disbelief because the author doesn’t bother to give us an
explanation regarding the reason why the character can travel through time. Ellen
Wilson does a good job of laying the groundwork for this story. England
If this book has a flaw, I think it lies in the fact that some of it will pass over the head of readers who have no knowledge of Elizabethan England. There are few today who are aware of the controversy regarding the existence of a writer named Shakespeare unless they had English literature in college.
weaves this controversy into her story in a way that is compelling and
The characters are believable, the story is well plotted, and you feel as if you have been immersed in the culture of the day. If you like intellectual literature you will enjoy this book, but if you taste runs to Harry Potter or stories written for young children, you should probably select something else.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 4:55 PM
Sunday, June 16, 2013
A friend of mine is a rather well known thriller writer, but he still gets an occasional bad review. He also has a sense of humor. Here is a review he sent to me:
Well, what can I say . . .
Posted by Joe Prentis at 12:15 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2013
(1) Elevator music is too loud for you.
(2) You no longer lay face down on the bed when someone hurts your feelings.
(3) You can’t remember your dog’s name but you can remember your first grade teacher’s phone number.
(4) You still use the phrase, “You sound like a broken record.”
(5) You have won lady/man of the year twice.
(6) You reach for the clutch when you speed away from a traffic light.
(7) You have a collection of 8-track tapes in your closet.
(8) You start a lot of sentences with, “I remember when-”
(9) You pull out a dime when you approach a drink machine.
(10) You leave a quarter tip for the waitress.
(11) Your dancing shoes go all the way up to your ankles.
(12) You have an extra pair of glasses in each vehicle you own.
(13) You think modern music is the work of the devil.
(14) Your medicine cabinet contains medicine instead of grooming products.
(15) When your friends come down with any illness and you have already had it—twice.
(16) You think your doctor is a kid.
(17) You can’t tell a navy blue tie from a black one.
(18) You no longer say ‘excuse me’ when you belch.
(19) Everyone you meet ask if you are feeling alright.
(20) You can name all of the presidents since
(21) When you bend over you ask yourself if there is anything else you need to do before you straighten back up.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 9:06 AM
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I have just finished a new novel set in the Civil War era. The name of the book is Redemption, and it is a prequel to The Renegade series. This book came about in a rather strange way. When I put the eBook version on Kindle and sales began to take off, I started receiving emails from readers who had the same complaint. One reader stated the problem rather succinctly, and I usually listen to what readers have to say. This reader said: “After reading the other books in this series, I sensed that I am missing a lot of events in the lives of your characters. Have you thought about writing a prequel about what happened before Wolf Spencer starts?
Well, I had, so I followed his advice and wrote Redemption which covers some of the events concerning the war years. This was an easy book to write because I still had the notes that I made when I lived in
and visited all of the places I
mention in the book. This book was a labor of love, and I am not sure that I
can stop writing about the lives of the many characters in this series. I hope
you enjoy reading this just half as much as I enjoyed writing it. Here is a
synopsis of the book an a link where you can purchase it on Amazon. Washington
Posted by Joe Prentis at 5:10 PM
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Whoever decided that the beginning of the year should occur on the first day of January was wiser than most of us realize. The beginning of the year could just as easily have occurred on any calendar date, but someone decided that it should occur just after the beginning of the winter solstice. This is when the sun appears to have reached its lowest altitude in the sky at solar . The days are long and dark and we see little of the sun. Winter is just beginning, and for many of us, it is a time when we need a little moral boost from the dreary weather that lies ahead. There are many of us who start counting the days until the fishing season starts, or the golf course is open for use. But even though these events are weeks away, something magical happens. People, who know more about science than the rest of us, say that gamma rays from the sun are responsible for the transformation, but to me I still believe in the magic of my childhood. Tiny flowers began to appear beneath the snow, and onions and potatoes sprout in the pantry. You wouldn’t notice any of this if these small events happened months later, but at the beginning of the year it is magical. We look with wonder at the tiny flowers, and feel a sense of promise of what is to come. Today, I pulled the small golden bloom from a bitterweed, and I have it on my desk as I write this. I am probably the only person in the world who likes this small plant, but to me it holds the promise of what is to be in the coming year. The days are already growing longer, in small increatments, just as life has a way of slipping up on us. I look at this small bloom with its bittersweet smell, and know that there will be pain, sorrow, and grief as we inch toward spring, but there will be good things, too, things that are magical and wonderful. I look forward to these events with great anticipation as I wish each of you a Happy New Year . . .
Posted by Joe Prentis at 10:02 AM
Friday, December 21, 2012
Each year I get emails from people asking where they can find my short story, Merry Christmas Santa. Many of them say they want to read it again, and others tell me that they want to read it out loud to their grandchildren. Whatever the reason I am pleased, so here it is again. Click the link, then read, enjoy, and hold those you love close. After all, it is the Christmas Season.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 9:22 AM
Thursday, November 29, 2012
My first encounter with Nora Roberts’ novels was when I bought a bag of paperback books at a library book sale. The name of the book was Sacred Sins, and I mentioned it in a critical way on a writer’s forum. My remarks aroused the wrath of some writers who view her as a goddess in the Romance genre. I still hadn’t learned my lesson, so I threw in a few additional remarks about romance novels, and the ones who write them. Several of them replied with the kind of remarks I hadn’t heard since grammar school. They double-dog dared me to read some of Roberts other novels. I couldn’t turn down such a challenge, so I read the suggested books and went back to apologize. Some of them have not forgiven my unkind words, and occasionally make suggestions concerning what I should read next. As I read a few others, I came to realize that Nora Roberts knows her audience in an uncanny way, and this accounts for much of her success.
As every writer knows, or should know, writing consists of stringing words together into coherent sentences. It also involves giving your readers the kind of book they have grown to love. Some readers evidently have the barely suppressed urge to do what a woman did in Stephen King’s novel, Misery. In case you aren’t familiar with the book, the plot involves a psychotic woman who held a famous writer captive and forced him to change the plot of his novel to meet her expectations. Nora Robert’s will never be subjected to that kind of fate because she learned early in her career to give the fans what they want.
Roberts is also aware that there are other fans that are not interested in ordinary Romance novels. All of her books wisely involve love, and The Chesapeake Bay Saga is no exception. The four novels in this series trace the lives and loves of four men who were adopted by a college professor and his wife. Each of them is tormented by the traumatic events that hold them captive to their past. In all fairness, I must say that these books contain more graphic sex than I like in a book, but that is my opinion. These four novels are the kind of stories you will never forget. Sea Swept is the first book in the series. Once you read it, there is no turning back. You might as well order all four of them while you have the page in front of you. There is a link to the first book in the series below. Thanks for visiting and happy reading.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 6:40 PM
Saturday, November 17, 2012
If you are a fan of novels about American History, I hope you have already discovered Gore Vidal’s American Chronicle Series, which covers the history of the nation from the American Revolution to the post WWII era. It is almost impossible for me to pick a favorite among these books, even after reading each of them more than once over the years. When I read Lincoln for the first time, I was immediately captivated, not just from Vidal’s superb manner of telling the story, but by the historical accuracy. Vidal spent years going through every available manuscript in the national archives that pertained to the story he was telling. He once mentioned that the story of Lincoln was more history than fiction because every statement attributed to Lincoln was gleaned from documents that told of actual events and his reaction to these occurrences.
Many of us remember history as that dull subject in high school we suffered through while fighting those urges to nap. Vidal found a way to grab the reader’s attention from the first paragraph and keep them turning pages to the very end. Government and military figures are presented with vivid reality, warts and all, with each event having the ring of reality. If you are a history buff, Lincoln is a book you don’t want to miss. It is historical fiction at its very best. You can find the book on Amazon at the link below.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 9:54 AM
Monday, November 12, 2012
(1) The bad guys (Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruegar, Damien, etc.) wear high-topped black shoes.
(2) The victims accomplish little from running from the bad guy. He can always walk faster than they can run.
(3) Cell phones never work when you try to call 911. You can hear the dispatcher, but she can’t hear you.
(4) If a group is being hunted by the bad guy, the ugliest girl will always die first. With each attack, the other girls will lose another article of clothing.
(5) If someone gets word to the sheriff, he won’t believe that four members of the group are already dead in the woods. He will threaten to arrest them for disturbing the peace if they insist that it really happened.
(6) Any stranger who is accidentally in the area will refuse to help, and will tell them, “I have hunted in these woods all of my life and there has never been any danger here.”
(7) The car key never fits the ignition when one of the last survivors tries to escape.
(8) Guns are useless against the villain. Even if he is standing close, the one firing the gun always misses the target.
(9) A victim, any victim, has at least five gallons of blood, and he/she can lose half of it without falling down dead.
(10) “Look behind you,” shouted in a loud, frightened voice never gets any results.
(11) Leaving the cabin to search for your missing boyfriend/girlfriend is never a good idea.
(12) Going back to bed after each attack is not the best course of action.
(13) Hiding places are hard for you to find, but the killer can walk directly to them after scattering a few items of furniture around the cabin.
(14) Getting killed early in the movie isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you are going to die, it better to do so before you have to run for hours through the woods.
(15) Getting your best friend to go outside with you isn’t going to help. They can run faster than you can, so guess who is going to get caught.
I have scheduled a horror flick for tonight. If anyone wants to watch it with me, I will furnish the popcorn and drinks, but you must bring your own guns and knives. Oh, and another thing. You might want to bring a wooden stake or two in case they are needed.
Posted by Joe Prentis at 9:15 AM