Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost

Title: Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost

Author: Christopher Heard


Publisher: Transit Publishing

The media can be cruel when reporting about a singer, movie star or even an athlete. Movie critics, book reviewers and photographers tend to invade the lives of the actors, authors and famous figures when they appear in public, or review their movies or books. Britney Spears has been under the microscope since the day she was born. Primed to become a singer and a star, encouraged by her mother, Lynne, Britney Spears life was never really private. There was always someone there to photograph her, rate her performance, compete against her or encourage her to continue being the perfectionist she has always was and still is. This brings me to my review of Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost by Christopher Heard. What a perfect title. To anyone that really has a heart and understands that people deserve second chances and should not be judged on past mistakes, the title fits, as I feel she never had a chance to really be a little girl and do the things little kids did.

From the minute she could get up and dance or sing, she performed in public and entered every competition and contest that her mother would bring her to. She won most everyone that she entered and competed in before the age of 8. Britney loved gymnastics too and was given every form of equipment to practice on in her home. Piano lessons, singing lessons and dancing lessons were her life early on, causing her to miss school and socializing with other children her own age.

Britney Spears’s mother had goals that she set for her and expected her to reach them. With a father that was finding it hard to find work, the family began depending on her to support them. Becoming part of the Mickey Mouse Club, she became friends with many stars and her rise to stardom she hoped would not be far away. With the shows short-lived life and cancellation, she returned home to Kentwood to resume her life as a normal teenager. But, would her mother allow her to and what would her next career move be? Even forming a relationship with a friend of her brother, she dove into it with the same vigor as two adults starting a relationship. The relationship became too intense and when Reg went off to college and met other girls, Britney retaliated by dating other boys and making sure that he knew it

Britney did not handle rejection or disappointment very well. When she did not get a part or come on top she started analyzing what she did wrong and consider what her failings were instead of working on the many positive attributes that she had. Throughout the this biography I have not heard her parents use terms of love or endearment to her or ever say they were proud of her for all that she accomplished and might in the future.

Author Christopher Heard helps the reader to better understand the torment, turbulent relationships, the highs and lows of the career of a young woman who many counted on to make them rich and bring in the gold. Her relationship with Justin Timberlake, her mother’s goals for her and constant push to rise to the top, and the endless tours she went on, often left her drained and feeling alone. Commercials, movies, awards, endorsements, videos and numerous albums and yet she never really found Brittany, the real person. A heart of gold and blaming herself for her parent’s debts, she paid them back and then some but not just with money but also by driving herself and pushing herself to meet what she thought she wanted and others expected of her. She became less of a human being and more of a marketable product.

Her life is like looking into a distorted mirror with all of the images out of place. Her relationship and marriage to Kevin Federline, her poor public image due to allegedly being accused of alcohol and drug abuse, her stint in rehab and more drove the public, the media and her support group to withdraw from her. Temper tantrums in public, hospitalizations, losing custody of her children and no one really understood why. Even her parents and doctors did stop and think about why her total personality was so erratic. As the author so aptly states,” too many in Britney’s inner and outer circles were content to overlook her suffering and obvious cries for help.” This book is a must read for anyone that wants to learn more about what happens when stardom comes too fast, people take advantage of a young girl who just wanted to become a star.

Brittany needs to fix that mirror and create a clearer picture. You don’t have to please the world, you need to be who you are and that is just fine and deserve a big hug and congrats for your comeback.

The Find

The Find

Author: Marilyn Jax

The past often comes back and haunts you in the present. What is buried can unsurface and recreate the present in a different way than you planned. Two brothers separated by circumstances beyond their control- one horrific war, one Holocaust that we must never forget happened- lives lost due to hatred, torture and injustices inflicted on so many people. Two men whose worlds were obliterated with the flick of an ash and the fires that burned and incinerated so many, but would be bound forever by something that no one could ever destroy: Love and Trust for each other

Human remains were left after the Nazi’s burned and incinerated their victims. Human remains were found at the bottom of a dig site during an environmental clean-up project. What do these incidents have in common? They will be forever enmeshed and intertwined when you read my review of Marilyn Jax’s debut novel The Find.

Claire Caswell a fraud investigator in Florida and Gaston Lombard the State Attorney for Miami-Dade Florida have gone to the Cayman Islands to celebrate and bring in the New Year together. While exploring the island they uncover a cave filled with a hidden artifact that leads them into a deadly investigation into a 40 year old murder and a hunt for a killer that might still be at large.

At the root the investigation is the identification of the man that was murdered and learning his identity and the significance of the necklace and the coin hanging from it.

The necklace around the remains was of a Greek coin called a lepton dating back to ancient Greece and possibly finding its way to Israel. A copper coin of nominal value yet placed on an 18 carot gold chain. Dating back to 1935 and Palestine this coin will have a strong connection to the brothers and hopefully be instrumental in solving the murder.

Added to these findings the medical examiner reports the victim is a male murdered about 40 years ago. Add both written and phone threats to thwart Claire’s endeavors in solving this case that most of her colleagues feel is unsolvable and you have a mystery/thriller filled with suspense, intrigue, history and greed.

Greed shows its nasty hand in many other places in this novel. After having been reimbursed at two clean up sites this third site sends up a big red flag when Claire meets with Lawson and his consultant, in order to inspect the site where the remains were found. Seeing a gasoline can at the site and noting that at the first two the soil samples were contaminated and this third site had two sets that were not, she cleverly states to both men that she knows this site will prove to be different. But, they have other ideas in mind and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Claire and Gaston bring back the artifact that they uncovered with some coins from the cave and ask a reputable dealer to appraise it. The statue dates back to the three stolen artifacts taken from a museum. The thieves stuffed the relics with raw and uncut emeralds. The eyes of the statue, as the one they brought back, were made of jade. But, when the statue was returned the dealer claimed it had a nominal value and the jade eyes were replaced. The emeralds were packed within the bottom of each of the three statues that were stolen hoping to never be discovered where hidden and make its way through customs. But, the best-laid plans are sometimes foiled, as you will learn.

With the help of retired Detective Penwright and the dying man, they uncover the letters written by the victim and the name and reason for the murder is revealed, but not solved. The murdered has yet to be named and all of the pieces of this intrigue puzzle need to be neatly placed within its frame before Claire and Gaston rest. But, what they uncover will surprise the reader, break their hearts and give you the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, deceit and greed in ways you never would have imagined.

Who can you trust if not an old friend? Who is behind the murder? Who is behind the threats to Claire’s life? Will they find the truth and will they be able to deal with the answers to their questions?

The story that unfolds and that is told by the author about the Holocaust, the reasons behind the murder and the well crafted way she leads the reader to understand the investigative process, enveloped the reviewer from the start to finish in this outstanding novel. After reading her second novel, The Road to Omalos and reviewing it, I had to see where it all began and how Claire and Gaston became a team. Characters are clearly defined. A plot that grabs the reader from page one and keeps you on edge until the very end, hoping for more. I can’t wait to read her third novel and learn more about Claire and Gaston.

This novel deserves five gold stars.

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

Big Bobby Boom and the Marble Mayhem

Title: Big Bobby Boom and the Marble Mayhem

Author: Gregg Seeley

ISBN: 978-1-894650-75-5

Publisher: Moose Enterprise

Welcome to the town of Bunsel. This is one town I would never want to visit. This is a town that is run by one family the Bunsels. The mayor of the town treats everyone as his servant and his children and family are allowed to create havoc, disorder and mayhem wherever that want and whenever they choose. I thought we lived in a democratic society. I guess someone forgot to tell that to Mayor Boolacheck who declared himself not only King of the roads but dictator of the town too. This brings me to my review of The Big Bobby Boom and the Marble Mayhem by author Gregg Seeley.

There are many kids that go to school and are frightened, hurt, insulted and bullied by other kids that play on their vulnerability. Author, Gregg Seeley in this humorous, clever account of a town and its founders that needed to be taught a big lesson, brings to light this serious issue that many children have to deal with on a daily basis. Big Bobby Boom, his two goon cousins go around bullying, playing practical jokes and harassing anyone and everyone just for the sport of torturing them. Elliot Blue the son of the new sheriff, fears his first day of school and the awful treatment he knows he cannot avoid. But, not to worry Elliot. Someone is about to come to your rescue and the town of Bunsel, the Boolacheck family and more will never be the same. You see, sometimes it takes another kid to put the bullies in their place. But, will the Boolacheck boys ever learn that what they are doing is wrong? How can they when their parents, the Mayor and their entire family endorse and encourage their behavior and feel because everyone in town works for them, they have to follow their rules.

Imagine being told when you are to be at an event and that your children are required to play hockey, baseball and other sports just to be pawns and puppets falling prey to the whims and pranks of these other boys

But, fear not, Elliot Blue you are no longer alone. Enter, cousin Jimmy the Slick the king of real practical jokes who would make sure that the town of Bunsel not only knew he had arrived, but would never mess with him or you again.

Throughout the novel we learn that the grownups in this town are just as much to blame as the youngsters. This is an example of how much this town could use Nanny 911 to help teach them proper parenting skills. Imagine the Mayor and his wife throwing a party for their son that every child in the town is required to attend and allowing their son and their cousins to do mean things to the other kids and watch without trying to stop them. With parents that encourage this behavior and town of grownups who fear for their jobs and more, whom can these children learn from?  Certainly not the adults.

Author Gregg Seeley created the character of Jimmy the Slick, who is so resourceful, so clever and often comes up with ingenious plans to teach the Boolacheck boys lessons he hopes they will never forget. But, do they you will have to decide for yourself. From putting super glue on the baseball bats that cause not only Bobby’s hands but others to become permanently glued, to the slime he puts in their swimming pool during a birthday party, the author creates situations that are so funny and hilarious you actually route for Jimmy and Elliot.

But, when Jimmy and Elliot are banned from the town parade, Jimmy decides to teach not only the Mayor and his sons a lesson, but hopefully the entire town too. Every family works for the Mayor except the new Sheriff who stands up to him and does not back down.  Even the Mayor and his sons never act alone. Ever notice that bullies need backup when they strike. Wonder what would happen if they got Bobby alone!

With an ending so hilarious and so funny you will not believe what 10,000 marbles and a cow suit can do to stop a parade and much more. Just what happens and how do Jimmy and Elliot become the town heroes as a result of their stunt to unleash these marbles on the town during the parade. Just what happens to Jimmy and Elliot as a result of their stunt you won’t belief, nor will you belief the ending?

A definite must read for all kids that have ever been the victim of a bully. As someone that went through what Elliot did, I can totally identify with him and think that this book should be in all schools for teachers to use as model as part of their of their character education curriculum. Guidance counselors and librarians could use this as a way of helping kids understand how to deal with bullies.

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

I give this book: Five Stars