The 19th Element reviewed by fran lewis

The 19th Element

Author: John Betcher

Reviewed By Fran Lewis

What would happen if potassium were used for creating an explosion to destroy a nuclear plant? What would happen if you could take potassium or 19th element used in fertilizer by agriculturists and extract it in its purest potassium elemental metal form? You might look at this element in a totally different way.  Creating an explosion so horrific that it would not only rock the Twin Cities and many other states thousands of miles away. The death toll would be insurmountable and the end result catastrophic. Boom! Life as you know it would be gone. Think about it!

September 11, 2001 really did happen. It was supposed to be a wakeup call for the United States to pay attention, close attention to Al Qaeda and their terrorist cells. Information that was intercepted before these attacks did not raise any cause for alarm and those in charge became too complacent and you know the end result. America needs to pay close attention or what they now have planned as author John Betcher will relate in his novel “ The 19th Element,” would make 9/11 pale in comparison. As the novel opens a body is found of a professor in the Prairie River. His goal was to create a device that would extract potassium in its metal form to be used as a form of fertilizer. However, this professor was killed for much more as you will learn. Al Qaeda has totally different agenda and has sent many of its operatives into the mainstream of our society to carry out their deadly deeds in the name of Allah. But, there is much more. As the author relates at the start of the novel Al Qaeda’s threat to the United States has diminished and we are not paying enough attention and are no longer in fear of any imminent strikes. Think again. Never take a blind eye to what these people are capable of doing. Their purpose and goal is to create a nuclear holocaust by attacking the Mississippi Prairie Nuclear Power Plants. Will they succeed? Enter James Becker or Beck as his friends call him. Former elite government operative, now attorney at law, Beck will stop at nothing to find out the real reason for the death of a college professor and the disappearance of his assistant.

Three Mile Island created a nuclear blast that many thought would have little or no serious consequences. That was not true as John Sigler learned when his entire family succumbed to cancer and much more. Thinking he was not affected by the radiation fall out, he sought out groups, people, organizations or anyone that would help him avenge the deaths of his parents and brother –namely the United States was the enemy and he would make them pay. But, there is so much more. The terrorist engages the aide of some homegrown anarchists, and John who survived Three Mile Island has a vendetta of his own against the nuclear plant wants to assist if not conduct the attack. The deceased professor’s assist Farris Ahmed has his own agenda in mind.

With vivid descriptions of the nuclear plant, the method of how to create these explosions and a definite understanding of chemicals and how they interact, author John Betcher takes the reader on a dangerous journey inside the world and mind terrorists who will stop at nothing to attain their goals. Just think of what would happen if these people really had enough potash or potassium chloride in its natural form to attack a nuclear plant’s spent fuel tank. Vulnerable to sabotage given the right circumstances depending on what side you are on the unthinkable could happen. Let’s hope no one finds out.

Beck is not alone in his quest. His friend Bull is right by his side to join in his escapades as his Beck’s wife Beth. As Beck learns more about the processes involved in creating a nuclear blast and our lab assistant is feverishly working to put his plan in action, we learn a lot more about this 19th element and how dangerous it would be if this diabolical plan came to pass. But, what happens next is not only frightening but mindboggling.

One man fighting against those who refuse to believe him. A gut feeling, instinct and with pure raw energy, James Beck hatches a plan to try and thwart the terrorists before it’s too late. But, can he and will he succeed? With the aide of the deputy sheriff, his friend Bull and knowledge of chemistry, potassium and nuclear weapons, this one man is fighting to save so many people, not just in Ottawa County.

One man betrayed by his country and wants avenge the deaths of his parents before its too late. One man risks everything for one small town in Mississippi against all odds and the beliefs of others that this could never happen. A professor who created a potassium electrolysis device to help farmer and agriculturist’s crops to grow. The 19th Element, Potassium, what will be the end result.

John Betcher has created a character as cunning, intelligent and resourceful as Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath, and Berry’s Cotton Malone, we have a new character that we can all hope will come back in many more of this great author’s novels. Mind stimulating, thought provoking and eye opening: Al Qaeda is always watching and waiting for us to look away! DON’T. With an ending that will keep you the edge and twists and turns that will surprise you, The 19th Element is not just about the effects of Potassium it is also the Element of Surprise.

This is definitely one of my favorite pics for 2010.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious


Until I Smile At You

Title: Until I Smile At You

Author: Roseann Lombardi

ISBN: 9781935097167

Publisher: Two Harbors

Until I Smile At You is more than a love story. Author Roseann Lombardi’s memoir brings to light the courage and bravery of one woman, Anna Plato her mom. The time period is the 1940’s. The author takes us on a journey back in time when two young people meet, fall in love and face many adversities that life presents them. Tony and Anna fell in love from the moment they met on the beach. Adverse to their union, coming from Italian American families, both Tony and Anna faced many unhappy moments from the start. Both having parents who were not only judgmental but against their union, Tony and Anna struggled to make a life for themselves during a time when our country was embroiled in a war overseas and many young men, including Tony and his brothers were drafted to serve our country. This brings me to my review of Until I Smile At You by author Roseann Lombardi.

From the start of the memoir meeting both Tony and Anna you fall in love with both of them. Flashbacks to their first meeting and recounting their early life together helps the reader understand the hardships many people faced during this time period. Told in the first person you can hear Anna’s voice as she creates a life for herself and Tony. Family discussions described so vividly and clearly that the reader could feel the tension of the difficult times and the joys that come so rarely within two families so alike yet so different. Tony, the favorite son plays mediator when his father berates and belittles his brother Matty. Anna, the youngest of three sisters, is not favored as sisters Maria and Nedda are by her parents. Dominant fathers who want their children’s lives carved out their way and mothers who try to understand, Tony and Anna enter a world of marriage, love and heartache early on. Life changes when you least expect it.

Anna Lauro was a fashion model and had a budding career when fate struck her a terrible blow. As a young mother you learn to deal with many changes in your life, but when Anna learns she has Multiple Sclerosis, her whole world comes crashing down. MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system.) The symptoms of numerous the cure, there is none. Affecting her balance, walking, eye sight and more this devastating disease gets worse over time.

As Anna’s symptoms worsen and she begins to have less control over her body and her ability to function, Anna must make a grave decision in the care of her young daughter. Her life with Tony will forever change. With Tony’s mother Rose and his father Harry who are more like parents to her than her own, and his sister Connie they come together to help this amazing young woman fight the battle of her life. You can feel the tension, the heartache, the frustration and the love between Tony and Anna.

Characters that are well defined and created the reader relives the events of Anna and Tony’s life together along with Roseann, our author. Allowing the reader to understand and read the inner most thoughts of Tony, Anna and Roseann, makes this story and its events more realistic.

As Anna’s condition becomes more prevalent the author’s description of MS is so graphic that we feel the tingling in her arms, understand her decreased attention span, balance problems and her frustration with being unable to take care of her young daughter. Tony and Anna are now living in the same house but in two different worlds. Tony living life for himself, Anna at the mercy of her family what happens next will break your heart as she is committed to a life of horror in Willowbrook where truths were hidden from the public and realities not yet revealed and Anna no longer speaks for herself.

Hear her voice as our author brings the reader inside this horrific institution along with Anna where we learn first hand of the indignities she faced in this institution. The abuse, neglect, imprisonment and suffering she and others encountered is not uncommon in a large institution where conditions are veiled and kept secreted from the public. MS is not a mental illness. Willowbrook was a mental institution that no one should have entered. Risking her life for that of others, Anna held on until she could not longer handle the abandonment, betrayal and inhumane treatment of her and many others. With an ending that you bring you to tears, author Roseann Lombardi’s tribute to her mom, Anna Plato Lauro, is a must read for anyone who is thinking about care for a loved outside their home.

“I’ll never smile again was their song.” When you hear that song think of Anna and smile. With a mom with Alzheimer’s I do understand.

Fran Lewis

coldcoffee and book masons

My Life For Her reviewed by fran lewis

My Life For Her

Author: Robert J. Saniscalchi

Life changes. Unpredictable, not in our control, life can throw you a curve ball more powerful and faster than one thrown by the best pitcher on a major league team. Speed, accuracy and precision are necessary when that pitch leaves the glove and heads for the opponent’s bat. But, as that batter hopes to hit a home run, a gale wind sends it in another direction causing him to strike out. As Rob Marrrino heads out in his mustang with no direction in mind, that curve ball sends him in a completely different direction. Wanting to spend time pondering and thinking about his past and what the future holds for him was what he hoped to do that day.  But, sometimes what you want is not what you get. One moment in time will forever change his life. The course of events no one will ever forget.

A black sports sedan zooming past the state police cause Rob to enter a high-speed chase and the end result will shock the small town of Pikeville and stupefy the police department and put them on the map. Calling it in and becoming involved in this chase, Rob learns that the two men are drug dealers and winds up killing the brother of the number one South American kingpin of a huge drug cartel. This would create a chain of deadly events. One brother is jailed and he vows to avenge his brother’s death. Rob and his family become his targets since his was the fatal bullet.

Beth Ann, Rob’s wife was supposed to be at their son’s game, she never   arrives. Like a puff of smoke she is gone and not one cinder or ash is left. Where is she no one knows? Little to go on and hardly any trace evidence left, he turns to the FBI for help. Agent Traci Sanders, taken with Rob, assists him in his pursuit giving him the needed information to find her.

My Life For Her is Rob’s response when asked what needs to be done. How far would you go and what would you risk if your wife/husband were kidnapped and in danger? Hidden away and imprisoned, Beth Anne’s life is in jeopardy unless the drug dealer is freed. But, who bargains with terrorists? Rob, a former medic and Vietnam vet enlists the aide of his army pal Tex to bring down the cartel and find his wife. Would you risk it all?

Flying straight into the hands of the cartel both Rob and Tex enter the world of drugs, terrorism and hate in order to find one woman. My Life For Her is what Rob keeps saying as they go on a roller coaster ride with more ups and downs than the cyclone in Coney Island and more dangerous at each turn. With only five days to get her back and trade the drug dealer’s life for hers, Rob and Tex feverishly works along with others to save this one woman. Would you chance it and take your entire life savings to find your wife or husband?

Rocky trails, rough terrain, boat rides, hot desert conditions, nothing would stop Rob and Tex from their quest no matter what the cost or risk. As Rob and Tex find the camp where they are holding Beth what ensues you will not believe. You can feel the tension, fear and anger in both Rob and Tex as they race the clock to get Beth Anne back. Lives are lost, the drug cartel must be brought down and their headman called the General must pay for what he’s done to so many. Rape, torture, pilfering, stealing and drug trafficking are not even close to the crimes these people are guilty. Revenge is the reason for Beth Anne’s capture and as Agent Sanders waits to hear the fate of Tex and Rob, Tex continues the battle alone to finish what they both started.

Mexico has been the primary producer and transit route for illegal drug trafficking for generations. This country has always been embattled with powerful drug cartels whose funds are endless and whom ruthlessness knows no bounds. Drug related violence is not uncommon in this country along with guns smuggled into Mexico being used by drug gangs. As our author relates the events leading up to the capture of these men, seizure of the drugs and hopefully saving Rob, Tex and Beth Ann, the author reminds the reader of the serious ramifications of drug trafficking and the dangers involved when trying to stop them. Captured along with Beth Ann is another woman whose father is quite powerful and owns a lot of land the cartel is after. Saving her brought them to temporary safety endangering the family of this woman and many more.

As the team’s plan is executed you can feel the excitement, the tension and fears that each man experiences as the author relates to the reader the thoughts of each of the key players in this mission. For anyone that has never watched a military rescue in a movie, or read about how missions are executed and accomplished read this thriller and experience it along with the characters.

My Life For Her: Four small words with so much power and meaning. One man who risked his life to save another. Another mans whose undying friendship almost costs him his life and much more. Two close friends who fought in Vietnam and now are fighting for the lives of so many to stop the destruction caused by these drug cartels. Can anyone ever really stop them? Will more replace those that are captured or killed? What part does the government and the President play in this fast paced, action packed true to life thriller that will keep you on edge from start to finish? Allowing the reader into the minds of the characters and describing their feelings and actions so vividly you feel part of the action. Heart racing and thought provoking, author Robert J. Saniscalchi brings to light the importance of fighting to rid the world of drugs, the true meaning of friendship, and the meaning of real love. My Life For Her: Does he save her? Will they succeed? Will the drug lord’s bombs destroy the home of the people that are keeping them safe? Do they make it out or will it be too late? An ending that has twists, turns, surprises and will have you on edge until the very end, author Robert J. Saniscalchi is right up there with Patterson, Berry, Coben and many other writers of great thrillers. A great book to use as a reference to help young adults learn why taking drugs are dangerous and to what lengths these people will go market them in our country and how fatal the results can be.

Read this outstanding novel that teaches everyone what love is really about. MY LIFE FOR HER! You decide what that means. My LIFE FOR HIM: Would you give yours for the one you love?

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author of Memories are Precious and the Bertha Series of Books

Host of Book Discussion on Red River Radio

Host of Red River Radio’s show for YA and children’s authors

my pleasure fran

On Jun 15, 2010, at 4:45 AM, wrote:

This is great, thanks. “wow you up as early as me lol or you never went to sleep. Thanks again tony

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: Fran Lewis <>

Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 04:19:40 -0400

To: <>

Subject: review and endorsement home sweet home

Home Sweet Home

By author Tony Angelo

Poor Terrence the Termite has a real dilemma. He has to leave the home that he has lived in for many years. What is Terrence going to do? How could the owners of his beautiful home where the wood tastes great and he has a bountiful supply to eat and gnaw on sell it and leave poor Terrence with no where to go. The owners are going to have a home inspection and you can guess what will happen if they find Terrence.

Terrence finds a tree but it belongs to a woodpecker and he leaves. Then, he finds a spot on the water and cannot stay there either. What is he going to do? Even the beaver wants his own space and does not want him there. But, Terrence finds a closet, boy that must have tons of great wood and more to eat he does not know what to expect from the present occupant who lives there.

To find out if Terrence ever finds a home and if he gets to share it with the creature living there, read Home Sweet Home by master storyteller Tony Angelo and find out for yourself if poor Terrence the Termite ever gets a new place to call Home Sweet Home.

Fran Lewis: author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey Ruth’s Story and book reviewer and Radio Show Talk Show Host

Endorsement for Home Sweet Home

There are many insects, animals and even people that want their own private space to live in. Beavers have dams, woodpeckers want their own trees and seals would like to live in the water undisturbed. But, when poor Terrence the Termite is forced to leave his home that he has lived in for many years, author Tony Angelo presents us with a problem that many people have when their home is sold and they have no control over what will happen to them next, they are in need of a new abode. Terrence goes all over looking for just the right place to live. Just like people many of the animals and creatures do not want a termite as a housemate. Author Tony Angelo once again teaches children and adults alike that just when you think all is lost, someone comes to the rescue. Well written, easy to read and illustrations that help the story come to life, author Tony Angelo has written another five star book.

Fran Lewis


Read Tony’s great book

Endorsement for A Very Clever Firefly

A Very Clever Firefly goes behind that of most children’s books. As an educator I find this book an invaluable resource to teach children character education and family values. Even more it has a treasure chest of lessons that can be used when teaching lessons in multi-culture, diversity and tolerance. Kindness, patience, understanding, teamwork and life skills are all valuable lessons that are taught in Sunday schools. Using this book as a resource to start the lesson would definitely create a definite spark of interest in the children and keep them engaged in the lessons being taught.

The firefly is like the universal father of all insects and creatures in this story. You fall in love with him and all of the insets in this story. It even takes away the fear you have of getting stung by a bee.

With children having to learn that not everyone grows up the same way and sometimes the differences in our appearances hamper how we look, walk or act, this story teaches in a positive manner how using our intelligence, thinking and listening to the answers for the questions we ask is better than anger, hate and being mean. You can hear the sounds of all of the creatures working together at the end of the story sounding like their own rock band. To me it is a like a newly created symphony of beautiful sounds to hear and to behold.

Fran Lewis

Five Star Review

That Mama is a Grouch

Author: Sherry Eillis

All too often kids do things to irritate their moms. Most of the time they do not even realize that some of their actions are annoying, irritating and might cause harm to someone else. “That Mama is a Grouch,” written by Sherry Ellis in rhyming form, helps the reader whether young or old understand why parents get upset and handing out tons of time outs.

Mothers are people too. They are even allowed to get upset and blow off steam. But, when the little girl in this book decides to leave all of her 52 toys strewn all over the entire house, that was the last straw and yes, “Mama turned into a real GROUCH!” Poor Mama tripped and fell and landed on the couch. The expression on her mother’s face was priceless. You could almost hear her footsteps as she stormed up the stairs telling her to clean up her mess. But, for some reason she could not understand why she got so angry since all she wanted to do was have some fun. The one thing no one wants is a parent who is always cranky and complains all the time. Who wants a GROUCH for a mother? Our main character will learn some important lessons so that her grouchy mom turns into an even- tempered person with a big smile on her face.

Receiving a stern warning our main character decides to amuse herself in the kitchen and what she does and the concoctions she creates are hysterical and can only be appreciated by reading the book and seeing the outstanding illustrations drawn by Don Berry that brings the story to light.

Our clever young lady is still not done and what she does when the baby naps is typical of any child who does not think that noise travels causing her mom to blow a fuse one more time.

Parents need to listen to their children and understand that they will make mistakes and just want to be noticed. Younger siblings take up much of a mother’s time and the older one gets lost in the shuffle and gets reprimanded when things get out of control even though they are really just being a kid. So, I think I will let our main character tell you the rest:

“ I know that I left my toys all over the place. That is because I would not have to look for them when I wanted to play with any of them. I did not realize that my mom would fall and almost get hurt. When the baby went to sleep I took out some other toys to play with in the basement and who would have thought that the noise would travel up to the baby’s room. Then, I explained to my mom how I felt and guess what, she did not yell, she listened.”

As moms go I think the one in this story is really smart and handled the situation the same way that Nanny 911 would. She explained to her what she expected of her and created a list of do’s and don’ts that are easy to follow. I am sure that she might have even made a chart and kept it posted in the kitchen or on the wall of her room as a reminder of what she was supposed to do and not do. If you are waiting for me to tell you what these rules are, you will be waiting a long time. You have to read this book for yourself to find out the wonderful parenting skills that every mother needs to learn.

The little girl promises to try and tells the reader what will happen if she breaks a rule. Does Mama remain a Grouch? Read the book and you decided for yourself. Remember: Kids are people too and will make mistakes and author Sherry Ellis in this outstanding book teaches both parents and children how to handle situations in a calm and understanding way without yelling and hitting.

This book is great for teachers when they want to explain to their youngsters why it is necessary to clean up the toys in their classrooms. It is great for safety prevention at home and in school to teach children what might happen if someone does fall on a toy and why someone might get really hurt.

The illustrations are priceless and they help the reader understand the frustrations of the mother and the daughter. The facial expressions are priceless and the ending will make you smile. Every parent might want to create a list of do’s and don’ts to post on their kitchen bulletin board and add a list of rewards to go with it for great behavior.

Funny, humorous and a perfect book not only for kids but for adults that forget to put away their clothes, shoes and toys leaving them around for others to clean up or fall over too. Remember, golf clubs, tennis rackets and baseball bats are just as dangerous to leave around as toys from a toy box.

As an educator I think this book would be great in classroom libraries in grades K-3 and in school libraries as read aloud. Guidance counselors could use this book to help children learn responsibility and for parents who come in that are frustrated when their kids do not listen and they to learn a better way to handle situations without yelling.

Children of all ages can read this book even if they cannot read the words, the pictures tell the story. Each picture can be used to help students predict outcomes and decide what might happen next to the little girl and the mother by just looking at the pictures. Great for teaching writing skills and having children create their own stories using individual pictures and making up their own ending and do’s and don’ts charts.

“That Mama is Grouch, “ definitely one my list of favorite children’s books for 2010. This is another great book to add to character education programs in schools.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer

My Interview with Working Girl

Interview With Author Fran Lewis

June 12, 2010 by workinggirlreviews

WGR is excited to welcome author, educator, and talk show host, Fran Lewis.

WGR: Fran, welcome to Working Girl Reviews. I understand you were a New York City teacher for many years. Tell us about that.

Fran: I taught in the NYC public schools for over 30 years. Working with students in grades one through six for the first part of my career. My Principal felt that I had a special skill and expertise when working with students with learning difficulties and encouraged me to go back to school for my second Master’s Degree in Reading and Learning Disabilities. I am glad that I did. As the reading and writing specialist and later Staff Developer I was able to reach many of the students who came from other countries and help them to read, understand and speak our language and excel in school. Before leaving, when my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I was the Dean of Discipline and helped create a Peer Mediation program that worked in our school.

The arts and music are two of my greatest passions. I play the piano and the violin and directed and created all of the holiday shows for the school including the ones on Black History and Women’s History. For many years I directed the orchestra and choral groups at Graduation.

I mentored many of the new teachers, was test coordinator for the school and eventually went back for my degree in Administration.

WGR: Tell us a little about Bertha. Did your experience as a teacher inspire your Bertha stories or was it more from personal experience?

Fran: I based my stories and my titles in my own experiences growing up in the South Bronx. I was always the outcast when it came to sports, dancing and was overweight. I spent my life battling with my weight and got ridiculed a lot in dancing school and when participating in many activities. I did however excel at punch ball and can still knock one out of the park. Bertha is me. Everything that I wrote in all three books if true. Many children in the schools today are subjected to the abuse caused by bullies in their schools or being overweight as I was all my life. Having difficulty walking up the stairs or not being able to participate in activities in the gym made it difficult for me to fit in with many of the other kids.

As an educator and a teacher who did spend time working with the gym teacher when my time was requested to assist him, I learned that this issue was still front and center and I refused to allow it to continue.

My Bertha stories are all true. Every one of the stories in My Name is Bertha and Bertha Speaks Out are true. The third book, Bertha Fights Back deals with September 11 and is dedicated to one of my students who died in the first tower. I wrote these stories to help teachers, parents and children of all ages learn to embrace their differences and understand that it is not what you look like on the outside that makes the person, it is the inner you and your kindness and understanding of others.

WGR: Do you have any books other than the Bertha series?

Fran: I wrote two other books dealing with Alzheimer’s. The first is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s Story. It is my mom’s story and her words when she was diagnosed with this dreaded and horrific illness. It is also a resource for anyone that needs home care, senior care or wants to really understand the illness. It has family memories, author’s memories and pictures to help bring the book and the stories to light.

My second book is titled Sharp as a Tack or Scrambled Eggs, Which Describes Your Brain? This book will help the coach potato in everyone and give you ways to keep your mind and body active and alert.

WGR: You’ve been writing for a while now. Tell us what you like least about teethe writing process and what you like most.

Fran: I really do not like editing my work. I love when someone else reads my stories or my novels and gives me the feedback that I need. I have trouble reading on my computer because I get eyestrain. I often wonder at times what I am going to write and where my plots are going.

The best part is completing that manuscript and seeing your book in print and of course having tons of people buy it. The Alzheimer’s books were written to raise funds for research and a cure.

WGR: I know you review books for several review sites. What types of books do you enjoy reading most and who are some of your favorite authors?

Fran: I love reading a well-written mystery, thriller and historical fiction novel. A novel that grabs my attention from the first word forcing me to complete the book in a day. I love reading Paranormal and fantasy too. Children’s books are my favorite. Giving positive and great reviews to a new author and having them tell me they love my review is the best payment and way to say thank you in the world to a reviewer.

WGR: As well as being a writer and reviewer, you host a radio talk show. Please tell us more about that. Fran: I now host two radio shows. The first is Book Discussion With Fran Lewis, which is the third Wed. of every month at 1 Eastern on Red River Radio. Authors throughout the world, usually two on each show are featured. I read their books and create questions to ask them along with my book club members who have to read the books too. The author tells our listeners about his/her writing career, short bio, answers our questions and can promote their sites, next projects and tell us where we can purchase their books.

The second show if for children’s authors and will focus on books geared for all levels. The primary focus of the show is to have authors whose books teach a positive lesson and will help children and teachers in the character education programs. These are books that should be in classroom and school libraries. There are five authors on my first show and I will ask the questions that I have created and we will discuss the books as a group. This show is the fifth Tuesday of August and November 30th so far.

WGR: For those readers interested in being a guest on your radio show, where would they find information about that?

Fran: If anyone would like to join me on my November children’s show they can email me at That show will be devoted to YA authors and books for teens. The show in August will be for early learners.

WGR: When you aren’t busy writing, reviewing, and doing your radio show, what would we find Fran Lewis doing for fun?

Fran: I love to walk, go to museums, and play basketball with my nephews even if I lose, go shopping, go to the Bronx Zoo and make people laugh with my wild sense of humor.

WGR: Fran, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Please tell all our readers where they can find more information about you and your work.

Fran: My website for anyone that would like me to review their books:

I review books for under the name Gabina

I review for book pleasures and manic readers too.

Thank you so much for interviewing me.

Coming soon: Wrongly Accused and Bertha’s Revenge

road to omalos

The Road to Omalos

Author: Marilyn Jax

ISBN: 9781592983292

Publisher: Beaver Pond Press

A plastics factory is torched and totally decimated. Why? A young man killed in the blaze? Business owners threatened and strong-armed by on man who appears to be immune to prosecution. A 62-year-old woman who seeks help, but never lives to get it. An elderly man who wants to avenge his son’s death. What is the common denominator? One man who is so evil, full of hate and malice that many will seek him out to bring him to justice or to mete out their own. This brings me to my review of The Road to Omalos by author Marilyn Jax.

Four men formed this their vigilante squad. Each a pillar of society in his own right, but harboring a need to rid the world of poison and leaving no venom behind. Their goal: To take care of the man who was terrorizing these storeowners and who burned the plastics factory leaving its owner Chadwick Otto without anything: his business, the money stored in his safe, the insurance money and his son. Added to this mix are Claire Caswell and Guy Lombard two investigators hired by Mr. Otto to bring this one man to justice. Who will get to him first and what method will be used to bring him to justice? Wait and see!

Marilyn Jax in her novel The Road to Omalos brings to light the issue of whether ordinary citizens have the right to take the law into their own hands when the guilty party seems above the law and gets away unscathed. Four men, one a judge, a Reverend, a pilot and a man into restate, four men bound by a blood oath, and an irrevocable pact, to mete out justice their way no matter the cost. Thomas Lastner, Jack Manning, Kyle Teddy and Scott Harriman bound together with no way out, and will turn every corner and pursue every path, to find George Zenonakis and rid the world of his corruption, deceit and ultimately his demise.

All roads lead to Greece or Crete in this novel in order to apprehend the culprit George Zenonakis. Fleeing Miami and returning to Crete, George looks for solace in his grandfather’s home, but will soon learn a lesson he will never forget. Paranoid, predicting and seeing his own death and replaying many scenes in his head, George takes refuge in his grandfather’s home but never really feels safe. Causing the explosion at the plastics factory was not difficult and stealing the four million dollars and figuring out how to get it out of the country was not hard, but the murder of a William Otto was another thing and would be replayed in his mind many times over time.

Every step forward takes them five steps back when they befriend the storekeepers and people they meet when asking where they might find this dangerous man. Closed mouth, fearing for their lives, Claire, Guy and the vigilantes must find other means to locate their target and bring him to their kind of justice. Who will get there first? Who will win? Remains to be seen. But the answer is right in the title of our novel: The Road to Omalos is as dangerous and deadly to travel as our fugitive as Claire learns as she drives to the top to rescue Guy. But, will she get there before it is too late? Who is this woman called the bird lady that she searches for and finds? What is her importance and role?

Replete with history, vivid descriptions of the countryside, the many villages, foods, customs, and scenery, the author takes the reader on a tour of Crete and many other places in Greece making the reviewer want to get on a plane and see the sights for herself. Added to this we have an illusive shadow that is following our investigators undetected. Just who he is and why he is following them remains to be seen. The road to Omalos is treacherous one must have great skill and stamina to drive up the narrow and winding road. But, when all the players come together and the final scene is over you will not believe what happens. An ending that has twist, turns, surprises and cast of characters that plays out the last scene as if it were in a Shakespearean play, Marilyn Jax has given the reader a novel that is a potent, strong and exhilarating as the RAKI the investigators are served by their hosts in Greece. What will Claire and Guy face next? Will these vigilantes continue on? We will have to wait until Marilyn Jax hopefully brings them back in her next book. The author definitely has a new fan: Me!



Author Frank Fata

A single red rose in a crystal vase handed to the right person is more precious than you think. The right words, a loving gesture and a true heart make a relationship solid. Honesty is valuable and trust, even more. When Jason Bono meets Trish in a chance meeting on his vacation, his heart pounds, his mind gets fogged and this thoughts focused on just her. Only time will tell if that one red rose will be hers or will it belong to someone else. Never wear your heart on your sleeve is something my mom taught me as a rule dealing with people. Hold back your feelings and make sure you know what the other person is feeling before you express yours is an important lesson she taught me. From screenplay writer Frank Fata comes his first groundbreaking novel, Albany, a story of deception, lies, manipulation and the loyalty of true friends when one is down.

One chance encounter turned Jason Bono’s world upside down. Taken in by a beautiful woman while on vacation in Las Vegas, he is like so many young men, filled with hopes and dreams of meeting that right person to spend time with and maybe your whole life. But learning life’s hard lessons does not come easy to Jason as we take this journey along with him.

Long distance relationships do not always work when other factors come into play. Jason, a hard working mechanic, good looking and one of kind really upfront guy, meets beautiful Trish on this vacation becoming totally consumed with her in his thoughts, feelings and desires. Commitments take time and Trish, although she cares for Jason, is weary of forming a permanent relationship with him.

As the distance and time between visits and phone calls lengthens Jason feels a strong emptiness in his heart. He fills the void with the first person that enters his line of vision, Gina. Rebound relationships often help fill the void in a person’s life. At times, as in Jason’s case when a relationship goes sour the person dwells on the reasons why, takes full blame for the failed relationship and dives into a new relationship without thinking. Being critical of oneself, not really listening to anyone’s thoughts or advice, Jason decides to begin new relationship with a girl named. Gina. But, she has her own agenda in mind and every step of the way orchestrates her temper tantrums, outbursts and mood swings knowing full well what she was doing. Jason meets others along the way but none as dear to him as Trish.

Jason becomes confused, obsessed and afraid of losing one relationship and not being able to wash away another. Spending too much time dwelling on his feelings for Trish, and not acting upon them, he buried himself in a heap of poor choices and unimportant relationships. As a jeweler sifts through his bag of gems for just the perfect stone, so does Jason sift through his string of woman hoping to find his perfect diamond.

Throughout this novel Jason and Trish communicate their feelings but truths are hidden and commitments are never really made. No one ever wants to get hurt in life and yet many do. What happens between these two young people will enlighten others to think long and hard when becoming involved in a long distance or any other relationship. People need to be up front with each other and most often many play both sides of a coin and one side always gets tarnished when honesty is not the key player in the relationship.

Jason and his friend Adam created a great screenplay and turned it into a wonderful and successful film.  A documentary that was so outstanding many important doors and opportunities were opened to them including going to Cannes and having their film screened by many important producers and executives in the movie industry. Reading about their journey was exciting and I could feel the adrenaline rush flowing through both Jason and Adam as they walked into restaurants, clubs and more treated like VIP’s.

What does happen between Trish and Jason you will have to find out for yourself? Whether he becomes a successful filmmaker you will have to read as you take this heartfelt journey along with Jason, Trish, Adam, Vincent, Rich, Michelle and his father Tony to Albany and back.

This is more than just a love story. Friendships that become tighter, family love that will always come first, and one young man whose life was changed by one chance encounter.

A well- written first novel with carefully defined characters with a plot line that is clear and easy to follow, new author and filmmaker Frank Fata has a definite career not only as an actor and filmmaker but also as a new rising author.

I think that the next rose that is presented should be to Jason from the right person who will be his own special flower and his perfect diamond.

This is a must read for all young people, adults and anyone who wants to learn how to handle relationships with dignity, respect and understanding and with honor. Never be afraid to express your feelings and let someone know you care. You might be pleasantly surprised.

I give this book: FIVE RED PERFECT ROSES and one more for the author.

Fran Lewis: reviewer, author and radio show talk host

Barnes and noble


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I am a book reviewer, author and educator. I enjoy reading and reviewing books written by other authors and helping them get ahead. I have my own unique style and way of writing these reviews. However, the sad part is most of these authors, like myself, are self-published. The company I used does not really take any interest or care about my successes which are many. I have completed over 200 reviews for authors throughout the world. I review for three great sites that love my style of writing and my reviews. I have my own Radio Show on Red River Radio each month and I am an educator. I am a reading and writing expert and I love teaching children that have learning needs to read. My radio show is called Book Discussion with Fran Lewis and I have many book club members that join me on the show each month. I have been interviewed many times on Blog Talk Radio and on artist’s first and I am presently writing my sixth book. I am a five time published author and I am so proud of what I have done. My mom has Alzheimer’s and I am her caregiver. I have learned a lot about home care and how to get services for a senior or anyone that needs help at home.

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