My Blog

As a twenty-year Army veteran, I served on the Korean DMZ under fire, as well as Vietnam. I have always been a voracious reader of many genres, and review books for numerous publishers. The main goal of PULP DEN is not only to showcase my books, but also to promote other writers and their books. I review Mystery, Science Fiction, Action and Adventure – and most everything Pulp. I do not read, review, or promote erotica, alternative lifestyle books, horror, vampire, zombies, or werewolves. Warning, if your idea of good writing is an over use of profanity, you will not get a good rating from me. Please keep that in mind. As a pulp magazine collector, I have complete runs of the major character pulps, and have read them all. I have been in pulp fandom since 1970, though a fan much longer. I publish my reviews on this Blog, Amazon, and in a print magazine I also write for. If anyone would be interested in reviewing any of my books, most can be found on Amazon – see the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. And contact me for pdf copies at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bill Wood

Bill Wood

Bill Wood of Stanford, Texas stopped by Seymour for a book signing on August 14th. The Baylor County Free Library hosted him. Seymour author Tom Johnson stopped by to visit with Bill, and talk about writing and publishing. Bill has three novels in print, “The Circuit Riders”, “The Defenders”, and “And Nothing’s Been The Same Since”. Leta Slaggle, librarian, Baylor Country Free Library, took photographs.
The Circuit Riders


As America began to expand westward, a group of itinerant preachers rode across the plains and mountains to spread the Christian faith. They endured heat and cold, rain and drought, despair and loneliness to fulfill their calling They traveled from town to farm to stage-stop to anywhere people had settled, preaching the Gospel. These saddlebag-preachers spoke to anyone who would listen. They were rugged individuals who allowed neither rough terrain nor menacing weather to sway them from their appointed areas of service. These unsung heroes of the West helped bring true civilization to the American frontier. There would be little or no reward beyond the spiritual. This book is a fictionalized story of three such country preachers on the frontier of Texas and the problems they faced bringing the message of Christ to wilderness areas. Bill Wood was born and raised in a small town in Texas. Since 1975, he has pastored ten country churches in either Texas, Louisiana, or California or taught in a small Christian school... or both at the same time. When not preaching or studying or writing, Bro. Bill enjoys visiting antique stores, festivals, and historical places. He's been known to pick and grin some in church and is partial to anything having to do with the Old West (movies, artwork, decor, clothes, rodeos). Dr. Wood has been described by friends as "an old-fashioned, Southern gentleman with just a touch of John Wayne". In May of 2012, he became the pastor at Central Baptist Church in Stamford, Texas. A graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Baptist Christian University in Shreveport, Louisiana, this is Bill's second book to be published through Xulon Press... the first being a fictional account of the birth of Jesus entitled "And Nothing's Been the Same Since".
Bill Wood & Tom Johnson


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Papers of Tony Veitch

The Papers of Tony Veitch (Noir Mystery)
By William McIlvanney
Europa Editions www.europaeditions.com
ISBN #978-1609452247
Price $16.00
274 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“The Formula Is Tough, And So Is Jack Laidlaw.”

Glasgow Detective Inspector Jack Laidlaw is called to the deathbed of Eck Adamson, a old wino he had once befriended. In the hospital he learns that the old man was poisoned, and Eck mumbles something about it being in his wine. Who would kill an old bum that had never harmed anyone? A piece of paper contains a poetic message in an educated writing, while Eck wrote names on the same paper. These names lead Laidlaw and his partner, Detective Constable Brian Harkness into the underworld and to people living in mansions. Is the murder of a gangster and a missing university student tied into the same mystery?

Jack Laidlaw is a maverick within the Glasgow police department, following his own instincts instead of police procedural. Where the police know the names of city streets, Laidlaw knows the city. It is part of him, and he of it. He’s not afraid to venture into the badlands if it will bring him information to a murderer, and he knows the underworld as well as himself.

The author doesn’t just write mysteries, his stories penetrate the lives of the people involved.  Jack Laidlaw is human, he feels the loss of life, the waste of humanity in the dark side streets where men kill, and others struggle to survive.  He’s not perfect, as he is estranged from his own family, and struggles with his own failings. But like a bloodhound, he keeps to the trail until the case is solved, and a killer is brought to justice. Mystery fans will love the Jack Laidlaw noir series.

Tom Johnson

Detective Mystery Stories

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Denver Doll

Denver Doll and Yankee Eisler are a likely pair, both pursuing the scoundrel road-agent John McParland. One is a legendary scrapper and lover, the other is all business. Together they unravel the mystery of an orphan child and her murdered mother. Along the way we encounter Doll's three stooges Walt, Yakie and Chug; femme-fatale the mysterious Mademoiselle Zoe, bumbling reporter Charles Pygmalion Jones, righteous merchant Crystal Carrol and the slimy Valentine Verner. The very existence of the mining town Shining Bar is at risk if Doll and Yankee fail. This volume reprints the original 1882 novel plus a new version updated for modern audiences.

Denver Doll (Dime Novel Mystery)
By Edward Lytton Wheeler & Joseph Lovece
ISBN #978-1499716467
Create Space
Price $10.48
290 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Fun Read.”

When one of Denver Doll’s three sidekicks discover what they think is a murdered woman and a crying baby, they bring the child to their mining camp. Upon returning for the woman’s body they discover it is missing. The case gets more complicated when someone steals the baby from them. Denver Doll, one of the original – if not the first – female detectives in fiction, is after road agent and scoundrel John McParland, who may have the baby. It seems the child is to inherit a huge fortune on a certain date, and must be brought forward by that time. But things aren’t going to be easy for Denver Doll. A crook in Shining Bar also wants the inheritance, and McParland’s pals turn against the road agent, while Yankee is after him for murdering his wife.

This book contains the original Dime Novel version as it was published in 1882, and written by Edward Lytton Wheeler, the author of the popular Deadwood Dick series. It also contains a rewritten version by Joseph Lovece, with modern sensibilities (tightened, and the use of profanities). Although the original Dime Novel version has a number of typos, it was still a lot of fun reading this version. I was a huge fan of the Nick Carter Dime Novels, and though outdated, they were a lot of fun, and so is Denver Doll, the Queen of Detectives. Denver Doll is known as a tough gal, not afraid of anything, and can whip most men; she’s also a master of disguise. Her three pals are also something of a curiosity. Walt Christie is a black man of African descent, while Yakie Strauss is of Dutch-German descent. And then there’s Chug, a Chinaman; these three provide the comedy element to the story – think Three Stooges or Bowery Boys, and you’ll be close. There were only four Denver Doll novels, and they are not easily available. For lovers of early American literature, or just the excitement of pre-modernistic writing, you’ll enjoy Denver Doll and her cohorts. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Citing Your Sources Guest Blog By Nikolos Baron

Citing Your Sources and Other Ways to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism can be the death of your career. It can take a very promising career or an already established one and tear it down to nothing. Students have been kicked out of college and professors fired from their jobs over plagiarism. Some do not think it’s that big of a deal. “Who cares?” they whine. “Who is going to look for it? Nobody will even notice.” Nevertheless, a writer’s work is always scrutinized to the "nth" degree by editors, fellow writers, and readers. For this reason, someone will catch you eventually if you are guilty of plagiarism. It may not happen the first time or the second, but at some point, a good reader will notice that you have stolen material from someone else. For some people, “borrowing” from someone else's writing may seem like a good idea. These individuals may argue, “I want to explain it just like this author did,” or “I can’t think of a better way to show what I’m trying to say.” They might even admit, “This is better than I can do, and I’m too lazy to try to do it myself.” However, plagiarism is never a good idea. It will only make you enough money for bus fare in the writing world.
            So if plagiarism is such an easy trap to fall into, how do writers avoid it? There are many easy ways to avoid plagiarism. In fact, it’s easier to avoid plagiarism than commit it. Think about how long it would take you to find a good source to plagiarize from. Then you have to read the material, or at least find the spot you remember in the text, and copy it over. After spending all that time copying it over, you may think that you need to change it just a little bit to “confuse” the reader into believing you did not plagiarize, which takes more time. After all that time, would it be really worth all that effort to plagiarize? It’s much faster to write your own material and cite your sources. Taking a few extra minutes to think of your own description or analysis of what you want to write is more valuable than searching through Google.
Writers should take pride in the fact that they’ve come up with interesting, intriguing, and unique material, not that they found the best source to steal from. Writers should feel as if they have to write to express their ideas, make a change, or just inform people of important information. Writers should feel the need to give credit where credit’s due. Whenever you’re in doubt as a writer, always cite the material. Many editors and freelance employers I’ve had checked my work against websites like Plagium, CopyScape, and Grammarly. You will be fired if they find plagiarism in your work. Originality is what they’re looking for, not copy/paste. Writing your own material and citing your sources are always the best ways to avoid plagiarizing, even if it takes a little bit more time.
            I’ve noted some sources above that can be used to check your work for plagiarism. These programs check your work against tons of other sources to make sure it is clean and original. Although CopyScape and Plagium are dedicated to only finding plagiarized material, Grammarly offers many other services like a grammar and punctuation checker, context-optimized synonym generator, teaching tools, question and answer boards, and the ability to identify your most common errors and teach you how to avoid them. There are hundreds of free, online plagiarism checkers to take advantage of as a writer. There are also bunches of online bibliography tools, like Son of Citation Machine, that can help you easily put together your sources and teach you how to cite them within your text. All of the tools are free and easy to use--much easier than trying to plagiarize “gracefully.” Checking your work with a plagiarism checker along with citing sources and writing original material will save you from the career mistake that is plagiarism.
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 Bio:
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Black Karma

Black Karma (Action/Mystery)
By Thatcher Robinson
Seventh Street Books www.seventhstreetbooks.com
ISBN #978-1616140038
275 Pages
Price $12.63
Rating 5-Stars

“A Complicated Plot, Filled With Action, Danger, And Mystery.”

Bai Jiang (pronounced Bi Chang) is a souxun – a finder of missing people. She and her partner Lee Li (also her martial arts instructor) work out of her office on Grant Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Bai was the daughter of a Shan Chu – the head of the Sun Yee On triad, but when her parents were killed her uncle Tommy Hu took over the leadership and raised her; this makes her a triad princess, which she tries to put behind her by helping others. Her ex-husband, is a Hung Kwan, the second in line to the leadership, and commands a small army of triad soldiers. He still protects his ex-wife and their 13-year old daughter, Dan, so when things get dangerous she has plenty of back up, whether she wants – or needs – it or not.

Inspector Kelly of the SFPD approaches her to find Daniel Chin, who the police suspects of killing policemen in a botched drug sting. Bai thinks something is phony with the task, but wants to find Chin anyway, to see what is going on.

This is the second book in the series, and is a complicated plot, filled with lots of action, danger, and mystery. Before it concludes, people will die, and Bai will find another stray to take under her protective wing. The author has created characters from the shady realm of international organized crime, but some you quickly learn to love and respect, as they live by a code the bad guys don’t want to cross. When you meet Bai Jiang and Lee Li, you will want more of them. Highly recommended for action and mystery lovers of all ages.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories