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!

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FIVE ROSES REVIEW FOR A FIVE STAR AUTHOR


Albany

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

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Getting More Traffic to my Site


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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Angel at my Side


Angels at My Side

By authors Freda Roberts and Eva Rice

Illustrated by Sarada Holt

Do you believe in angels and their power and love to protect you from harm? I do and so does our authors as you this story told in poetry form that will forever renew your faith in the miracles of angels and believing in them.

As the poem unfolds we see a precious little girl about to start her day telling us that she has an angel on her side when her day begins. Reading this poem you will notice that each angel is of a different nationality and faith, making this poem an excellent source for not only teaching multicultural education to both adults and children. Angels can protect you when you tie your shoe. They can make sure that you don’t trip and fall or help your mom cook. Riding a bike and or when you want to give and share you know that an angel will always be there. Angels can do so many things and are there to keep us safe and warm and much more. Reading this poem made me smile each time I read what these different angels could do to make this little girl feel strong, safe and filled with joy.

The illustrations tell their own story and bring to light just how special each and every angel is to this young child and all of us. Boy, would it be great to have an angel on my side when I have my next book signing or to keep my mom safe and warm. If I had my wish I would want an angel to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, which is what my mom has. She is truly someone that deserves her own special angel.

The authors call their angel mother. I call mine Dad. When you look up above and thank God for the wonderful things we have and the guidance he gives us to succeed in life and be safe, remember to say a thank you for all of the angels that he sends down each day to be at our sides and take the clouds away from the storms and gusts out of the wind to make our days calm and tranquil and special.

This is great book to teach everyone about angels, love, guidance and appreciating life in general.

This book gets Five More Special Angels.

How to start your own business!


Title : Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Universe

Author: Robert Raymond

What are your goals in life? Do you have a really innovative idea for a business? Do you think that there is a definite need for your store, product or skill? Remember, a business does not have to have a product; it could be a specific service to your community, or a product that no one can get in the area where you live. Every business or idea for one has to have a need and a target population that you want to attract. Remember, everyone loves candy, food, clothes and even traveling. If your business is to take off you need to research your area, do your homework and of course before getting started read the Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Universe by author Robert Raymond before you begin.

Let’s pretend that I want to start my own business from the bottom up. I think I have a great idea to open my own bookstore for children’s books in an area where there are schools, small children, teenagers and college students. My first task after deciding my idea, and choosing my target audience is to great a financial plan that would work. I also have to contact vendors to purchase the books that I want featured in my store. Before doing that I would create a list of genres, visit larger bookstore chains, check out the best sellers on the children’s bestseller list on the NY Times Book Review Section and create a visual plan for the store. I would also enlist the aide of my niece Faith who is an account to help create my financial plan and projection for profit profile.  As far as a partner in my store, I would ask my husband to help finance this venture, create a business agreement. He is the only person that I would trust as my partner. Once the framework is in place I would definitely make sure before choosing a location that there were no large chains nearby and that the books that I featured in my store would be on the reading lists of the schools in the area and include textbooks as well hoping to give the children and the schools an easier way to purchase their books for their school and classroom libraries.

The premise of this book is educating the reader about how to create your own business. Author Robert Raymond speaks to the reader and engages you in the process. It is like having your own private conversation with the author and your individualized how-to course in creating your own company.

What else did I learn about creating my own bookstore? My business has to be properly financed. I need employees that are dependable, productive and enjoy working in a bookstore. Knowing that most people like to read and children love story time, providing them with a weekly story hour would definitely promote sales, a specific author’s work. Having some of my employees assist the children in picking out books and possibly have a table with leveled books to making it easier.

Raymond relates his real life experiences dealing with loan officers, banks, uninspired employees and my favorite  about lawyers and their billable hours. Lawyers never seem to lose and whether they call you or you them, they get something. Working with an attorney a few years ago he stated that his retainer was a certain amount for a specific number of hours. However, he did nothing to earn what he claimed he was going to do in order to get the services I needed for my mom. I did the legwork, made the phone calls, collected and xeroxed the copies  of the documents needed. Therefore, I decided I should get paid or compensated for my hours of hard work that he wanted to get paid for. He did not charge for phone calls but for copying, mailing, stamps and preparing any letters or paperwork needed to complete what I needed to have done. But, when the final tally was made I explained why he needed to cut his costs and his fee since I did the work and he sat back and waited for my faxes. In the end he finally realized that I might be right, but it took some convincing to have him reduce his fee. When dealing with him or any other attorney, if they called me, I would even preface a phone conversation by asking since you called me, is this call going to cost me? After a while, I made a deal with my lawyer to have a set charges included for all calls. Billable hours, my foot, they charged for every second and I began timing the calls and making sure they did not go longer than 5 minutes. From dealing with bankers, to creating employee incentives this book is a great resource not just for starting your own business but also for anyone who wants to improve or as the author states create Change or Die! Change is necessary even if everything is perfect. Sales need to be increased, profits should rise and leaving everything status quo won’t get you more. If your business model is not succeeding and you don’t want to give it up, making changes are necessary.

Every good business owner needs to be a positive motivator. As an educator the biggest challenge was to get my reading students interested in the novels and stories I wanted them to read. This was the key to not only creating an environment that would encourage them to participate and focus but would create an effective style of managing my reading program. As Raymond describes his style of management with his employees and the different approaches you might take he reminds the reader that personality traits are based on many factors and the different managerial styles that will increase productivity. In order to find out what they are you need to read Chapter 6.

Finally, in order to run a bookstore or any business you need stock. You need vendors that you can trust and rely on. Buying an existing business you might use those vendors already in place. A newer business requires negotiating with the vendors and doing your homework. Before deciding which to use you need to ask yourself the questions provided on page 115 and go from there.

Working part time in a bowling center as a telemarketer I learned that the most important component of any business is customer service. Just think about the movie Miracle on 34th Street when the Santa at Macys sent customers to their competitors when they did not have the item the customer wanted. Having to call bowlers to ask if they wanted to return to the league for the fall season might sound easy enough, but required listening to their complaints about the league officers, rising costs of bowling or trying to get the unhappy bowler to switch to a different league on another night. As our author stated providing exceptional service begins with understanding what your audience expects and then over-delivering on their expectations. I could not offer the bowler a discount but I could offer three free games during the week if he/she agreed to bowl on another night. Customer service requires more than a discount or perks. As you read Chapters 8 and 9 you will learn what it takes to improve not only your customer service but enhance the skills of your employees to meet the needs of the public.

The most valuable questions are on page 152. The most important is number one: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make your company a success? If your answer is yes then the rest will fall into place. I have always been a workaholic and an overachiever which helps me identify with the author.

Change or Die: making a change no matter small is not really difficult. Just make them. Remember there are five key issues to remember that are repeated throughout this book and the key to your success.

1.    Do you have a product or service that satisfies a need better than the competition?

2.    Is your business properly financed?

3.    Do you have good employees and are you keeping them happy and productive?

4.    Is your customer service keeping your customers happy?

5.    Do you have a good supply chain?

The rest is up to you. Go ahead: Don’t hesitate and become the Entrepreneur you always wanted to be. Success is in your hands: GO FOR IT!

This is a great book that speaks to the reader and is written in clear and simple terms engaging the reader in the shared stories and humorous dialogue holding your interest from start to finish. I am going to send a copy of this book to my nephew who owns his own gym in Florida and is expanding. The ideas in this book will definitely help him make the needed changes and understand how to do it successfully. Customer service has become very prevalent in hospitals and ER’s. I think the nurse case managers and supervisors would learn a lot about customer service and how to treat patients when they spend hours waiting to be seen and are frustrated and upset. This book gets a FIVE BUSINESS STAR REVIEW!

Fran Lewis: reviewer

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Love Changes reviewed by Fran Lewis


Love Changes by Marsha Casper Cook

Marriages have a way of outlasting themselves. Sometimes we don’t even see the signs not until it is too late. Martin Lewis is trying his best to understand his wife Elaine’s erratic mood swings. Honored at a dinner for the disabled, his wife and his mother both proud, but in two different ways. A man who is selfless, a doctor who is rare and rarely cares about his patients, does not see the warning signs in front of him as his marriage is about to smolder into ashes due to the secrets and lies his wife has hidden from him for years. Spending his life as a doctor and delivering children into this world, just imagine how he would feel if he found out his child was given away. Enter into the world of gambling, adultery, abortion, mental illness and the disabled. Elaine appears to us as a selfish, unfeeling woman who enjoys the life of a rich socialite and doctor’s wife. Martin Lewis deliberately ignores her faults, her coldness and mood swings in order to keep his marriage solvent. Elaine Lewis has placed a veil of secrecy around her in order to hide the truths about her past. Will they be able to survive? What truths will be revealed in this heartfelt novel by outstanding author Marsha Casper Cook who brings to light so many issues that people face today but never really fully address.

Elaine Lewis appears on the outside to be a cold, unfeeling and distant woman. That is all a façade. Beneath the surface you will find a woman who is deeply troubled, hiding from her own pain and remembering a choice that she made that changed the course of her life, Martin’s and an innocent child. Elaine Lewis made the choice to give away her young son, Steven. Steven was born with a disability, an imperfection that she could not stand for and would not allow into her life. Steven was born with Down syndrome and would need the love, understanding and caring of parents who would learn and want to address his needs. She was not that giving and she convinced Martin to give her child to someone she never met.  Haunted by the images and dreams of her sister Megan who died in a freak accident, Elaine’s emotional scars and guilt from that day on have tortured her waking hours and left her cold and afraid to love any other child.

Facing her fears, running away from her life and finally coming to a stark realization after almost losing her life, Elaine decides it is time to get some help but at what cost. Finding her diary and reading the entries, Martin learns the hidden secret about how Elaine really feels about their son Stevie and why she feels like a failure. With the help of her close friend Sally, Maggie and even Josh a man she formed a relationship with, Elaine might just find her way back but not before Dr. Ben Caulfield of the facility she is in forces her to face past in a very unique and brave manner. Three great doctors, her husband, her psychiatrist and her gynecologist, all-working toward the same end to save this troubled and tortured woman from herself. But, could they and the events that do follow are startling. A man who has devoted his life to his wife and yet questions his own actions and blames himself for not being able to help his wife and understand her problems. A woman who closed herself off when her son was born but in her heart and soul she loves him.

There are many children born with disabilities today both physically and learning that hamper their learning. As a reading and writing specialist I worked with students that needed that extra help in both areas and I taught classes of double grades with students who were below level and had difficulty in both reading and math. Before becoming the reading and writing specialist I worked with so many children who endeared themselves to me and who will always be in my heart and soul forever. Working with children with disabilities like Down syndrome, autism and Attention Deficit Disorder takes a specially trained teacher and parent to help these children succeed. It can be done as we hope Elaine will find out.

When Martin asks Sally to attend a gallery opening more than just the paintings are revealed as Sally and Josh come to terms with his feelings for Elaine as the plot becomes more complicated and lives are intertwined.

Anonymity is what Elaine strived for and wanted in order to forget her pain and release her anger. She found her solace at the racetrack where she stated she could rest her mind and no one cared who or what she was. Friendships are hard for Elaine to cultivate but the persistence of one woman would change the course of her treatment and hopefully restore her life. The dam finally burst the water began to flow and Elaine was finally on the road to recovery. Group therapy sessions revealed many other aspects of her childhood and past. As author Marsha Casper Cook takes us on a backward journey into her past and then reunites us with her present life, we learn more about the real Elaine.

The events that follow her release you will have to read for yourself. Sometimes when we wait too long we learn many other hard lessons in life. The ending has a twist and you will never expect. What does happen to Elaine, Martin and Stevie will surprise the reader. This is a story a man whose unrequited love for his wife. A story of loyalty, friendship, hope and the desire to set the past free and strengthen the future. Friendships that will last, others that will be tested and losses that will be hard to overcome, as Elaine Lewis tries to understand what lies ahead for her and those she loves.

Well written, characters that you will either love or hate, a woman who learns many truths about herself, and a man whose undying love helped her through it all. This is a must read for everyone that has ever had a child with disabilities, learning needs or lost someone close to them.

Marsha Casper Cook brings to light so many valuable issues in this book that are relevant today.  A definite must read and one of my best picks for 2010.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer and author of the Bertha Series of Books and

Memories are Precious Alzheimer’s Journey Ruth’s story.

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The Anniversary Man: Five Stars for Author RJ Ellory


Title: Anniversary Man

Author: RJ Ellory

ISBN: 978-752898742

Publisher: Overlook Press Publishing

John Costello is 16 years old and has his whole life ahead of him. Working hard in school and helping out in his father’s store he was a typical teenager enjoying life. In walks Nadia McGowan and his whole world changed. Getting to know her and developing strong feelings is normal when you are 16 years old. What does happen as a result of this relationship is anything but normal. It is tragic. After getting to know each other John and Nadia decide to meet at the beach to discuss that she is leaving to study art in New York City. The events of that afternoon will imbed themselves in John’s mind and forever scar him not only physically but mentally as well. “ I am the Hammer of God, “ he stated as he came upon the young couple and lifted his hammer killing Nadia and critically injuring John. This brings me to my review of a riveting thriller, “The Anniversary Man” by author RJ Ellory.

Twenty-two years later the unthinkable happens. A string of what appears at first random murders targeting teenagers plague the police department in NYC. Several murders are committed and appear unrelated, but are they. John Costello, 22 years later is a crime researcher for the New York Herald working for Senior Crime Correspondent Karen Langley. Detective Ray Irving is assigned these cases and is determined to solve these murders before they become cold and the killer gets away. Karen Langley will do anything to put roadblocks in his way when she barrels into his life demanding answers and threatening to run the story about the serial killings. Along with John Costello they begin to uncover the pieces that might tie all of these killings together.

Most people celebrate wedding anniversaries, anniversaries of when they first met or the first time they went to a dance with that certain someone, but few celebrate the anniversaries of murder. Our murder, dubbed the Anniversary Man does just that. New York City is playing host to a serial killer who is committing these murders on the exact date using the same method and manner of earlier murders. This murderer is copying murders of people who were on death row that have been executed. He is killing and targeting teenagers and what brings this home to John Costello is the memory of the murder of his girlfriend 22 years before by the Hammer Of God killer who this present day killer mimicked the murder of Mia Grant.

Detective Ray Irving is determined to find out how John Costello was able to link all of the murders together. Finding out about his past and learning a little about his present made him suspicious of him. John Costello a relative recluse that belongs to the Winterbourne club a group who meets weekly to discuss serial murder cases. Irving is on quest to find the killer and Costello might be his only source to help him succeed.  With John’s researching expertise and his connections, Detective Ray Irving begins the insurmountable job of trying to connect all of these murders before the body count rises. Ray Irving and John Costello along with Karen Langley form a bond to bring this man to justice forever changing all of their lives.

This extremely smart, insane killer who methodically plans each murder to the weapon used, the manner of execution and the dates that are linked to famous serial murders from the past, making the Anniversary Man one killer that needs to be stopped before he kills again. A killer who is always ahead of the police department whose resources and manpower are limited, Detective Ray Irving hopes with Costello’s help and outstanding affinity to remember dates, facts and expertly linking them together, the case might be solved. Two men with pasts they would soon forget, a serial murderer that has eluded the police for more than half a year, Detective Ray Irving and John Costello form an unholy alliance in order to bring this killer down. Both victims of their pasts, Irving and Costello put them aside when one phone call and a solid lead might turn the tables in their direction, but at what cost.

An ending where untold truths are revealed, lies are uncovered, the author takes the reader on a deadly roller coast ride along with Irving, Costello and Langley with an end result more deadly than a Category 4 Hurricane and the damage even more devastating. Everyday is an anniversary of something but our killer only celebrates death. Who will be there at the end?

This riveting and spellbinding novel brings into focus the difficult job of any police department and the lengths that some dedicated men and women will go to in order to protect their cities. This is the first novel I have reviewed by RJ Ellory and I hope to have the honor of reviewing his next release.