Chrysalis: Tribulations

Chrysalis: Tribulations

By M. L. Lacy

From the author of Chrysalis the Awakening comes the second in her series, Tribulations. In her first book we meet Bree, a young girl who, in order to save her clan, her family, she must enter into another dimension or world. Bree is part human and soon will crossover into the Magical Realm.

She is the last Chosen One, the one who is to become the most powerful person in the Magical realm. We soon learn in book two the obstacles she faced before are nothing compared to those she will face as this saga continues.

As the book unfolds, Bree is with her clan and they are discussing the various steps that she will have to encounter in order to keep her safe. However, there are many who would rather see her perish and not succeed.

New members that want entrance into a clan have to pass certain tests before being allowed to join that clan. Background checks, character checks and many other tests have to be passed before the new member is allowed to become part of the clan. But as four new members are given access into her clan, without having to go through the vetting process and against her wishes, this could prove dangerous to her and others in many respects

Bree has several other major obstacles and hurdles to contend with before crossing over to the magical world. First, she has to come to terms with her nightly dreams where she can crawl into the mind of her archenemy and leader of the Council, Esmeralda. Bree, can read her mind, enter her lair totally unnoticed and be able to find out what she plans with her minions in order to destroy Bree, take out her heart takes her blood in order for her to rule. But, can she escape her wrath and what she has planned for her?

She ventures ahead and learns that there are members of her own clan who want to cause her hardship and Bree realizes she has some hard choices to make. Madalyn, who showed her true colors in book one as being a definite adversary for Bree, has her designs on taking over as the Alpha Female and will go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that she overtakes Bree’s role and rules the clan. When Madalyn enlists the help of two other members of the clan and decides to take on all of her clan, the end result will surprise you and endear you to Bree even more.

The author created a character that has intelligence, wit and one you can identify. Not succumbing to the will of others and standing her ground, she will go to any lengths to protect her clan and teach Madelyn a lesson that she hopes she will never forget.

Through the guidance of Odessa, Bree’s guardian, she continues to develop in her destiny. But Odessa is only her guardian, not her teacher and with the appearance of an older wizard, Bree begins to learn her magic in very unusual ways. Aunt Beth, as Bree has now dubbed her, begins the arduous task in teaching a mortal magic.  Bree must learn that she has the power to do much more if she draws on her strength and intelligence and reacts wisely.

With Esmeralda at her heels with a new accomplice whose help she has enlisted, and Thomas, her trusty aid, no one knows what the outcome will be or who will survive. Attack from demons come on out of nowhere and Bree’s first husband comes back to haunt and torment her, but with the help of her four men and her protectors she begins to feel safe, but not completely. But, the threat is not over and Esmeralda and more will try to destroy her before all is said and done.

Events occur that forces Bree to stand up to the rest of the clan and make her position as the Alpha and Chosen One stronger and heard. Against their wishes and by breaking the spells her protectors placed on her home to keep her protected inside, she fights and protects those she loves and proves that she has the power needed to lead.

Will she be able to stop Marcus and Esmeralda? Will she be able to undo the damage they have caused? That remains to be seen.

A tribulation is an experience that tests one’s endurance, patience and faith.  Bree has to deal with some serious issues and problems and the trials and tribulations that she faces in this novel and in her new life as a Magical will only make her stronger and able to lead her clan. But, whom can she trust and which one of the new members of her clan are a plant and really a spy?

The events that unfold help you to understand the ties that bind families and those that tear them apart. Who is innocent? Who will pay for their crimes? Who will be the one to inflict the justice on those that deserve it? You will have to read for yourself. Many new characters that join the clan and many of her true and dear friends and family to support and tighten the their circle of protection in order to make sure that Bree is safe.

With the guidance of Odessa, her grandmother and her inner strength, Bree takes on those who oppose her and shows everyone that she is a total force to be reckoned with. But, can she succeed in saving her clan and saving someone she loves. Just whom does she risk it all for and what does she do at the end to prove that no one wants to mess with her and she rules? You need to read it for yourself to understand how far someone will go to right the wrongs inflicted on a family, her family, and her clan.

Once again, Madonna Lacy has transported the reader into a world of vampires, werewolves, Magicals, humans and people of many different races and reminded us that her fantasy world is not that different from our real one today. Friendships that bind those together are tighter than the golden ropes used to imprison those that are evil. Those that want power do not always deserve it and those that have the power need to understand how to use it. What will happen next?  Will Bree overtake Esmeralda and eliminate her and her minions? Will she ever find true peace and safety? You will have to wait for book three and the sequel to find out.

I give this book Five Perfect Crystals and Five Magic Wands for Bree to Use to protect those she loves.

Fran Lewis: reviewer and author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious.


Able Danger

Able Danger

Author: Kensington Roth

The author has set the stage for many interesting situations each having its own outcome, which would destroy one country and benefit the agenda of another. James Bond move over and make room for Harrison Court-006, a black ops spy who has a dangerous mission in store and makes you pale in comparison. Court’s goal is to find out what the Chinese are up to and why they need to add a B-2 stealth bomber to their fleet.

Able Danger is a brand of thriller that is unique and different. It’s main character Harrison Court is smart, thinks on his feet, and does not falter. Court is every woman’s hero and every foes nightmare. He is charismatic, charming and faithful and knows how to handle untenable situations. But, is he the right man for the job? When the events unfold you’ll have to decide.

Kensington Roth has created a plot so devious, so frightening it allows the reader to learn to what depths the government will go to not only create mass deception and deceit but have the same thing done to them and mirrored exactly by another power.

An ending so bones chilling that not even Patterson or Berry’s novels could compare to that of author Kensington Roth. He has penned the ending leaving the reader ready for the sequel and what happens next? Read the effects of Gravvox and picture the end results as the author describes it. Would you survive? Who is the winner? Read this outstanding thriller and you decide?

This was a great book. I can’t wait to see the movie and read the sequel “Danger for 2.” I want to see what Court does next.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious

The Garden of Ruth

The Garden of Ruth

By Eva Etzioni Halevy

The Garden of Ruth is a novel about a young girl named Osnath who is torn between her need to find out and uncover the mystery and details behind the woman the in the Bible’s Book of Ruth. Osnath is the granddaughter of Pninah and has decided to make it her life’s journey and goal to learn more about Ruth.

Beautiful, clever, persistent and educated a really strong combination for a woman of her time. Osnath, a scribe, like her grandmother, Pninah visits Bethlehem with her grandmother and uncle, the prophet Samuel and finds herself torn between two men. Wanting to visit the scroll room of this house she was visiting, she comes across a piece of parchment. As she continues to explore her relatives scroll room, she learns that the parchment was addressed to Ruth the Moabite, who was the great-grandmother of the man she fell in love with, the next king of Israel, David. As Osnath begins to learn more about Ruth and wants to delve into her life and her secret past, her efforts are waylaid and thwarted by David’s older brother, Eliab. Eliab intimates that Ruth’ s past is secret and too shocking to reveal.

Osnath is in love with David. David is a smooth talker and convinces her that he will marry her in due time. However, upon being anointed the next King of Israel he meets with King Saul and any hope of Osnath becoming his wife is lost as he is to marry King Saul’s daughter.

David and Eliab, two brothers who would not want Ruth’s past uncovered for fear of losing their inheritance. Although, Osnath wants to uncover the reasons why they want her life to kept a secret, there is a second story or plot that comes into play. Osnath is in love with both David and Eliab. She feels connected to Ruth, and they share the same joys, sorrows and heartaches. When reading this book you learn of Ruth’s first born not living and many other areas where she and Osnath’s live appear to mirror each other’s.

When there is information to be had or a mystery to be solved I will delve into the subject or persist in finding out what I need to in order to solve the problem or find out what I need to for my research or for anything else. Osnath is a persistent young and intelligent girl who has an advantage over many other girls her age. She can read and write and understands the importance of having the skill. I love the fact that she does not back down and has managed to get Eliab to give her the information about Ruth in order to learn more about her past.

If Ruth could speak she would tell you how she met the man called The Unnamed and how she developed a relationship with him. The piece of the missive that she found had his name on it and information leading to the fact he and Ruth were close. But, it would not be until her husband died of a serious illness and she met him in the market.

Ruth Speaks:

“Today the Unnamed from Bethlehem comes to me

It was from the gods

It was marvelous in my eyes.

Just what this means and how they come together you need to read this for yourself.

“I met with him many times. I went to his house. We stayed in the bedchamber and my need for love was aroused. The only regret that I have is that these months of encounters with him flew by so fast. Disclosing our lives to each other. I told him about my father and my childhood. He told me about how his brothers made him fend for himself and they did not afford him their protection. But, then the unthinkable happened. He told me he had to leave and go back to his own land. Something inside of me froze. He did not seem concerned with my pain and the one thing I needed to tell him, I never did.

Stating that I would always be in his heart were meaningless words. The fact that I was carrying his seed, made me feel even more betrayed by his words and actions.”

What was she going to do? How would she deal with her betrayal to her late husband? What would her decision be about having this child?

Naomi, her mother –in-law was a wise and wonderful woman whose advice Ruth valued and whose opinions were strong and mindful. Naomi was leaving her land and going back to Israel. Ruth decided to make the journey with her.

But, as we get to know Ruth we learn of the sorrow of losing her first born.  Osnath’s attempt to mend the ways between her and Adah her husband’s first wife, do not  succeed . Both women struggling to find a place for themselves in the lives of the men they loved. Ruth worked along side the people of Israel and met and related to her late husband made Ruth feel welcome.

Defying Torah Law, both Ruth and Osnath are naïve in the ways of men, intelligent in their knowledge of the laws of the Torah and fall prey to the wiles of the men they both love. As Ruth becomes more enmeshed in her new live, she becomes involved with a man named Boaz, and what happens next will defy all of the conventions of Torah law and let you know that women in Biblical times are no different than they are today. But, Ruth did ponder her thoughts and even though she went with the ways of the flesh, as did Osnath, you have to respect both women for pursuing their goals and never giving up.

Boaz is her next of kin and goes to the man called the Unnamed to find out his intentions toward Ruth. Learning that he will honor his feelings for her and now has a wife, Ruth attempts to dissuade him again, succumbs to his advances, but fails. Boaz shuns her for a while and then recants.  Finding out the truth behind her lover and what transpired between him and Boaz, enlightens Ruth to just what kind of man her lover really is. Will she find happiness with Boaz, what happens next?

Osnath reads what really happened to Ruth’s lover and the circumstances for why he fled his land the crime he committed. The final piece of the puzzle will surprise you and helps Ruth to understand the mystery she wanted to uncover, with the help of Eliab. The real truth as to why he never married or honored Ruth comes out and how Boaz convinced him and why to give her up.

Osnath learns the truth and does write the story of Ruth the way Eliah and her uncle Samuel request. The scroll was placed in the House of the Lord and copied many many times. Ruth’s life as Osnath was closely intertwined. The history related by the author, the disappointments, the hardships, the feminine and the descriptions of the people and the land are so graphically depicted, allows the reader to become one with the story and enter the lives of both of these great women.

To understand and learn what did happen and why to Ruth’s true love and whether she finally does find happiness and more, you need to read this novel, from the author of The Triumph of Deborah and the Song of Hannah.

From beginning to end you learn some much about the struggles of the people of during Osnath and Ruth’s times. But, what does not change is their faith in finding love.

As I read about Ruth, I smiled as my mom’s name is Ruth and so much of her and Osnath remind me of her growing up. My mom is and always was a strong and persistent woman who left no stone unturned. Her true love was my Dad and when she met him there was no turning back. Unrequited love is something that dreams are made of and everyone hopes to find.
Osnath, thank you for honoring the memory of Ruth.  Ruth, you deserved to have your memory honored.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books

Just Before the Dawn

Just Before the Dawn

By Joseph Gillan

Sometimes you read a book that really touches your heart and makes you pause and reflect on what life is and what you expect from others. Love is something that everyone hopes and wants to experience at least once in their lives. But, true love, unrequited love, is something that may never happen or you hope to find. Just Before the Dawn is a unique and very complex novel that introduces us to two characters that fell in love and will take the reader on their journey from the beginning until the end of their short, but magnificent romance.

Rebecca Daily receives a package that is quite bulky and has no idea who would send it. The size of the package appears to be that of a manuscript of some type. Opening it she learns that it is a 200-page letter from a former lover who wants to reconnect with her after ten years. How does she feel about this and why now? Married to another man who loves her and has made her life complete, she begins to doubt her feelings for her new husband and remembers the times she had with Thomas.

The author takes the reader of three separate journeys throughout this novel. Beginning with Thomas and how his life with his wife Ellen came to a close and how he began his romance with Rebecca. The author recounts their many meetings, their dates and how they fell in love.

Next, the author tells us about Rebecca, her first marriage to Arthur, and the reasons for her divorce. Arthur, being unfaithful to Rebecca, forced her to have to find another life for herself and learns to handle being alone. But, that was not for very long. Meeting Thomas opened up a whole new world for her and she learned a lot about golf, literature and life from being with him.
The third part of the book is the letter that Thomas writes to Rebecca that tells the reader about their love affair and as Rebecca remembers what happens during that time you can feel her becoming enveloped in those times once again and even though it was short lived, you begin to wonder if she will want to rekindle her romance with him.

Joseph Gillian works with adults and children who are physically and mentally challenged. Through the character of Thomas, he describes the many students, adults and events that Thomas has when working with these people and you can feel the pride in his words as he relates, what this reviewer feels, are his own wonderful experiences. He describes Thomas’s life as a pilot, in the military and his love of literature and the arts. To learn more about the many authors that he wrote to and loved to read, you need to read it for yourself to really understand and appreciate what our author is relating to the reader.

As Rebecca and William decide to take a short vacation she becomes aware of a shift in his character. No sooner do they return home does he break the news to her that he wants a divorce. Once again Rebecca has to deal with being alone and try to find a place for herself. Hoping to get Thomas’s phone number from their mutual friend Julie, she comes face to face with huge roadblocks. Julie does not feel that giving her his number would be in his best interest and instead claims she cannot find it.

Thomas seems to have many issues that anger him and using his letter writing he is able to express his feelings and vent to the reader. He brings to light issues such as sexual abuse in the church, literature that he loves to read and others that he does not, experiences that he relates with those who have terminal illnesses and his own feelings about death. The author inserts a lot about himself through Thomas each time he tells about Loveland Center and one of the students who was fortunate to spend time with the Governor of Florida along with him.

Thomas and Rebecca both seem to have a problem finding themselves. Thomas can’t seem to settle for one relationship and is constantly searching for more yet in his heart he seems torn between his feelings for Rebecca and another woman named Olivia.

Struggling with many life-changing decisions the author will take you on a journey of one man who finally finds the answers at the end of his life. In order to understand and appreciate what Thomas learned about life, God, and death you need to read the last three chapters to fully understand how much he endured and how he finally finds peace.

Through out the book the author reverts between Rebecca and Thomas and the love that they experienced together and their beautiful memories that they will always treasure. But, at the end you will be surprised by what Thomas really wants to do to change his life and what finally does happen.

Does he find love and everlasting happiness? What does finally happen between him and Rebecca? Why did he write her this letter? What do we learn about his feelings for God, Priests, religion, life and more, you will have to read this very informative, enlightening, well written and quite illuminating book.

Fran Lewis: Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Children’s Books

Elder Care Abuse: Protect Those You LOVE

Wealth of the Wicked: An American Tragedy of Elderly Abuse

By Janice Lauderdale

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Elder abuse is something that is very prevalent today. There are so many seniors that are left alone or have home care that often leaves them injured, riddled with bedsores, and in dire need of medical attention. Elderly people do not always understand their rights and thus they need an advocate to speak for and to protect them not only from physical and mental abuse but also from having their assets depleted by a relative or friend that is out to fleece them and use the elderly person’s resources as their own. Author Janice Lauderdale, in her novel Wealth of the Wicked: An American Tragedy of Elderly Abuse, brings to light this very issue in a poignant and heartbreaking story of a wonderful and trusting woman named Lucille.

Danielle Carrington is the niece of Lucille who has taken on the responsibility of caring for her elderly aunt. Danielle assists with her shopping needs, makes sure not only that Lucille’s medications are filled but also that she takes them, and  makes sure her finances are in order. But, when Lucille becomes unable to stay alone in her own house and requires assistance, the unthinkable happens. Since Lucille prefers remaining in her own home, there now enters her worst nightmare: Drake (her nephew and Danielle’s lazy freeloading brother) who has only his interests at heart. A really smooth operator and a great liar, Drake convinces his aunt to pay him what she felt was an outrageous amount of money to “care” for her. He claims he will cook her meals and clean her house, and make sure that she gets to all of her appointments. What does happen will make you shudder and make you want to take action along with Danielle against Drake for his horrific behavior.

Each time Danielle visits with her aunt, she sees Lucille declining in many different ways, but, the worst has yet to come! Danielle makes sure that her aunt’s finances are in order and that her safe deposit box, with all the money and documents remained untouched. When Drake convinces his aunt to turn over the money to him, Danielle takes action and you will not believe the end result. Drake then convinces Lucille to sign a bogus living trust, knowing full well that Lucille has no idea what she was signing!

The author takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster with Danielle using graphic descriptions of Lucille’s decline and Drake’s behavior which enables the reader to grapple with the mental capacity of how someone previously thought trustworthy could now heartlessly abuse this poor woman both mentally and physically. The verbal abuse and the physical neglect inflicted on this wonderful and kind woman will horrify you. Drake even dares to be rude and abusive to Danielle, often lashing out at her in order to prevent her from helping Lucille.

When Danielle realizes the unscrupulous pursuit of Drake to acquire all of Lucille’s assets and become sole heir of her house and finances, Danielle realizes that legal measures must be taken to stop him. But, in Drake’s twisted and sick mind, he feels and relates to the reader that he is the injured party and should be granted his aunt’s house and her money.

The scene in the courthouse is heartbreaking and makes you wonder about our legal system and how well the rights of the elderly are protected. Lucille, when questioned, seems brainwashed by her nephew, not realizing his true intentions. Will the judge see through all of the lies and deceptions? Where will Lucille reside at the end of the trial, and what will be the final outcome?

Lucille was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s; yet, I wonder if she had been properly taken care of if any of this would have happened. With a mother who does have the illness, it is horrific, and Aricept and Namenda will not restore the person’s memory or even enhance their cognition skills. Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder and was named for a German doctor by the name of Alois Alzheimer. He first described the disease in 1906. The disease destroys brain cells and the result is memory loss and problems with thinking and dealing with the world. It gets worse over time and there is no cure. But, with proper care, would Lucille have had this illness?

The trial goes on and the family of Lucille endures many changes. There now exists rifts among the members created by Drake’s actions.  Life becomes really hard for Danielle who was only concerned that justice be done, but in her quest for justice, she receives a harsh dose of reality from her family who, by the time of the trial, has ostracized her.

As you read about the trial you can hear the voices in your head of each of the witnesses and form your own opinion of how justice would best be served. To learn just what happens to Lucille’s estate and who does win, if you could call it winning, you need to read this book and understand why the author wrote it and how important her message to everyone is.

There is a National Center for Elder Abuse directed by the United States Administration on Aging. They are committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field to prepare those who are going to care for the elderly so that they do so with this goal in mind:  so the elderly can live with integrity, independence and without abuse.

Throughout the process of getting the right home care for my mom, I dealt with various home health care agencies. Some of the workers were qualified and compassionate and there were some that were not. Some I found to be downright rude and abusive when speaking to my mom when they thought I was not listening while others were great. With a mother in the last stages of dementia/Alzheimer’s I am blessed to have four home health aides that are so wonderful, kind and compassionate. They are truly part of my family.

Janice Lauderdale has related a story that is near and dear to her heart because she lived it. She is still living what happened to her and she will never forget the abuse incurred by a member of her family by one of her family members.

This book also provides many resources so that everyone may learn not only the warning signs of elderly abuse but also where to find and get the help you might need. So, protect your loved ones, and make sure that they are in a safe and caring environment. As Danielle relates in her prayers to God throughout the book, so does this reviewer pray that Janice and her family never ever have to go through such an ordeal ever again.

Janice’s book is heartfelt, well-written, extremely emotional, and at times will bring you to tears as you feel the emotional upheaval that Danielle and her family encountered. This book should be in every library as a resource for those who want to better understand the issues that the author brings to light. It should be on the shelves of every nursing care facility to enable every medical provider to learn that when patients like Lucille are seen and present themselves as she did, the medical provider will know that immediate  action must be taken to protect an elderly person from the Wickedness of those trying to prey on them to become Wealthy.

If Lucille could speak she would say: Thank you Danielle for caring for righting the wrongs and caring for me. Thank you Janice for writing this book.

Thank you for giving me the honor of reviewing such an important book.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious

Purple Death” Are You Next?

Purple Death

By Brian L. Porter

When your body starts to tingle, your hands feel numb, your mouth can longer verbalize what you want to say and the pain is so excruciating that you can hardly breathe, you are now and forever a victim of PURPLE DEATH! A DEATH SO HORRIFIC THAT ONLY AUTHOR BRIAN PORTER CAN RELATE THE EXPERIENCES OF THE VICTIMS AND ALLOW THE READER TO EXPERIENCE THE DEATHS FIRST HAND.

First, you need to hear the facts and understand the events of each crime and learn the reasons why the police in two towns were more than frustrated and baffled as to why these murders were committed and how the poison, or Purple Death, was administered to each victim.

Purple Death is a poison that comes from a plant. The poison is called aconite and it paralyzes its victims without impairing their mind. How horrific that the person inflicted with his poison knows what is happening to them, feels unbearable pain and goes through a painful death without being able to ring for help or cry out in pain.

Detective Inspector Sean Connor his assistant Sergeant Lucy Clay, Dr. Catherine Nickels, and a team of investigators from Richmond-on-Thames and Birmingham, have to sort through many unanswered questions, clues that lead to suspects only to find themselves back at square one and a mysterious girl named the Chocolate Woman who seems to be at the center of these murders, but no one is really sure what part she played in carrying out these horrific murders.

As Detective Inspector Connor digs deeper into the past of each of the victims he comes face to face with an unsolved murder from thirty years before and maybe a connection to what is happening in the present. The latest victims appear to have no apparent connection to each other and yet this poison has poisoned each. With the body count rising, Connor teams up with the police force in Birmingham hoping to solve the murders faster using all of the combined resources.

Purple death is derived from a plant that will render your body useless but keep your mind and brain alert and aware of what is happening to you. Author Brian L. Porter describes the victim’s journey from beginning to end in such a graphic manner that you can visualize the scene in your head and feel the agony and pain the victim is enduring each and every second until their lives are extinguished.

I am Purple Death you see

I come from a plant that will kill you not me

As I begin to work my way through your body you know

Your respiratory system will begin to slow

Your mouth and lips will tingle and your lungs will burn

Your body and mind will writhe with every turn

My reasons for choosing these victims I will not divulge to you

But, beware there are more and one might be you too.

Thirty years ago a tragic murder went unpunished and more

Those that were involved will reap the benefits of what I have in store


When the past comes to haunt those in the present only author Brian L. Porter can create a plot so devious so creative that it will keep you on edge from beginning until end.

William Prentice was a private investigator that uncovered information about one man who he suspected was cheating on his wife. His partner, Andrew Forbes told the police that it involved a case of adultery involving a woman in Braintree County. With each passing day the woman involved and the man whether rightly or wrongly accused of cheating on his wife, things got worse and Prentice was killed. His murderer caught and released and a second the same.

But, according to one man justice was not served the woman whose husband was killed became so deranged and upset that she sought the comfort of our killer in order to make things right. The killer, created a brand of justice so heinous and so horrific and enlisted the help of a woman we shall call the Chocolate Woman, to distribute his lethal dose of aconite, the poison called Purple Death, to the unsuspecting victim in a piece of chocolate or in other cases in a familiar drink.

Who is behind these gruesome murders and why you will not believe? Why is it that every time Connor and his team draw three steps closer and gain the name of a possible suspect the body count rises? Why is it that the killer always knows what is happening and never fails to get there first? Only the killer, the author and of course this reader knows and we will never divulge that information.

With a team of detectives, investigators, his assistant and several medical examiners are pressed for time and hope to close in on this deranged killer. When the one person that can help them is placed in a safe house and hopefully can help put this case to rest, will the killer know where to find the person and will Connor, Clay and his team get there in time?

Who will win the battle? The KILLER OR PURPLE DEATH! What does keep you on the edge of your seat until you turn the last page and read the last word? Let’s hope our author brings back this team of detectives for another murder.



Keeper of the Secrets

Keeper of the Secrets

A lady with pink hair tries to kill her husband in a restaurant. Many people witness the scene or event, but each from their perspective shaped by their present dilemmas, and emotional fallout shadowing their lives. The female protagonists in various stories are hiding things from their spouses. Their secrets if revealed, will change their lives forever.

Secrets can destroy not only a marriage but the person holding that secret too. Living your life with someone in order to please another can hurt you, and also injure those hold dear. Raven Clarke is a psychotherapist who has harbored a secret for over 16 years. Married to a wonderful man, she often thinks of the life she could have had if she had stayed with another. Haunted by her past and reliving it in her mind, her dreams and her visions, Raven becomes more obsessed with what could have been versus what is. Three beautiful children and a loving husband that her mother insisted she marry, Raven comes face-to-face with a woman who shares a similar dilemma. And yet Raven fails to realize that she needs help. The linked novel, Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident, centers on a violent incident that each of central characters in the 8 stories views in a different way. Observing the incident impacts both their present and pasts in an emotional way.

Raven Clarke is not the only one who has a secret in her family. Her mother does too. This becomes evident as you learn about their distant relationship, and the truth about why the man she called Daddy Bill really left. Raven is a former psychotherapist and cannot come to grips with the guilt she still faces about aborting her child from another man, namely Absylom, her Ugandan lover. Together she and Absylom would meditate, seek harmony and peace.

In Dancing Siva, Raven Clarke, is having dinner with her husband and his client when she sees this woman trying to kill her husband. Not at all happy to have accompanied her husband to the dinner partner Raven tunes out what is happening in front of her revisits her past instead. She had wanted to remain home due to lack of sleep and fatigue by her infant daughter’s nightly crying. Will Raven ever deal with her past, resolve her issues, and become one within herself?  Will she ever forgive herself, and stay true to her family, or continue viewing her situation and disturbing dreams as a bad omen resulting from what she did in the past?

Keeper of the Secrets is the second, and namesake story. This story brings us Lahni Irete who feels she needs psychotherapy in order to understand and deal with a horrific incident that haunts her mind and dreams too. Marrying a blind Nigerian financier instead of her longtime friend, Amos, Lahni begins to doubt her choice, and questions if what she feels is guilt from her past. While observing the incident in the restaurant, and she relives it with her husband. Lahni later recounts how Raven and Drew stepped in to help. This allows Lahni to finally see that her choice of spouse was right.

Lahni replays the incident in her mind, and remembers how Amos just sat there and stared at her, while Drew seeing that Raven was in trouble, came to her defense an loving husband would. What is Lahni’s horrific secret? Is it something that stems from her true heritage? Lahni’s mother died, and her father could not remarry unless he allowed his daughter to be circumcised in order for his new wife to trust Lahni, and feel safe around her. Would you allow this to happen to you or to your child? Nwoye’, Lahni’s husband sees many things despite his blindness.

And what Lahni does is pure self-defense. It haunts her until the very end with a conclusion that will endear Nwoye’ to her.

Dr. Reynard Williams is the link that binds all of these protagonists. After seeing Raven as a client, Reynard then consults with Sahel, our main character in the third story, As Far as I Can See. This third story reveals the ties that link these main characters. It shows that all of them have secrets that require forgiveness of self, and understanding before they can move on with their lives.

Sahel is blind and will not tell anyone how the specifics of the accident that rendered her sightless. As children Sahel and her husband, Titus, and their mutual, friend Carl were a threesome. However, Sahel’s bond with Carl did not sit well with her mother. Sahel received many painful beatings as a result of her mother’s anger resulting from various issues of which Carl was one. Only Carl and Sahel’s father know the secret of what caused her blindness and the significance of the ring that her mother placed on her finger at her death. When a parent abuses a child it takes a kind, and more than forgiving person to allow that parent to absolve themselves of their sins, even when that parent is on her or his deathbed.

Sahel is kind and compassionate. Though haunted by her past she learns more about herself when hearing from Reynard, in consultation, of Lahni’s secret. Hearing about the secret Lahni holds helps Sahel to understand more about herself and her blindness. Will she forgive herself and understand the true meaning of her husband’s love? Read this story and find out.

Dr. Reynard Williams wants to have a child with his wife, Aaron, but there are reasons why that might not happen. Remembering back to when he first met Aaron, and the circumstances surrounding their meeting, presents another story of tragedy that not only befell Reynard’s mother and father, but Reynard’s wife, Aaron too.

Faced with the possibility that they might not be able to conceive a child, Reynard leans on his beliefs in Tibetan Buddhism and mediation and more. Here the author present another story of hope and forgiveness and that is linked to the previous 3 stories since Dr. Williams had enlisted the help of Sahel concerning his patient, Lahni.

Reynard’s memories of his father, and what happened in Reynard’s childhood create an anger in him so fierce, that when added to that his feelings of inadequacy with his wife, Aaron, leads to an eruption of anger. A meeting with a colleague and good friend enlightens Reynard when he hears her story, and how it relates to his. Every story in this collection intertwines with the one before. The author so aptly states: Anger is a loyal and good friend but not when we direct it to the ones we love or ourselves. How does Reynard come to understand the heart of his anger and let go? Read this story and find out.

The Bridge introduces Michael, a man who spent his whole life fixing bridges.  His wife Rachel would rather have him do something else. As a result of falling off a bridge Michael has lost his memory. He is frustrated.  Michael wants to recall the events of the months, and weeks leading up to the day he fell from the bridge. Rachel is his bridge to the past. Does he find Michael way back and if so, what happens? Learn when you read this heartfelt story.

In Three Movements, Arianne Gadsden’s faith in her ability to counsel terminally ill patients are questioned and her feelings for her life with her husband too. Ariane’s client Gayle is dead, but Ariane now she sees an image of Gayle in the mirror. Gayle speaks to Ariane, and directs Ariane to give her life with her husband a chance. Ariane’s life intersects that of Raven and Drew. Ariane’s feelings for the loss of her parents, and her friend, Gayle, weigh heavily upon Ariane.

During a gathering for a mother’s group of which Ariane is a member, Jack and Jill, Ariane’s anger and hurt rise to the surface. Gayle, now deceased, was also a member of Jack and Jill. You can feel the pain of Ariane’s loss. Ariane is struggling with her feelings for Jack, loving him, but also needing space to resolve her inner conflicts around the loss of Gayle, which also touches deeply upon the death of Ariane’s mother. Ariane’s comfort since losing her friend, Gayle, has been that of playing the piano along her son, Kent who plays the violin.

I related to this story in that when I was young and felt stressed from the pressures of school and the demands my parents placed on me, I found that playing the piano or my violin helped restore my calm and eliminate the anger.

The final two stories bring everything full circle. Myrandha presents the story of a man named Trey who lost his wife and never got to say goodbye. His aunt, while upon her hospital deathbed instructs Trey to speak with the man whom he has always known as his father, but who also abandoned Trey days after burying his wife who was also Trey’s mother. September 11, 2001 changes the lives of many people, including Trey. In order to face the present you need to forgive yourself for the past and learn to hear the words of others. Trey has tried to move on after his wife’s death at the hand of those who killed so many in the first tower. The incident in the restaurant triggered Trey’s memory of the fight with his wife, Myrandah, and her relationship with Skip, the man whom Trey, called Dad.

Life moves in strange ways. Many of the characters in this book see and hear the words, and faces of those whom they have lost. Theses family member help the characters understand and deal with their pasts in order to live in the present. This happens to Trey.

The final story reminds us of the war our country is fighting in Iraq. Captain Darryl Sharpton has to deal with his actions in Iraq. Coming home he finds an empty house. His wife Lisa and their two sons are gone. Darryl grows angry while searching for the answers. After speaking with his friend Chauncey, Darryl drives to Oakland, California where Lisa has gone. Darryl hopes that upon arrival in California he will learn the truth of why Lisa left, and that he has not lost her forever.

Mediation is often a way to help you relax, reflect and understand. It is a way to help you think and see and feel the presence of those who can help you find answers.

Each of these stories has a message of its own, but all of them unite in one: Before you can live in the present you must forgive yourself for the past. You need to listen to the words of others whether in your mind, dreams, or in life. From this you must create your own path into the future.

Life is like a precious diamond. You need to embrace it, and cherish it because you only get this invaluable jewel just once.

Raven and Drew of Dancing Siva learned to savor their lives together after that night in the restaurant and with their help so did many others.

Anjuelle Floyd’s messages and stories shed light on the hope that we can all learn to listen and hear the words of others before taking actions that will hurt them and us. Well-written, heartfelt and true to life.

Fran Lewis: reviewer and author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories Are Precious by Alzheimer’s Book.


Nine Lives by Frank Say

Sometimes life will throw you a curve and whether you see it coming or not, you cannot stop where the ball will wind up. Sam a dedicated father and husband never realized that at the flick of a second his whole world would change and his life, as he knew it, would never be the same.

One rain filled evening tragedy struck and his wife was killed. His son’s and his life would be forever tainted and permanently altered.

Going through the motions as a newly widowed man and single parent, events unfold that lead him to believe that the accident was anything but an act of fate that he did not see coming or be able to prevent.

Trying to create some normalcy in both his and his son’s lives he begins to doubt some of things that he sees, hears and even wonders why he has begun to experience some unusual dreams, headaches and smells. Hearing voices in shies head, visualizing and thinking he is having one last dance with his wife, he becomes embroiled and determined to find out the reason why he no longer needs glasses, sees more clearly and experiences déjà vous and more.

Enter in Christian his young son and Sam’s housekeeper Margarite who understands what Sam is experiencing and know where he can find the answers to the supernatural and occult like events that have now overtaken part of his days and certainly his inner most thoughts.

Heading for Bourbon Street in New Orleans Sam meets some very unsavory and unusual characters and falls prey to their deceit, lies and threatening behaviors and becomes doubtful that any of this is really true. Could his life really be in dire straights or is losing his soul in jeopardy? In New Orleans he meets a strange man who convinces him that he has now been given the an important gift through his threats and creating total havoc in his life, he will be destroyed if he does not succumb to being one of them.

Author Frank Say takes us on a psychological journey into the nightmares, dreams and possibly new reality of a man who has begun to think he is losing his mind. Hearing voices, seeing visions, reading the thoughts and desires of those around him, Sam becomes engulfed in a world filled with violence, flashbacks and flash-forwards. In this well written and graphically depicted debut novel, Frank Say creates an expertly crafted novel that takes the reader on an emotional and physical roller coaster along with Sam and leaves both drained yet wanting to find out what will happen next. Each step of the way the reader experiences first hand what Sam goes through on his plane ride, his inner most dreams and the terrifying events in a man’s apartment who claims to the almighty himself. But, is he and what is his real agenda? That, dear reader, you will have to find out for yourself.

A crucifix that his Priest gave him to wear around his neck, the voice of his wife constantly in his upper most thoughts and his family friend, Margarite who helps guide him through this with prayer, Sam hopes to find solace, solutions and answers to what has happened to him. But, is he the only affected by these voices and visions or are others involved too?

The events that unfold will astound, shock and surprise the reader as Sam, Christian and Margarite battle the inexplicable and the unknown in order to regain what they held so dear, their lives together.

What does happen will bond father and son forever? Psychic connections are real and what would happen if you could read the thoughts of another and connect with that person?  Read this outstanding debut novel and find out Sam’s fate and learn just who has NINE LIVES!

This book is a definite must read for everyone. I never give stars when rating a book. I give Sam five more lives with only clear and happy visions.

“My name is Sam and the events that you are about to read will forever change your life and the way you think about mind control, psychic connections and the occult. Join me on my journey and find out what happens when an accident of fate changes the course of events in my life. Welcome to my world. Let’s hope it does not become yours!

New Blog

Hi everyone

I have created a second blog to help children who want to ask my character. Bertha about ways to deal with being overweight and how to respond when children comment about their weight and what they do when they get picked on or made fun of. She does not claim to have all of the answers but she will try and make you feel better. Remember: Your outer shell just helps people tell you apart from others. It is not who you are inside nor as a person.