Seven Ways to Die: Dedicated to the Memory of author: William Diehl


Seven Ways To Die

 

Author: William Diehl

 

With: Kenneth John Atchity

 

 

 

What if you could communicate and understand the voices and sounds of animals? What if those voices and sounds could keep you safe and help you understand your environment? Animals can teach humans so many things if we really pay close attention. Love is something we all want and animals when treated with kindness and caring love us unconditionally. Some animals help us to heal and others teach us about ourselves, each other and the world we live in. It takes time to learn this skill and develop this trust in order to communicate with animals. Right of passage is often part of the Native American culture. Young boys before becoming part of the tribe and men have to endure a survival test. One young boy and an older man enter the woods on horseback so that the child can begin his journey into manhood. With only the bare essentials that they allow, knowing how to survive on his own this young man and the older man venture to a campsite, each their final meal together and at dawn’s light the man is gone and the young boy is now on his own. Smart, alert and knowledgeable, the young boy moves further on and comes face to face with many obstacles. Killing a rabbit for his dinner he never sees the rattler that was about to attack him. Staying focused and centered he deals with the venom and the wound hopefully removing all of the poison before it enters his bloodstream. With his grandmother’s red ointment as a salve to prevent infection he cleans the wound and then something miraculous happens. While asleep as wolf removes the tourniquet on his wound and cleans it in its own special way. Could this wolf be a special gift from God to help guide him through? Now at the end of his journey he would become a man. Let’s meet this young man-years later: Micah Cody our main character.

 

Serial killers target many people for different reasons. Melinda was a beautiful young dancer who never made it into the company of any ballet. Wanting to make a living she entered an entirely different and more dangerous world of dancing. Before leaving work she finds a card with a number on it. Asking the bartender if he knew where it came from lead nowhere. Entering her apartment was the last thing she would ever do. The killer was waiting for her.

 

Raymond Hanley was a young stockbroker engaged to his boss’s daughter. Entering the apartment the maid finds a horrific sight. Both victims Melinda and Raymond, although the murders were two years apart were made to look like suicides. Where they? Enter Micah Cody and his special Tactical Assistance Squad, which he created for one purpose to capture serial killers. What is unique about this squad is their ability to step into an investigation at any point and take it over. Each member of the team handpicked by the Micah to work the murders and hopefully solve these cold cases. His team consists of Lieutenant Frank Rizzo, Detective Calvin Bergman and the forensic pathologist Max Wolfsheim. But, not everyone wants them to solve their cases and one man is determined to bring them down and prove that he has what it takes to solve these murders. Crime reporter Ward Hamilton has written many well-documented novels but needs another winner to get back on top. Two failures did not endear him editor of the magazine he writes for. Jake Sallinger had him over a barrel and now he had to pitch and idea that would give him the advantage he needed to get control of his career and bring this unit down.

 

As we flash forward to the crime scene the author allows the reader to enter the apartment of the deceased and takes everyone including the detectives and Micah on an inside tour of the apartment, the investigative process and the procedures followed along with questioning the witnesses. Neighbor questioned and the maid sent home there is much more that needs to be addressed as the victim’s black book contains a lot of information and Black Halloween Mask was found. But, there is much more as our star reporter was given the deadline of Halloween for his first article in the series he wants to right dealing with this unit.

 

 Bringing his team together in their unique surroundings the reader meets all of the members and gets to know what their specialties are and the author introduces more information about the murder. One black book had all of his vital information plus receipts with his expenditures except for the one for the taxi that took him home. But, there was a vital piece missing and before they could piece it all together the team needed to know where his computer, blackberry and cell phone were, find the missing receipt from the taxi company and learn where he stopped before going home. Raymond Hanley had several meetings before returning home and one might have gotten him killed as the author reveals more about his man’s life than his future wife would like to know.

 

Kate Winters has just joined their team as their ADA in order to keep them on the right course during an investigation. Meeting the team and entering the investigation she learns more about the case, the victim’s lifestyle and the possible reasons he might have been killed. This self-made man was into more than most women would want their fiancés to be into and there has to be linked to his other activities that got him killed. As the autopsy was completed what is related is that the victim knew his killer, submitted too much of what happened and the bondage involved and the end result still remains to be figured out.

 

The crime scene was devoid of blood and the reason why you will learn as you listen to Max’s detailed account of the autopsy and his findings. Approaching Raymond’s boss brings up other questions as to why he handled the information in such a clinical manner and did not seem to really focus on who might have killed him, how or why. So, what is the interest of this reporter as he renters the action and enlists the help of his editor to ask the police for some assistance in getting the files of the cold case he is writing about. The link between Melinda’s death two years before and the present one just might come to light.

 

The research alone is quite extensive in this book taking us into life of a young man from the Nez Perce Indian Reservation to his present life as the head of the Tactical Assistance Force. Added into the plot that keeps it moving is the research into police investigations, how an autopsy is handled and how a proper investigation is run. Why would someone go to a sex club and go to the trouble of handing your partner a key to your front door and apartment unless the killer or other person gave the key to someone else? Who wanted to eliminate Raymond Handley that they went to so much trouble to create a crime scene cleaner than most homes after a service comes? When Handley’s next-door neighbor takes an interest in Cody why does he come to her aide? When he introduces her to a friend she learns about his unique ability to communicate with animals as she observes him with the two wolves that he rescued and a friend who took care of their wounds. There is much more as we learn more about Amelie, Bergman and his quest for answers using the black book and Louis Nevins his friend and business associate. Why are the wolves howling and how will this link together? Characters that are vividly described, devoted to their craft and would make any police department proud to have on their team.

 

Micah and his team were relentless in following each clue and trying to prevent more deaths but the killer seemed to be ahead of TAZ and from Melinda whose death two years before you will learn was related to one of the deaths in the present led the killer to get six more victims. Seven unique ways to die and just why each victim was chosen you won’t believe. But, when Micah is in danger and the killer is upon him and the mode of death inflicted will he be able to remain calm and use his knowledge of the past, his childhood experiences and the words of the Old Man to save himself or will he be number 7 as the killer planned? How this all ties together and just why all the murders occurred you have to learn for yourself? Seven Ways to Die: All painful and each unique in its execution. Who was behind the plot to try and bring Micah down? Why wanted him gone?  Author William Diehl’s last novel is definitely a testimony to his outstanding writing, fast paced plot with intricate twists, turns, surprises and an ending that you won’t expect or see coming. With the outstanding support of Virginia Gunn Diehl who provided the manuscript and author Kenneth John Archity his final story came to life for everyone to read. Do you hear the wolves?

 

Thank you for giving me the honor of reviewing this book.

Let’s give this book: FIVE HOWLS

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doctor, Why Does My Face Still Ache?


Doctor, Why Does My Face STILL Ache?

Authors: Dr. Donald Tanenbaum and Dr. S.L. Roistacher

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

 

 

“I hate my face and I wish that I could rip it off and get a new one.” “Doctor, Doctor, what’s wrong with me? My face burns, aches, pulls, tingles and my ears hurt too. All I want to do is scream. I can’t stand the pain! I feel tense and can never relax and enjoy myself. Life seems to have taken on a painful turn. What should I do? You keep telling me that I am fine, look great but I know that is not true. I hardly function anymore and the perky and energetic person I once was seems to be lying dormant somewhere within me hoping to find her way out! Why does my face still ache? HELP ME!

 

Imagine listening to yourself repeating these symptoms and complaint over and over again to deaf ears. Imagine having difficulty chewing, swallowing or even smiling. What I told you are not alone? What if I told you that when you finish reading my review and go out and get a copy of “Doctor, Why Does My Face STILL ACHE? By Dr. Donald R. Tanenbaum and Dr. S.L.Roistacher, you might find the answers, understand the underlying causes and seek treatment from the right medical professionals.

 

Both doctors are facial pain doctors whose main or primary focus concerns pain related symptoms occurring in “sensory organs, the mouth, jaws and even the neck.” But what you probably do not know is that your face is composed of muscles. You heard me and these vital muscles in our faces help us to express and show our emotions. So, if your facial muscles are tense or you are unable to smile at a friend, show excitement if you win the lottery or have trouble communicating on a social level your problem just might be muscle related. Once you, the pain suffer accept that this might be the cause of your trouble and it your face pain of a muscular origin: Why suffer! You have to learn how to deal with the pain, the proper diagnosis of your specific pain and seek the right treatment from the right medical professional.

 

The authors define in laymen’s terms three categories of common symptoms. The first are symptoms that feature pain (sensory expression). The second feelings such as numbness or warmth in the facial region (neural expression). The third is muscle tension (motor expression). These are explained in detail on pages 10-11 in simple’s terms. They follow with explaining the patterns of facial pain, and that everyone’s pain is different. Some facial pain is sudden and can last for a long time while some can be more localized and for short periods of time. At times it can manifest itself in a sharp or dull pain that comes out of nowhere. Believe it or not these different pains are affected and can be brought on by your emotions. Facial pain can be depilating and can create changes in your daily life that hamper your functioning. There are many types of facial pain that the author’s define. Beginning with the simplest definition of “Referred Pain.”  This type of pain means the source of your pain is not the part of the body that actually hurts. Meaning if the pain is in your teeth or ear it might be coming from somewhere else. Next, the authors explain the Trigger Points related to Referred Pain, the Jaw and Referred Pain, Recurring Pain, Fluctuating Pain, Sleep and Facial Pain Symptoms.

 

So, just who has the displeasure of persistent facial pain what are the characteristics. Well: men and women have the displeasure of this pain but women more than men. So, if it is not bad enough some of us experience PMS, bloating, and cramps once a month now we have the distinction of getting more muscle pain, TMD and other facial pains more than men.

 

One of the most relevant and important points made by the authors several times and it cannot be said too often is the lack of professional training that medical professionals get in dental schools in order to be able to properly evaluate facial pain and understand the underlying causes and proscribe the correct course of treatment. Chapter Four defines they detect and diagnose facial and they elaborate on the consequences of misdiagnoses and the impact it will have on your life.

 

Now, for the best part and understanding what really causes persistent facial pain and how to handle it? Your muscles control your every movement. Remember, even your heart is a muscle. Movements are started when your brain sends a message to your muscles. Your brain is like the sergeant in the army that relates the orders to the troops but in this case it monitors and regulates your muscles giving them the orders they need to function. Your face is made up of muscles so naturally it will hurt if the pain is caused by fatigue or over contracted muscles in your face or neck. Why? Your emotions! Mind-body connections: Your brain is under siege!

Now, for the startling revelations you have been waiting for: What are the symptoms and what can I do about them? Who can help treat me?

 

The primary cause is your emotions and your emotional reactions related to your level of stress. Your level of stress can raise or escalate the pain. For example, the loss of a loved one, even a pet, serious illness, financial problems or even just dealing with your kids can create stress and cause facial pain. Chapter Five will explain the true causes of the many kinds of facial pain but I am going to focus on the part of this chapter that deals with the different stages and how to understand them. There are four stages of Facial Pain Under Siege: Stage One: Muscle Soreness, Stage Two: Muscle Guarding, Stage Three: Peripheral Sensitization, Stage Four: Central Sensitization. When muscles are compromised the symptoms can really alter your life and become depilating. Figure 10 on page 69 will show you and explain what the term Brain Under Siege Means and explains the sequence and gravity of the different types of pain and when to seek medical attention.

 

 

The most valuable piece of information that I can impart is that you need to see the right medical professional in order to validate your symptoms and this is where our authors come in. Seeing an Orofacial Doctor will allow you to have your symptoms properly evaluated. One of the main points made is that doctors do not always listen or have time to listen to their patients and their concerns. This is not the case with Dr. Tanenbaum or Dr. Roistacher. The first line of communication is listening to the patient, understanding his/her complaints and concerns and then going from there. After examining the patient they often ask more pointed questions based on the information presented hoping to draw out the real reasons behind the pain which are often due to emotional stress and anxiety. Read the many case stories they share to understand the procedures followed and how they were able to help their patients. Of course nothing can succeed and no treatment will work unless the patient takes accountability and responsibility to work with the doctors as they state the 60/40 Percent rule with the patient doing most of the work. Therefore, it is important for them to listen carefully to the patient with facial pain. Within this chapter they explain that there are three profile groups of patients: Group One: Patients with Pain as a Result of Everyday Challenges. Group Two: Those will Pain as a result of a Brain under Siege. Within the second group the authors add Teens with Face Pain, ADHD With Face Pain and Facial Pain and Seniors. Stage Three: Patients with Pain but No Muscle Dysfunction. The authors then proceed with how they treat patients with recurring facial pain, pain and suffering and their successful treatments. So, what are the four levels of treatments: Muscle Treatments, Physical Self-Regulation Techniques on pages 93-96. Exercises and Manual Therapy and finally Jaw and Neck Exercises followed by Posture, medications, pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications and other drugs that can be used to alleviate pain. To learn more you need to read Chapter 6. The success of their patients is attributed to the treatment strategies and how they are implemented. But, what happens when the physical profile changes and the end result just might not be what you think it is and the underlying cause could actually be medical?

 

Some face pain is caused by different reasons and are often hard to diagnose. On page 110 the authors sites facial pains that are caused by underlying medical problems and they are followed by some of the most prevalent. Facial Neuralgias such as Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is quite painful. Facial Pain and the Heart, Temporal Arteritis and Facial Pain, Head and Neck Tumors, Parotid Tumors and Intracranial Tumors are all discussed and the symptoms and treatments described in Chapter 7. But, before you decide on your treatment, or try to analyze your symptoms: Don’t!

 

Doctor Doctor: I am in pain: Wait: Read this outstanding resource and book to understand Facial Pain and then go and see a doctor who specializes in Facial Pain and find out the real cause of your problem so that you can say: Doctor Doctor: I am no longer in Pain! So, well written for the laymen to understand with great stories that help explain each symptom and treatment. References that follow and organizations that deal with this pain plus information of the authors complete this great book. Why Be In Pain!

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

Referendum for Murder: You Decide


Referendum for Murder

Author: Mickey Polanski

 

 

 

There are many people who consider abortions and doctors who perform them as murderers for taking the life of an unborn child. Some feel no matter what the circumstances the young mother or any prospective mother should find a way to allow this innocent child to be born. Many protest abortion clinics, centers and doctor’s offices that perform these operations on a daily basis. Some hope to save the lives of women that might have other medical issues and not survive if they have a child and others just don’t want children at all. For whatever reason there are many who won’t stay silent like Jim Jones who found his way to take the life of one doctor George Adams and did not hid the fact from the police that he was the one that committed the murder. When the detective on the case sorts out the evidence, looks at the surveillance tape and checks out the killer’s car what he finds enlightens him further as an article left on the seat of the car sends him in the direction of the killer. An article written in the paper stating that Oregon wanted to reinstate the death penalty and Jim Jones was against it.

 

Barbara Hernandez is a bank teller whose instincts and training kicked in when faced with a hard decision. Standing at her window a woman demanded the money from her drawer, as she now had to deal with a robbery in progress. Following her instructions she placed the money in the bag, fear in her heart but not before carefully setting off the silent alarm to alert the police. But, things got out of hand and the two accomplices took aim and several were killed, two bank robbers taken down and Barbara grabbed the weapon of the woman who demanded her money as the remaining robber was about to take aim and she shot him in the leg and then someone got off another shot to take him down but he was not dead. Before the last shot was fired he managed to kill the officer that was in the bank and had alerted the police that this was going down. The officer was Barbara’s husband. When the reality set in and all the body bags taken out Barbara, who is six months pregnant, needed medical attention for fear she might lose the last link to her husband. Before leaving New Berlin Memorial Hospital she stated to her friend that this man needs the death penalty and should pay for his life killing her husband.

 

Jim Jones is against the death penalty and Barbara Hernandez was justice. Author Mickey Polansky brings to light this important and controversial issue: Should someone receive the lethal injection or the chair for committing murder and should it be automatic when it’s a police officer? Is abortion really murder and should the doctor have paid with his life? Two issues one thought provoking novel.

 

Things heat up and the trial takes place and the killer is sentenced to life in prison without parole. But, before the sentencing is completed Barbara approaches him and states her feelings to a cold- blooded killer who shows no remorse. Added into the mix are the feelings of the legislature related to the reinstating the death penalty. But, although they just met it is apparent that Barb and Tom’s relationship will change as she enlists his help to get the referendum passed and a bill created to reinstate the death penalty in Wisconsin. But, there is much more before all is decided as they speak in front of the assembly and some feathers are ruffled and others refuse to commit but Tom and Barbara are relentless and will not give up. Through the use of a narrator the author explains the trial procedures, the events every step of the way and the emotional upheaval both characters face as they flashback to their pasts and Tom tells Barb about his losses too. Two people both losing a spouse and a child seem to have an instant connection and much more. The relationship moves quite fast and the result is a commitment but first they need to get that bill passed and the death penalty reinstated. Will they succeed still remains to be seen? What will the cost are if they do not? Let’s not forget that Jim Jones is still out there and has just killed a doctor and was released from prison to torching an abortion clinic. Let’s not forget he is against the death penalty and is pro life. Which way will this go and how will he blend into the end result?

 

There are many politicians as the Governor in this novel whose beliefs might agree with Tom and Barb but whose actions speak lower than words and will not stand by their thoughts or convictions hoping someone else will take the reins to get things done and in this case the bill passed so that he won’t have to do it. This is a tough issue and many different viewpoints will be brought to light and many difficult decisions made as one woman takes on the legislature and the lawmakers to avenge her husband’s death and to make sure that others do not go through the same thing. What is he is granted freedom on appeal? What if he escapes? What is his real punishment if his recourse is life in prison and he is allowed to live? Hard question which way would you go? This reviewer will only state the facts in the case the events that occur but not my opinion other than on the plot, the characters and the events that take place leading up to the dramatic ending that will definitely give up much more than pause for thought.

As more information comes to light and Tom and Barb decide on the next step is to create an advisory referendum and hopefully get it passed before a bill can be composed and put on the ballot for voters. The purpose of the bill would be how to sentence those criminals that commit intention murder on their victims. To fully understand its main points and how the bill would be created read pages 102-103 and learn more as the author did extensive research before publishing this book on the death penalty and the laws in Wisconsin. When Tom has all the facts in place and presents his thoughts to the assembly what happens next might make others think twice before doing the same thing as driving away from the Capitol building he is tailgated and stalked by a man named Jessie Smith who threatens him if he does not rescind what he is doing. Added to the mix is his threatening phone call to Barb which really shook up and puts in a motion a plan that uncovers who is behind this man and just why. With the aide of some of his constituents Mark creates the bill but one member is really out to destroy him and what he hopes to do. Why you have to learn for yourself.

 

The author goes through the steps that are involved when the assembly needs to take action against one of its members and the process for continuing their quest for justice. However, along the way information leaks out about Tom’s relationship with Barb and his assistant Linda seems the perfect person to do damage control. But, let’s not forget that somehow Jim Jones will definitely come back into the picture before all is said and done.

 

Then, the stalker is let out of jail on a technicality and then Barbara finds herself in a serious situation when faced with the man in her home. Using her late husband’s gun she aims, shots and he dies. Should she pay for what she does? What will the police decide to do and what else happens that is tragic?

 

The author continues with a description for the reader of how to create the bill, the rationale behind the death penalty and the guidelines allowing the reader to understand the process and the seriousness of the issue. But, things are not running smoothly and his ethics have been questioned but with the help of the Speaker of the Assembly Richard Corey meetings were set up, guidelines followed and hopefully the voice of the voters heard. The last time the death penalty was used was in 1851 in Kenosha County.

 

A WCAP news team from Channel four interviews Tom, Barb and Linda at their home and the end result is explosive as someone does not want this bill to pass and will everything to send out their own message to the voters regardless of the cost. Four people connected with the station were killed in the explosion following the interview and a reporter was dispatched and blaming them.

 

Told straight from the hip and to the point the author relates a message that readers to needed to hear, the legislature needs to listen to its voters and those for or against need to take less violent stand. The author thoroughly researched the topic and presents an honest and open viewpoint with factual information about the referendums, the procedures involved and just how difficult it is to get your voice heard as Tom and Barb learn.

 

 

The end result is explosive and the opinions of many are heard as the jails and the prisoners riot, bombs cost other lives and over 100 people die in the backfire of this fight. Reporters telling it through their eyes, the Governor expressing his wishes and one man’s goals hang in the balance and the lives of many will never be the same. Will the death penalty deter someone from committing murder? Will the state of Wisconsin pass the referendum? What will the end result be and will Thomas and Barb stay in Wisconsin or go somewhere else? Just when things were calming down whom was the man pretending to be a police officer and helping them part of the way until he turned on them and things took a downhill spiral. Wait until you see how all this ties together. Referendum for Murder: How do you vote? Decide when you push the lever in the voting booth. One well thought out book with characters that you will either like or dislike and where many readers will take sides. But, one thing we can all agree on is that author Mickey Polansky wrote a book, which does not need a referendum to give it FIVE STARS!

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

Crossroads my review


              Crossroads

 

Author: Mary Ting

 

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

 

Emotions overtake you as your thoughts drift away from the present and you seem to be somewhere distant. Michael stares at the image of Claudia somehow unaware of his presence yet somehow there’s a connection. Claudia seemed lost and disconnected from her surroundings. Staring straight at him hoping she would see him but did not Michael was transfixed with her presence. Half human and half angel and seeing him in her dreams was as if they were experiencing things together. Just where he came from and why will be revealed.

 

Lying in her bed Claudia Emerson leaves the real world she lives in and journeys to a place between Heaven and Earth called Crossroads. Her body floating in the air as if she is being levitated above the world she loses control of her direction and finds herself running on a road filled with pebbles. But, another image comes in front of her. A girl so elegant and beautiful and described as a “Greek Goddess.” Claudia watches herself floating and moving towards a bright light unsure of her fate as a voice speaks out warning her to return and leave before it is too late. Jolted back into the present she hears the harsh ring of her cell phone as the caller relates the events of a tragedy that would impact her life.

 

Imagine dreaming someone’s impending death as if it were your own. Claudia Emerson viewed her friend’s death before her friend even died. As Claudia awakens and receives the news of her friend’s death, she learns that the girl whose first and last name is exactly like hers died in a tragic car accident. Patty, her best friend relates the events as Claudia freezes. Coming home from a special event, the Homecoming Dance a drunk driver collided with her car killing her. Claudia and Claudia were best friends and looked identical in many ways. Thoughts echoes in her mind as she sat and listened to the mass that would celebrate her friend’s life as guilt entered her heart and mind that maybe she could have done someone to prevent what happened. Claudia is emotionless.

 

Visions during the funeral, the brilliance of the light illuminating down with many colors of the spectrum mirrored the thoughts Michael projected when envisioning Claudia and the light she experienced in her dreams. Replaying in her mind the last moments she saw her friend a harsh realization comes to light and her emotions flood. Losing someone close is never easy or painless. Watching Claudia’s parents during the funeral heart wrenching, devastating and frightening to Claudia. Understanding Claudia’s grief while watching her friend lowered into the ground claustrophobic. Speculating the what if’s made it more painful. Seeing butterflies fluttering and the momentary sunlight shining down startling as Michael saw her with a butterfly in her dream. I have always attributed the butterfly as something special since my sister passed last year. Whenever I see one it is like she is there watching over us and smiling down.

 

Life stood still for Claudia and her motions robotic. Another dream and another connection to her friend would enlighten her as she reenters the world above and learns just who lives there, where and why Halo City was created and who Michael really is. There are many questions that would not be answered just yet but with the support of her mother, friends and her Gamma she hoped to regain some of her strength and her energy to move on without her friend and to understand her dreams.

 

Author Mary Ting takes the reader inside Claudia’s heart, mind and dreams in every chapter sharing her inner most conflicts, thoughts and hopes with the reader. As she winds up back in Crossroads she meet Davin the gatekeeper and learns more about the many others that live there and why. Told to never return she does not and will not stop until she gets some answers and that is when we meet Phillip and the rest and learn about the Royal Council These people are Alkins: half human and half angels but with no wings. Michael, although he seems resistant to the assignment is her guardian angel and the rest are there to serve the Royal Council. But, when Claudia returns home and beings her new job in a fashion store in the mall with her best friend Patty what happens when she is closing would not only return her to Halo City but will prove that she is in danger and not from those on earth. Attacked by an unknown entity and poisoned she returns to the world above to be treated and cared for where she learns more about the role of the angels and what they are allowed and not allowed to do. Angels cannot intervene with lives on earth on Earth Angels can. They are there to help humans, guide them and protect them but cannot remain down there. Angels such as Michael and all the others live in Crossroads which in between Heaven and Earth. As Michael reenters she hopes Claudia will forgive him for what she encounters. As the story continues Claudia comes face to face with her feelings for Michael as a short and surprise note and gift lets her know he will always be there for and her protecting her. With her friend Patty she embarks on a camping trip even though she hates bugs and creatures. But something happens that most would think nothing of but others would as one young man turns up and changes her perspective on things. Austin a waiter that took care of her on her birthday is on this camping trip and teaches her something about stars. Could he be here for a different reason? When someone dies their souls become stars and the stars guide humans on earth to lead on the right path so they will become stars too.

As the story goes on she falls asleep to be awakened by the voice she thinks is her friend Claudia but in reality she is in danger once again as those called the fallen lead by a man named Aden want her for their own. As Michael and the Alkins show up and safe her once again questions and allegiances are strained and she learns more about him in order to understand his life. Michael reveals more to her that will surprise the reader and you too might decide that an Alkin is someone you just might want on your side too.

 

Alkins cannot live freely with humans and this is where Aden differs from the rest as he lost his soul, his powers diminished but his revenge high. The scenery is amazing the view panoramic and the feelings intense as Michael and Claudia embark on a special journey of more than just friendship. Then tragedy strikes and reality sets in as Gamma is taken critically ill and she might be going home. But, what if you learned the truth about your birth and who you are? What if your real father was one of God’s angels and you were sent here for a different reason? What if your Gamma was sent here to protect you from the fallen and knew that you visited Crossroads?

 

There are many truths that unfold and the life of one young girl is held in the balance as Michael and his friends decide to take matters into their own hands Claudia learns that she has the Holy Spirit inside of her and that Aden wants it in order to regain his lost powers. Just what will happen you won’t believe as one birthday party for a friend is invaded by the fallen and demons. One half human and half angel named Michael has to choose the path that he wants for his own and for Claudia. One book that will makes you wonder whether demons, fallens and angels will ever live together and who will win out.

 

Author Mary Ting takes the reader to the other side of heaven and allows you to see what many angels do Crossroads. What happens at the end you decide? Just what part does Austin play you won’t believe and why are Michael and Claudia so drawn to each other? Read Crossroads and find out what happens when you live in a world that is meant just for alkins and angels cannot live freely with humans but some disagree. Friendship, loyalty and trust and many other lessons are learned in this outstanding novel. But, this is just the beginning there is much more to come.

 

This book gets FIVE GOLD BUTTERFLIES

Fran Lewis: reviewer 

RIver Bones reviewed by fran lewis


River Bones

Author Mary Deal

 

Serial killers can stalk a victim without their knowledge. Many fall prey to these people because their victims do not follow a specific profile or age group. Sara Mason returns to the Sacramento River Delta area and moves into a house that she is warned has a history attached to it. Owners Orson and Esmerelda Talbot were the second owners of this home but he disappeared leading this to be not a great omen that she bought the house. As Sara stares at the face of her younger sister who died, Sara misses her blonde hair, her smiling face and her statuesque figure. Her sister drowned and haunted her mind. The entire area in which she lived was consumed with finding this killer but no one knows where to start. All alone, she begins to feel vulnerable as she calls someone to comfort her to feel safe. Finding her way home in the fog the next day proved frightening as someone came out of now where and scared her but with the help of some great teens she found her way. Next, she decided to join in the fun and go to the Asian Festival and sample all sorts of food and join in the musical fun. With her friend Daphine she seemed to be getting into more things and learning more about where she lives. Next the two friends decide to learn more from Esmerelda herself. Let’s not forget the scar marks found outside of her window leading the reader to believe that someone does not like that she is there, or did the killer bury someone there?

Meeting Esmerelda was definitely interesting to say the least. After leaving the Hospice Daphine and Sara take a tour of the town and she visits her gallery hoping to see some of her work.

 

The author describes one painting in question that Fredrik, a resident, seems fixed on having. When Sara views the painting she sees the pain in the person’s face from the lower left hand corner to the right hand corner and as the bright light transcends to the middle the person is at peace. You definitely get an eerie feeling when he is around and some of the others that live at the hospice. Added into the mix is the strange caretaker, Tripp, who keeps everything in pristine order except himself and from the description by our talented author the chills just thinking about him. So, why are people dying and what is the fascination with the dogs that Esmeralda has and soon Sara? But, we learn more about Esmerelda as Sara uncovers information about her missing daughter who never came back from Vietnam and the murders are brought to light as a news article describes the gruesome sight one ecologist found counting birds.

 

 

Imagine a skull sticking up at you and then the remains of a person found. Each murder having one thing in common: the person’s neck is broken and they are buried with the remains of an animal. So, could Ike the cat killer be the one doing this? Could it be Fredrik who is fixated with death and sits by the bedside of terminally ill patients about to die? Could it be the person peeping in her windows or is this all connected to something or someone else?

 

Sara never let on that she created computer games and a business that made her millions. Leaving the Delta and returning, she wanted to repay close friends for all they did for her in the past but would not hear of it. Linette and Buck Alden were her closest friends and supposedly distant cousins. Linette opened a store called the Book Nook and to pay her for all of her kindnesses Sara furnished the store with computers so more students would come there and have access to the net.

 

A high school reunion brought back memories from the past, old friends that both Sara and Daphine had not seen for years. Sara surprises all the guests with a copy of one of her Sci Fi computer games which made her millions after selling the copyrights. Reconnecting with an old friend should have proved as something positive but when she and Pierce have dinner together and she creates her seven juice special drink that someone drugged, it sends Sara to the hospital and Pierce in a coma.  Added to the mix is when she finally awakens and realizes he is seriously ill and in a coma, they look for the dogs and find them digging up the remains of another victim of the killer right in her own backyard. The police insist that she vacate the house and she moves in with Linette and Buck. Finding another young girl’s bones that have been missing for 20 years, plus telling the police about another hand that she saw leads the investigation into full swing. Moving to the Delta really changed things not just for her but for the town too. A resident dies at the hospice and the family is investigating why? Fredrik spent the entire night with the person could he have done something? Reminding Pierce before being drugged about his near death experience is bone chilling. Imagine waking up in the morgue and everyone thinking you are dead. Finding human remains along the riverbank and then more showing up is more than unsettling for her and those living there.

 

As the pieces start to fit together there are many suspects that come to light: Ike the cat killer, Fredrik who is obsessed with death and Daphine who seems to be Sara’s friend but is she? Author Mary Deal created a plot so filled with surprises, twists and turns she keeps the reader guessing and hopefully not able to figure out who the killer is and who has been burying bodies with all of their possessions and the remains of an animal for more than 20 years. Making the book unique are the descriptions of the Delta area, the history behind the area and the many festivals and places that makes this area so special.

 

Each time Sara seems to be getting ahead and finally might be able to move back to Talbot House, someone finds a way to deter her with more remains being found, a dead cat found, holes dug up in the back of her house and Orson’s remains found when Sara decides to tear down his workshop. Someone does not want Sara to live in that house and someone does not want her around. As Sara decides to buy another house and offer it to Pierce, someone else comes into her life, but is that for the good? As Daphine and Fredrik get closer and his family comes to the Hospice what else will happen?

 

Relationships rekindled and then tragedy strikes and Sara has to make a decision about the new man in her life. When Huxley comes back into her life will it be for the right reasons? Why does she run when things get too close and just how close to the killer does she get? Will the police get there in time or will Sara be the next victim? Her goal to create the Orson Talbot Foundation; will it ever get done and what will the end result be for so many who have lost so much? As the body count rises and the victims are starting to be identified, just who the killer turns out to be will definitely surprise and shock for the reader and sometimes killers hide in plain sight. Just who it is and why I cannot reveal as only author Mary Deal has the answers to these questions and more and you will too when you read River Bones. Talbot House: Would you want to live there? Is Orson still haunting it or will he finally rest in peace? You decide when you open the pages of the book, read it and decide for youself: Do you want to stay? Let’s hope the author brings Sara back again because not only is she great at helping so many but solving murders: Could she be the next Jessica Fletcher or Agatha Christie?

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer  

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

TAKE A BOW


Take A Bow

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Standing on stage: can you hear the applause? The loud cheers of the audience drown out the band as they start playing your encore number and the audience finally gets quiet. The lights dim then a spotlight is on your face and the song beings bringing the audience to its feet shouting they want more. Stardom! You can feel it! The electricity soaring through your body but first open your eyes and come back down to earth and realize: it’s just the beginning and you have many hurdles to overcome before you get that final curtain call and take that coveted bow.

Carter, Emme, Sophie and Ethan each want the same thing and have the same dream: that Emmy, Oscar or Tony that certifies and signifies the fame they all so desire. Each one talented in their own way and each wanting to stand out above the rest as Carter takes center stage in this novel first. Child actor wanting to please his stage mom, he takes roles that please her more than him. His true passion is to go to High School, meet other young actors and improve his skills. Emme is sweet, talented and can write songs even for the stars that are quite famous today. But, Emme is stuck in the world of another girl named Sophie. She seems lost in her shadow and feels that she is not good enough to get anywhere even though without her Sophie would not be singing songs that would showcase her voice. Sophie Jenkins is self -assured, self- absorbed and totally in control of her own destiny and that of others. Sophie’s voice will mesmerize the listener and take the audience on a journey along with Sophie as she sings the words and lyrics written by Emme. Her goal is to take charge and be on top at all costs. Ethan whose talent is more instrumental has other issues that come to light as the voices in his head conflict with those in the present and often create conflicts within him. So, how does author Elizabeth Eulberg bring them all together: The High School of Creative Performing Arts where the competition is stiff and only the best survive readmission each year. As Carter and Sophie seem to be linked together the others form their own alliance. Ethan, Emme and two others Ben and Jack meet on the first day of school at lunch and later on in the present during senior year forming their own teen band and what leads up to it is quite funny and unique as Ben foretells their future and what just might become of them as rock band stars. Open the door and enter the school and meet the students, teachers and most of all our four hopefuls whose secrets are hidden from the reader right now but read on and you will learn what Emme and Ethan have yet to reveal as my review for Take A Bow continues.

Emme has created a song about the future for Sophie dealing with where you are already or now.          But, instead of working with Emme she chooses someone else and although her friends and Carter alert her to the fact that it is wrong she justifies what her friend does and chooses to ignore it for now. The author then gives the back- story about Carter and how he deals with his first negative article and getting blindsided by a reporter with Sophie as his major support at his side. The person she is not the person she is now as Carter relates that her only goal is to top the competition no matter how. Spots for the Senior Showcase spots are definitely coveted and the first one sets the tone for the rest. Sophie is speaking and expressing her feelings and Carter continuing with his. As Carter relates his feelings about the competition, a role in a play by Shakespeare we learn more about him and his feelings towards his only competition Zachary. Explaining that he is a better actor and that he, Carter usually wins out because of his past and fame.

Carter does not really want to pursue his career in acting he enjoys art and would rather pursue one in that field and when he expresses his feelings to his mother the response is quite starling and seems supportive. As the date draws near for auditions for the Senior Showcase Emme needs to realize what Sophie did in order to face the fact that she might not be such a good friend. As she is announced her song is attributed to someone else instead of her and when her band members and Carter enlighten her reaction is truly different from what you would expect and Sophie is more concerned with her position in the auditions then the fact her friend might be hurt. Even when she covers and says we should practice together for the next audition Sophie skirts the issue. Carter is beginning to see the light with her and goes to the band’s concert and enjoys being treated as just Carter. Next, comes Ethan’s voice as he tries to tell Emme she needs to speak up for herself and the band discusses their futures and we learn from a conversation during the show about Ethan’s drinking problem and much more. But, Ethan has another secret he has yet to share with Emme and just how that will play out remains to be seen.

Carter drops out of school and decides on an art career and what happens that finally awakens Emme will definitely surprise you. Sophie is a user and when Emme reads text between her and her friend Amanda a harsh reality sets in or shall I say they might want to play the song True Colors with different words to tell Sophie hers are truly shining through. Emme receives the last spot along with the band in the Senior Showcase and one outburst from Sophie sets the school straight and many others as to her true personality. Emme is so kind she cannot take what she did but might finally realize it is her turn to be in the spotlight.

The big day is here and the nerves are tighter than that of tightrope or a rubber band stretched out to its limit. Energies are high, Emme is unsure of herself and the band and her friends are there for support. The ending is quiet dramatic as the unexpected might surprise you and the harsh realizations that some get might not change that they are but others. Emme learns to have faith in herself. Carter steps up as a friend and decides his own future. With a mother who supports him how can he not succeed?  Sophie needs to reassess herself and take a long look in the mirror before taking more bows and the rest you need to read for yourself. Read their final entries and learn what happens to them and where they plan to go. Learn that some never learn and others move on. Confidence, self respect, believing in yourself, loyalty, friendship and much more need to be learned before you get up and Take that Bow. It would be great if the author brought these four back after they graduate college to see where they are and where life has taken them. Characters that endear you to them and four students that learn many life lessons along the way.

This is outstanding novel is great for music students, aspiring actors and for all YA’s and young teens to learn the true meaning of hard work, dedication and learning to be who you are and not what others what you to be.

This book gets five songs written by Emme and Ethan