Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for July 21st, 2012

Quick Note

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Folks, I’d hoped to review Rosemary Edghill’s VENGEANCE OF MASKS at Shiny Book Review this evening — in fact, I’d planned on reviewing it all week.

However, I’m feeling very poorly this evening for the second night in a row.  (I think it has something to do with the heat and my asthma not mixing.)  Because of that, I’m not able to do much — even writing a short blog about Ben Sheets’s superlative start for the Atlanta Braves today was nearly too much.  And writing a quick, fact-based blog like that one is much easier to write than a book review any day of the week.

That’s why I’ve decided that I’m going to take a break for the rest of this weekend in order to come back stronger on Monday.  Because of that, the review for VENGEANCE OF MASKS will be rescheduled for this upcoming week at SBR, with all apologies to Ms. Edghill and to anyone else who may have been awaiting my review.

While you’re waiting for that review, I’d like to suggest something.  Go buy anything Rosemary Edghill currently has available, regardless of genre.  (These books include DEAD RECKONING, VENGEANCE OF MASKS, the Bast mysteries included in BELL, BOOK, AND MURDER, and THE WARSLAYER — the latter should be available from Baen Books directly as an e-book.)   She writes extremely well, always has great craftsmanship, and her storytelling ability is without peer.  So meander on over to Amazon, or BN.com, or better yet to her page at Lulu (where the information for VENGEANCE OF MASKS resides), and get yourself one of her books, pronto.

While you do that, I’ll do my best to recover my energy so I can do justice to her extremely interesting and thought-provoking book, VENGEANCE OF MASKS (genre: dark fantasy/urban fantasy hybrid).

Have a great weekend, folks.  See you back here on Monday.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Book reviews, Writing

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Ben Sheets’s Comeback Continues: Sheets Wins Again

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Today, July 21, 2012, was the day for Ben Sheets’s second major league start for the Atlanta Braves against the Washington Nationals.  And once again, Sheets pitched like the ace he once was (and apparently is again), giving up no runs, five hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.  Sheets also extended his scoreless innings streak to twelve; his record is now 2-0.

Here’s a link to a very good story from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Sheets that was written prior to today’s game; this is a story you really want to read if you care about baseball at all, as it references exactly what happened to Sheets and why it is so remarkable that he’s been able to come back at all — much less pitch at an astonishingly high level.

Here’s a quote from that story:

Understand, this isn’t a simple comeback. Before surgery in 2010, Sheets’ right elbow looked like the after-shot of Kabul. The guy is relatively bionic. In 2010, doctors knew surgery was needed to fix a torn flexor tendon for the second time in two years. But when Dr. Keith Meister opened up the right arm, two other problems were confirmed: 1) a torn ulnar collateral ligament, requiring Tommy John surgery; 2) damage to his pronator tendon.

You don’t need to have a Ph.D or even excel in the “Operation” game to know that if a 32-year-old pitcher is having a ligament and two tendons in his throwing elbow stitched, tied and duct-taped, his next career decision likely would involve either starting a tractor or coaching youth baseball (he opted for the latter).

And here’s a quote from today’s story at Yahoo Sports regarding Sheets’s start against the Nationals, starring Braves catcher Brian McCann:

”It’s been a huge pickup for us,” McCann said of adding Sheets to Braves rotation. ”To come out here for his two starts and pitch the way he has. Hasn’t given up a run, he’s pounding the zone and the more you’re around him the more you know why he’s so successful. He’s a competitor, he knows what he’s doing.”

When a team’s catcher is happy with a pitcher — much less this happy — you usually have a happy team.  And considering how well Sheets has pitched since his return, I’d be astonished if the Braves weren’t absolutely ecstatic about his contribution to their ballclub.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm