Thursday, 22 September 2016

LARAMIE DAVIS: HIGH VALLEY MANHUNT by B.S.Dunn




High Valley Manhunt is the first book featuring B.S.Dunn's hero Laramie Davis.

Gunfighter Laramie Davis rides into the town of Rock Springs looking for a drink, a meal and a place to sleep. The hospitality he receives at the saloon soon puts him at ease with a free beer and a juicy steak in front of him. His moment of tranquility is interrupted by the local Deputy Sheriff who wants to buy Laramie's horse. This is someone who doesn't take 'no' as an answer for he is a member of the Coltrain family - and what a Coltrain wants so a Coltrain gets. As the deputy discovers when Laramie says his horse isn't for sale then stealing it isn't an option - and the confrontation ends with a shoot out that has Laramie on the run.

Chased by Jeb and Zeb Coltrain, the sheriff and judge and the deputy's brother Laramie finds himself involved with outlaws, Blackfoot indians and a mountain man. Alliances are formed and broken in a bloody manhunt that leads to a final showdown.

This is the first book that I have read by B.S.Dunn and was quite impressed by the strong characterisation and the way that the story played like a word/movie.

There are three more Laramie Davis available in this series - all available on Kindle or paperback

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

VICE RAID - 1959


It was a recollection of a film poster that I had seen in a cinema foyer. I think it may have been in the Odeon, North Finchley. That poster had a pink background and a swim suited Mamie Van Doren in black and white.

Back then this film carried an X Certificate (adults only) so I never got to see it - until yesterday. Curiosity led me to a copy on You Tube and I quite enjoyed the 70 minute movie.

The movie was written by Charles Ellis and directed Edward L. Cahn for Imperial.

The story evolves around Sergeant Whitey Brandon's (Richard Coogan) attempt to bring down the vice empire of Vince Malone (Brad Dexter). Malone, however. has a plan to get rid of his adversary by employing an out of town model Carol Hudson (Mamie Van Doren) to frame the detective. The plan works and Brandon gets kicked off the force.

Brandon isn't done as he sets up business in opposition to Malone - in the process tries to enlist the aid of Carol Hudson but she's not interested as her younger sister Louise (Carol Nugent) has arrived for a visit.

Events take an ugly turn when Malone's lieutenant rapes and beats up Louise - which leads to the alliance of Carol with the cops.

Though the cast were largely unknown - except for Brad Dexter who was about to become part of the cast of an iconic western 'The Magnificent Seven' - this was quite an enjoyable, though predictable, movie.

Mamie Van Doren, I discovered, made up one third of what was known as Hollywood's 'Three Ms' - Marilyn Monroe. Jayne Mansfield and Mamie. Yet they never appeared in a movie together though Mamie Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield did.

Today, Mamie Van Doren is 82.




Wednesday, 28 October 2015

SPECTACULAR TALES 2

Spectacular Tales 2 is a collection of sci-fi and fantasy tales that is published as part of the Indie Collaboration. Editors Chris Raven and Dani J Caile have collected together another anthology of short stories by rising and established stars of independent publishing.In this collection the reader discovers stories of intergalactic policemen, virtual soldiers, spirited princesses, lonesome spacemen and even megalomaniac dogs and a kleptomaniac goat.

The writers include Chris Raven, Regina Puckett, Dani J Caile, Kalyan Mattaparthi, Donny Swords, James Gordon, Peter John, C.S.Johnson and a contribution from Ray Foster (me).

Spectacular Tales 2 is available as in the Kindle format as well as paperback. Both are listed on Amazon.

Monday, 28 September 2015

HOT FOR CERTAINTIES by Robin Douglas-Home

Robin Douglas-Home, a leading socialite (or celebrity) of his time was the nephew of a former British Prime Minister. Amongst the women he was 'seen with' were Princess Margaretha of Sweden and Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister. In between he married the fashion model Sandra Paul.
Robin Douglas-Home was an accomplished jazz pianist and writer. He had written a biography of Frank Sinatra before he ventured into the fictional world of 'Hot For Certainties'.
This first novel centres around public schoolboy, David Melrose.
For the most part our hero is an observer to the world around him. With grandparents trapped in their own world and unaccepting that things have changed since the second world war. Public school life trapped in another kind of time warp that will eventually clash with the real world. The divorce of David's parents leaves him strangely cold as though the result was something that was inevitable. While his mother remains an interfering 'I know what's best for you' person David's father marries a younger free spirit who finds it natural to bare herself in his presence.
Eventually, David finds his own way as he embarks on his coming of age journey with a relationship with his grandparents maid, Jean, with whom he shares a passionate night. Looking forward to the next holiday and enlarging his relationship with Jean, David's well meaning mother sends him off on a holiday with his best friend aboard the family yacht. Here he meets the frigid (soon to be man-eating) Polly.
Because of this Jean gets engaged to another boy and dumps our hero. Then David meets Laura the sister of the school 'pin-up' and from there things come to a head through a series of misinterpretations. Observer now becomes challenger and David questions the world around him.

This novel holds the interest because there is the insight of the main character who can add a often humourous slant even in the gravest moments.

'Hot For Certainties' was first published in 1964 by Longman's and by Pan Books in 1966.

Robin Douglas-Home died at the age of 36 in 1968. He had suffered from clinical depression for years.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

RYKER FROST: Heavy Metal Cowboy

http://Rykerfrost.blogspot.com is the location of a new blog that will be the home of thoughts on video games and consoles. As stated in the intro most of the YouTubers like Ali-A and Ashlee Mariee are young and enthusiastic - but there are a growing band of  new 'kids' on the block who take a step back and look at what is on offer. So there will be no more articles relating to games and gaming on this blog.
Time for this blog to get back to basics for which it was intended. If you want to follow the games side the link is there

Saturday, 11 July 2015

BATTLE O F BRITAIN 75th Anniversary brings back memories

Where I live now I can stand outside and point through a 360 degree circle and name the locations of the Battle Of Britain airfields. North-west is Gravesend; north-east are Croydon, Kenley and Biggin Hill; to the west are Tangmere, Detling and Headcorn; south and east are Hawkinge, Lyminge and Manston. There are more but yesterday, 10th July was the marked anniversary of the start of the Battle Of Britain.


I sat in my armchair feeling a little lethargic, maybe it was just the heat. Then I heard a sound, faint at first but building - jet engines but not the usual sound made by a passing passenger plane. No, this was a sound that bought a familiar tightness to the gut and set the adrenalin racing. I had never moved so fast - I was out of the back door and almost leaping over the back fence - or was it falling over. Who cares - I was there in time to see a massive contrail blossoming out as nine jets screamed behind the bungalows opposite. Excited, I rushed back inside and dragged my wife outside. Well, the planes had gone and we thought that was that.


It wasn't for no sooner had she gone back inside than the planes came back in diamond formation. I don't know how long it lasted but I stood there mesmerised as I and a neighbour stood outside watching what almost seemed to be a private display by the Red Arrows. Overhead they streamed out with red, white and blue smoke - singly nine aircraft ripped the sky apart.


In doing so this display took me back to the twentieth anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. September 1960 I was with 173 Squadron Air Training Corps based at St. Mary Cray, Orpington, Kent. As such I was part of the Guard Of Honour at R.A.F Biggin Hill. Flights of Hawker Hunters, Gloster Javelins rubbed wings with classics like Spits and Hurricanes.
There I was crisp in uniform, belt whited with blanco; brass gleaming and boots polished to the point that I could see my (exaggeration) face in them. Lee Enfield .303 held at salute as the local dignitaries, Air Commodores and Air Marshalls filed past. But it was the guy at the back with the balding head, hair slicked back and wearing the familiar sports jacket and grey flannels who stumped by who stopped me from looking eyes front. My mouth went dry as one of my heroes went by but not before I saw a mischievous glint in his eye followed by a slight nod. This meeting with the fighter ace Douglas Bader was by no means the end of a magic day.


Later that day I flew for the first time. I was invited by the crew of a Lancaster bomber 'G George' for a quick flight which took us over Orpington. It was noisy and I never realised just how cramped it was. The experience was something else and when I got home my dad said that he had seen the Lancaster fly over the house. Unfortunately, he thought that I was telling a tale.


Twenty one years later I met up with G-George. The Lanc is now housed at the War Museum at the Memorial in Canberra, Australia. And, yes, I got into trouble because I climbed over the barrier to have a good look. After I explained why I had done it I was cautioned not to do it again.


I love the Red Arrows but I do relate more to the planes that flew in the war. Look to the sky and see a Hurricane or a Spitfire and they make me think of a time when the British, Poles, French, Czech, Australian, New Zealanders, Canadian, American (most of them volunteers because the States hadn't entered the war) to name some of the pilot nationalities fought an air war that brought an end to Hitler's plan to invade our island. Amongst these pilots were men like the South African Sailor Malan; Al Deere from Australia and Brits like 'Ginger' Lacey, Richard Hillary, Bob Stanford-Tuck and Douglas Bader
Although I wasn't around for the Battle Of Britain the pilots, the planes and the airfields were a part of my childhood.....just as the sight of Hunters and Javelins were a part of my schooldays (they used to fly over the playground every lunchtime when I was at Warren Road school) and my time with the Air Training Corps.

Friday, 3 July 2015

RED DEAD REDEMPTION: Going Wild For The Western

Still going strong on the games consoles Red Dead Redemption from creators Rockstar is holding its own.

With the recent announcement at E3 that the future of the Xbox One would include backward compatibility that would enable Xbox 360 games to be played on the new generation console - a new voting system has been put in place. Currently, and way out ahead of all other games, Red Dead Redemption is top of the leaderboard.

If gamers are voting this way....then this is a western that is far from dead.