Category Archives: humor.

LADY MADONNA MEETS THE MARTIANS

Australian crime-solver Steele Hill takes a break from murder and perfidy to investigate the sighting of Martians by his friend Felicity. This story is from the upcoming Bent Banana Books anthology Serendipity. Please pass on the link to your friends if you enjoy it.




LADY MADONNA MEETS THE MARTIANS
Bernie Dowling
Petrie, north of Brisbane, winter, 1995
FOUR-year-old Ryan was teasing his sister, 6, patting her back quickly and repeatedly, as he had seen a mother do forcefully in the supermarket when her child was choking on a lolly.
Chloe accepted her brother’s game for a while before calling for intervention from Mummy. Flick Sailor brushed aside locks of her long blonde hair from her pretty oval face, revealing creases in her forehead, marking her 29 years of life in Queensland. ‘Ryan, stop teasing your sister.’ Felicity, better known as Flick, looked across at her son before continuing to rearrange a pile of bills, jotting down figures on a notepad and shaking her head at the impossible financial obligations.
‘I wasn’t giving her tea,’ an offended Ryan said.

I could see that Flick was on the verge of losing it and offered half-hearted mediation. ‘Maybe Ryan does not know what teasing means.’
‘You’re no help, Steele. Ryan knows what to tease means. I am always telling him not to tease his sister and I have explained what it means.’
This was Chloe’s cue. ‘Mum, Ryan’s teasing me.’ The girl sobbed softly and slowly upped the ante to full-blown tears.
‘See what you’ve done.’ Flick was accusing me, not Ryan.
I was about to defend myself when 9-year-old Justin called from his room, ‘Mum, where’s my Marilyn Manson T-shirt. I have sports tomorrow and I need it.’
Despite Justin’s continual insistence to the contrary, it was not really his room; he shared it with his brother. Mother and daughter had the other bedroom of the small rented house – small by Australian standards, perhaps not so much by European.
Justin and I were mates. When he told me his physical education teacher refused to allow him to wear his Manson T-shirt in sports, I pretended to be appalled. The predominately white-on-black logo had splotches of red. Justin was in the Red team for sports.
I suggested he tell his teachers he would take them to the international court of justice in the Hague if he was not allowed to wear his somewhat red T-shirt. I did not think he would do it. To be fair to me, he did not actually.
The note Flick showed me from PE teacher Mr Pendleby said Justin had threatened his teacher with the tennis court of justice in the Hog. Felicity was hopping mad at me. I always seem to be in trouble with women. It takes me a great deal of reflection to understand why. Usually I do not bother with such tedious self-criticism.
On that winter evening, I did ponder whether my visit to Flick’s to see the Martians was wise. Flick’s car registration had run out earlier in the week. I suggested Flick and Ryan could ride with me in the front of my one-seater Holden EH ute. The older kids could travel in the tray.
Flick said I was the most irresponsible man in the world. That hardly seemed likely but the prospect made me laugh. Felicity pulled the punch just as I retracted my head from the blow’s obvious destination.
‘We’ll go in my car,’ she said.
‘I’ll pay your registration tomorrow,’ I offered.
‘I know you haven’t got any money Steele. Whenever you win at the horses, you have that silly smirk on your face. It’s not there.’
Wow, I should teach Flick how to play poker. She has a powerful read and her financial troubles could soon be over. But Flick does not like gambling. Her dead-beat ex-husband, Howdy, was a jockey as well as being thousands behind in his maintenance payments. The jockey still rode his share of winners though nowhere near as many as when he was Brisbane’s top hoop a decade earlier. That was when Flick and I bonded over a race fix demanded by her father who had kidnapped his own daughter. It’s a long story and there is no time for that now. We had Martians to see.
‘I brought a cassette tape. Does the cassette player still work in the Falcon?’ I asked. Flick owned a 1988 Ford Falcon, 24 years younger than my Holden EH, though not as reliable.
‘Of course it works. If it didn’t I’d buy a CD player. I’ve got plenty of tapes so I don’t need yours.’
‘Yes, but I have one with Lady Madonna on it, in your honour.’
Lady Madonna? Is that a Madonna song, Steele?’
I thought she was taking the piss. ‘Lady Madonna,’ I said. ‘Children at your feet…’
She shook her pretty head to signal zero recognition.
‘The Beatles,’ I said.
‘Oh Steele, what are you listening to that old shit for? You’re younger than me. It’s embarrassing.’
Ever since Flick caught me watching a 1940s Hollywood film noir on video, she has treated me like a cultural deviant. I cannot remember what movie it was, possibly The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon. I have seen each a dozen times. I should add it was in the privacy of my own flat where Flick sprung me. And I had made no effort to turn off the video player before I let her in.
In that year of 1995, I had sat through a double feature of videos in Flick’s house. The first was Pocahontas and the second was Waterworld. Flick said the Disney ‘toon Pocahontaswas for the kids. Who knew whom the Kevin Costner second feature was for – possibly Martians. Felicity’s fave song of ’95 was Seal’s Kiss from a Rose, even though the R&B singer forgot to button his shirt for the video. Obviously R&B does not stand for ‘robe and  button’. And I am copping flack for film noir and the Beatles.
Lady Madonna packed up the unregistered Falcon with the kids, dressed against the winter chill, and me. The engine spluttered into life. Flick received a single-parent’s benefit from the government but had to work two part-time jobs to make end meets. Her father, retired Russian trainer Bill Smith – don’t ask about the English name – could help little financially but he did baby-sit when Felicity went to work. She did not tell her father about the Martians. He had kidnapped her in the past and he might concoct some crazy plan to make money from the aliens’ visit.
I should say at this point I don’t believe in aliens. Flick does not believe in aliens. We were going to look for them and I guess you can blame me for that.
Flick told me she was probably tired from five hours of paid baby-sitting the night she saw the spaceship land in the bush off Narangba Rd. She did pull over at the side of the road and watch the pulsating silver light around the ship. She did not actually see the Martians.
‘How did you know they were Martians,’ I asked.
‘I never said they were Martians. You did, Steele.’
‘They could have been Venusians,’ I said.
‘I never said they were Martians. You did. And what the hell are Venusians.’
‘From Venus. I think that’s what they are called. But they were most probably Martians. They are more common, I believe.’
I am not sure why I said that. Neither of us believes in Martians.
We drove to where Felicity thought she had pulled over. In the car’s headlights we saw recent car tracks on the clay beside the road. They could have come from the Falcon.
Flick pointed towards an area about 100 metres into the bush. There was a small circular clearing among the gum trees. A spaceship might land there but it would have to be tiny. Martians are small, aren’t they?
I asked Flick how old was the car battery if we wanted to shine the high beam on the spot in the bush.
‘The battery is two-years-old, but we have come all this way, so we have to take a chance.’
She swung the car to fully face the spot, put the lights on high beam and turned off the motor.
‘Maybe you should have kept the motor running, I said. ‘Might be less strain on the battery.’
‘You think?’
‘Dunno. I know nothing about cars. Leave it for the moment.’
Justin was the first to complain from the back seat. ‘What are we doing here?’
Ryan wanted to go home to watch television and Chloe said the dark was scary.
‘Steele’s lost something,’ Felicity told the children.
I said to Flick I heard her say ‘his marbles’ under her breath.
She denied it and laughed. ‘But I was sure thinking it. The Martians must have given you the power to read minds.’
I opened the passenger-side door.
‘You’re not going in there alone, Steele. Are you mad?’
I put on my best attempt at the earnest voice of a star of a low-budget sci-fi film. ‘We must end this thing.’
Ryan pleaded from his corner of the back seat. ‘I want to go too.’
That was not happening as Felicity had activated the child-proof locks on both back doors. As Ryan whimpered, Flick told me to hurry.
The grass was higher than it had looked from the car. I was glad I had worn boots but I trod carefully. The clearing too was larger than it seemed from the road.
The grass was flattened, though not in a circle. It was more like the vegetation had been trampled along a series of parallel paths. I leaned over to see if I could discern a crater. I though there should be a crater and some burnt areas around it, as in 1950s sci-fi movies. I heard Flick yelling at me to hurry up. I turned and my boot kicked a note on the ground. It was rectangular, about six inches long and a couple of inches wide. It looked like it bore someone’s portrait inside an oval. I pocketed it.
Back at the car, I inspected the note in the headlights. It took a while to figure it out as I had never seen the like of it in my life before. Flick asked what it was.
I hopped back in the car and said, ‘The Martians left their calling card.’ I placed the note in front of Flick’s face. ‘Lady Madonna, meet Benjamin Franklin.’
‘Is that monopoly money?’
‘I think not. If you take this US hundred-dollar bill to the bank, tomorrow, I believe the kind banker will give you enough Aussie moolah to pay your registration.’
‘You don’t think the Martians kidnapped someone and the victim dropped their money.’
‘Possibly,’ I said. ‘But I would put my money on your good fortune coming courtesy of an American tourist venturing from the beaten track.’
We went back to Petrie and Flick put the kids to bed. Over coffee, we amused each other with fantastic tales of how the money landed in the bush at Narangba.
Neither of us had another Martian adventure, ever.



Hollywood unbottles memories

YOU would kill for a pair of loafers worn by Clark Gable in the film Gone with the Wind.
You do not have to go that far; just part with $8-10,000 and they are yours.
If you have not got $10,000, then it is back to Plan A. If you do go toJulien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills Gallery on Friday or Saturday with intent of murderous theft, please do say I mentioned it.

Juliens kindly sent me an invitation to Monday’s “exclusive press exhibition and press call for Hollywood Legends, the auction”.
I live way down in the southern part of the world in Queensland Australia but I receive media releases about Southeby’s auctions in London and Johannesburg and now Julien’s Beverly Hills.
These invites perk up my workaway day in journalism, but this blog is the only avenue to spread the word about the auctions. I do not want the releases to stop so here goes.
You can buy casting videos of stars trying out for films and they are a steal at $2-4000. I presume they are limited edition because you can get the whole damn movie for under 20 bucks.
You can buy copies of Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore and Helen Hunt for roles in Jurassic Park. I hate to be a spoiler but I have to tell you none of them got a part.
Ben Affleck, and Lisa Kudrow audition with Ellen DeGeneres for roles in the film Mr. Wrong, Weren’t Bill and Lisa lucky they missed out and avoided that 1996 stinker on their bio!
William Shatner’s laser rifle from the second pilot episode of the Star Trek television series is expected to fetch a lousy $40-60,000. And we all thought any cashed-up nerd would part with at least a hundred grand for such a thing.
A brown cocktail dress worn by Marilyn Monroe has an estimate of $5-7000. A stylish woman would probably get with a little brown dress today, but I could not imagine an earlier generation conceiving of dun glamour. No doubt whoever buys the dress will send us a picture of her or himself in it.
A car from The Green Hornet is expected to attract a winning bid between $40,000-$60,000 while Jay Chou’s five-piece Kato costume could go for as high as $10,000. Everything about the $120 million film The Green Hornet is overpriced. The producers were in discussion with Nicolas Cage to play The Villain but they decided the film looked like being bad enough without Nic being in it. They were proved right.
Hollywood Legends is at Julien’s Auctions Gallery, 9565 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, across from Saks Fifth Avenue. That sounds a pretty swank address. I do not know if they would have let me in if I showed up for Monday’s press call.
More than 800 items go under the hammer during sessions as follows:
Friday, April 5th Session I: 10:00 a.m. P.S.T. Session II: 2:00 p.m. P.S.T.
Saturday, April 6th Session III: 10:00 a.m. P.S.T.
Nah, I don’t know what P.S.T. is but some of you will.
If you go can you but me a little something – one of Groucho Marx’s cigar stubs will do.
As far as actors go, they do not come more straight-shootin’ than Charlton Heston, so here is a recent tribute to the man. (Sorry, you gotta click on it – good exercise, but.)
And here is the reply from responsible gun owners

The whole world loves freedom


Handmade notebooks from  Libre Livre

I TRY not to trouble myself unduly with matters of commerce.
For five days next week, I am giving away my enovel Iraqi Icicle. I do this not because I think it makes a lot of commercial sense but because others tell me it does.
It seems the Amazon algorithms will discover me this way.

I HAVE a theory that in a thousand years’ time, a new set of gods will live on Mt Algorithm. Amazon will be the god of Books. Google will be the god of Discovery. PayPal will be the god of Commerce.

PayPal has proven a great boon for commercial Luddites such as myself. The payments take but a few minutes and the commercial records are somewhere on the internet.
I have spent about $5000 through PayPal. That I am a commercial publisher and have received not one cent into my PayPal account is a bit of a worry. But not too much.
One day, I will get around to sticking an estore on my website. Watch the cents roll in then!
In the meantime, I am content to give away my novel for a week. No paperwork there.
The print version of Iraqi Icicle will be unleashed on the world on January 26.
Here is the blurb to show you just what a fantastic novel it is. At the very least, it shows my editor Eoin O’Brien can write a great blurb.
A dead actress, a dead gambler, a dead professor, a dead fisherman …
With murder following his every step, determined under-achiever Steele Hill is tangled in layers of intrigue and deviousness.
Pulled from his cosy world of the racetrack, the rock-music pub and the gambling den, everybody the wise-cracking Hill meets is in danger, as he is sucked into the undertow of forces beyond his understanding. One ally is a reclusive teenage maths whiz, channeling Hendrix, and tapping into military software and magic mushrooms.
The fix is in and the bodies are piling up.
Leaping off the shoulders of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Iraqi Icicle is a wild and hilarious ride through the dark and murky worlds of gambling, drugs, politics and rock’n’roll.  
The comparison with Catch-22 was my idea. As you know I am a humble style of fella. I asked Eoin if it was not too much and he said we could scale it down later. Eoin left it in so it must be true.

The paperback is priced at US$14.99 plus shipping and is available from Amazon and book stores, if you ask for it. (Please do.) Amazon will not make it available for libraries because I refused to surrender the Bent Banana Books ISBN. As always, the fabulous Maria from Thorpe-Bowker Australia got that ISBN for me. I was not giving it up.

I am not sure why Amazon will only deliver to libraries under its own ISBN. It is probably a commercial thingo and as you know I do not worry unduly about commerce

Iraqi Icicle is about 380 pages of near-perfect prose and $14.99 seems a fair price. For the technically minded, it is set in an 11-pt font. If I had put it in 12-pt and created two-page chapters as some of the best sellers do, that sucker would have been 500+ pages and a real bargain at $14.99.
The eBook comes in at 406 pages and it’s free. Now that is a bargain! I should make a killing from that. Just not sure how.
To obtain, your free copy during Jan 21-25, go to your local Amazon estore and download. If your country, such as Australia, has not got an estore, I think you can download free from Amazon US. But again that is a commercial affair, so I would not completely take my word for it. Worth a try but.

The US link is HERE
And HERE is the UK site

“Iraqi Icicle 2 nd edition  (48の検索結果をすべて見る)

1.
商品の詳細

Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition Bernie Dowling (Kindle版 – 2012/12/17)

購入:¥ 411

今すぐダウンロード


(The Japanese will so get the rock-music references in Iraqi Icicle. That is not a joke; they will.)





I could not find my eBook on Amazon India. http://india.amazon.com
They tell me Iraqi Icicle might struggle in India because they do not get hard-boiled detective yarns. It seems they are into the ideology of “anyone can make it”. Goddamn Bollywood – it should be Mullywood, anyway – they need Martin Scorcese over there making films.
Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition

 
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Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition [Format Kindle]

Bernie Dowling  

(The French will love Iraqi Icicle. It would not surprise to see them start making the movie next week No-one’s ‘jáime-d it yet but it is only a matter of time).


No Curtirs in Brazil for Iraqi Icicle, yet, but I am sure Olympic Games visitors will be clutching a paperback to read during the boring bits of the synchronized swimming.

Fellow Aussie author Ryle Winn says his books sell well in Germany perhaps because so many Germans enjoy the  backpacking experience in Oz. 

Inspector Rex is an Austrian production but I might put a police dog, a german shepherd named Rex, in the sequel to Iraqi Icicle.

I have never been to Canada but the people seem warm and the climate cold. Bit like Iraqi Icicle – cool title, hot novel.

Lots of people of Italian origin are in Australia and some of my important supporting characters are Italians. I love Amazon Italy because they call me the Autore which sounds so much sexier than the English translation.

Amazon Spain is running the American reviews of Iraqi Icicle which is nice of them.

“iraqi icicle 2 nd edition  (查看所有 27 个结果)

1.
产品详细信息

Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq, Including: Iraqi 36th Commando Battalion, Iraqi Special Operations Forces, 1st Division (Iraq), 2nd Hephaestus Books Hephaestus Books (2011-09出版)

¥110.92¥94.60货到付款


通常需要4-7周发货。
购《波莉安娜》再优惠6元 查看详细资料


 

“Me old China (plate)” is a great Aussie expression for “mate’’. I am afraid me old Amazon China has let me down. Iraqi Icicle is described as a book of

Articles on Military Units and Formations of Iraq.”

That’s not quite a reliable synopsis of my novel and I will see if I can have that fixed.

Update on China and India
Amazon is impressive in answering queries within 24 hours when you can spend that long on a telephone call to an Australian enterprise. The big A tells me the Indian and Chinese operations do not have their on-line operations sorted yet. Citizens of both countries can buy my paperback which must be a great relief for them and certainly is for me.


All right, go to any of those countries where you have an Amazon account and download the eBook Iraqi Icicle for free January 21-25. If it is China, do tell us what the book on Iraqi military units is like.

 

Today’s video explains why my forebears emigrated from County Cork, Ireland, and I am therefore trying to flog books from Australia instead of living the pleasant life of the gentleman Irish farmer.

Profane professions: background to a novel

Fortitude Valley was not named 
because it took guts to be there after dark.
It honored this ship which brought 
Scottish immigrants to Brisbane in 1849
AN American friend was surprised at the profane language Brisbane police officers use in my novel Iraqi Icicle, set between 1986 and 1992.

I was working only after hours in journalism for much of the period as I toiled full-time as a partner in an instant-print business.

The lot which befell me in the business was sales. Armed with a business card which read “sales manager” – I had no staff under me – I ventured out to talk to strangers about printing.
My prospective clients fell into various categories but two I remember well. The first were people who embraced me as a new-found BFF. The second tried to haggle a price so low, our business could not eke enough profit from the deal to feed a bird.
I was not enamored with the work but our business location was excellent.
It was in inner-city Fortitude Valley, near the Brisbane River and a stone’s throw from Brisbane’s Chinatown. I quickly learned it could have been more reliably called Vietnamtown.
I always tried to be back at the print shop for lunch so I could duck down to my regular Vietnamese restaurant. Main meals were $3, my favorite being squid stuffed with pork mince, served in a clay pot. A huge pot of steamed rice was 50 cents; a glass of wine or a pot of jasmine tea was $1.
Some of my friends said you risked life and limb in Fortitude Valley. I loved the joint with its mix of seedy nightclubs, music venues, the wonderful cafes and restaurants with the company of young artists and performers living in disused warehouses and ancient brownstones.
Apart from the Chinese and Vietnamese enterprises, most of the legal, illegal and in-between night-life businesses were controlled by Italians. That’s not racial stereotyping; that’s a fact. I must add many law-abiding generous and affable Italians lived and worked in Fortitude Valley and its surrounding suburbs.
Next door to our print shop was a strip club. Beside that was a gay nightclub which stood near an alternative live music venue.
A few hundred metres away was the building of the sometimes feisty, often strident, Sun tabloid newspapers, the Daily and Sunday Sun. By 1992 both had closed and the building was turned into apartments.
On the edge of Fortitude Valley was the Waterside Workers’ (longshoremen’s) Club which was a hub of left-wing politics, but also a lunch time refuge of assorted workers, mostly men. Public servants, firefighters and a sprinkling of racehorse trainers and jockeys were among the regulars. They gathered to talk and drink beer but gambling was a habit of many, so the meat-tray raffles and poker (slot) machines were popular.
Prostitutes worked the streets at night.
Fortitude Valley was a rough and tumble place, though I never had violence inflicted on me. Still, the local police station was a busy place.
Journalism, politics and policing were industries all marked by their practitioners liberally using profanities. It may have been due to the relatively small number of women in those professions, which has changed in recent times.
One memory remains.
Behind our printing business was a toilet and shower block which we also used as a warehouse.
Our managing director decided to rent it out to the strip club to make a few extra pennies.
One day two detectives burst into our premises to ask what we knew about the theft of a stripper’s car.
‘The poor girl had her car stolen and it was used in an armed robbery,’ one detective told us.
After a few questions he asked if he could use the phone.
This was his part of the conversation to HQ.
‘Anything on the poor girl’s car…What, they’ve caught the two blokes already…And she knew one of them…the fucking slag, we’ll do her.’
Morality was black and white for some police officers in those days. So it is for my character Sergeant Frank Mooney.
Buy the ebook of Iraqi Icicle HERE
The print version will be released on January 26.
For our video, Tom Waits’ car broke down on the way to Fortitude Valley and he hooked up with two strange dudes someplace else.

10000 ways to make up stuff

Simeon Stylites sat on a pole for more than 30 years. 
Everybody said he was a saint, but he shrugged. 
“After 10, 000 hours, you get very good at it,” he said.
NUMBERS terrify some people. Others worship them as icons. Many of us just get tricked by them.
A number con-game which has been around for a while is that it takes an author 10,000 hours to become highly proficient at the occupation.

SOME novice writers have slit their wrists on discovering this statistic and have proven it to be true when printer’s ink fails to spurt from their veins.

This 10,000 hour hypothesis get even sillier when you consider its advocates suggest it applies to all professions.
If I ever have the need for surgery, I am going demand my cutter has 10,000 hours logged. I feel sorry for the millions of needlessly dead people who did not ask to see the surgeon’s log before an operation.
Let’s have a closer look at the 10,000-hr rule. It has to be an average to have any credibility. Otherwise it takes every single professional in every single profession, exactly 10, 000 hours to achieve excellence.
The rule’s originator obviously found a reliable measure of excellence in every one of the world’s professions. Your mind, of course, turns to the world’s oldest profession as you ponder what the benchmarks were for that one. You did not start thinking about prostitution? Okay forget I mentioned that; move on, shall we?
This researcher, who should receive a dozen Nobel Prizes, then sampled each of the world’s professions to find the number of excellent practitioners. Somehow, our researcher, who makes Einstein look like Justin Bieber, also worked out a way of finding out how long it took each one to reach excellence. Some more averaging and hey presto, we have 10, 00 hours.
You may say I am being pedantic but I dispute that. I maintain a statement that it takes a bloody long time to become a doyen of your craft is more scientific than 10, 000 hours. The 10,000-hr rule is hereby supplanted by the blood-long-time law. Quote me as its discoverer if you need to avoid admonition for plagiarism.
Rules or laws are meant to guide us in science and in life. I am not sure what message we were meant to take from the obsolete 10,000-hr rule. Were we meant to give up because it is all too hard for too long or keep plugging away.
Under Dowling’s Law, a writer’s mind in motion must continue in motion, though it will be slowed by the gravity of the realization no one is buying your books.
From a less scientific and more intuitive perspective, do people without enough taste to buy your books really deserve your  precious words, anyway.
It might take a bloody long time but tasteful people, in numbers, will discover your genius and recognize you as an excellent writer. Then you can stop counting up to 10,000.

If you sing this song for 10,000 hours,
you still will not be as good as MCC.

Please warn Grandma

Guest Book Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart but great, December 25, 2012
This review is from: Iraqi Icicle 2nd edition (Kindle Edition)

“Iraqi Icicle” is definitely not your average run of the mill crime drama. Oddly, there are very few categories where a book could be listed that I can’t imagine this fitting in some way or another. While this book does have a hefty dose of profanity, there were times when I felt it added to the story and other times when it made me laugh.

This is a hard book to describe without accidentally giving something away as there is so much going on underneath the cover. Steele Hill is a character that I felt had the correct amount of inner turmoil and personality that made him not only fun to read, but memorable. There were some good secondary characters in this book too, but Steele definitely steals the show. This author certainly has a sense of how to keep his reader in suspense. This book deals with some hardcore subjects, but I thought the author did so in a way that made it exciting to read.

This book is gritty and a little dangerous and if you are in for a seat of your pants kind of ride this might just be the thing. Be careful though, I have warned you that this is not your grandma’s fireside novel!

Buy Iraqi Icicle HERE
You can imagine the conversation with Gran:
You: “Don’t read Iraqi Icicle, Grandma!”
Gran:”Don’t bother me, dear; I’m reading Fifty Shades of Grey.”
I thought Iraqi Icicle was only a trifle profane, but then I was brought up on Grandma’s knee listening to her sing her favorite song.
Cheers, Bernie

Guest Book Review

4.0 out of 5 stars
Iraqi Icicle by Bernie Dowling, 22 Dec 2012

Interesting theatrical, musical and political diversions
By
This review is from: http://btfy.me/cfbtw9
 I ENJOYED this story and I liked the main character, Steel Hill, who delivers as a first person narrator.

We start in Brisbane, Australia, where the story is focused initially on low-life betting scammers. But gradually we move on through an interesting cast of characters.

The narrator, Steele Hill, is involved with an intellectually enhanced Natalie, whose 16-year-old sister Jane – aka Bub – effortlessly entices him into an energetic copulation.
The genre is set in a low-life betting and corrupt police situation where a dumb Irish and a nasty German pair of cops attempt to frame Steel with just about anything that might jail him. They don’t succeed and as we conclude the devious Hill is winning a huge amount of horse race betting money while a sexy and opportunistic Crystal attempts to seduce him as a criminal collaborator.
There are interesting theatrical, musical and political diversions – and the Iraqi Icicle is a rather attractive white rose that Hill uses to try and seduce the sexy but elusive Crystal.
There’s good dark humour throughout – and I particularly liked the reference to a subsequently defrocked nun at Hill’s school who claimed that her occasionally recalcitrant pupil was in fact a John Lennon lovechild!
BUY Iraqi Icicle NOW http://btfy.me/cfbtw9
Thanks Kathy for your guest review – Bernie

A good Irish name like Kathy Hennessy deserves a song such as this:
And here is a bonus, one more in keeping with the tone of Iraqi Icicle




Festive Fun

A shout-out from my favourite witch
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fun book for the person who loves journalism!

By

This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”.
For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. 
Love, tragedy, success, and history – it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling.
Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂
– Heather

It’s Bernie here now. 
I need to say Heather formats many of the Bent Banana eBooks.
That’s disclosure and it is a good thing.

I experimented with links in 7 Shouts. I have the usual rock video links and also links to Wiki and news stories. These are common enough in blogs and internet articles but I was looking to do things in an eBook that you can’t in a static print book.
Anyway as Heather says, you will find it pretty funny, and living up to the BBB promise that our books are different.
Buy 7 Shouts HERE or from Google


Here to celebrate is an Aussie r’n’r classic





Aussie thriller sings and zings

Brother reviews brother. Oh, Brother!

4.0 out of 5 stars

THIS novel is an epic detective story of more than 400 pages.
Private investigator Steele Hill is a larger than life character who has the happy knack of being there when the action is happening.
His world is peopled with crooked cops and shady types in the gambling and horse racing industries.
The book describes some of the events happening in and around Brisbane from 1986 to 1992, including the music and musicians of that time.
It also gives the reader an insight into the political events which were occurring around the globe at this time.
You expect a number of surprises in a detective story and this novel has many including the basis for the title name.
If you like a long entertaining story, with plenty of salty language, this is the book for you.

Dennis Dowling, Brisbane Australia.
Mr Dowling is the brother of author Bernie Dowling.
You know you not going to get 5 Stars from your brother and I am kind of glad.
Readers are rightly wary of books with heaps of five-star reviews but with a sprinkling of most plausible one-star reviews as well.
The biggest challenge for eBooks is reliable curation or critical gate-keeping.
Personally I think you should take my word for it that Iraqi Icicle is a good book. That way, you can buy it and write your own glowing review.
You, on the other hand, may be looking for a different path of decision making.
Cheers
Bernie

Iraqi Icicle Second Edition is out now!

Buy Iraqi Icicle  HERE

No for our celebratory song, dedicated to my brother for his critical skills. And of course, it is the season of hollies: