What My Grandmother Taught Me


Kimberly LaRocca

What My Grandma Taught Me

May 2012

Createspace

ISBN: 978-1-47501-372-6

 

 

Growing up my champion was my grandmother Katie. Whenever I felt down and out I knew I could count on her to boost me back up again. Coming from Poland she learned many of life’s lesson the hard way and the cruelties she had endured only made her stronger giving her the strength to move forward and live life to its fullest.

 

Everyone learns things at their own rate and their own way. Some listen to the words of others and learn from them incorporating their wisdom, lessons and thoughts into their own lives. Teachers are expected to impart knowledge and hopefully help their students learn more than just what is written or expected of them in the many subject areas that taught. Character Education, cooperation, understanding and kindness are part of every educator needs to include on a daily basis. Parents, friends, and grandparents even your clergyman can teach you many important and valuable lessons that will enrich your life. It is what you do with this knowledge and how well you listen and hear their words that will determine your success.

 

Author Kimberly LaRocca adored her grandmother more than anyone else in the entire world. From her she learned many important lessons that she carried with her in school, at home as a parent, wife, friend and at work. Take a seat and enter the pages of this book along with this reviewer as you hear the voice of Emma Lee Green, read her very own words and embrace the lessons our author learned in this outstanding book about life and how to life it to the fullest.

 

The lessons and the brief explanations fall into many areas. Some of the lessons will teach and explain to the reader how to deal with difficult situations and people. Others will explain how to care for your family, yourself and your own needs. Several lessons will explain why you need to strive to be your best and finish your education.  Beginning with Having Respect for Yourself and Taking Care of Your Family the author begins with two of the most important lessons that we all need to learn. “Learn to accept people for who they are,” a valuable lesson. You cannot place a person within the window of a Xerox machine and hopefully come out with a perfect copy of what you think they should be. Understand that everyone comes with flaws and will make mistakes. It is how we learn to understand these differences and put them aside that makes you a better person. But, that does not mean as the author states that you should allow anyone to mistreat you or put you down. Something my mother always taught me was to look my best no matter where I was going or what I was going to do. When the author writes on page five “Always try to look your best,” I can hear my mother’s voice repeating those very words. You are so right Kimberly when you say you would never been seen in Target wearing pajama pants and bedroom slippers. Next she reminds us to Believe in the higher power.

 

Finish your education is probably one of the most valuable lessons every child and adult can learn. Never sacrifice your own desires, needs and fulfillments because you are the only person that you can really rely on for your entire life. No one take can away the knowledge that she learned or her degree that she so proudly attained. “Be the best person you can be, and try to live your life in a way that would make your parents proud.” This is truly a valuable lesson and children today should respect their parents and grandparents who should be their role models. Never treat your parents or grandparents as you would a friend and certainly never speak them without total respect. Followed by a wise saying, ‘Listen to your elders.” Because someone is older and not a teen or in their twenties does not mean they are so old they cannot impart some knowledge that will help you avoid making the same mistakes they might have made or just making sure you succeed. If you do make a mistake, can you hear Emma telling you, learn from them, do not make them twice and move ahead.

 

Grief can play havoc on your mind, body and soul. Do not let it consume you to the point that you cannot deal with life. Remember to talk to your children, listen to what they have to say and spend quality time with them. There are so many thoughts and lessons I could go on forever but then you would not have the pleasure of reading and learning this on your own. Friends are hard to come by and choosing friends that are respectful, value your opinions, are there for you no matter what and are by your side through thick and then will make you a better person and a friend too. One very important fact that every parent should remember is never to allow a man, boyfriend, gentleman or date to come before your children. From instilling principles and morals in your children to learning to forgive the author learned many lessons from Emma Lee Green that she has never forgotten and has incorporated in her life each and every day.

 

What did I learn or what lessons were reinforced for me after reading this book more than five times before reviewing it:

 

  1. Say as little as possible when angry: you cannot take back your words.
  2. Believe that God has a path for my life and I know it is a good one.
  3. Making decisions that will be in my best interest and in that of others that will need my help and guidance to move ahead.
  4. Being aware of my surroundings and paying attention to other people before things go wrong.
  5. Believing in the Power of Change and finally the most important lesson my mom and grandmother taught me: Be Independent. You need to stand on your own, work and earn your own way in life. This is one lesson I learned quite well and will never forget.

 

Take the journey through these pages along with someone you love and read the lessons together and hear the voice of Emma Lee Green and you too will learn: What her grandmother taught her. Over 100 lessons that we can all use in our daily lives and teach to others. Imagine if everyone listened to their parents, learned from their elders and heeded their words just maybe we would have a better world of people that cared, respected and followed the right path and was never misled by that of others to walk down the wrong road.

 

So, thank you Kimberly and a special thank you to Emma Lee your grandmother for imparting this special knowledge and teaching everyone who will read this book so many valuable lessons.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Let’s dedicate this to Emma Lee Green and all of the grandparents that we all loved, love and adored.

 

 

 

 

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Shades of Murder: Lauren Carr


The name is Gnarly. I am a really great German Shepherd who lives in a mansion. Not bad for a dog.  The guy who lives here is a millionaire several times over but I have the run of the place and usually do my own thing. I was dishonorably discharged from the United States Army but that really has no bearing on this story but I thought you might want to know before hear it from someone else. Living with Mac Faraday is definitely great because you never know what’s going to happen, who is going to wind up dead and what help he is going to need from me to solve the murder. It all started in 2006 on a beautiful day before I was born and came to live here. Several police officers were called to scene of two different deaths. One was said to be a murder and the other an accident. The accident victim, Charlie Smith was not who he appeared to be. When the real Charlie Smith learned of the accident did not seem to care about the demise of the man in the accident. Turns out, Mr. Smith was a thief who enjoyed stealing the identities and of course funds of the victim whose identity he stole. The second death was a murder. Ilsya Ramsey was a noted artist and was about to have a showing at the Louvre in France. Completing her self-portrait the day before the murder she was excited about the showing but never shared her work before completing it.

 

Spencer Police Office David O’Callaghan is hot, smart and definitely the one officer you want handling any investigation. You should see the girls ogling him. On his way to Robin Spencer’s Labor Day celebration he gets called to a murder scene of a well-known artist. Ilysa Ramsey had just started taking the art world as the author states by storm when she is found murdered. Neal Hathaway might be rich and have power but all the money in the world could not revive or bring back his wife. Someone bludgeoned her to death.  But, there is much more that I have to relate to you because we cannot forget Charlie Smith. Could these deaths be related?

 

Let me flash ahead to the present time where I can tell you first hand what is going on in Deep Creek Lake. I am Gnarly and as I said I have the run of the mansion. As two deliverymen find their way to my home, my curiosity got the better of me and I made sure to blindside them before they could deliver their package. Mac, our millionaire, has a flare for getting involved in mysteries and solving them.

 

Archie Monday was Robin Spencer’s assistant and lives in the guest cottage at Spencer Manor. A package, as I said, is about to be delivered to Mac that would once again envelop him into a murder investigation. But, having a serious mind of my own, I high jacked the deliverymen, disobeyed all of Mac’s commands, and definitely got everyone’s attention. What was in the box delivered that nobody but Mac and Archie were curious about? Let’s not forget me: Gnarly.

 

Let’s bring the past into the present and tie some events together right now. In this package is a letter addressed to Mac’s late mother, which explains its contents. Within this box was a painting by Ilysa Ramsey. The painting in question had been stolen and her murder is still unsolved. The value of the painting- priceless. Was Mac thrilled? That still remains to be seen because this book definitely has many different Shades Of Murder.

 

Deputy Police Chief Art Bogart was one of the officers, along with our Police Chief David O’Callaghan, who investigated this murder. Just in case you did not read the other books by Lauren Carr and have no idea just who this great guy is, Mac Faraday inherited millions of dollars, the estate, his mother who was a famous mystery writer’s journal and one hot half-brother named David. Hope you got it all.

 

The Ilysa Ramsay painting is a self-portrait adding to its value. Within the painting were family members, friends and associates. The one person not in the picture was her husband. As Bogart identifies each person in the painting to Mac, they formulate in their minds which one or ones might be suspects. Since Ilysa was just starting to become part of the art world and her husband was a big patron of the arts, completing this painting before the showing was paramount to her. The showing was at the Louvre in France. As the events are recounted, they state that she had a disagreement with her manager who has since disappeared.

 

Let’s add another player and hot guy to the plot, who many of you might know from Lauren Carr’s earlier novels. Hancock, County, West Virginia prosecuting attorney, Joshua Thornton is visiting SCI Green Maximum Prison to see serial rapist and murderer Oliver Cartwright. Asked to see him by Reverend Brody, Cartwright wants his name cleared for a murder he claims he never committed.

 

Cartwright was convicted of killing and raping seven women. But, he claims only six. Jane Doe, or Victim Number Four, was not his and he wants Joshua to investigate the murder and find her killer. Joshua promises to help only for Jane Doe’s family. Searching for the names of the lead investigators led him to Pennsylvania and a chilly welcome from the officers at the police station. As the discussion continues with the officers, the reader and, of course, me, wonder if they ever really looked past Cartwright for the murder. The end result is not what you would expect and what follows adds not only humor to the plot, but explains why I said this guy was not only a great prosecutor, but hot too. A phone call from Detective Cameron Gates would change everything as they decide to meet in an unusual way and manner. But, let’s not forget her friend Irving. As Gates reveals the information from her informant known as the Ghost, more information about Jane Doe comes to light. But, Joshua notices something that everyone overlooked. Could this be a copycat murder? Where did this victim come from and was that the reason no one identified her? But, Gates had more than just the case in mind after meeting Joshua.

 

Let’s get back to our millionaire and the painting. Staring into the face of Ilysa, Mac gets a strange feeling that she is crying out to him to find the killer. Mac, David and Bogart pay a visit to the Hathaway’s and their meeting is quite telling. Meeting the different family members, you begin to wonder whether they even cared about poor Ilysa. When Mac tells Neal and his son Scott that they are going to reopen the case and investigate, Neal’s primary concern is the painting that Mac has in his possession and not the murder. It takes Neal a while to register why they are there. We meet Rachel, who is Scott’s wife, and the housekeeper Greta.

 

When the fingerprints come back from the forensic lab what they find out will definitely astound the reader as author Lauren Carr once again supplies a twist so devilish and cunning you won’t see it coming. Would you believe that the murder that took place in 2004 was the second murder of the same person? How can that be? Well, some facts cannot be revealed and only if the author allows me to bark out the evidence (and she won’t) will I divulge the answer to that question and many more. Besides I was able to get the police officer’s submarine sandwich away from him just by being cunning and staring at him. But, what follows is even more mindboggling as an another murder similar to Ilysa’s occurs, her manager is found dead and the pieces of the canvas will definitely paint a whole new picture when the portrait of this killer is finally done. Just what was behind the murders and what was Ilysa really doing besides painting? How was one police detective involved and why?

 

What happens next to Mac really is quite startling as his boat goes up in flames. I protect everyone and the house and get the thief, too, but will I be praised for my efforts? Only trying to do my job. Thank goodness Archie is on my side or they might send poor me to the pound or worse!  Deceit, lies, betrayals, cover-ups and much more before all is said and done. Wait until you see how this plays out and who killed Ilysa and who lives to see another day. Don’t worry, I will be back again as soon as this amazing author decides to create another plot for me and, of course, Mac. Maybe he and Joshua will team up for good or maybe they will be smart enough to deputize me once and for all. This is Gnarly until next time.

FIVE SUBMARINE SANDWICHES FOR MY PAL GNARLY

No Greater Sacrifice


No Greater Sacrifice

 

Author: John Stipa

 

Berenger Sauniere, parish priest in the tiny French village of Rennes-le-Chateau, has a hidden secret that is about to cost him his life. . Facing him was the one man that could destroy his world and take everything that he worked hard to attain. Bishop Savard wants what Saunier has hidden: the cup of Christ and the  evidence that he  established a family in France. Claiming Saunier was granted huge sums of money to refurbish the church and keep the information quiet, Savard will do anything to obtain what he claims is rightfully his. What happens next is chilling. A heated discussion ensues. Threats are made on both sides. The Bishop even threatens a child in front of Saunier to get him to talk. Ultimately Saunier is tricked into taking a fatal sip of wine. But his actions before death cast doubt as to what Saunier’s secret truly is.

 

When Renee and David alight from the plane and arrive at Charles De Gaulle airport she is attacked getting off the plane, her plane ticket and passport stolen and the police are no where to be found. As we learn they too are in on this plot to stop her from finding out about the past and the murder. Just what their connection is and how far the corruption goes remains to be seen. The author then reveals the history of David’s secret and difficult past.

 

 

Beginning this mind provoking and intriguing novel with the murder of this Priest in 1917 author John Stipa captures the reader’s attention with the first word. The author moves ahead to 2006 where we meet a very special archeologist. Artifacts scattered throughout Europe and two people would be brought together by fate. Renee d’ Arcadia is the archaeologist who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Not allowing herself to become obsessed with her illness and definitely not giving up on life, she forges ahead in an unusual and exciting way. A chance meeting with a man named Dimitri would set her on a course that will bring about danger, a cave in and hopefully the cure for her illness as the author allows the reader to learn more about the Temple of Eleusis. Finding her way to the ruins she enters the tunnel and finds unexpected clues that lead to the past and the murder. A six pointed star, and five additional symbols are all recorded in her journal but what happens as a result of her escapades causes a huge cave in but the end result is not for nothing. While showing her friend what she was able to recover Renee is called to France for the reading of a will that will bring her face to face with several strange and unusual people that along with Renee, go on a journey searching for clues to a one hundred year old mystery and the death of the priest.  Renee meets David Arturo and the instant chemistry between them is electrifying. But, what she does next you just won’t believe and their connection will be the reading of the will.

 

When David reveals their connection and their family backgrounds Renee learns more about the death of Berenger Sauniere, the Parish Priest at the Rennes le Chateau and the three men who created a scandal there and disappeared. But, the bodies of these men were exhumed at the exact place of the reading of this will. Added to the mix the author reveals to Renee through David that Sauniere made a huge discovery and blackmailed the Vatican into giving him funds to restore the church. Rumor has it that the priest knew where the Ark of Covenant was or even King Solomon’s gold. Whatever this worldly treasure is the rumor is that it might be found exactly where they are going.

 

We finally meet the players at the reading of the will. The straight-laced curator Suzanne Domsa, her ancient assistant Gerard Tremblay,  Paul Meehutch, a man’s who’s girth is only exceeded by his pompousness, willowy Melanie LaSalette, who seems to have some kind of hold on David, shifty Louis Voison, the elderly statesman Jean-Claude d’ Hautpol and smooth talking Pierre Rousseau, a lawyer presiding over the affairs. The author shares the history of the time, a tour of the church and the cemetery with the reader. Then, Tremblay locks eyes with Renee and asks that she return to the cemetery that night for a clandestine meeting. More about the estate and Saunier’s secret are revealed. But the meeting proves fatal for one of the members, but not before the information sends them on a search for their past.  Who witnessed Saunier’s murder and what happened to the boy that was tortured? Who were the three men blamed for the murder and how does it all connect to the bodies found in the garden? Who is behind the murder?

 

A coincidence or maybe something else as both David and Renee realize they have the same bronze artifact and he reveals a photo of a stone tablet called the Ninnion Tablet which depicts a sacred ceremony carried out in the Temple of Eleusis. We finally meet the players at the reading of the will. The curator Suzanne Domsa, her assistant Monsieur Tremblay, lawyers, Meehatch, Melanie La Salette who seems to have some kind of hold on David, Louis Voison, Monsieur d’ Hautpol and Rousseau. When the initial bestowments were made the recipients were told to leave the room while the remaining three would receive their inheritances. But, what no one realized is that they were being monitored.

 

The author shares the history of the time, the tour of the church and the cemetery with the reader. Then Gerard Tremblay the assistant curator locked eyes with Renee and asked she return to the cemetery with her bronze pieces. As Renee, David and Meehutch team up to find out just what is behind the reason they were requested to attend a special meeting at 11:30 at night, more about the estate and the priest’s secret are revealed. But the meeting proves fatal for one of the members but not before the information revealed sends them on a search for their past. The Priest found some gold coins that he used to fund the church and the connection to their ancestor’s revealed. Just who witnessed the murder of the Priest and what happened to the boy that was being tortured? Who were the three men that were blamed for his murder and how does it all connect to the bodies found in the garden? Who is behind the murder that takes place in the church?

 

When David meets with Domsa he learns more about her than he cares to and as a result confesses his past to Renee. What is Suzanne’s real motive for wanting to deceive them all and who is behind it remains to be seen? As the puzzle pieces come together and the information is made clearer where does the Star of David fit in, how many more pieces have to be found and how do the seven deadly sins fit in?  As the past comes full circle to the present the author will reveal just how these small pieces of bronze and bequests in a will tie to the Ark of Covenant, the Cup of Christ and to the great grandfathers of Renee, David and Meehutch. The author brings the story to life with his graphic illustrations, his vivid descriptions and the mystery that remained unsolved for so many years. Take the journey all over the world across Europe, Greece, Stonehenge and Poland to help Renee and David find the missing pieces of the puzzle and where the hidden treasures lie.

 

The final pieces are about to come together and the letters to the puzzles just might give them the answers they need but will one man stop them again? Who is this Spider and why is the curator working with him? The secret to her past about to unfold and many things about her life would be revealed but would they survive? What role do Rousseau and Pelletier have and just how does Jean-Claude D’Hautpol fit in? When Renee and David have a falling out she is left unprotected. What will the end result be when he realizes she has disappeared and who can be trusted and who cannot? Twists, turns, jumps and falls will all take place before all is said and done and who will make the final sacrifice? An ending so intense and the final accounting you will have to learn for yourself as both Renee and David risk more than their lives to find the truth behind their legacies and much more.

The author brings the story to life with his graphic illustrations, his vivid descriptions and the mystery that remained unsolved for so many years. Take the journey all over Europe, to Italy, Greece, France, Stonehenge and Poland to help Renee and David find the missing pieces of the puzzle and where the hidden treasures lie.  Ancient artifacts, historical figures, secret caverns and codes that need to be unlocked, this novel takes you on a fast paced roller coaster ride with pitfalls, action that will keep you glued to the printed page and an ending hoping that the author will bring back Renee and David for another adventure. Characters so well defined with humor, banter and crisp dialogue, author John C. Stipa is right up there with Berry, Eliot Patterson and Brown.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Let’s give this book : FIVE BRONZE ARTIFACTS

 

 

No Greater Sacrifice: My review


No Greater Sacrifice

Author: John Stipa

Berenger Sauniere, parish priest in the tiny French village of Rennes-le-Chateau, has a hidden secret that is about to cost him his life. . Facing him was the one man that could destroy his world and take everything that he worked hard to attain. Bishop Savard wants what Saunier has hidden: the cup of Christ and the  evidence that he  established a family in France. Claiming Saunier was granted huge sums of money to refurbish the church and keep the information quiet, Savard will do anything to obtain what he claims is rightfully his. What happens next is chilling. A heated discussion ensues. Threats are made on both sides. The Bishop even threatens a child in front of Saunier to get him to talk. Ultimately Saunier is tricked into taking a fatal sip of wine. But his actions before death cast doubt as to what Saunier’s secret truly is.

When Renee and David alight from the plane and arrive at Charles De Gaulle airport she is attacked getting off the plane, her plane ticket and passport stolen and the police are no where to be found. As we learn they too are in on this plot to stop her from finding out about the past and the murder. Just what their connection is and how far the corruption goes remains to be seen. The author then reveals the history of David’s secret and difficult past.

Beginning this mind provoking and intriguing novel with the murder of this Priest in 1917 author John Stipa captures the reader’s attention with the first word. The author moves ahead to 2006 where we meet a very special archeologist. Artifacts scattered throughout Europe and two people would be brought together by fate. Renee d’ Arcadia is the archaeologist who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Not allowing herself to become obsessed with her illness and definitely not giving up on life, she forges ahead in an unusual and exciting way. A chance meeting with a man named Dimitri would set her on a course that will bring about danger, a cave in and hopefully the cure for her illness as the author allows the reader to learn more about the Temple of Eleusis. Finding her way to the ruins she enters the tunnel and finds unexpected clues that lead to the past and the murder. A six pointed star, and five additional symbols are all recorded in her journal but what happens as a result of her escapades causes a huge cave in but the end result is not for nothing. While showing her friend what she was able to recover Renee is called to France for the reading of a will that will bring her face to face with several strange and unusual people that along with Renee, go on a journey searching for clues to a one hundred year old mystery and the death of the priest.  Renee meets David Arturo and the instant chemistry between them is electrifying. But, what she does next you just won’t believe and their connection will be the reading of the will.

When David reveals their connection and their family backgrounds Renee learns more about the death of Berenger Sauniere, the Parish Priest at the Rennes le Chateau and the three men who created a scandal there and disappeared. But, the bodies of these men were exhumed at the exact place of the reading of this will. Added to the mix the author reveals to Renee through David that Sauniere made a huge discovery and blackmailed the Vatican into giving him funds to restore the church. Rumor has it that the priest knew where the Ark of Covenant was or even King Solomon’s gold. Whatever this worldly treasure is the rumor is that it might be found exactly where they are going.

We finally meet the players at the reading of the will. The straight-laced curator Suzanne Domsa, her ancient assistant Gerard Tremblay,  Paul Meehutch, a man’s who’s girth is only exceeded by his pompousness, willowy Melanie LaSalette, who seems to have some kind of hold on David, shifty Louis Voison, the elderly statesman Jean-Claude d’ Hautpol and smooth talking Pierre Rousseau, a lawyer presiding over the affairs. The author shares the history of the time, a tour of the church and the cemetery with the reader. Then, Tremblay locks eyes with Renee and asks that she return to the cemetery that night for a clandestine meeting. More about the estate and Saunier’s secret are revealed. But the meeting proves fatal for one of the members, but not before the information sends them on a search for their past.  Who witnessed Saunier’s murder and what happened to the boy that was tortured? Who were the three men blamed for the murder and how does it all connect to the bodies found in the garden? Who is behind the murder?

A coincidence or maybe something else as both David and Renee realize they have the same bronze artifact and he reveals a photo of a stone tablet called the Ninnion Tablet which depicts a sacred ceremony carried out in the Temple of Eleusis.

The author shares the history of the time, the tour of the church and the cemetery with the reader. Then Gerard Tremblay the assistant curator locked eyes with Renee and asked she return to the cemetery with her bronze pieces. As Renee, David and Meehutch team up to find out just what is behind the reason they were requested to attend a special meeting at 11:30 at night, more about the estate and the priest’s secret are revealed. But the meeting proves fatal for one of the members but not before the information revealed sends them on a search for their past. The Priest found some gold coins that he used to fund the church and the connection to their ancestor’s revealed. Just who witnessed the murder of the Priest and what happened to the boy that was being tortured? Who were the three men that were blamed for his murder and how does it all connect to the bodies found in the garden? Who is behind the murder that takes place in the church?

When David meets with Domsa he learns more about her than he cares to and as a result confesses his past to Renee. What is Suzanne’s real motive for wanting to deceive them all and who is behind it remains to be seen? As the puzzle pieces come together and the information is made clearer where does the Star of David fit in, how many more pieces have to be found and how do the seven deadly sins fit in?  As the past comes full circle to the present the author will reveal just how these small pieces of bronze and bequests in a will tie to the Ark of Covenant, the Cup of Christ and to the great grandfathers of Renee, David and Meehutch. The author brings the story to life with his graphic illustrations, his vivid descriptions and the mystery that remained unsolved for so many years. Take the journey all over the world across Europe, Greece, Stonehenge and Poland to help Renee and David find the missing pieces of the puzzle and where the hidden treasures lie.

The final pieces are about to come together and the letters to the puzzles just might give them the answers they need but will one man stop them again? Who is this Spider and why is the curator working with him? The secret to her past about to unfold and many things about her life would be revealed but would they survive? What role do Rousseau and Pelletier have and just how does Jean-Claude D’Hautpol fit in? When Renee and David have a falling out she is left unprotected. What will the end result be when he realizes she has disappeared and who can be trusted and who cannot? Twists, turns, jumps and falls will all take place before all is said and done and who will make the final sacrifice? An ending so intense and the final accounting you will have to learn for yourself as both Renee and David risk more than their lives to find the truth behind their legacies and much more.

The author brings the story to life with his graphic illustrations, his vivid descriptions and the mystery that remained unsolved for so many years. Characters so well defined with humor, banter and crisp dialogue, author John C. Stipa is right up there with Berry, Eliot Patterson and Brown.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Let’s give this book : FIVE BRONZE ARTIFACTS

winds of redemption


Winds of Redemption

Harvey Goodman

 

 

Clint Smith is dead. He played his final hand and lost. Five stud poker was his game and three bullets were his hope of taking the pot away from the other players. But, Lucius Hammond was clever, elusive and definitely not exactly what he appeared to be. Entering the bar, ordering a bottle of whiskey and deciding to share it with one woman who came on to him was the perfect set up to gain her trust. Invited to drink with her and then and invitation to a high stakes poker game allowed him access to his mark. Lucius Hammond was a hired killer. Clint his victim never knew that he argument that would ensue during the game and his accusations that he was cheating would be the last words he ever said. Pretending to be a novice at the game our killer made sure to lose a few hands before taking control of the game. When accused of cheating he denied it of course and what happens next you can figure out for yourself as Lucius Hammond claimed he drew in self-defense. Before anyone could figure out the chain of events he was gone.

 

Sammy Winds just bought a great ranch from the Taylor brothers and is getting ready to return home with his new herd. At the same time a group of men approach a young Indian Squaw about the whereabouts of Clint Smith. What happens next leaves several dead including the Indian woman. The men are part of a posse run by the same man who hired Lucius to kill Clint. Boothe Haney is the man who keeps order and makes sure the rules of the gang are followed. Anyone crossing him or defying the gang would pay dearly. An ex-priest and several orphans lived with the Indian woman but would have to hide from these men. Approached by this gang of men realizing they were in danger the five children and the padre hide.

 

Sammy Winds encounters a white man and a Chinaman on his land. Questioning him about his ownership of the property alerts him to possible danger. Explaining to these men that prospecting on his land was not going to happen was just one message he hoped they got. But, there is much more as the author reveals the man behind the corrupt organization who has set his sights on the best land in the area and will stop at nothing to get it. New Mexico, Territory has not attained statehood yet and this one man, named Lambmorton wants it all. A discussion with Mr. Han, the Chinaman yielded information this man wanted and might explain why Clint Smith was now dead. As Han explained the value of the land and the fact that Sammy Wind’s property might be replete in gold, silver, emerald, garnet and other resources, Mr. Han explained the problems that would be involved. Rupert Crowder would file the abandoned homestead claim in court for the late Clint Smith’s property. When Rupert Crowder offered Smith a generous sum for his land and he refused our friend Lucius handled it.

 

 

From the best selling award-winning novel Along the Fortune Trail comes the next chapter in the life of Sammy Winds. As Sammy is returning home with his supplies and thinking of his future wife, Jenny, he recounts and replays in his mind the encounter with Mr. Han and a man referred to as Stanley. Author Harvey Goodman takes the reader inside the home of the man behind the corruption, his mind and his thoughts as he leads us through the dangerous missions, encounters and Sammy’s fight to keep what he worked so hard to get. So, saddle up your favorite horse, make sure that you hang on tight to those reins and ride along with Sammy and his crew. Even though this is a western the author brings to light many issues involving corruption, murder for hire and creates his own form of mystery and suspense keeping the reader pinned to the saddle until the bumpy ride is over and you are once again on solid terrain.

 

But, the ride home would prove even more interesting as he meets Padre Thomas and five amazing young orphans. But, would he tell them about the men and would this all link together as they came to stay at his ranch. Explaining how they came to stay in the shed owned by Clint Smith and their encounter with the men who shot the woman and several that worked for Smith the pieces of the broken trail are beginning to fit together as Sammy offers the Padre and the family one hundred acres of land on his property for his family.

 

Rupert Crowder is not done yet and he approaches Sammy Winds about his land and the answer he gets is definitely not what his employer wanted to hear. But, before all is said and done many lives would be lost and the dangers of the west apparent. Loyalty, trust, understanding and families unite to save so many. When danger ensues 12 year old Rory saves the Padre and is able to warn the others. Jing Lu and Camille are taken prisoner along with Jenny but when Sammy receives a note from the Sheriff and learns that he was being set up what happens next you just won’t believe. The laws were different back then and the right to protect yourself of utmost importance. As Sammy goes after the men who kidnapped his wife, killed some of his workers and tried to take his land.

 

Welcome back Margaret and Blaine as they visit with Sammy and he learns of Claire’s death and the birth of her son Robert. Just how will Sammy help her keep her land and what will happen between them you will have to read for yourself.

 

Five really smart kids and one young Rory who you just have to love with spunk, tenacity and the drive to save those he loves author Harvey Goodman takes the reader inside the minds of these killers as they go after Sammy, his family and his friends. An ending that will teach any outlaw that you don’t mess with Winds and a surprise twist that will endear you to one of the villains, Winds of Redemption is more than just a book about one man, his land and his life. It is about fighting for what is yours, standing up for what you believe the loyalty of his family the Taylors and the trust of the woman he loves. Will they survive and will he get there in time to save Jenny and the two girls? What happens when the Padre is shot? Will they get Boothe, Crowder and the person behind the murders? You just won’t believe who was running the show and the explosive ending that will let you know That Winds of Redemption is one book you want to read and hopefully the author will bring them all back for more. Along the Fortunes Trail was one of my picks for 2010. It just might be one of my picks for 2012. Redemption:” The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” Find out what that means when you read this outstanding novel. Hope you enjoyed the ride.

 

This book gets: five gold nuggets

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bonnie Moss Adventure


 

Warning! A Bonnie Moss Journalistic Adventure!

Author: Anna Shaw

 

 

The outer shell of an egg is quite fragile. Place it in your hands and hold it too tightly and it will crack and fall apart. Take a piece of blown glass and gently place it on a glass table. What would happen if the table accidentally tips? What will happen to the beautifully crafted piece of glass? Bonnie Moss and so many others are about to find out just how fragile life can be, the dangers that can cause their lives to fall apart or break at the hand of crooked politicians, contractors and nature.

 

Bonnie Moss is a news reporter attending the Torrance County Fair. Observant, smart and definitely hardworking she becomes embroiled in some dangerous situations while covering the fair and photographing the events. While speaking with the officer in charge of Dixie’s Animal Control, they observe a dangerous tiger, which is part of one of the exhibits off his leash and able to roam freely. Approaching the trainer and asking him to please take all safety precautions, they are surprised at his unorthodox response or lack of concern for spectators. But, there is much more. Arkansas where this story takes place has been riddled with small yet dangerous earthquakes and tremors that ignite at any time. Hoping that these quakes will distract the locals and those in charge of building codes one politician has enlisted the aid of a corrupt contractor to build a shopping mall using downgraded materials because they are less expensive. Safety does not come into play just profit.

 

Martin Anders an on air newscaster for one of the local radio groups is working the fair along with Bonnie. While they are discussing the fair and the quakes something happens that distracts them both. As tremors come closer and the rides and exhibits need to be closed down one albino tiger runs lose and what happens next could not only injure many but kill on little girl if no one gets to her first. One judge gave permission for this tiger to be allowed to stay off his leash. What happens you won’t believe as many lives are endangered before the solution comes to pass.

 

Nathaniel Holmes is rich, greedy and coldblooded. He is behind the development of the Dixie Sunshine Mall. At the age of 32 he has risen to the top of the business world. Working in an investment brokerage firm he hoped to become a full partner. But, not everything turns out the way you want it. What his partners found out cost him more than just his job. The words embezzler and crook are only two of the words that define his character. But, life dealt him a different hand and he was lucky. When his father passed away he left him millions enabling him to open his own investment counseling business and because no one was able to prove what he had done before he was able to return to Dixie unscathed.

 

Bonnie Moss was not only a news reporter and photographer but she did investigative reports, created special design sections for the paper dealing with events and festivals. Entering the newsroom her editor motions for her to come into her cubicle to discuss the gravity of the quakes. As the author whose research is extensive shares with the reader information concerning these quakes, where Bonnie got her information for her upcoming articles and just how these quakes come about. Reading the prologue you will learn even more and just when and how these quakes affected the area and state where this novel takes place.

 

Why doesn’t Dixie have a disaster plan and when will Judge Marge Wilson decide to create one? With phone calls about the quakes and the fact that the United States Geological Survey maintained that most of the quakes were over New Madrid, something had to be done in case it got worse and a plan had to be in place.

 

Something happens at the site of the new mall while at the same time Bonnie is meeting with the Dixie Chamber of Commerce to discuss funding and the quakes. As another reporter is called to the site of the mall we learn about the structural damage, those injured and the possible cause attributed to the quakes. But, is that the real reason and when Holmes shows up and discusses it with the site engineer why does the engineer go with his assessment?

 

Lies, deceits, corruption not only in the government but in the business world too. Many different players will benefit from the mall but what happens when the specs and the work are under par and the end result just might mean lives?  How desperate is one businessman to cut corners at the expense of an entire community?

 

Suspicions rise and the three close friends begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Holmes was hoping that everyone’s focus would be on the quakes and not on the mall project hoping to funnel money from the project into his own bank account. But, can they prove it and what will the end result be for the people of Dixie?

 

A council meeting is quite revealing as the quakes and the ramifications of them are being swept under the rug in order to highlight the opening of the mall. But, strange events are happening all over including at the Animal Shelter as well as the structural damage at the mall that has yet to be brought to light and will be fixed after the opening. But, events that follow will leave the reader wondering why so many want to ignore the danger of the quakes and are more concerned about the opening of the mall. The lakes are becoming filled with dead fish and one man is found dead. Suspicions rise but will anyone really look deeply into the cause of these unusual events? There are many truths that will come out as one young wife finally learns what kind of business her husband is really into and one young woman would have to ward off a stalker. With the information Marty and Bonnie have gathered about the quakes and their meetings with CERI and other agencies why does the Mayor want to cover it up? The end result just remains to be seen as the big quake might hit but will anyone take heed to the warnings before it is too late?

 

The end result and what happens you will have to read for yourself. The starling events will definitely make you think twice about the gravity of quakes and what happens when corners are cut and the public needs to have a more watchful eye. Interesting book and definitely researched quite well. If you look up the CERI you will learn see as I did today the startling results as earthquakes are reported daily in so many places in the world. Bonnie, Marty and Ephraim work hard to get the word out but will they succeed and will they survive the big one? Let’s hope they work together to solve more mysteries. Some outer shells can never be repaired.  Bonnie is really an interesting character and the newspaper staff is quite good. But, you have to love Ephraim and Marty. Find out why when you read this book.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

Talon on the Wing


Talon: on the Wing

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

 

Appearances should not matter but tell that to a young child who was born with a handicap. Children can be cruel and adults even more because they are the ones who teach their children acceptance, tolerance and how to understand the differences we should embrace in people. But, one little girl named Matica would teach a whole tribe of Indians in Peru many lessons before all is said and done. Imagine being over 10 years old and never growing over the height of a two year old. Imagine how a child would feel if her brother’s height was much taller and the rest of the children in her village or tribe did not accept her or play with her. Imagine the life of loneliness that this young child would have.

 

Parents make a difference in the life children and Mira and Crayn are exceptional. Matica was bright, inquisitive and definitely different than most children almost ten years old. Although her growth hormones were not working correctly and her growth spurts were definitely stagnated, she manages to endear herself into the hearts of readers because of her kind heart, intelligent attitude and caring manner. The journey now continues as we meet Matica and Talon once again. The story begins with Matica and Talon taking flight. Imagine if you could fly over the clouds and through the fog and see the world from up above. Imagine if your life turned around all because everyone realized that who you are as a person is not about your size or appearance. Imagine having a best friend who is a Condor named Talon whose wings spread out and whose body is so strong that it can carry you on top of him and have great adventures together.  

 

Trust is something that Matica has always found hard. Being different and having to work her way into the hearts and mind of the Indians was not easy for this young child. Her life changed when she managed to save the eggs of Tamo and Tima and Talon was born. This endeared her to the Indians and brought her the respect of friends and family. But, one dream one night would bring a total change to her perspective on things as she dreamt about her flight on Talon. Telling her family about it she expressed that she did not know how she managed to climb on top of him. Stating that she just found herself there. Describing what happened in detail was exciting but when she was interrupted she became annoyed. Not able to comprehend or understand what happened frustrating. The author helps young readers learn many difficult vocabulary words through Aikon. Many vocabulary words are taught to him with the hope that he will be able to understand and define not only for himself but for readers too. This is a great way to teach vocabulary skills to young readers. But after hearing about her dream her mother is not sure whether she wants her to fly with Talon and the Indians learning about her dream want her to recount it for them.

 

A new friend brings to light what happens when one young Indian is doubtful about her ability to fly with Talon and the reason he resents her. Matica is small in size but tall in intelligence, kindness and full of love for everyone. All she ever wanted was to be accepted for who she is and not what she looks like. Amos is her special friend who cares deeply for her and meeting Nunoa and hearing Alexander’s story is heartbreaking. Some parents cannot accept a child that is not perfect and might have some challenges. When Amos relates the reason for Alexander’s actions she understands and wants to help him. Blaming himself for the death of his brother was sad. The truth behind it is really startling. This story brings out many issues that kids face today and adults too when they have physical disabilities that others cannot accept or understand. But, when parents are cruel and do not care for a young child, like Jonah, and the end result is tragic, how can Alexander ever forgive them and how can he learn to deal with what happened? What happens next really frightens Matica as Talon is missing. Matica does not understand why people cannot accept children with disabilities and she tries to rationalize how someone could have helped Jonah. Friendships are formed in a unique way and Talon and Amos come to their own private agreement. But, there are many others that learn different lessons in this novel. Trust, friendship, loyalty and understanding play an important part in Matica’s life. Her parents are rare and are supportive and so is her brother but even more her best friend, Amos. What Amos does to prove how much he cares for her you will not believe because very few people would do this?

 

One young man would renew his faith in himself and life because of what he finally believes. With the help of Crayn and Matica Alexander might understand why his parents did what they did and how others can learn from them. Crayn and the Indians watched over Matica and Talon while they were flying. But, would her mother allow her to fly on Talon? What was really bothering Mira? Why is she against Matica flying?

 

Many mishaps, many disappoints and some dangerous situations before all is said and done. But, Matica also learns that she is growing and that although Talon is bigger than she is her extra weight might be a problem. Just how much longer, if at all can they fly together? Who is trying to steal the condors and what will happen to Alex? What about the spider and how will they take care of it? Watch how everyone bans together and hopefully will rid the village of a poisonous spider but was it? What about the raven and why does he seem to be everyone Matica and Talon are when they are flying?

 

When her dream becomes a reality will it be as wonderful as she imagined? What happens when the strong gale winds blow? What about her friendship with Amos will he understand her attachment to Talon? Read this outstanding YA novel and go up in the sky with Talon and Matica and see the wonders of the world along with them when you fly on his wings too.

 

Join Matica, Amos, Aikon, Alexander, Nunoa, and of course Tima, Tamo and our Talon as these great birds teach the humans some lessons in loyalty, trust and understanding and they teach the condors the meaning of the word acceptance. Once again author Gigi Sedlmayer pens a novel for children, adults, and even teens to enjoy, love and soar to highest peak or potential.

Fran Lewis: reviewer