DON’T FENCE ME IN

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

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  17. Day 14: Snow Leopard, Dublin Zoo | Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition | Dublin + 1 picture = 365 days!
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DAVIS WAY IS BACK — DOUBLE DIP, BY GRETCHEN ARCHER

Double Dip is the second mystery starring the intrepid Davis Way, written by intrepid author, Gretchen Archer. Even better than Double Whammy, it’s fast, funny, witty and complex.

double dip in bookcase

Something is rotten at the Bellissimo casino where Davis Way works high level security. Employees are double dipping all over the place, including at the slot machines. It’s slot tournament season. How better to catch a cheater at slots that be part of the action? Davis Way’s has never seen, much less played in a slot-tournament, but duty calls … this time as a competitor in the tournament. Good news? She gets to wear really great clothing and stay in the finest accommodations Bellissimo has to offer.

Bad news? She working day and night until further notice. Her personal life is going down the tubes. Even on the job, she’s in the deep end of the pool … and swimming isn’t her best sport.

Of course nothing is what it appears to be. Nothing is simple or straightforward. Work is driving her crazy. Her personal life is running off the rails and working all the time is not helping.

The boss’s wife’s personal assistant is missing after bullets are fired. A mousey elderly church lady appears to be the key to a suspicious series of slot machine wins. Meanwhile, after Davis faints dead away in the arms of Bellissimo’s hugely popular emcee, he seems to be gaga over her — not exactly what Davis needs while trying to track down where that slot-playing church lady came from — and what her real motives are.  And what does the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church have to do with all of this? Everything is linked to everything else and it’s going to take all Davis’s sleuthing skills to untangle this Gordian knot.

dbl dip cover

Where’s Bradley Cole during all of this? Working late with Mary Ha-Ha, that’s where. The class action suit on Bradley is working is as suspicious as the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church … and maybe connected. What’s worse? Davis is pretty sure her persistent upset stomach is not the flu. If only their respective jobs left them some time to talk. If only her sleaze-bag ex-ex Eddie Crawford, would stop showing up where he is so unwanted!

acknowledgement

Complicated? It is indeed. Yet the author carries it off with aplomb, style and humor.

Plots within plots, entwined with subplots and back stories. Ms. Archer juggles all the complexities while keeping track of at least a dozen characters, then ties all those dangling threads into a beautiful bow. Nothing is left hanging by accident. At the end of the book, all that remains are tidbits designed to lure you into the next adventure.

All my favorite books make me laugh. There’s nothing I value more in an author than a good sense of humor and a sharp wit. Gretchen Archer has these in abundance. I admit I got more involved in this book than usual and had a small part in an early edit of the text … which changed enormously afterwards. I’m delighted to have taken part in the project and grateful to Gretchen for giving me more credit than I deserve.

Read Double Whammy and then read Double Dip. You will absolutely be glad you did.

GALAHAD AND HIS MUM

I always wondered about Galahad, why he showed up in some tales but not others and why sometimes Lancelot was called Galahad. Here are the answers!

Cei

The grail hero was originally Peredur/Perceval.  He is present in the oldest extant “Arthurian” stories and is the most common grail hero in Arthurian literature.  He also seems to have the older elements associated with him; the relationship to the Welsh Peredur and the grafting of the story from Phillip of Flanders’ life.

However, as the Arthurian corpus began to grow and develop, there were two problems with the continued use of Perceval in the grail story.  For one, he was associated with an established tale involving a buffoon who persevered and gained wisdom through his own efforts.  Such literature was simple and had roots deep in the legends of Europe, but did not appeal to the higher echelons of society that were reading grail stories.

The second problem was even greater than the first, that Perceval was not Lancelot.  Lancelot grew in popularity from the moment he came off…

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SNOWING, SNOWING AND SNOWING

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In memory of all the storms that almost were … It’s winter in New England and no plan is guaranteed. Snow will have its way with us.

SELFIES – WHEN THE MAGIC DOESN’T QUITE WORK

Everyone posts their best pictures, the lucky shots, the shots we got exactly right. But what about all those shots that don’t come out quite the way we hoped?

Selfies, or any self-portrait, is by definition more difficult to do than you think, especially when you try to take it using a real portrait lens in a mirror. The smaller field of view of the longer lens means it can be difficult to actually get your face in the picture. Decapitation is common, partial decapitation frequent. Bad exposure, unfortunate facial expressions. It’s fun to try. It’s even fun to look at the failures, of which there are far more than the successes. So here are a few of the ones that didn’t quite work out as hoped.