Cause and Effect Poetry by Chessly Nesci (2009, AG Press, $10.95)
Review: “A Report From Winter”
by Dan Stone
Powerfully written: Mind Stimulating: Terrifying and Full of Twists and Turns:
Runt: Memories of a Dyslexic Bastard
A YANK BACK TO ENGLAND: THE PRODIGAL TOURIST RETURNS
by Denis Lipman
Title: A Yank Back To England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns
Author: Denis Lipman
ISBN 10 - 1934848247
ISBN 13 - 978-1934848241
Book Reviewer: Christine Bode
I have spent my Christmas vacation relaxing and reading a delightful, splendidly written travel memoir by Washington, DC playwright and author
Denis Lipman entitled A Yank Back To England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns.
I made Denis’ acquaintance last year through his interesting and colourful blog, England Rents, Raves & Rants and after reading his book
about his family’s annual trips to England over a six year (actually nine) period, I feel as if I know not only him but them as well! His writing is
fluid, to the point, and extremely witty, and his English sense of humour and Dagenham, Essex upbringing sparkle in A Yank Back To England
which is charming and authentically English.
Denis Lipman, at first glance, may seem an unassuming sort of English gentleman who has become fairly Americanized, but his life has been
anything but mundane. He dropped out of school at the age of 15 to become an apprentice printer and within a week realized that magic was
his calling so he left to pursue a career as a magician and magic dealer. It was this endeavor that initially led him to the United States where he
would later meet his wife, Frances Erlebacher, and together, they and their only child, Kate, would spend their annual vacation visiting Denis’
elderly parents, the somewhat eccentric Lew and Jessie, in the Old Country.
When magic lost its luster, Denis experimented with writing scripts, songs, and even album production and after years of trying on different
occupations for the right fit, he ended up relocating to Washington, DC where he became a senior writer for a major advertising agency and a
playwright for the Washington Theatre Festival. In the early 1990s, Denis and Frances started their own agency, The Creative Shop.
It was Frances who decided that they should take advantage of their yearly sojourns to England when they would visit Denis’ parents and
relatives and really get to know the country, both as tourists, and as their second home. Denis wasn’t initially all that keen on traipsing around
to see the sites, but in spite of his reluctance, discovered that he really did enjoy his homeland and even fell in love with it. I certainly fell in love
with the England (Hammill, close to Sandwich) he described in Year Six: A Regency Cottage on a Bridle Path as their accommodation at
Madrigal Cottage is how I have always envisioned the beauty and charm of the English countryside.
This affectionate memoir actually reveals more about the characters portrayed in it than the sites that they visit. Restaurant and hotel names
are not mentioned, although cities, towns and villages are, as well as some of the prominent sites one would associate with those places, which
according to Denis are all within a half-day trip from London. Meals are described in such a way that you sometimes salivate and occasionally
crinkle up your nose in disgust while tea and Jack Daniels flow copiously. The weather is always a force to be reckoned with and the
countryside as charismatic and as challenging as one could imagine. This is a depiction of the reality of travel and it’s not always brilliant but it
A Yank Back To England is just as much about Denis getting to know his aging parents as adults, friends and grandparents as discovering
what makes England the historical, magnificent country that it is. The events here are not sugar-coated in any way and Denis describes his
parents, in particular, in a very honest and not necessarily flattering manner but you fall in love with them anyway. We also meet Denis’ aunts
Flo, Vi and Mary and cousins Pam and Kevin and his wife Maxine, and briefly Denis’ brother Tony and his wife Tricia. We get a glimpse of Kate’
s early years and recognize that Frances is ever thoughtful, practical, diplomatic, and easy to get along with and Denis owes the success of this
book to her.
A travel memoir cannot be easy to write as it would be hard to remember entire conversations the way that Denis has written them here, but
because he has managed to do so, the book reads like a novel and when it ends you find yourself sighing, smiling, reflecting and utterly
yearning for your next vacation abroad. And don’t forget to dress in layers and place a bet on the horses while you’re at it!
KGB in High Heels by Valentina Maltseva
(a pen name?)
Review by Al Kalar
This book was originally written in Russian under a
different title. It sold 600,000 copies in Russia and
Israel (Israel??? Go figure). And it was made into a
6-part TV miniseries in Russia.
Whoever did the translation did a marvelous job. I
couldn't find any indication that the book wasn't
written in English from the start.
During the old Cold War, the heroin, Valentina,is
"recruited" by her lover, a KGB agent, along with
Yuri Andropov, the head of the KGB, to run an
errand in Argentina. Now, Valentina is only an arts
and literature reporter, so what does she know
about spies and spying?
And that's the fuel behind the story. Poor Valentina
is catapulted into the dangerous and strange world
of espionage. Of course, nothing goes down the
way it is supposed to and her curiosity gets her into
more trouble to boot.
The story is full of twists and turns with a new
surprise around every corner. Plots within plots and
a number of people who would like to see her dead
and out of the way.
No wonder the original story sold so well.
The book is only available in eBook form (in English)
at AKW Books. http://www.akwbooks.
Words like ‘pathos’ are sometimes tossed about rather indiscriminately, but when a book like Wayne Courtois’ “A Report From Winter” comes
along, there are only certain words that fully capture the apparent intention and achieved effect. In this extraordinarily compelling and
bittersweet account of the author’s return to the wintry Maine landscape of his childhood and his experience at the bedside of his terminally ill
mother, Courtois pulls back the curtain on a chilly, troubled New England family, offering a jumble of uncomfortable images as scattered and
chaotic as the disorderly drawers full of photographs in his mother’s uninhabited house—and an uneasy reflection on the awkward ties that still
bind him to his kin.
He also adeptly contrasts this relatively bleak family portrait with the surprisingly warm and loving relationship he has found with his partner,
Ralph, who, if not the prototypical knight in shining armor, nonetheless provides an emotional foundation that grounds and warms this painfully
personally memoir and that offers welcome hopefulness to the somewhat grim telling of the author’s story.
“A Report From Winter’ is not an entirely easy book to read. It hurts at times to get this close to the wounded and to feel such freely offered
angst and doubt. But it’s not all wintry gloom. There are welcome glints of humor that illuminate the somber skies of this story. And despite the
often sinking feeling this book invites us to share, it still manages to rise to the occasion of suggesting that no matter how unlikely or late in the
game, peaceful endings are still possible—and that good things can still come to those who wait.
A Gravedigger’s Tales
This slim volume of anecdotes by a gravedigger has a macabre fascination. The tone is humorous and practical throughout, beginning with its
bright zany cover.
The gravedigging occupation is apparently beset with many problems: wrong size hole, wrong shaped coffin, drunken diggers, waterlogged
ground, misplaced diggings, eccentric client requests being but some of its tribulations. Shipley takes all these in his stride, finding in them ample
scope for a good laugh
There is much in this unpretentious book to amuse the general reader, but it is no work of literature/ On almost every page we find hackneyed
expressions: panic buttons being pressed, adrenaline being pumped and so on. There are also scores of annoying tags, ‘to say the least,’ being a
favourite. Tired expressions, such as ‘at the end of the day’ and ‘if I say so myself,’ soon begin to pall.
Nevertheless, publisher and author have done an excellent job of proofing and editing. This is a well-produced little book, exploring unfamiliar
territory with frankness and humour. Shipley is well worth a read - and a rest after over 3,000 digs in Notts and Lincs.
Grosvenor House 9781907211669
Reviewed by David James
is a diverse collection of poems and poetic short story/essay/ruminations. They range from recession-era ("Economy," "Dream House") to romantic
("Dream," "Crush") to inspiring ("Strength") to fairy-tale-like ("The Hidden One"). Along the way, Chessly meditates on such topics as the tragic loss
of her father, an emotionally abusive past relationship, and personal insecurity. She deals with these weighty topics with a hopeful, yet realistic,
determination. Which is not to say she can't be lighthearted: see, for example, her loving ode to coffee:
"...I love the smell of coffee beans
And how they sound
Grinding in a coffee machine
I am an addict
Maybe I need therapy
Don’t think I want to stop
It makes by body feel warm
Soothes the senses
Makes me feel relaxed at first
Then mighty accomplished after a cup
Just curious if anyone else is addicted?
Loves it better than a lover
Has to have it first thing..."
The book concludes with eleven short-short stories, the best of which are "Flying," "Summer Love" and "Blind Date." These three in particular
feature intriguing, yet realistic, female characters in romantic scenarios. (You can't blame me for liking them best; I'm a hopeless romantic myself!) I
look forward to more from this talented poet...and won't have to wait very long. According to AG Press editor and publisher Cheryl Pillsbury,
Chessly has two more books of poetry and short stories in the works!
You can find Chessly's book online at the AG Press bookstore: http://agpressma.books.officelive.com/ChesslyNesci.aspx.
BTW. if I seem like I'm bragging about this book, it's only because I'm the editor.
Review by Erin O'Riordan
(The mystery of)
The Solar Wind
By Lyz Russo
Secrets, mysteries, lies, deceptions, intrigue and murder are just some of what you will encounter when you board the Solar Wind for your journey
into the 22nd century. This will not be just any ordinary journey, it will keep you spellbound, alert, terrified, inquisitive and more, to learn about the
new regime and the new world powers of the year 2116 and just what changes are in store for you. With a cast of characters so diversified, yet so
alike, you will want to not only learn the reasons why each crewmember signed on to the Solar Wind, but go along with them on their dangerous
journey to find freedom and safety in a world filled with fear.
The world is not the same any more. The governments in most parts of the world are no longer democratic. The Unicate and the Rebellion are
two opposing World Domination Governments that have taken over and captured many countries on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. Let’s
meet the Captain of the Solar Wind: Radomir Lascek, who sails his illegal trader ship around the world doing shady deals and illegal trading of
ships and much more. Next we have three teenagers that were rescued and brought aboard in Dublin, escaping the wrath of the Unicate
Government. What would happen if everyone in the world that needs medical care did not have to pay a co-payment for service but instead a
hefty fee for a medical care license, just like a driver’s license? This license has to be renewed on a yearly basis and if you cannot afford the fee,
you do not get the care. What would happen if you had to flee your country because you were accused of murder but did not commit one?
Wait until you learn why and how the Donegal kids came to work and live on the Solar Wind: Paean, who has the ability to forecast when
something bad will happen and has an understanding of herbal medicine and more; and her two brothers Ronan and Shawn who have skills of
their own that make all three invaluable to the captain of this dangerous ship.
There are many more interesting characters: Federi the gypsy, who has a secret of his own; the captain himself, the doctor and the centenarian,
and all of the others on this ship who are trying to escape the government and find freedom. But will they?
And what about the mysterious Ailyss who is on the ship but seems cold and stays to herself? Paean tries to befriend her, but is aware that she
might be dangerous. Paean is the one character that you can fall in love with despite everything that is going on. She is tough, adventurous, kind,
straightforward and will do anything to win the captain’s favor even if it means breaking the rules. Proud that she is now considered part of the
crew and a pirate, she does more than her share to keep everyone stitched up, safe and properly hydrated with her own brand of medicine and
Added to this mix is the captain of the Hun, Anya Miller, an angry bounty hunter who was humiliated by our captain and will resort to anything to
bring him in and collect the reward.
Most importantly let us meet the Solar Wind, the most unique ship ever to sail the seas. A ship that has more sensors than the government and
more eyes than the FBI of CIA when tracking predators, sharks, change of temperature and current. This ship is smarter than any person that
mans it and its computer is constantly processing the information from the sensors all the time. Elusive and able to change appearances, its name
and location, this ship can hide from just about anyone. Or can it?
The Unicate with its army of Stabilizers is trying to track the Solar Wind, with the help of Anya Miller. With the crew of several other ships aiding
him, our captain manages to escape capture and get through the Panama Canal almost unscathed. But what happens next will astound the
reader and only author Lyz Russo can tell it in her brilliant way and keep the reading on edge throughout the entire novel.
Their frightening finds on the Pacific island of Hiva Oa lead them to a trap that endangers the lives of two of the crewmembers. Vanishing lizards;
killed tourists. Sunken treasure ships that were not supposed to be there, with fifteen skeletons left behind. Shawn Donegal steals a metal device
from the body of a dead hobo, and Paean, wanting to return it, soon finds out that this is the missing piece of a data capsule from the Hun, and
might provide the information they need to uncover what the Unicate had planned. Going back for the rest of the bounty, both Federi and
Marsden are captured.
Throughout the novel the reader learns about Federi and his life before coming to the Solar Wind in letters he writes to his sister. Paean decides
to keep some of her thought on paper too, helping the reader to understand her even more.
Who is the spy for the Unicate or the Rebellion on the ship? What happens when another ship’s crew comes on board and the Captain of the
Solar Wind befriends them?
Keeping the enemy busy on board their ship allows Captain and Jon Marsden the time to dig deeper into the information on the two capsules,
continuing their spy work right under the Unicate’s nose. For years the Unicate has hunted the Solar Wind hoping to finish off the rest of the crew
that they led into a trap two years before. Is the Solar Wind at the heart of a political plot against the Unicate?
With the Unicate aboard and the Rebellion on their tails, the crew struggle on through a storm. But what is wrong with the radar? The Captain
demonstrates his power over the ship and his ability to control it in his own elusive way. But then the rebel ships capture Paean and Sherman; and
Federi, Rushka and Ronan Donegal will stop at nothing to find them both. With Paean and Sherman in trouble Federi risks more than his position
on the Solar Wind to save them.
Who is the spy and why is this person on the ship? What does happen, will surprise the reader and renew your faith in loyalty, friendship and
understanding. Will the Solar Wind ever be free from the Unicate or the Rebellion forces? Will the world succumb to being dominated by evil?
Wait for the sequel and find out!
I never give stars so I will give this book FIVE SOLAR WINDS THAT HAVE AN INVISIBLE SHIELD TO HIDE FROM THE UNICATE AND REBELLION
FORCES TO SAFETY AND FREEDOM: In the words of our amazing author: DONEGAL MAGIC PREVAILS
Fran Lewis: Reviewer and author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books.
Author: Ray Shoop
This is a powerful novel that brings to light many important and vital areas that were prevalent back in the 1940’s when this novel takes place and
even now in 2009. Children emulate their parents. They revere them and want their acceptance when they do something right and their
understanding and guidance when they do something wrong. But, when verbal and physical abuse is the main forms of teaching a child right from
wrong, you have the parents and family of George Woodrum or the Runt. With a father that belittled him every step of the way and brothers that
enjoyed making him feel slow and dumb, George had no chance of success and little feelings of self-worth.
Trying to complete the tasks his father wanted him to do and trying to not get in trouble, he often faltered and if not for his niece Bee, his closest
ally and friend he would have had no one in his life to confide in and make him feel special. With a close bond, closer than two children should
have, they managed to withstand the abuse, neglect and beatings that George became accustomed to on an almost a daily basis.
Added to this George had even more obstacles to overcome. He had difficulty in school and learning to read was something that he never learned
to do. Being dyslexic does not mean you cannot learn nor does it mean that you are smart. It just means that when you see words and letters you
do not see them the same way that others do and many people that are brilliant and smart struggle with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning problem
that both adults and children have making it difficult to read and spell.
Children and adults with dyslexia need special reading specialists to work, assess and plan a special program to help them learn to read. Often
feeling angry, frustrated and sad because they are having such difficulty is normal, but in this case, George’s situation was left undiagnosed and
not addressed by his teacher, Ms. Ellenwood or his parents who really did not seem to care. Whether he went to school or not or behaved or did
not, he received nothing but ridicule and beatings for his lack of success or poor performance or behaviors both in school and at home. Who
would want to go to school to be made to feel stupid, unwanted and not worth the help of the person who is there to address the needs of all of the
students in the class. Added to the mix is a family that is totally dysfunctional with family members that had their own issues and private grievances.
With two older sisters with failed marriages and husbands that either cheated on them, or wound up out of work or worse, they came to live under
the same roof as The Old Man and Beth as his father was referred to and his mother. However, if the abuse that he encountered from his family
was not bad enough, he had the stigma of being referred to as a Bastard. When a woman has a child out of wedlock and does not marry the
father, the child is referred to as a bastard. How, awful is that. All of his life Runt or George was referred to by that name and only when he got
older did he realize what it really meant. Not only that, but his sister was not that innocent and his niece Bee was considered one too. How horrific
and how wrong is to take out the transgressions of an adult on an innocent child who was not responsible for how he/she was conceived and who
his/her parents were. Added to that the truth about his father’s birth and more will enlighten the reader.
Throughout his young life and those of his family members, George Woodrum felt like an outsider in his family. Only wanting to contribute his share
and be included when jobs were given out and not reduced to the demeaning job of washing and scratching his father’s feet and bringing him
beers, helps the reader feel warmth and compassion for this really kind, understanding and compassionate young man.
What the end result is will surprise the reader. When The Old Man squanders his pension money and does not pay his bills for his home, the family
loses everything and is forced to move into cramped quarters and everyone has to pitch in and work. But, school never gets better for him and a
one-room schoolhouse, which is where he went for most of his time in school, made it more difficult for him and other students to learn. Teachers
are trained to work with all of their pupils. Back then, many had no idea how to work with those with learning disabilities and these children fell by
the wayside or just dropped out and got menial jobs. What does happen to give his family a wakeup call will bring tears to your eyes. What does
happen at the end to his family and to him will let you know that the apple does not fall far from the tree and children of abused families and who
are abused are often abusive parents too.
The sad part is that he never got a hug or a kiss from his mother or father. Even sadder is the ending and how he feels or does not feel when his
parents are gone. What does happen to him and his niece you will have to read for yourself. As an educator I became angry at the way he and
other students were treated by all of the teachers. No one bothered to address his learning needs and I bet if taught with the proper methods and
instruction that are geared to dyslexics he would have learned to read and excelled.
This is strong novel that brings to light how important it is for parents to be mindful of their children’s feelings and needs. It is novel that focuses on
a family that was anything but a unit and whose members fought for their own personal survival. A brother who went off to war and kept coming
home with another girlfriend and his own illegitimate child. Two sisters who had troubles in their own lives and marriages. The word Bastard has
many definitions. You decide whether the meaning should just refer to a child born out of wedlock, or the person who mistreats an innocent child
just because he is different. Just how many characters in this story fit either definition?
I do not give stars when I review a book. I give George Five Hugs and Five Words: Special, Kindhearted, Loving, Smart and Understanding. They
truly are who you are and more.
Fran Lewis; reviewer
William Miner: The Man Who the Myth
Author: Joseph Burke
Publisher: Langdon Street Press
Straightforward, honest, hardworking and quite direct, William H Miner was a man to be reckoned with from an early age. Orphaned at age 10, sent
live on a farm owned by his Uncle John and Aunt Hulda, he learned the meaning of hard work. Working on their farm and learning about the
farming and how to make it one prosper, William became not only a valuable asset to both his Uncle John and Aunt Hulda but to the success of the
As a young man he made many mistakes and often did not think about the consequences of his actions and thoughts. Working for the Lafayette
Car Works as a chief draftsman and Superintendent at Lima, and the Department of Bridges and Building on the Wabash Railroad, he learned
invaluable information and more about how to build cars for railroads, fix them and keep the nightmares of being in charge and having a boss
whose concern was not the quality of his railroad cars, but the quality produced within short time periods.
One attribute that I admire about William Miner was his work ethic. Williams devotion to quality, safety and creating a product that was defect free
at both the manufacturing and design level, would make him someone that major businessmen today would want to have on their team. Refusing to
compromise his ethics and lower his standards, he realized that he would have to make a change in his life and go out on his own. Excelling in
customer development and service and in produce design and improvement he also realized his shortcomings too. His managerial skills needed
work and he failed in production planning and in managing men in manufacturing mainly because the quality of worker was inferior to his standards
and not properly trained or compensated for their work by his employer.
With an older sister, who was critical of him from the start, and rarely praised him for his accomplishments, William worked hard to please himself
and his Uncle John and his brother-in-law John Mitchell. Both of these men came to his aide with advice and encouragement when things became
tough and he needed someone to put things in the proper perspective. Added into the mix was a new wife named Alice and a sister who resented
her presence and that of her family. William become immersed in the handling all of his sisters finances, his extended families and his own. Getting
many patents and hoping that they would prove profitable, he spent little time at home and much on the road working for different companies and
hoping to become successful. With a wife that encouraged him and a sister who was only concerned with her own needs both financially and
educationally, William Miner often stretched himself to the limit, yet managed to play mediator and handle all of the diversity diplomatically.
William Miner had a dream. He wanted to bring technology to Chazy and the Champlain Valley. He needed to use power and electricity to provide
the new energy of the day. His Heart’s Delight Farm was at the center of his life at this time and required this new technology in order to flourish
even more. With the help and guidance of Clarence E. Hamilton his farm manager, he was able to create projects and accomplish many of his
goals. After the deaths of his uncle and his brother-in-law, Hamilton, unwittingly took over the role of advisor and more in order to help smooth the
ways when things became rough for Miner.
William H. Miner spent his whole life living up to his own standards of excellence both at home and in business. With so many accomplishments, I
have decided to highlight the ones that I found most interesting. As an educator I really loved reading about the Chazy Rural School that focused
on teaching agricultural skills and other life skills that students in the elementary and middle schools would need. Agriculture was stressed and
working with George Mott his dream came alive. The Alice T. Miner Museum brings the reader and the visitor back into the Colonial Time Period.
A legacy so great it would take another book to write it. Chazy, Clinton County in Champlain was blessed and fortunate to have this man who gave
them a state of the art hospital, truly rural school, two historic museums, research education and much more. But, what he really gave them was
man who worked, whose image on the outside looked austere, but underneath was kind, great host at his farm, and a wonderful husband, brother
and so much more. Quality not quantity: Is what he stands for!
Queen Mab Courtesy by Bruce Davis
Review by Al Kalar
I can see why Bruce Davis is an award-winning author. Queen Mab is a fast-paced science-fiction book set in the not-too-
distant future. Chicago is still Chicago, but the Welfare Society has become much more prevalent.
Tito, A “Denver Dwarf” (result of a virus that infected pregnant women in Denver) lives in Chicago and would very much
prefer to make it on his own rather than live in “homes” designed for “spuds”, as they are called. Spuds are mostly
mentally slow, but Tito’s mind works just fine.
Unfortunately, the Welfare folks want him under their control and avoiding welfare is actually a crime. So Tito is on the run from the C.O.P.S.,
mechanized police units. He runs into a street vendor of hot chestnuts who’s more than he seems and the story gets really interesting from there to
The action rarely pauses as Tito and his new friend dodge the C.O.P.S. and get involved in schemes that are not quite “legal” under the current
It’s easy to fall in love with Tito and his “can do” attitude. He’s the underdog who manages in spite of the odds against him. I can only hope that
Davis will bring out another novel with Tito as the main character.
Queen Mab Courtesy is available in paperback form at CWG Press: https://www.createspace.com/3358866. and in eBook form at AKW Books: http:
Books Reviewed by Dellani Oakes
Images of Betrayal – Claire Collins initially seems like a romance novel. Tysan meets Walker, a handsome photographer, who shows her an
alarming secret. His pictures show the future! Dubious, until events start coming true, Ty clings to Walker for help and support. But can those
pictures hold something else more sinister?
This book is amazing. The plot has more twists and turns than a corkscrew. I thought I had it figured out, but every time I thought I knew the
outcome, Collins gave me another twist. An amazingly thrilling mystery/ love story. A must read for anyone.
Fast paced an exciting, this story seems like it's going one direction. In an unexpected twist, the story goes 360, then about another 180 degrees,
spinning nearly out of control. An amazing thrill ride from start to finish.
Like Collins' other book, "Images of Betrayal", "Fate and Destiny" blends a little romance with a whole lot of crime! Someone dropped Destiny out
of a truck and into the snow. If Andrew hadn't found her, she would have frozen to death. Who dumped her and why? Was it Fate that brought
them together? If so, what else does Fate have in mind?
A wonderfully well crafted book that's a delight to read. It charms and thrills from start to finish. An excellent choice for anyone who likes love and
crime mixed together.
Carpet Ride – Norm Brown
This is an incredible thrill ride from start to finish. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Norm Brown threw me a curve ball and I realized I didn't
have it figured out until he told me! It's an excellent book and a Must Read for all mystery lovers.
Badeaux Knights – Suzette Vaughn
Sonja Mitchell is running from an abusive boyfriend. She returns to the one place she feels really safe, the home of Nick and Kale Badeaux. She
hopes to escape, only to have her ex redouble his efforts, threatening her and the two men she loves.
Vaughn's story immediately draws the reader into a world that's a mixture of modern and arcane. The Badeaux brothers are two of the sexiest
romantic heros of all time. This novel leaves the reader breathless, wanting more.
This story is an atypical love triangle between Sonja Mitchell, a young woman in an abusive relationship, and two brothers, Kaleb and Nicholas
Badeaux. Running away from her abusive boyfriend, Sonja seeks refuge with the Badeaux brothers, embroiling them all in a dangerous game of
cat and mouse with her sadistic ex.
Badeaux Knights is exciting, seductive, terrifying! I couldn't put it down!
Murder in Winnebago County – Christine Husom is a great mystery story. Sgt. Corky Aleckson takes a routine call for a missing person that turns
out to be not so routine. The death of Judge Fenneman is only the beginning of the bizarre sudden deaths around the county. Can Corky figure
out "who done it" before the killer strikes again?
This is an excellent murder mystery with a twist. It gives us a poignant insight into the mind of a disturbed and grieving woman and her attempts to
ease her pain. A must read for all murder mystery lovers.
The Medicine People – Lazarus Barnhill
Ben Whitekiller, notorious fugitive, returns to the small Oklahoma town he ran from 25 years ago. Wanted for a triple homicide, he's been on the
run and suddenly decides to come back and turn himself in.
What really happened that night? Why does Ben claim he can't remember? It's up to rookie officer Dan Hook to discover the truth. With the help of
a beautiful and vivacious redhead, Dan solves the case that has baffled the police for longer than he's been alive.
Barnhill's style is easy to read, but his plot has more twists and turns than a mountain road. I enjoyed the thrilling ride from start to finish.
Why did Ben Whitekiller return after 25 years on the run? Wanted for 3 murders, including that of his wife, he comes back to town to turn himself
in. Dan Hook, rookie police officer cuffs Ben and in so doing, steps into a strange series of events whose roots are older than he is. Soon,
however, he begins to see that police accounts of those murders might not be quite what they seem.
It's a hard book to put down! Excellent!
A Love Out of Time – Mairead Walpole is a wonderful paranormal, love through time novel that truly unites two kindred souls. Walpole weaves a
tale of romance and intrigue in this imaginative novel. I've read it twice, and will read it again for years to come.
Night & Day – Sherrie Hansen is a lovely romance about two stubborn, set in their ways people who meet quite by accident on the Internet. Though
one lives in America and the other in Denmark, they find they have a connection that transcends location. Knowing they are right for each other
isn't enough, though, when neither is willing to compromise.
I greatly enjoyed this book. Hansen captures the unique qualities of the characters, making them come alive. I highly recommend this book to
anyone who enjoys a true romance.
"Safe Harbor" by Sherilyn Winrose, is a riveting tale that starts with a heart pounding scene, drawing the reader into Jenna Davidson's world. Little
does she know that when she opens the door to Lt. Bryan Jamison, that her life is going to spin nearly out of control.
"Safe Harbor" is a well crafted novel that alternately kept me on the edge of my seat with its action, or brought me to tears with its tenderness. The
story is gripping and enthralling. I lost myself in its pages.
Last Breath has an intricate plot, well crafted by Michelle McGriff. In places gritty and earthy, it is also witty, sophisticated and full of surprises. I
kept thinking I had figured it out, only to have the plot take another incredible twist. It is an action filled plot of intrigue, love and betrayal. It will
indeed leave the reader breathless.
"Obsession 101" is not only a great novel, it is a study in human nature. Surrounded by three men who want her, Rashawn Ams is trying to put her
life back together after a brutal attack. Thinking she is safe, she returns home, only to find that life back home isn't as comfortable, predictable or
as secure had she had hoped. The plot is beautifully woven, full of surprises and leaves the reader wanting more! Good that she's got a sequel
coming soon! I can't wait to read it!
By T.K. Thorne
Reviewed by Perle Champion
In Noah’s Wife, consummate storyteller T.K. (Teresa) Thorne takes us back to 5500 BCE. Here we meet Noah’s future wife.
Born to a mother who dies giving her life, Na’amah is a beautiful girl with peculiarities. She sees the colors and patterns of
words overlaid with the color of their truth.
Betrothed to Noah, she learns the precarious place of women in a society turning away from Mother Goddess and Father God
as a unit, toward an austere patriarchal view of deity. Na’amah does not believe in Goddess or God, because she cannot see
them. She cannot say this aloud; she would be pitted.
All transgressors are “pitted”—thrown into a deep well in the market square, shunned, and left to die without food, water, or clothing. Her fear
grows when someone is pitted for thinking of Mother Goddess when it has been decreed that now there is only Father God.
Na’amah’s peculiarities fit smoothly with the story. It gives her an outsider’s perspective for this first person narrative, which reads much like a
personal journal. As she matures, she tells herself, “I wish I could just sit and rock and sing like when I was a child, but I am a woman now, and I
cannot.” Her pain is universal as she realizes she must grow up and face her demons or lose what is most precious to her.
She wants only to be Noah’s wife and tend her sheep. Reaching that goal takes her on a tortuous path. Ruthlessly raped on the eve of her
wedding, she runs away and gets captured by another tribe as a gift for their king, and that is just the beginning—to tell more is to spoil your
As with Na’amah, all of Thorne’s characters are believable people with traits we recognize in ourselves and others—endearing, abhorrent,
exasperating, and often surprising.
Many stories of the Bible come to us over thousands of years, told and retold until the scholar writes them down. How much of the original tale
makes it to the page? How much is edited away as extraneous?
Too often women are left out of history or they appear as footnotes. Not since Mists of Avalon or Ahab’s Wife have I enjoyed such a finely crafted
woman’s point of view on an oft-told tale. Here, the nameless woman who bore Noah’s children has a name. Here we have the story imagined as it
could have been, and who can say for sure. Nov 2009
Perle Champion is a freelance writer and artist.
By Joyce Norman and Joy Collins
Reviewed by Perle Champion
Chalet Publishers, LLC, 2008
It’s said that many first novels are, at least in part, autobiographical. In this instance, it is true. The core of Coming Together
is a true story. Birmingham writer Joyce Norman lived it. With her friend Joy Collins acting as foil and prod, Norman tells us her
story of a single woman traversing the hostile bureaucratic maze of the foreign adoption process in 1980s Brazil. She seamlessly
weaves every minute detail of that intriguing slice of her life between the pages of an entertaining love story that never was. The two stories are
not just a deft coming together of memoir and novel, but of friends, family, lovers, and cultures as well.
Chapter One starts off at a dead run with a brief taste of what awaits an unsuspecting Daisy. A flash forward shows the terror that is reality in a
country where the police are a law unto themselves. They knock down the doors of an innocent adoption agency and take infants and children
away at gunpoint without warrant or cause to the “funabem,” a benign name for the nightmare that is the state orphanage. This taste makes us
read a little faster to see how it all unfolds, as ensuing chapters slow the action down and take readers back in time to meet Daisy and Luis.
The novel is the love story of Daisy and Luis that wraps this telling in hope when hope is needed most. Daisy is an American fleeing a marriage
that failed because her career’s star far outshone her husband’s. She is an independent, now single woman, determined to get on with her life.
Along with her photographer, Charlie, she flies to Rio to immerse herself in her latest commission—a documentary on Brazil for a Dr. Tsuru.
Luis is the proverbial tall, dark, handsome stranger, a Brazilian photographer with a surprising past, who joins Daisy’s documentary crew on Charlie’
s recommendation. Daisy is immediately smitten, not only with Luis, but also with Rio’s deceptive beauty, and unexpectedly, with a small orphaned
The memoir could stand alone, but who among us, given the chance, would not rewrite our history to include a love affair, and a tall, dark
handsome stranger? Not I. Sept 2009
Perle Champion is a freelance writer and artist.
Redeeming Grace, by Smoky Trudeau
According to one version of the old gospel song Old Time Religion, "it makes me love everybody." Unfortunately, that old time religion has often
been less than kind to women. In the hands of a fundamentalist zealot preacher like Luther Harmon in Redeeming Grace, it can be cruel and
potentially deadly. Loving everybody is an idea Harmon sets aside.
Luther Harmon was a loving father before his wife and two of his children died. After that, his figurative drug of choice was child abuse backed up
by a literal interpretation of scripture that demands a vengeful father and submissive women, children and other chattel.
Even as she does her best to safeguard her younger sister Miriam, Grace loves her father. Grace mourns the disruptive changes in him. She
strongly feels the absence of her mother--her calming role and her more liberal religious views. She tries to fulfill her role as a dutiful, yet
questioning daughter, a steadfast peacemaker, and Miriam's primary caretaker. Grace is in many ways grace personified in spite of her inner
The novel begins in rural Maryland in the summer of 1928 and ends in the spring of 1930. During this time, Trudeau's impeccable and often lyrical
prose carries a haunting story of families within a beautiful natural world assaulted by the daemons of insanity, loss and ill-conceived beliefs.
Redeeming Grace is a beautiful and inspiring novel that portrays without rancor the hell of that old time religion en route to the heaven of
unfettered love and trust.
Reviewed by Malcolm Campbell
The Cabin, by Smoky Trudeau
There was a deep connectedness between mountain women in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, a connectedness that transcended the
tangible, yet was as real as the forest itself. It was a part of the mountain magic, her grandmother had taught her when she was a young child, and
it was particularly strong between Corrine and her sister, Catherine.
Faerie folk and an old cabin in the high country link characters in modern times with those living during the American Civil War. Those who "know"
tell the doubters to "believe what you see." Lives are at stake across time and the one chosen to help is in the dark.
Smoky Trudeau, who also wrote Redeeming Grace, brings to The Cabin an obvious and highly detailed love of plants and animals, the mountains,
and the old wisdom of one attuned to the natural world.
This novel is a very satisfying, very magical reading experience. Highly recommended to everyone, but especially to those interested in time
portals, mountain wisdom, Native American beliefs, the Civil War, slaves and bounty hunters, folk medicine, and mystery.
Reviewed by Malcolm Campbell
|The Goddess of Goodbye
By James R. Whitley
Published by Word Press
Mr. James Whitley’s The Goddess of Goodbye once again proved that death is nothing but a sweet slumber. By reading his poems you can
actually feel death breathing on your face with its scent so delicious you could actually taste it on your lips. I felt so deeply moved in Let There Be
A Purple Heaven and Covet Not the Flame Her Bright Feathers, you could really feel the pain and longing of the person speaking.
The Goddess of Goodbye is a collection of poem that will open up your soul to the full extent of its consciousness that death is not the end for the
person who is dying or for the people who will be left behind but rather a new start, a new beginning of another novel like life. Mr. Whitley’s poems
are like sonata lingering in the cold winter night. It will touch the deepest part of your heart and will reconcile with your soul. he pictured his poems
with words no one can ever do as it have more life you can actually hear his poems breath. His will echo inside your head and his poems will be
your guide for a long, long time.
Mr. Whitley’s Goddess of Goodbye is just one of the best poetry books I’ve read. It is a kind of poetry book you will love to give to your loved
ones. The Goddess of Goodbye is a kind of book you will not keep in your book shelves for a very long time as it will stay in your bed for the rest
of your life.
To know more about the this book and his other works, please feel free to check his website at www.jamesrwhitley.com
© 2009 by Lanie Shanzyra P. Rebancos
|Axe of Iron: The Settlers
Copyright 2003 by Shara McCallum
Published by University of Pittsburgh Press
By Judith Woolcock Colombo
In the early Nineteen-Seventies, I went with my sister to see the Vincent van Gogh exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. I remember standing in front
of the painting Starry, Starry Night awestruck. All the sights, sounds, and smells of the crowded museum faded away. The power and passion of
the painting held me spellbound, for this is the power of true art, to ensnare, enthrall, and mesmerize. Jamaican born poet Shara McCallum does
just that in her newest book of poems, Song of Thieves.
With her lyrical voice, McCallum seduces you, and intoxicated by her words you fall into a world painted with language, stimulating to both your
imagination and senses. McCallum's topics, presented in riveting verse, cover a wide range of subjects: love, loss of a parent, politics, racial
identity, and the immigrant experience of becoming a stranger in your own land.
My forte is prose. That is my medium, the way in which I wield the power of language. Although, I enjoy many poems and admire some poets,
poetry usually does not speak to me the way a beautifully written work of prose does, that is until now.
McCallum spoke to the child in me that still grieves over the loss of her mother. She spoke to the immigrant who has also experienced becoming a
tourist in her own land, "a visitor from foreign," a person still in love with the land of her birth. "How long have I loved you Jamaica of my mind?" She
spoke to the person still sometimes struggling for identity in an adopted country that at times seems so strange.
Logically as in any collection of works, some poems may be superior to others, but I could not tell you which among this group is the best. To me,
they were all outstanding.
In his novel, Axe of Iron, author J.A. Hunsinger takes readers back to the year 1008 and tells a Viking tale of exploration and adventure. The story
centers on two Northmen explorers, Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second in command, Gudbjartur Einarsson, who lead an expedition to explore and
establish a settlement along the coast of North America. Their journey takes them from Greenland to what is now known as Baffin Island, Canada,
and then entering Hudson Bay, via the Hudson Strait. Their voyage terminated on the east coast of James Bay, at the extreme south end of
Hudson Bay, where the settlement, Halfdansfjord, was built.
The plot of the story concentrates on the trials and tribulations facing the settlers as they try to make a life in the new world. The journey is filled
with many deadly challenges such as the brutal force of nature, encounters with the native peoples of North America, as well as social struggles
among the settlers. Themes that develop include: the role of family and women, loyalty, betrayal, slavery, religious practices, as well as learning to
work with the Native peoples instead of fighting them
As historical fiction, the author successfully captures a glimpse of the life of the Norsemen. It becomes quite clear that a great deal of research
went into creating the story. The attention to detail is quite remarkable. That is, the author’s descriptions of Norse ships, Norse customs, dress, the
day to day struggles to survive that include hunting techniques, food preparation, weapons, and tools. As well, Hunsinger provides a detailed
historical perspective of the time period, a glossary, and a map to assist readers in following the journey. The author clearly shows his knowledge
and expertise on the subject.
For readers who enjoy the historical fiction genre, Axe of Iron is a must-have. The descriptive writing makes you feel as though you are a part of
the journey. The novel is an entertaining story that will give readers an appreciation of the brutal life endured by the Norsemen.
Reviewed by Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services
Publisher: Vinland Publishing Llc (August 1, 2008)
Title: The Target
Love, Death, and Airline Deregulation
Author: J. R. Hauptman
Website of Author: http://www.caddispublishing.com/
Publisher: Caddis Publishing
Website of Publisher: http://www.caddispublishing.com/
Genre: Historical Fiction
Copyright Date: 2008
Length: 320 pages
Reviewer: J. A. Hunsinger, http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/
The Target, set in the decade of the 1980’s, provides an engaging read, in a fictional sense, on the morass created by the administration of
President Jimmy Carter when, in 1978, he and his Socialist minions decided to dismantle the greatest airline system in the history of commercial
aviation. With the deregulation of the industry, utter chaos ensued, and the door opened to the vermin hovering in the wings. The effects are still
felt today, thirty-one years later.
J. R. Hauptman gets the reader into the mind of the professional pilots who were some of the highly-trained, dedicated workforce disenfranchised
by deregulation, and the humor, fun, sorrow, and rage that typified their lives during those years. He delves into the mindset of the corporate
raiders who destroyed great companies, without regard to the bodies collecting along the way, while reaping billions in ill-gotten profits.
The story is a combination of mystery, intrigue, murder, and enough sex to stir the pot; all in a fictional setting made more realistic by our collective
memory of actual events. The author’s plot is tight, continuity is maintained throughout the story, and he uses the characters to skillfully relate the
murderous feelings harbored by many of those who lost everything. The antagonist, Carlo Clemenza, is a fictional man who deserved to pay the
ultimate price for what he did to his employees and their labor groups. There are a couple great twists as the story plays out.
Those of us, who were a part of commercial aviation during those years, eventually losing everything we had worked for, will never forget. I
recommend this novel wholeheartedly. The Dénouement at the end has little to do with the book and seems to be offered as an aside, but it is my
only negative comment on an otherwise good story.
J. A. Hunsinger
Crossroads by Steven Nedelton
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
What if you had the ability to control someone’s actions and thoughts from a distance and they would be none the wiser? What if you could
connect with another person from a distance telepathically and know what they were thinking, doing and what their inner-most thoughts were?
What would you do if you were a major player in a government’s plot to find out the strategies of other countries at war and you were capable of
controlling the outcome? You would be one of the major players in a groundbreaking novel that brings to light a very dangerous time in our history,
The Cold War. For Mind Control and mind altering experiences frighten anyone into thinking: Who can you trust?
Is the Cold War over or just in another phase? Is Crossroads a novel way ahead of its time? Those are the questions you have to answer for
yourself after reading it…
Our world is full of curious eyes, that is a given. Count on it even in your own home, enclosed by four walls, a bare foot from your mirror. Think—is
someone observing me right now? Am I truly alone? And you know something? You just might not be…
This novel is about spies and espionage for they were the main players in the Cold War game. Those men and women, sometimes double agents,
infiltrated the opposing secret services, gained their confidences then stole the most important information while spreading falsehoods and
Let’s meet them in our novel.
We have CIA agent Dave Tillman who is in charge of a group of men who are being trained in mind control methods and outer body experiences
that would unable them to connect with someone from a distance and read and understand their thoughts. Dangerous, deadly and frightening to
say the least. The author enters the reader into a world most people are unaware of and unprepared for.
Next, we have a Russian ‘agent-defector’ Mikhail. A man sought by the Russians’ expert group for he is trained to spy on Americans. Tatiana, a
woman in a powerful position in the KGB Directorate, is his control.
Then we meet Mme Benoit, a ‘double’ Mme Benoit. The Citizen Benoit who eventually discovers an agent can never be too comfortable in her
position, never feel safe. What that meant for the good looking Benoit, you will have to read and learn for yourself.
Tatiana is a Russian doctor and a major player in this plot to find out what exactly the Americans are working on and how her former subordinate
Mikhail is involved. She is also a seductress with hypnotic powers over her subjects, capable of erasing their thoughts, minds and controlling their
every action and more.
Hypnotic mind control or mind controlled hypnosis: Do you believe in it?
Are you born with the ability to hypnotize someone and control their every thought and create situations for that person that they would follow your
directions and wishes against their own will?
Tatiana did just that when she wanted a certain Colonel Volkov to forget everything he knew about Mikhail and his plan to eliminate him. She
repeated the stunt with the Special Operations boss Sergey Sokolov. In this war or game, no one was indispensable and everyone’s life was on a
thin tightrope, as thin or fragile as that of a spider’s web.
Then there is an ex-cop, a hitman, hired by the Russians. The Director of Operations is killed, a photographer is murdered, a man is declared
insane after going after Sokolov and then eliminated. What is going on? Some men are controlled by greed and others by a voice on the phone
that hypnotizes them and paralyzes their very own will. What is the connection?
In Russia, a group of dissident leaders meet to discuss how to take down Gorbachev and regain control of their Communist Party’s ways and the
people. But they don’t understand what is happening to the man leading them or what controls his mind and why are his opinions and ideals
Then a young woman is murdered because she knows someone important? All of these lose ends and more will come together for you as you read
more about a city that was once peaceful, sleepy and crime free, and known as Crossroads.
This book is mind stimulating and gives the reader reason to pause and think about what might really be happening behind closed doors when
leaders of many countries have one goal and try to achieve it at all cost. Can this be happening under the watchful eyes of CIA, FBI and Homeland
Security today as it did back during the Cold War?
What is the role of Project Sphinx? What part the mind controllers play in the plot to remove Gorbachev, in thwarting the coup? What finally
happens to Tallman, Jack, Larry and Mikhail? What is the final fate of each of these brave men and others? Only the author knows and if you want
to find out the unexpected ending with all its twists, turns and more, read this Five Stars novel from an author that I feel is equal to Daniel Silva,
Steve Berry, Baldacci and other writers of exciting thrillers.
Novels by Steven Nedelton:
The Raven Affair
A Matter of Class
Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Reginald Mason is a gentleman only by breeding and training and not by birth. His father has given him the best advantages in life and yet he has
managed to squander and over extend himself in many ways. When playing at the tables or gambling he never gave a thought to the debts he
incurred and the fact that his father had to provide the sums to pay them. His extravagant life style was never in question until he father decided it
was time for him to marry and upgrade his social status by marrying the woman of his choice whether he agreed to it or not. This brings me to my
review of A Matter of Class by New York Time best selling author Mary Balogh.
The story unfolds with Reginald Mason and his father discussing his future and the debts that he incurred. Although they are quite wealthy, their
money came from working in the coalmines and was not considered worthy of upper echelon status.
How would you feel or react if you had no say in whom you were going to marry? How would you feel if the only reason the person was going to
marry you was because of a deal struck with your parents? Is class and status really what makes a person? Is wealth the primary reason one
person should be considered worthy of another? That is something you need to consider for yourself as you read this delightful and entertaining
Lady Annabelle Ashton is the only daughter of the Earl of Havercroft whose family and Reginald’s have been at odds for many years. Lady
Annabelle having disgraced herself by running off with her father’s coachman is now labeled or branded as damaged goods. The fact that nothing
happened and it was relatively innocent did not change the way those of high society viewed her nor what her father was about to do.
Reginald’s father Bernard decided in order to raise his son’s social standing from merchant class, he would propose a match between his son and
Lady Annabelle much to the chagrin of both parties involved.
When their fates are sealed and the marriage proposal is accepted you can feel the tension between the two of them and more. The author then
flashes back to their youths and how they first met. As children they were told to ignore each other and not allowed to be friends. Meeting secretly
without the knowledge of her nurse or his family they became friends. But, at that time social class, money and the station you were born into was
more important than the person you were or could be. Even today there are many families who still believe that matchmaking their children with the
right person whether for monetary reasons or religious. But, for Annabelle and Reginald their parent’s reasons were different. His parent’s reasons
for joining them together was to raise his station in life and hers to repair her reputation and pay off her father’s debts.
What I love about this book is the banter between Annabelle and Reginald and the flashbacks to their childhood. Most children do not care
whether you are rich or poor or how much money your father has in the bank. Most children just want to have friends and be accepted for who they
are. Annabelle and Reginald have a secret friendship that begins when she is five and continues even into their early teens. But, what keep them
apart are their family and their dislike for each other and more.
Annabelle’s father wanted her to marry and betrothed her to the Marquess of Illingsworth but Annabelle had other thoughts in mind. Running
away with her father’s coachman set a plan in action that might come back and haunt her if it was not carried out just the right way. As a result the
Marquess withdrew his proposal and her family was embarrassed and forced to do, as we would put it today, damage control. But, sometimes what
you see and hear is not always what is the truth. Annabelle and Reggie were like Romeo and Juliet: two star crossed lovers but will the outcome be
Thirty years of waiting and thirty years where two families were set apart from each other by stubborn pride and one more thing: Social class and
money. Will they wind up together? You have to read this story for yourself and find out.
Mary Balogh created a story filled with deceit, lies, trickery, hope and humor that will not only restore your faith in love, but will let you know just
how clever a woman can be when she wants to get her man.
Money can buy material things and maybe even your way into social society but it cannot buy love, trust, loyalty and faith in another person. You
need to read this heartwarming, humorous and refreshing and totally full of class novella by an author who will keep you guessing about the
outcome until the very last page. This is a great book and the author has a new fan. I hope that I will have the honor of reviewing more of her
books in the future.
Tangled Minds By Yvonne Mason
One Of The Best Books I Have Ever Reviewed
The Trojan Project
By Eileen Thornton
Stand where you are and listen to the stillness. Do you hear anything? Do you hear the rustling of the trees, the cattle or sheep moving? Do you
see anyone out there while looking down from the top of the mountain? Now, look up into the sky and out into the distance. Do you see that green
light? Don’t get too close and find shelter before it is too late? The light appears in the night sky above the Cheviots. A mist begins to fall and
covers the hills, valleys and more, what caused this light to appear and who or what is behind it?
What if the government in a lab unknown to the world created a chemical weapon that could wipe out millions of people in one shot? What would
happen if the safeguards that were in place to prevent the container that housed this chemical imploded because someone wanted it to? What if
someone disconnected the safeguards and incriminated its creator? What if this happened and those in charge decided to eliminate those who
might have witnessed what happened that fateful night when a green light and mist appeared overhead and destroyed the fields, killed many
animals and literally ate away the flesh and being of those who came in contact with it? What would you have? THE TROJAN PROJECT!
The Beginning: Witnesses
Sally is concerned that her husband Pete has not returned home after tending to the sheep. Sally is supposed to spend an evening with her
friends but when one of children becomes ill she changes her plans and stays home. Trying to contact Pete is impossible and knowing that he
would never be late or shirk his responsibilities as a father or husband Sally becomes frantic and realizes that something is wrong. Added to that
she contacts many of her friends and neighbors to learn that some of the other husbands are missing too. The next morning she tried to contact
her neighbors and all she got on her phone was static and her calls went unanswered.
Sensing that something is seriously wrong and having seen the green light and the mist that covered the valley, Sarah sets out with her children to
find answers and to search for Pete. But, what she finds is so horrific that only a master writer like Eileen Thornton can create the suspense and
intrigue that causes the reader not to be able to put down this thought provoking and bone chilling book. As she travels down the road she finds
her husband’s friend Dave who has been hit by this green light and mist and is about to die but not before telling her what he thinks is the fate of
her husband, Pete. Dave also warns her not to get too close to him or touch him or what the author describes will happen to her. Necrotizing
fasciitis is a flesh eating disease that will destroy your body and eat away your flesh. Imagine Sarah’s reaction when she encounters Dave and she
sees what could be this bacterial virus or something with the same result eating away at her friend’s body.
Who or what is behind this she needs to know? But, finding out will not only prove dangerous but is Dave the only one who died from this or are
there others? Is Pete really gone or does fate play a hand in what does happen to him and others?
Knowing that she needed help and someone to find out the answers with her she entered the police station only to find Constable Andy Simmonds
who seems skeptical and finds her account of what happened not quite believable. But when his superior shows up and listens to her account of
what happened and who was a victim of this flesh eating entity, he immediately goes into the valley in search of answers and to see if her story is
credible. Added to that her daughter Josie shows them a picture of the green light and the mist in a drawing she saw from his window the night
before. What the police see and realize will frighten anyone. It would make you weary of any bright light in the sky and afraid of going in search of
answers if this could be the end result. But, the worst has yet to come.
Eileen Thornton’s descriptions of what happens to these victims are not only graphic but create a mental picture in the mind of the reader.
Through Sally the reader can feel the fear, the intense feeling of agitation and anxiety caused when you know that there is imminent danger. Chills
will go right down your spine and you might even want to read this with someone else.
What happens next?
When Sally, Andy and her children start searching for the truth you will not believe what they encounter. Is the military really going to destroy
everyone that knows what happened and why? Who in the government engineered this explosion and why? The truth will make you pause and
think twice about your friends and more. Two brave people making their way to London hoping Sally’s father can help make sense of this
nightmare. But, what he tells them will forever cast doubts in her mind about her father’s involvement in the horrific event and whether he was truly
responsible for what happened or was he being framed? A project so dangerous that he placed safeguards on it and made sure that no one could
change or unlock them. A project so volatile that he took every precaution to make sure that it would not be tested until he was sure it was safe.
But, someone wanted more and revenge is not pretty and this causer of death and destruction would not stop he had the one person he wanted
under his power. Who this is and who is responsible? You will have to read for yourself.
What part does her father, Sir Charles play in this matter and what really did happen to her husband and his friend Josh? Not until you turn the
page of this fast paced, frightening and true to life novel will you find out the answers.
This is a novel of love, passion, hate, revenge and loyalty. It is about a woman who wanted answers and would risk it all to get them. When
everything is said and done you will not believe what happens and the real reason behind what happened. A simple explosion- a chemical weapon
meant to destroy and target one area and one group of people- but the best-laid murders are not always what you would hope them to be. How far
would you go to save the life of those you love? The final curtain is more like a final revelation where all is finally out in the open and everything is
revealed. Who solves what really happened and who survives? What happens will make you stop and think about whether this could and is really
happening as we read and speak? First time novelist Eileen Thornton I give this book Five Safe Trojan Projects and Five Sir Charles Hammonds to
make sure nothing goes wrong.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER REVIEWED. A MUST READ FOR ALL READERS
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Teenage prostitution, drugs, murder, small town cover ups and more are only part of the tangled webs that have been so craftily intertwined in this
novel by the mistress of mystery, murder and mayhem Yvonne Mason. Throughout this novel we are introduced to characters whose decisions are
poorly thought out, whose ideals and values are twisted and convoluted and his morals sink to the lowest depth of an ocean floor.
Brianna Van Pelt feels that she has been dealt a bad hand. According to her it is the world’s fault that she got pregnant and 17 and got stuck with
a child. It is her parent’s fault that she lost her freedom to party hardy and go out with her friends because they felt she had to own up to her
responsibilities as a parent. Not according to this self-centered and thoughtless teenager.
Wanting to get a job, her own place to live and be on her own, Brianna is angry with her parents for not understanding her points of view when she
wants to spend time with her friends and they refuse to babysit her son Josh. Josh becomes the innocent victim of a poor and heartless mother
who decides she hates this precious child and will care for him but with a cold heart.
Finding a job for this beautiful young lady was easy, the where and the what would forever ruin her life and hopefully teach teenagers and young
adults that there are consequences for your actions and using poor judgment. Sometimes there is no turning back.
Leaving her son in a closed car with a small crack in the window, Brianna meet with the owner of a restaurant in order to get a job waitressing.
Unfortunately for her, the child starts to cry and the next thing she knows she is arrested for endangering the life of her child. Instead of
appreciating all of the help she receives from her parents and the social worker, she uses a key phrase that seems to become the mantra of each
of the characters in the book: It’s not my fault. It is the fault of my parents or someone else. Never taking ownership of her mistakes, Brianna enters
a world that would soon envelope her in mind, spirit and body with consequences so catastrophic that they will forever scar her in more ways than
Working in the restaurant for a man who is cruel and sleazy, she becomes involved with another, Ken Morgan who entices her into the world of
prostitution and all the fancy luxuries he can bestow on her as long as she follows the rules and makes the clients happy.
But, this life was short lived and she and her friend Amber soon learn the other side of this profession and have to run for their lives in order to
Added to this a young child who is sent from pillar to post and constantly in the care of other people, you have the formula for failure and more.
Josh, who had the potential to be a good kid, also feels that it is the fault of the world for his fate, as the book opens and we meet him at 17 years
of age in jail for murder.
Her employer and pimp, Ken Morgan, fulfilling the sexual desires of judges and those who await her services, bedazzle Brianna with wealth and
money and more, we learn that there are many desperate and sick men out there that want to fulfill their wildest fantasies and will pay any amount
The author is familiar with the inside workings of the legal system and she clearly explains and helps the reader to understand just how difficult it is
to prosecute and arrest drug dealers, prostitutes and more when dealing with small town law enforcement and corrupt judges.
Learning the hard way she runs to the mountains and is kept safe there by a group of mountain people who protect their own and make sure that
Brianna and Josh are taken care of. The Holt family is into making and selling moonshine, wild behaviors, keeping their secrets and justifying when
they commit murders.
Within this story we meet Ms. Amy the woman that cares and loves Josh and protects him as a young child and whom he wanted to remain with
when his mother had to flee and only took him with her out of necessity and not love.
Hannah Holt represented the only grandmother figure that Josh knew and upon her death his entire character changed and as his mother’s did
and they become too cold-hearted and unfeeling people caught up in their own tangled and twisted minds whose knots are so intertwined they
might never form a straight and single smooth line.
But, life is not always what it is cracked up to be and you need to find your own way even in a world that seems against you. Making excuses for
yourself and going down the wrong path is easy and what some people do when they are afraid of standing tall and learning that success comes
with hard work. But, Josh watches how his mother destroyed herself, how she succumbed to a life of hard knocks and desolation, decides to leave
and follow his own path of destruction and more.
Michael, Josh and Louis rob and kill Louis uncle for money and rob Ms. Elmira Jones of her diamond rings. This is the straw that will break all three
and forever change their lives. Winding up in jail but protected by a judge in their town, we can only hope that the police department of these small
towns will win out and teach these boys a lesson in life they won’t ever forget and maybe learn from.
But, learning from their mistakes was not what happened. Brianna spent her entire life blaming her parents and Josh for what she endured in her
life. Blaming Benny, the boy’s father and Bredlove and anyone else that she could for her own mistakes instead of taking ownership of them and
Anger and hate are terrible and can eat away at the core of your being as they did to not only Brianna, Josh. Mack and Louis.
With the tenacity and persistence of a bloodhound and the perseverance and diligence he could muster, Captain Beck of Georgia, CSI Trip and
Detective Askew managed to do the impossible, break the case and thwart the efforts of a corrupt judge to make the entire matter go away.
Children are our most precious diamonds and they deserve a change to have love, understanding and nurturing. Although Josh was able to finally
reunite with Ms. Amy and heard her words before being taken away to prison, he never quite accepted the fact that it was his fault and he was
responsible for his actions and he now had to pay for his crime.
Without the love or a parent it is hard for children to live life and understand that are special and worth something. Working with children who had
learning disabilities was what I am proud to say I did for over 36 years in the NYC Public School system. I encountered many like Josh many like
Mack and fortunately not too many that were like Louis. But, the one thing I will say is that the author has it right when she states in the Afterword
of this book that many times people do not understand children that need that extra bit of understanding and love. All too often when children act
out in public they parent is blamed and wrongly accused of misconduct toward the child. All of us learn at a different pace and all of us learn
discipline in many different ways. But, what everyone needs and what Josh and Brianna never did is LOVE. The last line of this book gives up hope
that maybe by seeing Ms. Amy and listening to her words that this mother and son might yet be saved.
Stop saying it is not your fault and learn from your mistakes and you will be ten steps ahead. Yelling at children and physical discipline is wrong.
Coming from a home where my parents never yelled or inflicted physical punishment to any one of us, myself, my sister or my brother, I can
honestly say that explaining, talking and patience works better. I never blamed anyone for my errors and I know I have made some too. But, I will
say it is no one’s fault but my own that I love this book and it should be on the shelves of every high school, college, parent and teenager’s shelf to
learn the harsh realities that face you when you say: IT IS NOT MY FAULT.
I give this book FIVE NEW STARTS FOR JOSH AND FIVE I AM TO BLAME FOR BOTH JOSH AND BRIANNA AND TWO UNTANGLED MINDS WITH
RENEWED LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
|Shopaholic and Baby – Sophie Kinsella – Book Review
by Linda Randall, The Idea Girl
I think there is one more book that I’m going to read from Sophie Kinsella. Shopaholic goes Abroad, I think is the next one that I’ll be reading.
I tried to read Remember Me but couldn’t.
It’s a different character!
I’ll start on those one’s in a few weeks.
I bought 4 books at the flea market.
One is a Historical Romance, another is Mystery, Chic Lit and then Romantic Suspense.
The whole point is to figure out what “genre” The Munroe Series is under.
Since I’ve written a bit of mystery, historical romance and serial killers all in one bunch!
As for Shopaholic and Baby, I was really stressed out when I read this one.
It was kind of dark and I honestly didn’t enjoy it!
It was about affairs and marital problems and I hated being reminded of my “past” relationships…
It makes you paranoid about your own relationship.
Then when things come to a head you think, everythings falling apart for Rebecca Bloomwood and you start to feel sorry for her.
But then again, if she would just stop lying…
I can’t believe in all the books, Luke never complains about her lies!
I know in REAL life a guy would? Or would he?
Luke comes across as a saint in all the other books, in this book the devil inside comes out.
A man you didn’t know rears his ugly head.
The suspense was killing me!
This page turner kept me up till 1 am in the morning, glued to the final chapters of what happens in Rebecca’s life.
Danny Krovitz plays a bigger part in this book as the Fashion Designer and he adds some much needed humor!
I guess I’ll say its a suspenseful book, didn’t make me laugh as much (shame I was looking forward to a good giggle) and it kept me busy on my 3rd
Yes we did go out for dinner, but Harold didn’t want to go see a movie.
He just wanted to come home and relax and then he tells me, I wish we would have had a romantic dinner at home and you had cooked it!
I’m like WHAT!
You don’t like the same foods as me, and if I cook a meal it will cost me about $100 after I buy everything.
In short it only cost $35 bucks last night and the dweeb orders “almost” the same thing.
I had spaghetti with meat sauce, he had alfredo!
So there is my point!
I cannot cook us a meal because he “never” eats the exact same thing as me.
Even when ordering pizza, he’s got to have his SIDE different. LOL
It’s like living with an individual single man who wants to be in a committed relationship!
It’s great actually because I do whatever I want and he does the same.
Total freedom to be myself!
Never had a relationship like that before, where I was free to be and do whatever I want.
As long as I promise to be faithful and true to him, nothing else matters.
Except for one teeny thing.
I can’t hang out with all my guy friends. (like I used to)
I can hang out with his guy friends. LOL (which I do)
I was a tomboy growing up, and honestly all my friends were guys.
I had one or two girlfriends. (we are still friends , have been since we were seven years old)
But I never hang out with my girlfriends?
We just chat on the phone for about 2 hours, a few times a month.
We live completely different lifestyles (food, clothing, movies, music)
Yet were long time friends.
We did hang out everyday while in high school but that’s about it.
We’ve kept our friendship alive all these years.
She’s a very busy girl though and once in a blue moon I’ll pop over to her place and visit for an hour.
But then her huge dog keeps trying to jump up on me and my arms get tired trying to fight him off. LOL
We don’t enjoy the same movies, music, food or anything.
We just gossip about her past ex’s and mine.
The past, we have a past together, the good old days.
The other night though she was being quite scientific and I was fascinated with all the thoughts on health and things.
We had a good roast over that topic!
Sometimes we argue then I’ll call a truce!
It’s kind of like Jess and Rebecca in the book, total opposites but they love each other!
That’s me and my friend Angie, we love each other to pieces but were both like night and day!
Sophie Kinsella on Shopaholic and Baby
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