Thursday, May 05, 2016

A Middle of the Night Music Post: Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck

Oh, yeah, definitely stuck in the Seventies. One of my favorites from that era, and like so many songs from back then, I can't hear it without thinking about driving around at night with various folks, many of them gone now but some, thankfully, still with us.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Coming Soon From Stark House: A Trio of Lions

(This trio of novels originally published by the legendary Lion Books will be out this summer, and it looks great. You can pre-order it from Amazon or directly from Stark House.)

HERO'S LUST Everyone in Crescent City knows that Mayor Gowan controls the town, most of all Red Norton. Red's an ace reporter, sure, but he's living in the mayor's side pocket. What the Mayor wants, he gets. And right now he wants Red to write up his new Medical Center. The Mayor needs a pitch, and finds it in tubercular Ann Porter, who is scheduled for an upcoming operation. Her story sells a lot of papers, and puts a face to the Mayor's pet project. Red didn't figure on falling in love with the kid, but now he's involved. And with the Mayor making some new demands, Red is about to find out just how rotten the town really is the hard way. 

THE MAN I KILLED When Lew Ross was young, he got into a fight and killed a man, then fled the scene. Haunted by this event throughout his life, he finds himself back in that same town again, at the same club where it all happened. Except that now the place is a nightclub. And this is where he meets Kitty, one of the hostesses, and her slick boss, Marty Evans, who has a proposition for Ross pick up a delivery from a local rival, and join his crew. Evans even loans him a gun for protection. Trouble is, the pick up is a set up, and Ross is the fall guy. Now he's in a squeeze play between a scheming D.A., an honest cop, and Evans' thugs. And then there's Kitty... 

HOUSE OF EVIL Nina Valjean needs a fix or she wouldn't have agreed to see Smith again. Smith is one of the sick ones, but sometimes a girl can't afford to be picky. Still, she's got a bad feeling about this time. The next day, Roman Laird lets himself into his out-of-town fiancée's apartment, and finds Valjean's nude, strangled body. Things haven't been good between he and Joyce for a while, but finding a body in her place is just crazy. Trying to protect her, Laird tracks the dead woman to a seedy bar called The Red Parrot, which is how he meets an exotic dancer named Cecille Merrill. But all this time, Smith is out there, watching him, ready to kill again.

A Middle of the Night Music Post: Angela - Bob James

This is, of course, the theme from TAXI, which Livia and I watched every week the first year we were married. But it's a fine song on its own, and I had the album it's from (on vinyl, of course) and played it quite a bit. Am I stuck in the Seventies on these nights when I can't sleep? Why, yes, maybe I am.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: The Last Witch Hunter

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. I like what I like. And I like Vin Diesel movies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that I didn’t find at least entertaining, and that’s the case with THE LAST WITCH HUNTER.

Diesel plays a medieval Viking who kills a witch queen and is cursed with immortal life for doing so. Fast forward to the present time and he’s still running around the world fighting supernatural evil, aided by an old priest played by Michael Caine, the latest in a long line of such priests who are part of a secret society founded to aid Diesel in his quest to battle evil.

Naturally, things go south. Seems there’s a plot afoot to resurrect the witch queen Diesel killed 800 years earlier. He finds himself fighting a dangerous conspiracy with only a new, young priest and a beautiful witch as allies. Lots of killing and special effects ensue. I sat there and had a fine time watching.

Two things about this movie struck me. It really plays like the pilot for a cable TV series. And when it was over, Livia and I both said, “Was The Rock out of town when this movie was made?” Diesel’s part really seems like one that Dwayne Johnson would have played. On the other hand, it’s a Universal Truth that any movie series can be improved by the addition of The Rock, so if they make THE LAST WITCH HUNTER 2, maybe he can show up then. On yet other hand, this one came and went so fast, I think there’s a good chance there won’t be a sequel. But you never know in the movie business.

A Middle of the Night Music Post: The Hill Where the Lord Hides - Chuck Mangione

Chuck Mangione is more famous for the song "Feels So Good", which I also like, but this is the first thing by him that I ever heard and it's probably my favorite. There are longer versions, but this is the one I used to hear on the radio back in the Seventies.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Now Available: Blaze! Badlands - Michael Newton

Husband-and-wife gunfighters J.D. and Kate Blaze never cared that much about politics, but after a shootout in Denver they find themselves riding the campaign train with President Ulysses S. Grant, protecting the nation’s leader and legendary general as he seeks re-election with a swing through the West. But danger is lurking in the mountains of Utah, and it’ll take a pair of fast guns to save the President from a deadly conspiracy! 

Award-winning Western author Michael Newton spins another action-packed yarn in BLAZE!: BADLANDS, the latest installment in today’s bestselling, all new Adult Western series!

A Middle of the Night Music Post: Gulf Coast Time - Roger Creager

I heard this song on the radio recently and really, really liked it. Roger Creager is from Corpus Christi, and I've spent enough time down in that area in the past eight or nine years that I understand what he means about "Gulf Coast time". And he mentions Copano Bay, which I've driven over on the causeway more times than I can count. Just a really nice song.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Now Available: Iceslinger - John Hegenberger

A deadly showdown on frozen Ganymede . . . an experiment in time travel that has unexpected results . . . the dead being brought back to life—to sell insurance . . . a legendary villain seeking to summon a strange visitor from another planet . . . 

These are only some of the ventures into the fantastic and bizarre to be found in ICESLINGER, the latest collection from acclaimed author John Hegenberger. These classic tales of science fiction and fantasy are filled with action, big ideas, humor, and drama. Step into the many worlds of John Hegenberger and prepare to be entertained!

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: 12 Adventure Stories, March 1939

Remember Ronald Flagg, Clint Douglas, and Paul Adams from yesterday's post? Well, they all turn up in this issue of another pulp published by Ace, along with half a dozen other house names. But at least this issue of 12 ADVENTURE STORIES has an action-packed Norman Saunders cover and a story by the prolific and dependable Norman A. Daniels. The author of the lead novel, Alexis Rossoff, appears to have been a real person, too, but I don't know anything about him.