Author Archives: mikeysmuse

Lake City Way Ninja Girl

I love it when a new book grabs my cheeks and will not let me put it down until I have read it all the way through!

Such is the case with Lake City Way Ninja Girl by Cait Moore.

I have eclectic reading tastes and love to pick up random books by unfamiliar authors. I am seldom disappointed, and this was no exception.

Much like a roller coaster, but without the long, slow climb to the first hill, the reader is swept through Gaby’s metamorphosis from a 12-year-old rebellious student into a passionate crime fighter.

The narrative does not skip a beat and the heart pounding action flows seamlessly to the final chapters. There was a moment towards the last few chapters where I started to relax, lulled into a false sense of a happy ending, when – BAM! – the story takes a final, gut-wrenching twist that leaves a reader wondering what happened.

I am afraid to say more about the story itself for fear of ruining the many surprises sprinkled throughout. Suffice it to say, the dialog is realistic, the level of detail is perfect, and the plot is not that farfetched. It is contemporary and timely.

The book is a must read for young adults and I expect young ladies will get much inspiration from Gaby. I am sure my granddaughters will enjoy it when it is wrapped up under the Christmas Tree this year.

If you have never heard of Cait Moore – now is the time to pick up Lake City Way Ninja Girl and get to know her. I highly recommend the book without reservation.

-Mikeysmuse


Is Corona Virus Real?*

STAY AWAY

Up until I got the phone call from my youngest son, Daryll, all of the news was just that – political posturing, insults, fear-mongering – stuff that happens to someone else.

“Dad, Sandy was in a meeting this morning at the hospital and one of the patients on her unit tested positive for Covid 19.”

“What!?!? Is she OK? What are you going to do when she comes home? Where is she going to stay?”

“We don’t know anything yet.”

“Put her in the motorhome! Don’t let her touch the girls!”

“Dad! Calm down. We don’t know anything yet! Besides we just had a concrete extension added to the driveway and it’s got to cure four weeks before I can pull the motorhome out of storage and put it by the house!”

After a few hours stewing about it, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I tried to put “parent/grandparent” back in its cage.

Two days later I got another phone call, this one from my youngest daughter.

“Daddy, Lizzy has been sick for about a week and I finally took her to the doctor. It’s not strep or the flu and they’ve set her up for a Covid-19 test.”

“What!?!? Oh my God!”

“We have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at the hospital for the test.”

I’m not patient and waiting for answers is stressing me out!

The next day, Daryll sent a text to the family group – Sandy is sick and is scheduled for a Covid-19 test!

Then the final straw yesterday – Darcy was working on some paperwork for her mother and needed some information. It was just about dinner time and she dialed her mom’s home phone. There was no answer so she tried the mobile number.

I heard her say “What! I don’t know how this switched to the Fire Department! I was just trying to call my mother.”

Apparently, whoever answered told her he was there with her mom who had activated the emergency call function by “pulling the cord” in her apartment.

Her legs had given out and she collapsed coming out of her bathroom. She couldn’t make her legs work and rolled over to grab the cord by the nightstand.

The EMTs took her to the hospital and got her settled in a room. Darcy’s sister, who lives closer to her than we do, tried to get in the hospital but they turned her away.

Later in the evening Darcy’s sister got a call from the hospital that they had done a chest x-ray and detected Covid-19 damage and would be keeping her.

Today, at lunchtime, Darcy just talked on the phone with her mother, who seems to be in good spirits other than wanting out of the hospital.

Now we wait for the results of her Covid-19 test.

Lightning doesn’t have to strike me more than three times to get my attention!

I’m staying home until the coast is clear and hope everyone else does the same.

-Mikeysmuse

*Everything is real except the names – privacy and all that you know.


Indefensible by Thomas Banks

The story is amazing!

A fascinating book that might end up being the headlines of tomorrow – though I hope not.

I ended up almost reading from start-to-finish in one sitting. The story and writing style grabs your attention and keeps you invested in the story. The tension is very high with a few twists tossed in to keep you on your toes.

The premise is extremely realistic, the conversations and interactions indicate a high degree of technical knowledge, but the reader is not bored to death with explanations or sidebars explaining what was said. I can’t help but compare the author’s writing with Tom Clancy’s books after his first. Mr. Clancy chose to ‘educate’ the reader and show off his knowledge. Mr. Banks on the other hand, assumes the reader is intelligent and can look up any items they want to clarify. I enjoy Mr. Banks’ writing more.

Assuming that terrorists will continue to seek ways to strike fear into the infidels then this is a plausible and achievable way forward.

I particularly liked the pilot dialog and behaviors and stopped for a moment to review the author’s bio to verify he had flight experience.

I can’t say too much about the plot for fear of mentioning spoilers. Leave it to say Mr. Banks has created an amazing story that could cause you to get a few grey hairs or begin to look up next time you hear a whining sound above you.

-MikeysMuse


I Met Lisette Brodey in Squalor, New Mexico

Back in the early days of Twitter I stumbled on a book titled “Squalor, New Mexico.” I was curious since I had been raised in New Mexico and thought I knew all the towns in the state but had never heard of Squalor. Not the shy type, as long as there was a computer between me and the rest of the world, I reached out and had a chat with Lisette ( @LisetteBrodey ). She wouldn’t divulge many details but suggested I read it.

It didn’t seem to be my cup of tea but I had to find out where this town was!

Needless to say, I was captivated by the writing and story and finished the book over a weekend. I couldn’t put it down. I did discover where Squalor was located. I suggest if you don’t know, that you get the book and learn the secret location.

Not long after, I bought the Desert Series – Mystical High, Desert Star, and Drawn Apart. I was so impressed I ordered multiple sets of the series to give to my granddaughters for Christmas.

Enchanted with her stories and writing style, I picked up Crooked Moon and spent another long weekend reading it from cover to cover.

Hotel Obscure was next in my collection and it did not disappoint! The life stories captured in this book are incredible.

Lisette’s story telling ability captivates from the first page and holds your attention to the final credits. It’s sad when I reach the end wanting more.

Now I’ve got Molly Hacker is Too Picky and Love, Look Away for more drama!

If you haven’t tried Lisette Brodey then I urge you to not waste another minute! It doesn’t matter where you start (except in the Desert Series).

Recommended without qualification! Mikey Likes It!


Like a Thief in the Night

I was alarmed yesterday when I received an email regarding a login to my EA (Electronic Arts) account from the Czech Republic! First, I didn’t know I had an EA account and second, I was busy looking at Twitter – how could I be logging in!

I didn’t click on the link in the email thinking it might be a hacker trying to get my personal information but instead typed the address for EA directly in my browser. The site came up and I used my standard username and password and logged in with no problems.

So I did have an account! I was alarmed that my standard credentials worked and apparently were compromised. I nosed around and made sure there was no payment information attached, nothing had been purchased, or any other secret information was available to thieves. I proceeded to change my password to some nasty string I’ll never remember; added two-factor authentication to make it even harder to get in; then logged out remembering I had created the account four years ago for the PlayStation I bought for the grandkids.

Reflecting, I am embarrassed to admit I did use the same username and password for this site that I had used on other “unimportant” sites. I know better! I preach it all day every day – yet I am guilty of doing what I rail against. Luckily, no damage was done but it could have been much worse.

Which leads me to some words of caution – you may have an account with money or other financial value that you established and never bothered to setup access to it through the internet. In fact, the internet may not have existed when you did it!

Financial institutions have progressed, in spite of what ads would have you believe, and made your accounts available online. It’s all in the spirit of making it easier for you to control your accounts and transact business without leaving the comfort of your favorite recliner. Mainly, it’s to keep you out of the offices and making them hire tellers to help you.

Some of your accounts may be long term and you have no reason to ever look at them beyond your statements you get in the mail. You figure when you need the money in your old age that’s when you’ll figure out how to withdraw it.

In the meantime, the folks in the world of the dark web have gotten all your personal information. Through all the breaches that have occurred you can bet your secret life has been stored in a database, along with millions of others, and is available for less than a dollar.

These nefarious characters can take advantage of all the convenience institutions have created for their customers and create an online persona with access to your account. Answer a few questions, setup a username, and the vault opens. With all the information they brazenly call the help desk if they encounter issues with ‘forgotten’ passwords and usernames. It doesn’t take much to convince the phone reps that they are you!

Before you know it – the pile of cash you are counting on for your sunset years is gone – wired to some bank in the sunny Caribbean!

What I’m suggesting – if you have online access to your financial accounts make sure you login regularly and keep your username and password updated. Use hard stuff – write it down if you must – but make it difficult to figure out. If you haven’t setup online access but it’s available you should set it up before someone else does that for you!

This is not my normal style – well maybe it is – but I really felt a PSA was in order. I’m very close to this subject and just wanted to be a noisy gong in the desert.