Author Archives: Jen Talty
I think I’ll start this off backward. Bob is taking care of The Future Leader of the Resistance prepare for the coming of another Future Leader of the Resistance. I’m sure this will consists of lots of trucks and other manly things.
Now lets jump to the first part: The Battle of Palo Alto. I’m not the history buff that Bob is, but I am fascinated by history. I’ve learned a lot over the years working with Bob, probably more than I ever thought I wanted to know, and really, need a random fact, Bob is your guy.
The very first major battle in the Mexican-American War was The Battle of Palo Alto on May 8, 1846 in Brownsville, Texas. So, in honor of this battle we are giving away West Point to Mexico, the first book in the Duty, Honor, Country Trilogy for FREE. This is only available on Amazon.
Please feel free to leave an honest review on Amazon after downloading and reading the eBook. We appreciate the support. READERS RULE!
They swore oaths, both personal and professional. They were fighting for country, for a way of life and for family. Classmates carried more than rifles and sabers into battle. They had friendships, memories, children and wives. They had innocence lost, promises broken and glory found.
Duty, Honor, Country is history told both epic and personal so we can understand what happened, but more importantly feel the heart-wrenching clash of duty, honor, country and loyalty. And realize that sometimes, the people who changed history, weren’t recorded by it. In the vein of HBO’s Rome miniseries, two fictional characters, Rumble and Cord are standing at many of the major crossroads of our history.
Our story starts in 1840, in Benny Havens tavern, just outside post limits of the United States Military Academy. With William Tecumseh Sherman, Rumble, Cord, and Benny Havens’ daughter coming together in a crucible of honor and loyalty. And on post, in the West Point stables, where Ulysses S. Grant and a classmate are preparing to saddle the Hell-Beast, a horse with which Grant would eventually set an academy record, and both make fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives and history.
We follow these men forward to the eve of the Mexican War, tracing their steps at West Point and ranging to a plantation at Natchez on the Mississippi, Major Lee at Arlington, and Charleson, SC. We travel aboard the USS Somers and the US Navy mutiny that led to the founding of the Naval Academy at Annapolis.
We end with Grant and company in New Orleans, preparing to sale to Mexico and war, and Kit Carson and Fremont at Pilot Peak in Utah during his great expedition west.
Nothing But Good Times Ahead!
Please welcome Cool Gus Team Author Mark Chisnell to Write on the River.
Homeland – Season Finale
It’s been a couple of weeks since Season Four of Homeland finished, and I posted on Facebook at the time that I thought this Guardian review was generous.
I thought that final episode was botched together after they learned that they had got the money for Season 5… perhaps I should explain that a little more with some wild and completely unsubstantiated speculation.
So let’s imagine it’s early in the first US transmission, and the writing team are meeting to agree the trajectory of the final episodes of Season 4 which still have to be shot. The ratings aren’t going particularly well, and it looks like they won’t get the money for Season 5. So they say to hell with it, let’s finish it with a bang…
Let’s kill Saul off before he can get out of Pakistan. Then Quinn kills Haqqani with a pipe bomb attack, and goes down in a hail of bullets. Carrie watches him die helplessly, goes home to mourn him and her father both, but takes on the role of mother to her child after leaving the CIA.
Brilliant! Action packed to the finale, all tied up in a tragic-but-happy ending that makes complete sense with what’s gone before, with Carrie finally out of the self-destructive job. The End.
Then they start showing the episodes with the attack on the embassy, and suddenly there’s a huge surge in ratings. The cash tills ring and the studio execs demand more… suddenly the money is on the table for season five. Uh-oh, but everybody dies, or retires. Quick! Rewrite! Reshoot!
So they fudge the last episode and the final couple of minutes of the one before with completely new material. Saul doesn’t die. Quinn is persuaded by Carrie not to blow up Haqqani (really?), and lo and behold – deux ex machine grinding audibly in the background – it’s all ok, the US have it covered after all, Dar Adal is in the car with Haqqani!
Implausible. Unlikely. Improbable… and lots of other synonyms.
Then they have to shoot a new final episode, back in the US with none of the locations they have used for the rest of the season. So they come up with the ridiculous mechanic of the mother turning up.
“Good drama tends to let characterisation guide the plot, so to have such a significant figure turn up merely to help Carrie learn a couple of life lessons was very weak indeed,” said the Guardian.
I rest my case.
Please welcome guest blogger Colin Falconer to Write on the River!
THE BLACK WITCH OF MEXICO
(note this title is FREE to those who have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited)
I was in Mexico researching a book and a writer friend told me about the black witches. I decided to go looking for one. It was in the south, in a town called Catemoco, that I finally tracked one down.
He was a snappy dresser, even down there in the middle of nowhere; a silk guayabera shirt, chunky gold rings on every finger, one of them a skull with small rubies set into the eyes.
In a candle-lit room filled with statues of Santa Muerte, he got straight down to business.
‘Is this for business or for love?’ he asked me.
I decided to play along. ‘Love,’ I said.
‘Who is this woman? Do you want her back – or do you want her dead?’
That took me off balance. ‘I don’t want anyone to die,’ I told him.
‘Give me a photograph,’ he said, putting out his hand. ‘She will come back to you.’
He smiled as if he could read my mind.
“There exists good and evil in the world,’ he said. ‘There is the devil and there is God.’
He regarded him with his magician’s nasty eye. ‘I can call forth the maldad negra and cause great harm, even death.
‘Is that what you want? Is it? All I need is a name, and a piece of their clothing or even a photograph. I can take away your bad luck and give it to someone else.
‘Or I can make a woman love you. Is that your secret desire? Come, tell me. What is it you want? I can give you anything, anything. Todo que quieres.’
I walked out.
But the idea lingered; what would have happened if I had gone along with him?
And so The Black Witch of Mexico was born.
Would you sell your soul to have anything you wanted?
From the witch markets of Mexico City to the ancient valleys along the Guatemalan border, places still haunted by the statues and ruins of the Olmecs, a man is drawn deeper into a world he doesn’t understand. He soon comes to question everything he once believed.
Are witches just superstitious nonsense? Or is there such a thing as real evil in the world?
The Black Witch of Mexico is a chilling psychological thriller where nothing is quite what it seems.
Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.
Please welcome Cool Gus Team Member Deborah Coonts to Write on the River to talk about her latest release!
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This whole story started with a smoking gun.
You see, I’m not much of a foodie. And, I’m not much of a cook either. In fact, I have a love/hate relationship with food—I love it, but I hate it when my jeans don’t fit. And it doesn’t help that I’m more of a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives kind of gal rather than one who favors an exorbitantly-priced, twenty-item tasting menu that stills leaves you lusting after a Whataburger. So, when it comes to fancy food prep, I’m a bit clueless.
Which leads me back to the smoking gun thing.
I was eating dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants in Vegas, Due Forni, with two of my best buds, one of them a chef. As a first course, we ordered some of the homemade mozzarella and their famous bread (totally to die for). I ordered the smoked cheese and, through mouthfuls I expressed my pleasure and my wonder at how they imparted the smoky flavor. I’m originally from Texas and the whole smoked thing is a religion there—but it requires a huge smoker and tons of hickory and I didn’t see that sort of set up at Due Forni. So, I wondered out loud how someone might give fresh mozzarella a smoked flavor.
My bud, the chef, looked at me as if I’d been living under a rock and announced, “With a smoking gun, of course.”
But, of course! A smoking gun. Who knew?
That little tidbit stopped me mid-bite and totally derailed his dinner as I peppered him with questions.
I mean, there’s just something so prosaic about killing someone with a smoking gun, don’t you think?
So, off the story ran, as stories are wont to do. Before long I found myself mired hip-deep in the world of gourmet cookery. And I became interested in the conundrum of serving incredibly fresh food in a place that is as hospitable to the nurture of delicate plants and exotic fish as the surface of the moon. And that led to research into the pipeline for gourmet foodstuffs, the need for temperature control, for impeccable and consistent quality and lightning fast shipments. All of this is incredibly competitive, with the top-tier chefs locked in a fierce battle for the freshest, most unique items on the planet.
The perfect recipe for murder.
Or several, as the case may be… kitchens are dangerous places, you know.
And, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this sort of culinary chaos.
In LUCKY CATCH, Lucky has been promoted. She is now the Vice President of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Vegas’s primo Strip property, which really doesn’t change anything, it just sounds more important. She’s still charged with keeping the lid on guests, entertainers, chefs and staff who decide to turn up the heat while at the Babylon. Normally, this isn’t a problem, but with the dishy, world-renowned chef, Jean-Charles Bouclet in hot pursuit and the return of her former lover, Teddie, setting her emotions on sizzle, Lucky’s is a bit distracted.
And then, with Thanksgiving approaching, a young woman gets smoked in Jean-Charles’s food truck on the Babylon’s back lot and he becomes the prime suspect. Of course, he goes on the lam leaving Lucky to deal with his sister and his niece who stick to Lucky like a good roux, leaving her to wonder what game he is really playing. To make matters worse, Mona, Lucky’s mother, is up to her normal shenanigans, throwing fat in the fire just when Lucky seems to be taming it to a manageable flame.
Of course, all of this would be easy as pie for Lucky…except the Babylon is hosting a nationally-televised celebrity chef cooking competition and the prized white truffle, one of the main ingredients, goes missing. Not even the truffle pig that Miss P has ensconced in Bungalow 7 in the rarified air of the Kasbah, can find it.
Would someone really kill for a truffle?
As usual, in a bit of shameless product placement, I insert many of my favorite local restaurants in the book, which is one of my favorite things to do. And, of course, I had to sample them anew before doing so… quality control and all of that. Not to mention the tax-deductible thing.
I wonder if the resulting gym membership is deductible as well?
Anyway, please join Lucky on her wild ride through the kitchens of Vegas and find out whether Lucky can clear her chef before his goose is cooked, whether she decides it’s possible to love again without being parboiled in the process, and who her LUCKY CATCH might be.
And whether I might be shot for working a metaphor so hard it rolled over and died.
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Thanks for stopping by Deborah! Nothing but good times.