The Minefields


The Minefields

 

Author: Steven C. Eisner

 

 

Taking over a company that is failing is not easy by any means. Giving up your job to rebuild your father’s legacy admirable but not always that simple. Sam Spiegel is in advertising working on Madison Avenue. What more can a young executive ask for than to work in the heart of Manhattan directly in the pulse of industry and where the movers and shakers live and work. But, Sam is about to make a drastic change as his father, Harry requests his help to rebuild his ad shop and business and it is off to Pennsylvania for Sam and his wife Amy. Sam’s outlook on the business is quite different than his father’s. Sam is all for progress and growth where Harry believes in the mainstay and is worried about money and taking risks.

 

Sam was an entrepreneur early on. He and his friend Ben created their own special music and sound-using 45’s to entertain at Bar Mitzvahs. Joining the dancers on the dance floor he and Ben created fun games and dances that really got them noticed. His father was one of his staunch followers and really believed in him. A school election would spark him even further as the outcome might have been a tie but the end result is he won. Sam’s goal was to emulate his father and become part of his business. Sam’s father wanted the Spiegel Brand to become a household name and the author relates Sam’s life before going into advertising, his friends, his earlier life and his feelings towards his brother Mickey and why they did not get along.

 

Beth Ehrenberg was his first love and the author relates their relationship and how it started and eventually ended. Sam received an internship at Doyle Dane and Bernbach a major ad company on Madison Avenue. Sam was really great at his job and what started out as temporary wound up being permanent. Meeting Amy his wife was next and their up and down relationship almost ended in his going back to where he really wanted to be with Beth.

 

 

This company woos Sam and he sparks to the top but his relationship with his family, brother and friends provide much of the back-stories in this book. Sam always wanted to work along side his father and his brother never really wanted the same things. Even his engagement to Amy is questionable as his heart and mind are really with someone else.

 

But, the real story starts with Sam’s father asking him to give up his job and life in New York and take over the family business right before his marriage to Amy who does not seem thrilled with this change of plans. Added to that his brother Mikey needs to be front and center all the time only the best in apparel for him to go to and I quote the wedding of Golden Boy as Sam is called. What does it mean to Sam and how would life change? Would he be able to build his father’s business to equal that of his competitors? As the author states it’s like shopping in high-end stores like Bergdorf’s and downgrading to Goodwill.

 

Sam’s goal in taking over the company as he relates is to create a company that would rocket to national proportions. Beginning during the early 70’s at Doyle Dane Bernbach relates his rise from intern to working with a team to save an account before it goes to a competitor. But as I said the real story is when he takes over the Spiegel Agency and make his father proud. As Sam begins working at the agency the author introduces the reader to the people that would either help him rise along with his company and those that would be dispensable and gone. Harvey Lodenberg was the main force or real brains of the ad company teaching Sam the ropes from the start. Sol Katz handled the larger accounts and Harvey helping to save the Cat Paws Heels and Soles was his baby. There are many others that worked with him. The one thing that did stand out in his mind is that the agency stood the sands of time and the appearance needed uplift from its 70’s old-fashioned look. His father was the keeper of the purse or the finances and he oversaw the Horseracing Association’s account. This account and several others that the author relates kept them afloat but not to the magnitude he wanted.

 

Throughout the novel the reader learns many advertising tips and how to handle getting new accounts. The author’s experience comes through and the excitement generated each time he gets a new account is contagious. Learning and listening from those that worked for him and even finally getting a photocopier helps the reader understand the depths he went to in order to rebuild this company. But a burglar ruins the momentum as they return after an evening out to find their apartment ransacked and their valuables gone. What comes through loud and clear is Amy’s non-reaction to the event and her coldness towards Sam as he tried to sooth her fears with his touch but hers was not there leading him to flashback to Beth.

 

Disagreements and his father’s decision to make a deal that would ruin it all. A company that wanted to take over the business and Sam was dead set against it. A brother who wanted him to invest with no less that dear Bernie Madoff himself. Loren Rucker was his only salvation and the only person who truly understood Sam’s vision, as it was his too. As the tension rose even further and Amy came into the company and her division did not flourish, things began to go downhill for Sam.

 

Things became more difficult and father and son decided to seek counseling and some help. The end result proved positive as Sam bought the company and became President and his father Chairman allowing his parents to get their money and Sam to hold on to his dream. The friction between them was higher that static electricity many times the distance between him and his brother grew and the years moved on.

 

Hiring Bud Ashley would be his ruination. Undermining him, coming on to Amy and enlisting her help in a plot to destroy what he and his father worked so hard for. With Harry gone Sam plotted on and got some major airline accounts. Star Spangled Air and after that Spirit and Citizen’s Air. When he realized what Bud’s agenda was and fired him he decided to do his best to ruin Sam and the sad part Amy was part of the deceit too. From the pain from a stone that finally passed on a plane to the more serious pain that would never go away when his wife deceived him, Sam Spiegel had to do more than must fight for his company, his business but his life too.

 

The end result will not really surprise the reader but awaken Sam to the hidden truths that he should never have had to face. His wife, Lance Winfry and Bud sabotage his company, life and his dream but not Sam’s spirit. When the business is about to see its end and his marriage is on a permanent downhill spiral one person will come through and  might see him through. Pain, sorrow, and a wife who is just in it for herself and never really cared about Sam and resented him from the start, Minefields will take you inside the world of advertising and the cutthroat methods many will use just to get the account. What happens to Sam and will he rise up or sink? What about his children Adam and Audrey where would their allegiance be and what about his best friend Ben? This book takes the reader, Sam and Spiegel Communications on a uphill and downhill ad campaign with many wins, loses and defeats that change the world of one man Sam Spiegel. Will Sam give it up and sell it out? Will he allow another company to come in and take over? Minefields is a thought provoking book that tells the story of one man’s one desire to make his father proud and to fulfill his lifelong dream. Who is on his side and who betrays him? Read Minefields and you decide which campaign and owner of Spiegel is right for the job.

Author Steven Eisner penned a memoir about Sam’s life and created a memoir mirroring his own life and hoping to relate to others what happens when the sharks come out of the water and the greed wins out. Success comes at a huge price sometimes. Blindsided by those you love and those you care about really hard to take. Read it.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

 

 

 

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Rock Killer


                 Rock Killer

Author: Sheldon Townsend

 

Progress and advances in science there are some that embrace it and others who want things to remain the same. Advances in science can help prevent illnesses, create a greener planet or just make the world environmentally safer. So, why would some people work really hard to prevent that and keep things on what they feel should be unchanged?

 

The Space Resources Incorporated Facility was attacked and several crucial members of the team. Charlene or Charlie Jones does her best to engage the intruders in battle but to no avail as her fiancé is murdered and so is a man named Prince. For Charlie things might have gone sour when her pressure suit depressurizes but she guided through much of the disaster by assistant chief security officer Rodriguez. What she sees at the end of it all will stay with her forever.

 

Alexander Chun is on his way home to his wife Kristen when he learns of the attack and the deaths of his friends. But, this might be the 21st century but space travel is different and many live on Earth and others on the moon. When a reporter on the moon relates the events of the explosion Alexander Chun is stunned but information is sketchy but someone does claim responsibility. Gaia Alliance does not want Space Resources to continue its changes and research and threatens more harm and attacks. Alex is the director of SRI and speaking to Mitchel he learns the nature of the attack on the lunar facility. Killing everyone they encountered including the chief of security they vandalized and stole one ship, the Rock Skipper.

 

Imagine an organization that mines asteroids in order to enrich our planet and not degrade it. Space Resources, Inc’s function is just that. But when the Gaia Alliance decides to kill and invade their ship and steal one, this group of eco-terrorists gives a new meaning to the word terrorism and much more. Stealing the Rock Skipper they decide to rename is Rock Killer quite appropriate considering we are dealing with asteroids? So how are they going to stop them and who will take over for those killed?

 

 

 

Alex Chun devoted his entire life to SRI and would not leave no matter what. Dinner guests speaking about the GA made them seem as if his organization was creating things to pollute the environment and you could tell they believed in their cause. Whereas Alex described the GA as “Punk Terrorists.” The GA just total control and feels everyone needs to follow their beliefs and doctrines. The business associate of his wife is pro GA and Alex listening to him go on about it storms out of the house in anger leaving Kirsten to deal with McConnell.

 

Linda Trent is a U. S. Congresswoman and is behind the attacks on the moon. Linda Trent needs to be stopped. Working with a Syrian government official named Faruq the GA supply it with weapons. Linda Trent is part of the GA. Along with Allan Griffin and Knecht, and two other survivors of the attack on the moon they hope to destroy SRI and will use their own ship now called the Rock Killer to do that. But, can they be stopped. Charlie Jones is still grieving Frank’s death when Security Head Mitchel calls her to Tokyo. Who better than to learn what the GA has next on its agenda than Charlie. Coming to Earth is not her favorite thing and his plan is for her to infiltrate the GA in order to get the valuable information for the FBI to prosecute. Her job is the Link the GA to these attacks.

 

But, Alex has a major decision to make as his wife is becoming upset with his absence from her life. Spending only six weeks a year with his wife is not enough and his decision to stay with the SRI might rock more than just the moon as he feels more of an alliance to them than to her. Alex’s job is to travel to the asteroid belt to meet up with the asteroid and bring it back to Earth.

 

At the core of much of this plot is an organization called the Baathists Party who control the world’s accessibility to oil. They also want to create more friction between Israel and Palestine hoping to leave Palestine without a home or land. United Baathists States needed space capabilities and the rule in Damascus funded it.

 

William Thorne would replace Frank as the new chief of security on the next mission under Chun. But, although the mission will soon begin the real plot centers around Charlie and her infiltration into the GA. Learning more about the members and hearing their reasons for joining allows the reader to learn another point of view and why they are so against SRI.

The plot thickens as we learn more about Linda Trent and Charlie is forced to remain in her home but for some reason the other roommate is against this. Added to that the Russians found ten missiles that match those on the Rock Skipper and hopefully they will be returned.

 

 

Caught in a diabolical web Charlie is thrust into the heart of the Gaia Alliance. Meeting all of the players involved was definitely unsettling. Learning the truths behind why some joined even more. While Charlie is being trained at the Gaia Headquarters Alex and his team is getting read to go to the asteroid belt but so are those on the Rock Killer. As Charlie does some menial tasks and is told the joy of living in unity with Gaia the environment is cult like. Even their references to Gaia or Mother involving the Earth are scary. Killing off large amounts of people to save Mother Earth seems acceptable to them but chopping down a tree called murder. Charlie learned that the Gaia Alliance’s value system or the superstitions of ancient peoples were what they followed and believed in rather than modern science and all of its technology. She learned much more about conspiracy, racist and the GA’s platform. They were even trying to make receiving microwave energy from space not legal.  What she learns is mindboggling and very frightening to say the least. Charlie even learned how to use weapons and shoot. Some she was familiar with and others new to her. But, when she wanders into the wrong area where these weapons are she is strong armed and told to be careful where she goes.

 

All sides are aiming for the asteroid belt and the attacks on imminent as Charlie’s true mission and identity are revealed unknown to her. With one of the officers in the GA making advances she had no choice but to give in thinking she would not blow her cover. Stealing information she hoped would help her side but would she be found out and just how much danger would she be in if caught?

 

Space to space missiles attack at any minute and the stakes are really high. Author Sheldon Townsend takes readers up to the moon and back to the Earth on an exploration any astronaut today would love to be on a quest that would definitely change outer space. Who will win out in the end and what will happen when all sides collide?

 

The battle lines drawn and many lives are lost on all sides. The end result you will have to learn when you read the book for yourself. Caught and injured Charlie needs the help of the SRI to survive? Will it come in time? Alex learns many lessons in life as the missiles attack all sides and things draw to a close? As Charlie manages to bring down the GA will all of its members be caught? What about Faruq will the President realize his true colors? Deceit, lies and betrayal and the fate of the Earth and Space at stake as Faruq goes for the top position and Israel’s fate is at stake.

 

 

Twists, curves and downward spiral and an ending that will send everyone spiraling into orbit, back and where they land you just won’t believe. Lives lost and many saved. What an explosive ending to an action packed book filled with missile attacks, fights, and hopefully saving the Earth. Sheldon Townsend: you knocked another FIVE MISSLE BOOK OUT!

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

No Remorse


No Remorse

Author: Ian Walkley

 

Using young girls as prostitutes and for trafficking is not unusual in Mexico and in many other countries. When Lee McCloud’s best friends daughter is taken along with her best friend he is determined to get her back. But, when the ransom is supposed to be paid, the players in place something alerts Lee that there is much more involved than meets the eye. When the transfer of money is made and the kidnappers have their funds what happens next will create fear in the hearts of any parent and help kids understand the dangerous of not being supervised. As the money is given the kidnappers shove out two innocent girls as payment for the 200 thousand dollars in ransom. So, where are Sophia and Danni and who are these girls. What happens next is more than just horrifying as the fathers demand their children, the lives of the young girls are ended and the three man team finds out that things do not go as planned and their hopes for rescuing the girls diminished. With the plan foiled and the kidnappers neutralized one young man provides a limited amount of information to help them. Just where this leads them you won’t believe as the author brings us to where Sophia and many other girls are being held captive, abused and examined by a sick doctor who hopes to use them provide them to slave traders. Young girls sold to rich men, or cartels for their own pleasure is not uncommon and this story will bring to light just how far this team will go to rescue these innocent girls but will they get there in time? With the help of two others one a computer hacker and the other a British SAS soldier Lee McCloud is doing more than must racing the clock.

A young girl’s life hands in the balance as a diabolical plot is hatched by a foreign Sheik. Harvesting body parts to save another person is just part of his plan regardless of what happens to the person whose organs is being stolen.

 

Lee McCloud was arrested along with his team members as a result of the botched mission to save Sophia and Danni. Although most would agree his tactics made sense and the outcome really not tragic the end result proved that even when following your own direction and hoping to save two young lives you do not get any thanks even when the enemy is taken down and you had no other choice. But, the army is fickle and although the end result would be incarceration for the team and McCloud, prison time and much more deals made which benefit both sides. Forms, signed, charges disappear and Lee McCloud is no longer in the army but part of a select group handling secret missions. But, when the team is formed you won’t believe the end result.

 

Dishonesty is not something that the Sheik takes lightly and holding out on him even more. So, when Bill Fanning things that he can hide some assets from the Sheik he is about to learn the hard way.

 

When the father of one of the girls winds up in the hospital and learns where his daughter might be held and who is behind it things begin to change and heat up as McCloud finds his way to his hospital room and then to the location of where he thinks Sophia and Danni might be held. But he is called away by his new boss and cannot complete what he started again leaving Sophia to be put on display in front of a group of people waiting to buy young girls as slaves or concubines. Others as her friend Danni learned were to be tortured and raped in front of others in order to complete the ritual that they are pure and virgins when sold. The sickness of it all really makes you cringe. Sophia is paraded and then returned to the ship in order to await a fate that would cause her death. Sophia is being kept alive in order to save the Sheik’s father they would take her lungs in order for him to live and those not sold at auction would meet the same fate as they set up a program to save the elderly and their own killing the young without remorse.

 

Mac is now in France and learns the truth behind his new job and what these men do. Punishing those who support terrorism by taking their

Assets from their bank accounts how resourceful. Agency for Seizure of Terrorist Assets is goes directly into the bank accounts of those that are funding the terrorists. What he learns about the operation just might help him safe Sophia and Danni but what he has to do in the meantime as to help bring down some dangerous people who were funding more than just drugs and slave trade. With the President’s approval and permission they were told to take twice what they could prove they took from the account of the terrorists and put in our accounts.

 

There are many subplots in this book including two other operatives that take out a well known drug dealer, Mac and his team who are working to take money from accounts and the seriousness of that happened to Danni at the hand of her captors. Slave trade, drug trafficking, prostitution, money stealing and the organ harvesting killing young people to save others. The author literally explains how the team takes the money the art of hacking into accounts and their methods of getting the job done. Author Ian Walkley takes the reader inside the world of slave trading, organ stealing, and drug trafficking and government deceit.

 

Tally a computer hacker in this organization understands the gravity of the situation while raiding the bank account of the terrorist in questions you can feel the electricity and the energy rise when she enters the account and takes 9 million dollars and transfer to their account. At the end she transferred 87 million. After breaking into the mark’s room, getting the account numbers and token tags they cleaned him out of 150 million dollars. Deleting the evidence easy for her and using a perfume body spray on the keyboard to destroy her prints really interesting to know and learn. The fact that Sophia has managed to survive so long but Danni’s fate has yet to be revealed knowing there are many more children that are in danger and that this man cares less for young human lives.

 

Lies come out and Mac and Tally learn more about some of the players on the Princess Aliya. Able to hack into the computers of those on the boat and one engineer that finds out what happens when he does not follow orders there are many more lives at stake, many having their own agendas and the Sheik’s father murdered in front of watchful eyes and two girls who still have not been found. Sheriti is the Khalid’s personal trainer or property and just who she really might be has yet to be revealed as we learn more about each of the characters and their private agendas. But, what is Sheriti going to do with her information about Lee? But, somehow Lee managed to save Bill’s wife and son and the rest has yet to be played out as it is hard to tell which side everyone is on and who can and cannot be trusted. More kidnappings, more murders, hidden truths and more betrayals and so many players in this novel that you won’t know who will win and who loses until the very end. Just what is in the canisters that everyone wants and what role does Israel play? Why does Khalid think he holds all the cards? Just what will Mac and Tally do next?

 

Mac and Tally are so opposite yet they blend in their own way. Tally is the only female on this CIA team. She is smart, distrusts Mac and dislikes everything that he does and stands for. His wild antics and his rebel attitude make him a great character. Khalid loves himself, his life and his millions and has no idea who is taking what from him and the truth about his father’s death. He is careful, in exile but not that careful to avoid what Tally and Mac plan to do to him, his wealth and much more. But, the two innocent teens traveling alone have still not be found. The Saudi Prince named Khalid responsible has other plans for Sophia and is hoping to attain uranium canisters belonging to the late Saddam Hussein. Nuclear havoc, secret agencies and slave traders Mac will stop at nothing to find Sophia even pretending to be married to Tally.

 

Added to the mix is the Khalid’s Yubani resort that really harbors more than just luxury for the rich. Why has Mossad planted a spy in his bed? What about poor Sophia makes her special and treated better than the rest? But, will they find the two girls in time or will more atrocities happen?

 

 

Who is really behind the plot to get the canisters, destroy Mecca and the rest you won’t believe it. Betrayals, cover-ups, lies and one man who thinks he’s immune to the penalties of others. Who lives? Who dies? Who can be trusted and which have kill, maim lie and cheat and just show NO REMORSE!

 

This is one book you will not be able to put down and one character named Mac you hope will come back for more. Slave trading, human trafficking and corruption are just some of the issues brought to light in this Five Star novel.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer