Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Her Bones are in the Badlands - Action! Camera!


Roland Yeomans' novel is the latest I've read from my eTBR file (the virtual stack), and a good followup on the Sam McCord stories. It's about The Industry, aka the movie industry, in the early days of Hollywood. The Badlands are dry, barren, windblown rugged, and formerly the home of the Navajo and Lakota tribes.






 A movie on location in the Badlands will see it's usual expectations shelved when an evil that lurks unseen is called. . . the air is charged with apprehension, all the actors are spooked. Something isn't quite right, but the guy in charge, Durand / McCord, can't determine what. A body is found, attacked by something inhuman. Signs of an old enemy increase the stakes. The search begins. . .

What is hiding in the Badlands, in the places the tribes don't go, the places where strange shapes are seen and things disappear? Will McCord find it before IT finds them? Meilori makes a grand entrance with Tesla, and with a few henchmen, they prepare for the fight with the Darkness, an entity worse than the Soyoko.

A quote from McCord that is priceless: "When you are young in West Texas, everyone seems to want to stick you with a knife, from Apache to cowhand." (That would be the early 1800s if McCord was born in 1799.)

An excellent cast for the movie in the book: Tom Mix, Marlene Dietrich, David Niven, Errol Flynn, and others, is balanced by the cast from the world of Sam McCord: Meilori, Elu, Tesla, Wolfe and the Sheriff. Delighted to see his love, Meilori beside him and Elu's surprise appearance, McCord is ready to do what must be done - ever the Texas Ranger. The confrontation with the danger must be met by Sam alone. . . against the entity hiding in the cave. An entity with unknown capabilities.

This story looks at several issues in an industry that has grown from silent movies to fantastic effects in film. I couldn't help comparing it to the Fitzgerald story, The Last Tycoon. Why? Both take place on movie set locations, both involve a director keeping a secret from most of the cast and crew. While one is concerned with weird happenings and murders at the location, the Fitzgerald book is concerned with unions and their effect on the creativity of directors and the industry. Both stories are nostalgic for a time in films that seemed golden. Both directors act as father figures for others. I enjoyed both novels.

Check out the other books Roland has written at his site, Writing in the Crosshairs, and see what a fantastic selection is available. For reviews of some of Roland's other novels, check the Book Review tabs at the top of my blog. I've reviewed them on Amazon as well.

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Are you familiar with Roland's novels?  Have you read Her Bones are in the Badlands? or Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon? If you have read Roland's novels, do you have a favorite story? Who is your fave character?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for stopping by! I'll respond.

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Writing in the Crosshairs - Roland's Blog
http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.ca/

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64 comments:

  1. Hi, D.G.

    How does he do it? ANOTER BOOK? Does Roland ever sleep?

    This sound fantastic and I am big fan of Roland's writing. He was one of the first blogs I encountered and I instantly fell under his spell.

    My Favorite still is the first Victor book. I guess because I was one of the first to read it. I've known Roland a long time, four years now, and Victor and Alice are my friends too...

    ALL THE BEST ROLAND!

    Thanks for the write up, DG....

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    1. Did Alex loan any clones to him? Father Dragon has dwarves, so Roland must have his ghost 'ghost' writers. I think he writes while dreaming and Mark Twain types it all in. . .

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    2. The cancer surgeries have slowed me down some. I could use some of Alex's clones or Tesla's ingenuity!

      Four years! We have been friends a long time, haven't we Michael?

      Victor and Alice love you back!

      Wasn't D.G. great to do this?

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    3. Hi, Roland...

      Yes, we have! I wish I had that much time again to visit daily and really enjoy all your talent. But you know how life gets in the way... But I'll always remember how your writing took my breath away in my beginning years as a writer. And actually still does.

      Yes... D. G. is AWESOME...
      Waves to D. G....

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  2. Haven't read it yet, but it's on my iPad.

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    1. Hope my review moves it up a bit in the stack. . .

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    2. I hope Alex likes BONES when he reads it. :-)

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    1. Nor would I. He's given those 'ghost writers' a second life.

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    2. Usually Mark Twain and Hemingway like to write about themselves!

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  4. I've not read any of his books....but I think for this one, I would need some clarification as to the area this is set in. It's a geographical/historical detail I'd have a hard time overlooking while reading the story. The Navajo have a badlands area in New Mexico, the Lakota have a badlands area in South Dakota, but they are not near each other at all. The famous 'badlands' of the west would be the one in SD. The Navajo didn't get that far north.

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    1. Perhaps Roland can clarify that, JoJo. I think this story is referring to the New Mexico Badlands, because of it's proximity.

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    2. These particular Badlands are in South Dakota.

      In McCord's universe, he made the Lakota Nation Treaty stick, and so a chunk of South Dakota makes up the Great Sioux Nation and is separate from the U.S. The Badlands of S.D. exist in the U.S since the Lakota it consider it cursed.

      McCord was thinking of both Badland areas in his mind while brooding at the novel's start.

      Since he has roamed the American West since 1815, McCord has covered most of its different regions from Los Angeles when it was but a struggling little town to Galvaston, Texas.

      McCord's stories are an alternate history of the Old West and America.

      I hope you give this one a try. :-)

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    3. Thanks for the clarification! My curiosity is piqued on the story for sure.

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    4. I think you may enjoy it, for it has its roots in bits of real history from prohibition, to early film, to the very real inventions of Nikola Tesla.

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  5. Great for Roland. I love the title and blurb for this book. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. It hooked my interest because of the film set, and McCord..

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    2. I hope you enjoy it, Mary, should you decide to give it a try. Didn't D.G. write a great blurb for this book?

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  6. I've always been curious about the early days of Hollywood and this sounds like an interesting spin on things!

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    1. Stephanie, you learn fascinating facts and tidbits of character about John Ford, Tom Mix, Harry Carey, David Niven & Errol Flynn (friends and roommates in real life), Iron Eyes Cody, Marlene Dietrich, and Nikola Tesla.

      I hope you give it a chance -- only 99 cents. A real steal Mark Twain says! :-)

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    2. D.G. -- This was a fantastic review of HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS. Mark Twain approves! He sends a wink your way. :-)

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    3. It was my pleasure to read and review it.

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  7. Sounds very interesting. I loved western movies growing up.

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    1. It's part of the history of the US. The western way of life still holds a fascination for many.

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    2. Susan, this has a behind-the-scenes look at how the early Westerns were made and the caustic personalities involved. John Ford is portrayed as he was -- even down to his chewing a corner of his hankercheif when nervous! I think you might well enjoy it.

      Didn't D.G. do a fantastic job on this review?

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  8. This is a very good review and teaser for the book. Now I want to read it, though I already wanted to read it. I have it in my Amazon Cloud which means I have to read it on my computer. I still have some others ahead of this on my computer and reading like that is so slow going for me.

    Hopefully it won't take too much longer for me to get to it, but I have a feeling with my traveling ahead it won't be until after August. Doggone it.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Sam is patient. I hope you enjoy the book when you do read it. :-)

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  9. Good to see you also have Roland's back.

    I wish him well.

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    1. I think a few of us do, Wendy.

      Next up for me of Rolands books is 'French Quarter Nocturne', I think it has a few of my fave characters in it. . .

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    2. Thanks, Wendy. And thanks, D.G., for having my back. I hope the pain in yours is easing! And FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE has Elu, Father Renfield, and Sister Magda for starters -- along with Ada, Margaret, and Maija. I think you will like it.

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  10. This book sounds really cool. I also haven't heard of the Fitzgerald book you are comparing it to, but it sounds fascinating. Roland is an awesome writer.

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    1. The Last Tycoon I found at the library if it's hard to find in bookstores. It's one of his I loved, next to my fave, 'Tender is the Night'. Roland's story awakened the memories of the other movie set story by Fitzgerald.
      Roland's writing captivates our imagination and takes it for a ride.

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    2. Thanks for the kind words, D.G. Fitzgerald saddens me as his life and his work could have been longer and better but for alcohol and his doomed love for Zelda.

      Shell Flower, I think you would like Sam's poet heart. :-)

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  11. Thank you very much for the text box in the side bar D.G! Very kind of you and I appreciate it very much! Sending lots of hugs your way :)

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    1. I'm pleased to help. That was a great set of photos at your site, makes me want to see the beach now.

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    2. Hayley-Esztl, so much heartache and illness go unregarded because it is not familiar to others. Pain and physical distress can eat our whole lives sometimes. My prayers are with you.

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    3. D.G., you are a special lady to spotlight Hayley-Esztl like this.

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  12. I've read Bones...but haven't had an opportunity to review it on my blog ...my review on Amazon was eaten by trolls.

    Great review D.G. It resonates with my response to Roland's story.

    Have a great weekend.

    Denise

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    1. I like the stories of the old movie sets. You're a busy lady, Denise!

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  13. Hello again D.G. I visited and commented at Hayley~Etzti's blog. What gorgeous photos and what an inspiration.

    Denise

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    1. Thanks, Denise, she will appreciate that. Education can build understanding and compassion.

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  14. And French Quarter Nocturne is my favorite of Roland's books. Makes me anxious to visit New Orleans on my next trip...

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    1. Great to know you like FQN, Denise. New Orleans is on my list of places to visit, too. And I'm glad you liked the review.

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  15. Thank you, Denise, for liking both HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS and FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE.

    Have you tried posting your review to BONES on Amazon again. I hear the trolls are friendlier now. :-)

    Oh, did you try CREOLE KNIGHTS which is the sequel to FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE?

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  16. I'm a big fan of Roland's character Sam McCord -- this one sounds very cool.

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    1. Another McCord fan. He's the kind of hero we wish we had more of. . .it is cool, Milo.

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    2. Listening to the audiobook of it makes it even more "real" somehow. Sam tips his Stetson to you, Milo.

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  17. I love Roland's books and am right now reading Adrift in the Time Stream. And I do have a crush on McCord himself, Roland knows this and says he thinks it's OK with Meilori. I will read the Badlands book next. And since The Last Tycoon is one of my favorite books, I know I will enjoy it. This is a great review, Roland is a fascinating writer of the most interesting books.

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    1. Perhaps you will review Adrift in the Time Stream? I haven't read that one. Glad you like Roland's books, and it's hard NOT to like Sam McCord, isn't it?

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    2. Inger, you made my day -- after a wearying weekend, I needed the boost of those nice words. :-)

      Meilori says you just show you have good taste in liking her Samuel.

      Didn't D.G. give a great review of BADLANDS? A review of ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM might bring it to the attention of my new friends who do not know of it.

      But I know you are having a bad time of it with ill health so only if you and your husband begin to feel better. You and he are in my prayers.

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  18. Roland's book sounds really good!

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    1. Imagine a movie set where unexplained things are starting to happen. And those things are not In the movie.
      Thanks for visiting, Sherry!

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    2. Sherry, thanks for thinking my book sounds interesting. The sample is free on its Amazon page. Just saying it all. :-)

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  19. I'm in awe of how Roland brings together the best and the bravest, the most evil and cunning, into the most enticing of settings...nonstop.

    I've one book to get through (slow reader here) before I start the exciting adventures that are Roland's creations.

    Thanks for the feature, DG.
    Be well.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Then the decision will be 'where to start'. . . a fun time. Roland is prolific, I admire that, too.

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    2. Robyn, thank you for such a great compliment!

      Samuel is an interesting man about which to write. His adventures span from 1799 to the unstated date of the death of the universe: a knight without armor in savage times -- for no matter how "civilized" man becomes he is still Man.

      I love to mix him with historical characters in exotic locales and watch the sparks!

      Either DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE or HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS would be a good place to start.

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  20. I've seen Roland's name around the blogosphere but never checked out any of his books. Just looking at Amazon he's got quite the resume! I'm impressed! Will definitely be checking one out. I've been on a reading spree and my Kindle needs refilling.

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    1. My faves: Death in the House of Life, Her Bones are in the Badlands, and Ghost of a Chance (with Hemingway and Marlene D.). I have reviewed those on Amazon. Hope you are enjoying yourselves.

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    2. I hope the two of you enjoyed your separate vacation to Las Vegas and to New Orleans -- I am sure the accompanying pretty ladies helped there.

      I think any of D.G.'s faves would be fun for you to read -- GHOST OF A CHANCE has me as the protagonist, fleeing through my fictional worlds as I am hunted for the murder of the ghost of Hemingway -- and helped by the ghost of Mark Twain and Marlene Dietrich! I even get held at gun point by an irate Shakespare for taking his words in vain! I tell you: I get no respect! :-)

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  21. I've not read Roland's books but I've ran into several positive comments about them. That makes me really curious. I'll add them to my TBR list.

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    1. Al, I think you'll like either BADLANDS or GHOST OF A CHANCE (it has a part that pits my cat, Gypsy, against the Sphinx of Thebes) How cool is that?

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  22. The 3 titles I mentioned are ones I like. A dragon might like stories of a Lone Wolf, like McCord.

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  23. I liked this book for its details of the early film set. I've always been a fan of silent film.

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