Welcome to Larry Andrews' website.

Greetings and welcome to my blog spot.

I've written two novels since my retirement in 2008. The first is a romance, Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love. The second is an action/mysteryThe China-Africa Parallax: A Ryan and Gillian Mystery.

Among the textbooks I have written areLinguistics for L2 Teachers, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2001; and Language Exploration and Awareness: A Resource Book for Teachers, 3rd edition, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, 2006. This textbook was translated into Korean by Pagijong Press, Seoul, South Korea. 2010.

I am presently writing my third Ryan and Gillian novel, The Nathan Culper Brotherhood. You can follow my progress on novel #3 here at this blog site.

To order any of my titles please go either to nook.com or amazon.com (Kindle users can go to the Kindle Store.).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Novel #2 chapter 1


            “Have you noticed the woman in the navy blue Mac?” Gillian asked Ryan as they made their way toward the exit at Dr. Samuel Johnson’s house.
            “Which woman?” Ryan returned her question with another, turning a 1-80 to better see the people behind them.
            “Oh Ryan, stop turning and gawking like a tourist from the US. Sometimes you’re simply way too cool and excessively too urbane.”
            “I prefer ‘too cool,’” Ryan echoed.
            She gave him a mock jab to his ribs and both of them laughed.
            They left the building and stood off to one side on Gough Street, enjoying the architectural sights. “Look,” Gillian said, poking Ryan, “See? There she is.”
            “So,” Ryan replied, “there’s a woman in a navy blue raincoat. I assume you want me to make something of that fact? Is this in either your ‘too cool’ or the ‘too urbane’ category?”
            “One more thing,” Ryan added with a smirk,  “your spotting this mysterious woman in a dark raincoat is something out of a Class B movie in the US. I expect better from you.”
            “Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, she was behind us this morning on our walk toward the East Putney tube stop.”
            “Dear,” Ryan answered, “as a London native you should know the London Regional Transport exists to move some of the city’s 25 million people from one place to another place. Some of the riders could very likely be headed in similar directions.”
            “Yes. Yes. This I know, Ryan. I simply find it rather odd that she’s following us. That’s all.”
            “She’s not necessarily following us, you know; could be it’s merely a coincidence the three of us are headed in the same general direction,” Ryan replied, “she could be a tourist from the States who directs a media center in the high school in Lander, Wyoming, visiting the house in London where Samuel Johnson wrote his famous dictionary.”
            “Perhaps. Perhaps. Just never mind. How about some lunch? My breakfast of tea, toast and jam is failing me.”
            They walked the 20 yards to 17 Gough Street for lunch at Ye Olde Chesire Cheese, reputed to be London’s oldest pub, dating back to the 1500’s or 1600’s, depending on whose history of London pubs seems more persuasive. 
            After entering the pub a host seated them at a harvest-style table with benches.  Four people were already seated at the table.
            “Reminds me of the communal seating at Durgin Park in Boston,” Ryan said.
            “Having never visited Boston,” Gillian said, “about all I can add to that observation is ‘Hmmm.’”
            At that, a server emerged, asking, “Drinks?”
            “Two lagers, please, “ Ryan answered. “That okay with you, Gill?”
            Gillian was staring over Ryan’s shoulder, her brow furrowed. She didn’t hear his question.
            “Gillian,” Ryan began, “is a lager okay for you? Harp Irish lager?”
            Gillian dismissed Ryan’s question with a semi-regal wave of her hand. “Whatever.”
            Ryan turned to the server. “I guess we’ll have two Harp Irish lagers.”
            “Very good. I’ll take your lunch orders when I return with your beers,” the server said as he turned and left.           
            Gillian sat more upright in her chair, craning to see over Ryan shoulder. “Don’t turn around, Ryan, but Lady Blue Coat is sitting two tables behind you.”
            “Gillian, this game of Clue is getting tiresome,” Ryan said. He reached across the table and gave Gillian’s hand a squeeze. “I love you very much, you know. But I’d rather be your Romeo than your Dr. Watson. Would that be acceptable to you?”
            “Despite Romeo’s fate?” Gillian chuckled.
            “Everything I do, I do for you, Gillian,” Ryan offered. “I’d even drink hemlock.”
            “Oh Ryan, give us break. You’ve used the wrong character! Romeo didn’t drink hemlock. He was Italian. I think he preferred Amadeo Chianti as his drink of choice.”            
            Gillian laughed at her joke while underneath the table she rubbed the toe of her boot flirtatiously against the inside of Ryan’s thigh.
            “Back to The Lady In Blue, Ryan, her recurring appearances during today’s sight-seeing bothers me to no small degree. Her presence can’t be that circumstantial. One sighting might go unnoticed, two sightings are coincidental, but three sightings make one wonder what’s going on. At least, that’s how I fancy it.”
            Ryan smiled one of his I give up smiles.  “Gilly, the number of her appearances tallied alongside the sites we’ve visited this morning couldn’t be statistically significant.”
            “I married a statistician?” she asked aloud.
            Before Ryan could reply, the server returned with their Harp beers. In accord with Ryan and Gillian’s post-nuptial agreement, each ordered something basic to their new partner’s food traditions and heritage, So, Ryan ordered the Steak and Kidney Pie. Gillian had a Steak Burger, chips, Guinness onion comfit, and horseradish crème fraiche.
            After ten minutes of eating, they traded lunches.

Two months earlier . . .
            Gillian and Ryan were married in the Putney Methodist Church at the intersection of Gwendolyn Avenue and Upper Richmond Road, not more than a five minute walk from Gillian’s detached house.
            The church has a fully operable pipe organ that survived WWII, which is more than can be said for the roof. A nearby bomb blast lifted the roof, leaving it some 4-degrees off-kilter. A repair to the Gothic structure would cost astronomical values in British Pounds Sterling, so repairing the roof had been on the Trustees’ agenda through many generations.
            At coffee and tea following a Sunday service, a long-time congregant pointed out some water-stained pews to Ryan, “If you’re sittin’ there when it’s raining, move yer arse cheeks. It’s simply better wisdom not to sit there.”
            A typical British Occam’s Razor! Ryan stifled a chuckle.
The newlyweds spent a four-day weekend in the south, mostly in and around Winchester, then they returned to Gillian’s house, which had been renamed with a possessive pronoun: our house.
            Gillian resumed her duties in the Wandsworth University’s Department of Linguistics; Ryan still had six months remaining on his academic-year sabbatical and spent his time working on his research.
            Late Friday afternoon Ryan closed the book he was reading, rubbed his eyes and then looked at his watch. It was 5:30. He went to the kitchen cabinet where their liquor supply was kept. He took down a bottle of Booths gin, the dry vermouth, and made a four-finger martini.
            “Can you make that two?” Gillian asked as she came through the front door. She put her coat and scarf in the closet.
            She went into the kitchen; Ryan handed her drink.
            They touched glasses and took their first sips. “The martini is well done, Professor Mixologist, but I can’t understand why you add the dry vermouth. You Yanks just don’t want to admit you drink gin, do you?” Gillian took another sip.
            She continued: “Turning to another topic, if you don’t mind, have you given thought to what we’re going to do at the end of this academic term? I don’t want us living an ocean apart.”
            “No, Gillian, neither do I, of course. We’ll go to the States when your current term is over; I can find a visiting professorship somewhere, I think. Then, I’m obliged to return to my regular position in Columbus in the fall. Now it’s my turn to change the subject.  How about some dinner?”
            “We haven’t a thing in the fridge, I’m afraid. Take out?” Gillian asked.
            “Something like that.”
            They drained their glasses, went to the closet and pulled on their coats, walked to Upper Richmond Road and waved down a taxi.
            Ryan held the right rear passenger door open for Gillian. After she sat in the backseat Ryan got in, pulled the door closed, and sat beside Gillian. She snuggled closer and linked her right arm with his left.
             “The Telegraph Country Pub, on Telegraph Road,” Ryan told the cabbie.
            “Yes, sir. The Telegraph it is. And just where else might The Telegraph Pub be, sir, if not in Telegraph Road? Have you ever wondered?”
            The cabbie laughed as if had had just been anointed the best Christmas Pantomime Comic south of the Thames.
            In the back seat, Ryan and Gillian gave each other an unvoiced God have mercy roll of their eyes and a shrug of their shoulders.
            The Telegraph Country Pub is a lavishly refurbished pub set in the middle of Putney Heath, near Roehampton. The menu is a culinary adventure. The wines and beers are equal to the menu.
            “What goes here? The Telegraph Country Pub? I thought we’d get something simple tonight,” Gillian said quietly as they stepped out of the cab. She didn’t want the cabbie to hear her.
            “It’s not that fancy, you know. Remember, The Telegraph Country Pub is a pub. It isn’t Claridge’s five-star restaurant with Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen. But, neither is it Mike’s Fish & Chips in Paddington. I’m not apt tonight to take out my bride for either shepherd’s pie or for fish and chips,” Ryan said as he paid the cabbie.
            “How long will I be your bride, Ryan? When do I become your wife?”
            “Rich Dr. Graves, he has a new life, when can he call his bride his wife.” Ryan sang an improvised melody.
            “It takes 12 months I hear, “Ryan replied with a chuckle. “The first year of marriage you’re a bride. After one year, the bride becomes a wife. By the way, new bride of mine, I have a marvelous conjugal idea; let’s eat, afterwards go home and then we can . . .
            Gillian finished his sentence and whispered, ” . . . Yes, we can, but only if you’re nice and behave like a gentleman at dinner,” She leaned her head against Ryan’s breast.
            “That sounds like an offer I can’t refuse. Do I have to behave like a gentleman when we’re home?”
            “Ryan, you’re hopeless. Yes, I believe you’re also handsome, desirable, smart, somewhat famous, and I love you very much. But still …  you’re hopeless,” Gillian giggled.
            A woman was standing farther back in the taxi rank. She was wearing a dark blue raincoat and watched Ryan and Gillian walk from their cab to The Telegraph Country Pub entry. She flicked a cigarette into the circle drive’s gravel.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back at my desk

Our short Christmas trip to Overland Park KS ended at 1:30 p.m. Monday when we drove the car into our garage and unpacked the trunk. Beginning Tuesday morning I'll return to the page galleys! Proof reading is a difficult writing stage for me, but it's one of the most important! I'm not telling you anything you don't know, am I?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why Fiction?

Fiction communicates important, powerful and significant ideas. It causes readers to think and to feel. Fiction also entertains readers. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

OMG Stephen Fry!

A week-end surprise! I received notification Saturday that one of my new followers on Twitter is Stephen Fry, the British actor ("Jeeves and Wooster," "Peter's Friends"). OMG. It must be one of his staffers! Fry has more than a passing interest in language. Maybe he or one of his staff has read one of my linguistics texts? Who knows? It's a nice recognition from someone in London.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Authors Den

My address at Authors Den is authorsden.com/larrykandrews.

Authors Den

My last blog was hurried and, therefore, ambiguous. To reach my info at Authors Den you can use authorsden.com/larrykandrews.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New author's site

I'm included now at authorsden.com under a fuller name: Larry K. Andrews. I've learned that there are many people named Larry Andrews, so the addition of my middle initial might help focus a search for me (I wish!).

A literary agent might cost anywhere between $15k to $20k, which is much more than I have secreted away in my mattress. Consequently, I'm trying to write novels, and then serve as my own agent.

Yes, I know -- what do you call someone who represents himself in a court of law?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

There's Still Time

Don't forget your friends at Christmas. Gift them something special, a book. A book is a gift people can open again and again. If this book had been available at the time, one of the Magi would've had a copy for his trip to Bethlehem. Buy an autographed copy (or more) of my first novel, Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love at a ridiculously reduced price of $12.00 + postage ($2.50 book rate, $5.00 1st class).  Questions? Contact me at  laruandrews@yahoo.com. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Meatloaf

And you thought this would be a recipe. I accidentally caught one of the ubuquitous cooking programs earlier this week. My good fortune, indeed!!! A party of 8 being served by three chefs in honor of Meatloaf's 60th birthday. We watched the whole dinner party from the dashboard light. The 'Loaf is 10 years my junior but has a lot of mileage I don't have. I look 10 years HIS junior.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

$12.00 Book Give-away

Help: starving author sale.  Buy an autographed copy (or more) of my first novel, Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love at a ridiculously reduced price of $12.00 + postage ($2.50 book rate, $5.00 1st class). A book is a gift people can open again and again. Questions? Contact me at  laruandrews@yahoo.com. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Silent Night

       Several years ago Christmas really might have been a silent night if online campaigners had their way.
       Facebook users attempted to make four-and-a-half minutes’ silence the prestigious Christmas Carol #1 in the popular music charts that year.
       Nearly 30,000 people signed up to the campaign which attempted to get the experimental composer John Cage’s silent piece entitled 4’33“ in the festive top spot.
       Cage composed his work in 1952. The score, which can be played by any instrument, by beginners and masters alike, instructs musicians not to play their instruments for the duration of the piece, 4 minutes and 33 seconds. That’s a really silent night.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First novel sale: $12.00

Christmas season is upon us. I'm selling autographed copies of my first novel, Songs of Sadness, Songs of Love at a  reduced price of $12.00. At this special price just think what fantastic Christmas gifts you can give!  This offer not available in stores, so hurry and make your gift recipients happy.

If you are interested or have questions, let me know at landrewsauthor@hotmail.com. Only 121 remain in stock so you should hurry.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks that the British or Americans.

The French eat a lot of fat and drink a lot of wine, both whites and reds, and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Chinese drink hardly any red wine and have fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wines and also have fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
Germans drink huge amounts of beer and eat lots of sausages with high fat counts, yet have fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English will kill you.

I found this in one of my language notebooks. For the life of me I  can't attribute it to the original author because I  simply can't remember who said it first. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Wednesday, December 1st, my second novel, The China-Africa Parallax: A Ryan and Gillian Mystery, goes into production. I hope to have a finished copy in hand by Christmas. This is fun and exciting.

Why is language so illogical?

How come we never hear about gruntled employees?
On the other hand, what is the speed of dark?
What is a free gift?
Where do forest rangers go to get away from it all?
Why do builders avoid having a 13th floor, but publishers don’t fear chapter 11?
How are self-help groups possible?
Why is there an interstate highway in Hawaii?
Why isn’t phonics spelled the way it sounds?
What happened to Preparations “A” through “G?”
What happened to the first “6” Ups?
How much deeper would some oceans be if sponges didn’t live there?
If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?
Can a TV program really have a guest host?

Monday, November 29, 2010

What do you love?

         Most churches and many homes have Advent wreaths. Each Sunday in Advent a candle is lighted, symbolizing, weekly in this order: Peace, Hope, Joy, Faith and Love.
         Christmas Day brings the Love candle and at first glance, this seems an easy symbol to interpret because we know about Love.
         We love our family, we love our friends, we love our pets, and a whole bunch other things we say we love.
         For example, we love ice cream and cake; we love Stilton cheese; we love barbecued ribs; we love the Huskers; we love a big, fat, juicy hamburger; we love a special kind of pizza.        
         In American English and in American culture the word love is scattered and 
thrown around like confetti at a New Year’s party. I’m trying to use love more sparingly and and more intentionally.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman

When the peasants of England sang God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen more than 500 years ago, they understood a vastly different meaning from what people in America think today when they hear it. 
       "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" was sung for hundreds of years before being published in the 1800s. Queen Victoria loved Christmas carols so during her time this song began to find favor in the Anglican Church. Soon the protestant English clergy of that era were even enthusiastically teaching "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to their congregations. Moving to both Europe and America, the carol became a favorite throughout the Christian world. It is still sung in much the same way as it was five hundred years ago.
               The problem is that few of today’s singers fully understand the beginning of the carol. This is because language is dynamic and words change over time.
       Today, when people say Merry Christmas, they mean “happy.” Five hundred years ago, when "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" was written, “merry” had a very different meaning.
        You know of Robin Hood’s "Merry Men." Now, they may have been happy, but in the time of Robin Hood the word “merry” that described them meant “great or mighty.” Thus, in the middle ages a strong army was a merry army, a great singer was a merry singer, and a mighty ruler was a merry ruler.
       So when the English carolers of the Victorian era sang, "merry gentlemen," they meant great or mighty men. Even when translated to "God rest you mighty gentlemen," the song still makes very little sense.
        This is because another word that has a much different meaning in today’s world and a punctuation mark that has been lost. The word "rest" in "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" simply meant “keep or make.” Yet to completely uncover the final key understanding the meaning, a comma needs to placed after the word “merry.”
       Therefore, in Modern English, the first line would read "God make you mighty, gentlemen." Using this translation the old carol suddenly makes perfect sense, as does the most common saying of the holidays, "Merry Christmas."
       You just have to know how to translate the words into Modern English and have a very Mighty Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Language Rules

The title of this blog is ambiguous because the two words have no real context of meaning. On the one hand, the title could indicate to the reader that I'm going to list a bunch of rules that distinguish correct English usage from incorrect usage. If you expect this, too bad. Another meaning of the title could be that I think language rules, as a ninth-grader  might say about an item or idea that assumes the quality of awesome or boss. If you expect this, good.