Thursday, March 31, 2022

TV Series review: (Just Call Me) Reacher

Jack Reacher, a character created by author Lee Child, needs no introduction. He is a former US Army military policeman, and he has no fixed abode. Wandering from town to town, he somehow always manages to get involved in problems and naturally must see justice done. Actor Tom Cruise played him in the two version that made it to the big screen. I’m not particularly a Cruise fan, nor even of Child’s writing, but I enjoyed the movies albeit Cruise is a lot shorter than the fictional character. Alan Ritchson (6’3”) was cast as Jack Reacher in the TV series, and I think he did a fine job. His character doesn’t say much because actions speak louder than words. I won’t spoil it for readers who have not yet seen the series but suffice to say Reacher is passing through Margrave, the picture-perfect town hiding a deeply imperfect, sordid secret.

A murder has taken place and by virtue of wrong place, wrong time, Reacher is arrested. From there the dominoes begin to fall and Reacher ends up being involved in solving the mystery and the many murders that follow. It’s a good, solid cast with Bruce McGill playing a crooked mayor, Malcolm Goodwin (OCD and loves his tweed suits) playing a police captain, and the elfin Willa Fitzgerald playing a police officer. The plot is convoluted and for me a few threads did not quite tie up, but I enjoyed the story and how things played out. The action finale is stunning and will please action-adventure fans.

Alan Ritchson is ideal as Jack Reacher. He is not prone to talking, has the ultimate poker face, and truly the body of a Greek god, something the producers flaunt ever so slightly as he does take his clothes off quite a lot. All very legit, of course, because he has to change his clothes a few times, and oh, yes, a romance scene or two but done very tastefully. His interactions with Malcom Goodwin are hilarious and offer quite a few comic moments. Readers will be totally enraptured by Reacher when he leaps over a fence to save a neglected dog, played with charm and doggy panache by canine actor Blaze.

If I have to name a negative in a series that will delight existing fans and newcomers to the Reacher novels, it is the annoying overuse of flashbacks to set up Jack’s relationship with his brother and his propensity for getting into trouble. But that’s a small drawback in an otherwise excellent series. Who knows where Reacher’s travels will take him next?


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Meet Tracy Shawn, Author of Floating Underwater

Part psychological fiction and part mystical fiction with a dash of magical realism, Floating Underwater follows a woman’s astonishing journey through the extraordinary and, ultimately, to her self-actualization and power. Fearful that her lifelong premonitions not only predict the future but can also change its very course, Paloma Leary is devastated when her latest vision foretelling a third miscarriage comes true. Falling into a mystifying world of increasingly bizarre phenomena, including a psychic connection with her mysterious neighbor, out-of-body experiences, and visits from her long-dead mother, Paloma grows desperate for answers. She is also desperate to start a family. But when a life-changing vision reveals a tragic secret from the past, Paloma learns to accept her gifts and embraces a far different future than she ever could have imagined.

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Author Tracy Shawn

1. Tracy Shawn’s best friend is her beautiful Pit Bull (whom she’s nicknamed Ms. Girly). Ms. Girly is often lounging at Tracy’s feet while she writes.

2. Tracy met her husband while driving down the highway. Before she caught a glimpse of his face, she wondered if she was going to marry the guy driving the chocolate-colored truck because it reminded her of a See’s candy!

3. She loves popcorn and often munches on it while working on her novels.

4. Of course, Tracy also loves coffee…and chocolate!

5. She describes herself as a friendly introvert, as she enjoys chatting with people yet also needs a lot of quiet time to herself.  

6. Tracy also feels as if she’s an empath, as she often takes on other’s emotions and can get exhausted if she’s around people for too long.

7. A self-described anxiety warrior, Tracy Shawn has suffered most of her adult life with both acute and generalized anxiety disorder. She has written numerous articles and given speeches about ways to decrease anxiety and stress.

8. One of Tracy’s biggest dreams is that her next novel will be picked up by a literary agent and sold to an established publisher—and then it gets made into a major motion picture!

9. And, yes, Tracy is a big daydreamer!

10. If Tracy wasn’t a writer, she’d love to own a bar with a huge dance floor where people could dance their troubles away.

About the Author: Award-Winning Author Tracy Shawn lives and writes on the Central Coast of California. Her debut novel, The Grace of Crows, won several indie book awards. Floating Underwater is her second novel. Tracy Shawn’s short stories have appeared in Literary BrushstrokesPsychology Tomorrow Magazine, and Steel House Review Literary Journal. She’s written numerous articles for print and online publications and is currently working on her third novel. You can visit her website at or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.