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