Saturday, May 25, 2013

What do "Claws of the Cat," "The Asphalt Warrior," and "Folsom's 93" Have in Common?

Not too much, actually.

Except I'm reading them at the same time. I plan to review all three, but I sure didn't get much reading done during my recent flurry of trips. In addition, my Kindle kept losing its charge way too soon and at times or places not convenient for plugging in.

For your information and anticipation, here's a little bit about these books and their authors.

The Asphalt Warrior and its sequels Ticket to Hollywood and The Heart of Darkness Club (both of which I'll be reading soon) feature Denver taxi driver Brendon Murphy. Murph has two rules to live by: (1) make no more money than it takes to live his minimalist lifestyle and (2) do not get involved in the lives of his passengers. You can imagine how that works out.

This series is the brainchild of author Gary Reilly and the novels are being published posthumously by Running Meter Press thanks to his writerly friends, including Mark Stevens, the current president of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. It's a good series and I'm very sad Gary did not live to see his fine work in print.

Claws of the Cat is California attorney Susan Spann's debut novel in her Shinobi series set in Japan in the mid 1500s. I first met Susan at the RMFW Colorado Gold Conference where she taught a master class on contracts and copyright. She even makes the hard stuff sound interesting.

The novel is now available for pre-order at online booksellers. I have the review copy on my Kindle, so you can imagine my annoyance when I'd sit down to read and find the e-reader deader than the victim who was murdered in a Kyoto teahouse. I'm nearing the end of the book, finally, and finding it very hard set aside so I can do my writerly, bloggerly chores.

Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men is the nonfiction book telling the stories of the men executed at Folsom Prison between 1897 and 1935. Meticulously researched by author April Moore after discovering a wealth of background material in a relative's attic, this book is not only a report of the men, their families, and their victims, but is also a fascinating lesson in the California policies, practices, and politics of the time.

This one is going to be a must read for California historians as well as authors and readers of crime fiction and nonfiction. Folsom's 93 is also available for pre-order at online booksellers. I've known April since 2004 when our critique group was first formed. She's now an active part of another writers' organization I love, Northern Colorado Writers.

What are you reading these days? Have you had any trouble with an e-reader that made you long for a print copy of the book you're reading?

And don't forget, if you leave a comment on either one of Tim Northburg's Writing Itch posts (Part One or Part Two) before midnight Mountain Time Friday, May 31st, you'll be eligible to win a copy of one of the Bacon Finnegan books.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you Kindle lost its charge so fast. So far I've not had my iPad crash early.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your Kindle, must be very annoying,


Patricia Stoltey said...

The Kindle is working fine now. Have no idea why it was giving me so much trouble while traveling. I must have had gremlins in my carryon bag.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Oh, I am sorry to hear about the Kindle. So annoying!!! It sounds as though you're reading some good books though. I'll be interested to see what you think of them.

j.a. kazimer said...

I can't wait for Susan's book. But all of them look great too. Damn, a few more for the TBR pile. Thanks Pat.

Julie Luek said...

Great to see a few Colorado authors highlighted and now I must add these books to my to-read-- they sound fantastic. (I love Murph's Tweets!)

Dean K Miller said...

Just finished Greg Campbell's "Road to Kosovo" and JA Kaziner's Dopesick: A love story. Both good reads. Just started up "Writing the Poetic Life"

Havent' had issues with the Nook, but enjoy iPad Kindle better. Still love the feel of a page between my fingers.

Have Folsom's 93 on pre-order.

MadelineAnn said...

Hi, I'm a fellow a-to-z blogger, and I'm calling in on all the 'book' blogs to let you know that my novel, Despite the Angels, is FREE today and tomorrow (26/27). It is on or by a search for its name on your kindle. please let everyone know, I'd love it to become visible on amazon!
Thanks, Madeline

Eric W. Trant said...

Turn off your Kindle's WIRELESS, or it will search-and-die in a matter of hours even when it is "off." I have the older Kindle (not the Fire, the older one), and it stays charged for about 15 hours of reading time, and just about indefinitely if I leave it in sleep mode. But I only turn on the wireless when I need to sync/download, and then I turn it right off again.

That Folsom book sounds interesting...

- Eric

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks for the tip, Eric. I do leave my wireless connection on sometimes, so that might explain it.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Fe said...

Hello Patricia

Great reviews, thanks and I'm on my way over to Tim Northburg's blog right after this...