As The Crow Flies

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I hardly know where to start gushing about this book!

I expected a typical run-of-the-mill romance. I got so, so much more than that.

Ms. Williams is a superb writer, a story-teller in the finest sense of the word. She understands the fine dance of engaging your reader, sucking them in, capturing their heart and their imagination, and does not let go until the final word.

One of the central characters is Bertha the Crow, shown on the front cover. She is unique, smart, generous and loyal. More than I can say about some people I know. Sam, Liz, Gwen, and Isabel are all so well written that I want to go and have dinner with them. They have such captivating and intelligent conversations – they discuss everything from art history, quantum physics, string theory, the multi-verse, even possession and auric attachments. Even though I already knew about multi-verse theories and auric cameras, I did learn a great deal about other topics, so rest assured, this is not romantic fluff!

The level of writing is top-notch. It’s not all seriousness either. Check out this passage,
“…Everything was fine in the straight world until, one day, while Ken was away on a business trip and Skipper was at camp, Midge came over for a swim and found Barbie by the pool. Midge made margaritas, Barbie put on music, one thing led to another – what can I say? – the whole Mattel household went to hell.”
You can’t help but laugh out loud!

The author’s skill at writing visually enchanting passages is at a level rarely seen. In fact, her words painted such vivid pictures that my heart broke more than once. (Read the book, you’ll see what I mean). There are books we read, others we are absorbed by – consumed by – but this novel drew me in until the world around me faded away and was replaced by one constructed of images painted by written words. I did not want to leave that world, and I was sorry to see the story end.
This is a rare and moving novel that will teach you, break your heart, and show you what true love is.

Get it. Read it. You won’t regret it.

It’s Raining On My Body

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The meteorological conditions (e.g., temperature, precipitation, and wind) at a crime scene can influence the nature and quality of all manner of evidence that is left behind. This includes the destruction or obliteration of evidence, as well as the effects of climate on body temperature and decomposition.

(The above quote is from ‘Criminal Profiling, An Introduction To Behavioural Analysis’)

And therein lies the first hurdle for my main character in ‘Body In The Bush’, Anais Quinn. A body has been found, but it’s been there for some time, and rain and wild animals have all affected it. Can she find out who it is? Facial recognition is going to have a hard time with this one…

Forensic Did You Know?

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Precautionary acts involving physical evidence are behaviors committed by an offender before, during, or after an offense that are consciously intended to confuse, hamper, or defeat investigative or forensic efforts for the purposes of concealing the identity of the perpetrator and/or his connection to the crime, or even the crime itself. They include disposal of the body, clipping victim’s fingernails or removing their teeth or fingers to prevent identification, cleaning up the blood at the scene, picking up shell casings—essentially anything that changes the visibility, location, or nature of the evidence.

And now you and I have both learned something new today!

 

(Fact above attributed to the textbook, ‘Criminal Profiling, Fourth Edition’)

Dark Matter That Won’t Let Go

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I’ve had this book for some time now but for some reason, never read it. I started it last night and finished it this afternoon.
Well, holy hell was this good!

Not just good. Mind-bendingly cranial. Awesome. Brilliant. Mind-blowing. All of these and more that I don’t even have the words for. This is the first speculative fiction novel that I had to put down for a minute every other chapter (or so) and stop and absorb what I’d just read. The basic concepts weren’t new to me, although the fish and pond analogy was new. Personally, I like the premise that each time we make a choice, a new world is created, a slightly different world. Who among us has not wondered, “What if I had done X instead of Y?”

This book is one man’s answer, and dilemma, and horror.
This book asks us what makes us unique? What makes us better than the next person in line, or more moral?
I love it when a story makes me think. This one will stay with me for a long time. Heck, it might never leave, just sit in the back of my mind poking me every now and then and say
‘hey, what if…?’
And that will be just fine with me.

One Giant Step For Womankind

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Two of NASA’s astronauts are scheduled to make history this month.

On March 29, Anne McClain and Christina Koch will leave the relative safety of the International Space Station for a spacewalk to upgrade the craft’s batteries. As well, two other women will play important roles behind the scenes for this spacewalk — Mary Lawrence and Jackie Kagey will serve as the spacewalk’s lead flight director and lead spacewalk flight controller, respectively.

A third woman, Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol, will support the spacewalk from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Not history making? I disagree. This is a giant step forward for all women in the sciences!

What do you think?

Solar Farts Are Dangerous!

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So here’s something I learned today from Popular Science…

“Our great big ball of gas and plasma continuously churns and showers the solar system with charged particles and radiation, collectively called solar wind. Solar wind is quite dangerous for human beings, and would likely cause gastrointestinal, neurological, and circulatory issues for us in addition to cancer with enough exposure. Thankfully, we’re all protected from such effects thanks to Earth’s magnetic field.”

I can imagine my boys saying something cheeky here about the Sun passing wind. Solar farts are dangerous, folks!

100 Billion Stars…Is Anyone Out There?

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There’s a really great article at National Geographic today about the probability of life on all those other planets in Earth’s so-called ‘habitable zone’. According to astrophysicist Sara Seager, there are more planets than there are stars, and at least a quarter are Earth-size planets in their star’s so-called habitable zone, where conditions are neither too hot nor too cold for life. With a minimum of 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, that means there are at least 25 billion places where life could conceivably take hold in our galaxy alone—and our galaxy is one among trillions.

An influx of private funding has reenergized the search for life elsewhere among the stars, so it’s conceivable that we may find life as early as the next generation of planet-hunting satellites, if not this one. There’s an informative and interesting info-graphic on planet hunters within the article that’s worth a look too. Research has broadened from merely listening for radio signals to searching for optical and infrared emissions as well.

The article I’ve linked above is meaty with infographics, new research and lots of spectacular photos. If you have any interest at all in life beyond our own, you’ll find the article of interest. Check it out, I’d love to know what you think!

Dragons Are Real, Look!

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I can’t be the only one who missed this news, right?

Early in February of this year (2019 in case you’re reading this in the future), NASA captured a stunning image of a dragon aurora over Iceland. NASA said, “The aurora was caused by a hole in the sun’s corona that expelled charged particles into a solar wind that followed a changing interplanetary magnetic field to Earth’s magnetosphere.”

The aurora is pretty cool, but even more remarkable than you’d think because it appeared during a time of low sunspot activity, according to NASA, which means the sun is not emitting as many charged particles as it normally does.

The writer in me wants to believe this is just another sign that dragons are real.