The Violets Are Mine: My review


 

 

The Violets are Mine

Author: Lester Morris

 

Children often suffer at the hands of adults some more than others. Placed in an orphanage at an early age, author Lester Morris learned first hand the cruelty and inhumane treatment inflicted on so many unwanted children placed in the hands of those running these orphanages.   Imagine a young child, Lester just wanting the sun to come. Standing by a window and waiting for the first ray of sunshine to come out. All he wanted to do was go outside and ride his green bike. The excitement he felt when he saw that the rain had finally stopped and the sun was coming out was definitely lost upon the assistant matron whose permission he needed to ride it. But, like most kids curiosity got the better of him and leaving the orphanage, going out of the gate and riding in town would reap Lester more than one punishment. With the aide of a kind policeman he is returned to the orphanage to receive more than just the wrath of the matron but the master whose punishment makes you wonder why anyone would leave a child in the care of these people. Witnessing the beating the police officer stood by helpless while they caned poor Lester. The Violets Are Mine is a true story told by the author himself. Lester Morris shares his own voice in this memoir.

 

 

Born in 1940 and sent to St. Agatha’s Nursery at only year old, Lester learned at an early age how to fend for himself and realities of the coldness of humanity. The time period was right before the Second World War the conditions in these places less than deplorable. Lester spent many years in many different homes. Some are still standing and others no longer there. But, the end result would be the same for all of those poor unwanted children.

 

On October 27, 1943 Lester was sent to another home. Imagine being tossed around at only three years of age. The excitement of receiving a teddy bear, although threadbare, was amazing because it was something that was his and his alone.  Children were smacked around and treated like torn paper tissue. Food was scarce and many often went to bed hungry. Learning more about the homes Lester relates meeting his older brother Doug and a special woman that he will never forget, Mrs. Woodley.  With blackouts the norm and planes flying overhead many of the children sought refuge with this kind lady. But, when sleep eluded him because of the noise of the planes what he found was the back of the assistant matron’s hand when he dared to leave his bed. The abuse these youngsters endured went unnoticed and their cries on deaf ears. As you listen and hear the words of this author his sense of right and wrong, fair play and his kindness and understanding for others shines through. But, even more his sense of humor and wit definitely help him to endure what no child should but some still do today.

 

 

 

Sharing his time with one woman named Miss Lorrie, the kindnesses she afforded him and the way she treated him as a special child was heartwarming in one sense and heartbreaking in another when he had to return to the cruelty of the orphanage. Learning more about the green bike and his escapades.  Each classroom filled with teachers who showed little feelings for the students and a strong ruler or iron hand to reinforce their authority. You begin to wonder whether each Master took great pleasure in beating not only Lester but others too. Then, the bottom falls out of his life after Christmas and meeting Santa Claus. Lester forms a special bond with him and then the home sends him along with his brother into foster care where the two people that are supposed to care for him make the Master and his staff seem like kind people with hearts compared to Mr. and Mrs. Green. The beatings got worse and the Society finally steps in and moves him to another orphanage. This time he was taken to another home and the master was even worse then his foster parents. Would the abuse ever end?   Throughout the memoir you can hear his voice, feel the pain inflicted on him and the sadness at being called an Unwanted Creature. The indignities, the abuse, the sexual remarks and touches are all part of what he went through before becoming a teen. One man he referred to, as Uncle when placed in his home would change everything for him.

 

Joining the Junior Leaders and wanting to be in the army he learned a lot about friendship and loyalty. But, when his commanding officer told him his father wanted him to come and live with him he made the mistake of saying yes and leaving his career in the army. What you will learn next about his father will definitely surprise the reader as this man only wanted Les home for one reason and not to be a parent. Deadpan Dad who did not work and spent his time in bars and expected Les to pay off his debts. One young man who got a job with the railway and really soared and finally found his own way and never gave up on life or himself. With the heart of gold, the kindness of others and some really great friends Les managed to survive more than any young man would. Lester Morris is truly an inspiration to everyone. With his sense of humor, his great heart and the perseverance to reach great heights on his own, this man did more than survive. Sharing his thoughts, his experiences, his triumphs, joys and defeats Lester Morris brings to light many important issues that we still need addressed today. Child abuse is not something that is indicative to just Orphanages and children placed in foster care. Many teachers and schools believed in corporal punishment and some still do today. Parents and family members as we learn often dish out the smacks, the hits and the beatings too. No one should endure what he did and hopefully if enough people read this book maybe someone will actually do something about all the children today that are placed in these institutions and realize that they are special and need extra hugs and love instead of feeling that they are really alone.

 

Working for the railroad brought out the best in Lester. His boss, Mr. Hogg had great respect for him. But, the places where he lodged and the people he met were unfeeling, cruel and many times left him out in the cold. Not allowing the world to get him down and feel sorry for him, Lester would find a solution to each difficult situation and a silver lining too. As the memoir draws to a close we learn more about Lester’s adult life, his time in the army, his struggle with deciding his future and a cute story about how he got rid of his warts that you will have to read for yourself. Where does he wind up and what finally happens to Lester? The ending quite revealing and heartwarming and where the author is now you will learn when you read this outstanding  memoir of one man who is truly remarkable. Never giving up on life and still going strong, Lester Morris: writing is definitely one of your strengths and let’s hope you continue to share your stories and much more with readers.

Lester: As Mrs. Woodley: The Violets are yours and you can present them to anyone you want.

 

Let’s give this book: FIVE BOUQUETS OF VIOLETS TO PRESENT TO ANYONE LESTER FINDS SPECIAL

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

We dedicate this review to the children in foster care and orphanages today and hope they never endure what Lester did. To the memory of his Fairy Godmother, Mrs. Woodley and her kind spirit.

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Dating Was never this much fun


Author: Bonnie Trachtenberg

Title: Neurotically Yours

Date Published:  April 18, 2012
Publisher That’s Amore Publishing

IBSN: 9780984998500
Adult Book

Reviewed for Plum Tree Group

 

 

Dara Harrison was a busy advice columnist who took her job seriously and provided advice for her readers both honest and realistic. But, sometimes people do not want to hear the truth and other times you get a narrow-minded editor or boss who has no concept or idea what should go into an advice column and decides to fire you. Hiring a younger and more positive person to write your column that boost his readership Dara was now out of a job and found herself under the covers, more migraines coming her way and her only consolation and reward was the love of her cat Mallory who seems who have some real therapeutic healing in his touch or shall I say paws.  Mallory seemed to understand her and is a Reiki performing cat. Just her touch can heal. But, losing her job is why she decided to create Mate Search with her close friend and new partner Reggie. Imagine a dating service demanding total honesty from its clients. Imagine filling out a questionnaire and telling the truth. Imagine uploading a picture of yourself that is not 20 years old and 20 pounds lighter. Imagine being able to rate your date and write a review about your experience and the entire dating world will see it. Well! Stop right there and imagine no more because Mate Search is here and the Rate A Mate Section is just a click of the mouse away. So, imagine joining this dating service, filling out the questions and telling the truth. Dating profiles that allow the clients to advertise his/her finer points of their own personalities. No lies, no falsehoods and imagine you do not even need a makeover. So, why not join or better yet why not fill out the forms for a relative like Nick Wyatt’s sister Annie did to get him back on track after his accident and losing his job. Needing a cane to walk and remembering the motorcycle jump haunts his dreams. So, why not join a dating service to get back in the game. But, what happens when Nick goes on a date with a strange woman named Palulah and the end result is a review that you just won’t believe or dare to want on your profile.

 

When Dara is booked to tape the Ophelia Talk Show she is pumped to help three lucky audience members find out just how great her service is by offering three free memberships to the lucky winners. Mate Search makes the promise that you will find your mate within six months or hopefully within the sixth months from when you signed your contract. But, the tables are turned on Dara by the host when she dares her to take the Mate Search Challenge and has booked her to return along with the three winners for her show six months down the road. So, how is she going to handle this and what will she do when the cameras follow her around on her dates? When she fills out the form and has to let it all hang truthful will she tell it all or will she need some coaching from a friend? Wait until you read about her first two dates and what happens that requires one to need an ambulance and remember the cameras are rolling. In order to meet the challenge she enlists the help of her old boyfriend to pull off a total charade when one date writes a review of her that is anything but flattering. Poor Dara! How is she going to win the challenge and not have to date anyone significant? Wait and see what happens!  All systems seem like a go and she goes out on date with Al or shall we say Tony her ex-boyfriend but when Nick Wyatt decides to create havoc in her life with a lawsuit. Will she lose it all or will she stand by her convictions and her policies?

 

When tragedy strikes and Dara is called home a problem arises with her cat and puts a friend in jeopardy. The solution is surprising and two worlds will now meet and what happens next will surprise the reader when you find out who is taking care of Mallory. A lawsuit filed by a client because of a comment made in the Rate Your Mate Section of the profile. So, just how does all of this work out and who is going to be on the Ophelia show with Dara to help her win the challenge? Will she win the challenge with all of the complaints coming in about the Rate Your Mate Section? Just how this turns out you have to read for yourself and find that some things you cannot review like love, friendship and loyalty. Author Bonnie Trachtenberg’s novel is one that everyone who wants to join a dating service can surely learn the ins and outs from reading Neurotically Yours and finding out that some reviews are really harmful but this one is definitely FIVE STARS.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

Dating Was never this much fun


Author: Bonnie Trachtenberg

Title: Neurotically Yours

Date Published:  April 18, 2012
Publisher That’s Amore Publishing

IBSN: 9780984998500
Adult Book

Reviewed for Plum Tree Group

 

 

Dara Harrison was a busy advice columnist who took her job seriously and provided advice for her readers both honest and realistic. But, sometimes people do not want to hear the truth and other times you get a narrow-minded editor or boss who has no concept or idea what should go into an advice column and decides to fire you. Hiring a younger and more positive person to write your column that boost his readership Dara was now out of a job and found herself under the covers, more migraines coming her way and her only consolation and reward was the love of her cat Mallory who seems who have some real therapeutic healing in his touch or shall I say paws.  Mallory seemed to understand her and is a Reiki performing cat. Just her touch can heal. But, losing her job is why she decided to create Mate Search with her close friend and new partner Reggie. Imagine a dating service demanding total honesty from its clients. Imagine filling out a questionnaire and telling the truth. Imagine uploading a picture of yourself that is not 20 years old and 20 pounds lighter. Imagine being able to rate your date and write a review about your experience and the entire dating world will see it. Well! Stop right there and imagine no more because Mate Search is here and the Rate A Mate Section is just a click of the mouse away. So, imagine joining this dating service, filling out the questions and telling the truth. Dating profiles that allow the clients to advertise his/her finer points of their own personalities. No lies, no falsehoods and imagine you do not even need a makeover. So, why not join or better yet why not fill out the forms for a relative like Nick Wyatt’s sister Annie did to get him back on track after his accident and losing his job. Needing a cane to walk and remembering the motorcycle jump haunts his dreams. So, why not join a dating service to get back in the game. But, what happens when Nick goes on a date with a strange woman named Palulah and the end result is a review that you just won’t believe or dare to want on your profile.

 

When Dara is booked to tape the Ophelia Talk Show she is pumped to help three lucky audience members find out just how great her service is by offering three free memberships to the lucky winners. Mate Search makes the promise that you will find your mate within six months or hopefully within the sixth months from when you signed your contract. But, the tables are turned on Dara by the host when she dares her to take the Mate Search Challenge and has booked her to return along with the three winners for her show six months down the road. So, how is she going to handle this and what will she do when the cameras follow her around on her dates? When she fills out the form and has to let it all hang truthful will she tell it all or will she need some coaching from a friend? Wait until you read about her first two dates and what happens that requires one to need an ambulance and remember the cameras are rolling. In order to meet the challenge she enlists the help of her old boyfriend to pull off a total charade when one date writes a review of her that is anything but flattering. Poor Dara! How is she going to win the challenge and not have to date anyone significant? Wait and see what happens!  All systems seem like a go and she goes out on date with Al or shall we say Tony her ex-boyfriend but when Nick Wyatt decides to create havoc in her life with a lawsuit. Will she lose it all or will she stand by her convictions and her policies?

 

When tragedy strikes and Dara is called home a problem arises with her cat and puts a friend in jeopardy. The solution is surprising and two worlds will now meet and what happens next will surprise the reader when you find out who is taking care of Mallory. A lawsuit filed by a client because of a comment made in the Rate Your Mate Section of the profile. So, just how does all of this work out and who is going to be on the Ophelia show with Dara to help her win the challenge? Will she win the challenge with all of the complaints coming in about the Rate Your Mate Section? Just how this turns out you have to read for yourself and find that some things you cannot review like love, friendship and loyalty. Author Bonnie Trachtenberg’s novel is one that everyone who wants to join a dating service can surely learn the ins and outs from reading Neurotically Yours and finding out that some reviews are really harmful but this one is definitely FIVE STARS.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

The Tangled Web: My review


 The Tangled Web: J.P. Lane

 

One decision would change the course of more than just the lives of those on this boat. When followed by vessel known as a Cigarette the passengers being followed allowed one man to board on the pretence of wanting some ice. Just what happens in a flash would change the course of events and five lives would be taken but why? One man Logan Armstrong knows the answer but has not revealed why so many had to die at his hand. Back on shore he meets with another man who has information that would further clarify more situations.

 

The niece of the Minister of France is summoned to her home for a special reason. Asked to deliver a package to London to an unknown recipient Lauren Armstrong has to decide whether to assist her aunt in this mission. Thinking about it she reflects that it has to do with the government but a quick and rash decision cannot be made.

 

Mike Graham and Logan Armstrong are friends and Mike has some information that is secret and can only be revealed to Logan. Just how all of these webs and threads fit together will only be learned when I continue my review of The Tangled Web which captures the reader’s interest and snares you right into tightly woven web that the author has creatively weaved from the first page. As we get to know Logan and reporter Lauren Anderson the web gets more tangled as each one hopes that the other will reveal information needed to find out what happened to the passengers on the McGuire boat and who is behind the drugs and corruption in the government. One detective would pay the ultimate price as his cover is blown when he realized that cocaine was being transshipped through the port and where and who was involved would revert back to someone close to Logan. Could someone have infiltrated the Criminal Investigation Department and just how far up does it go? How can we link this to the package that Lauren is supposed to deliver for her aunt? When all is said and done will the web get longer or remain so tangled is will never unravel? Lauren invited to meet Logan’s sister and brother-in-law in order to cover their party just might find out more than she bargained for. Next, we meet the Deputy Prime Minister and Frank Sterling the Minister of National Security and Defense. As Lauren relates all of the players are present at this party but just what part do they all play in this web of deceit and lies has yet to be unraveled or revealed.  Mike Graham and Virginia Matthews have a definite history one that she cannot seem to forget. A master at manipulating situations as she managed to get both Lauren and Logan to remain overnight after her huge gala and more of the pieces would start fitting together we hope but just how wait and see as Gordon was sort of blindsided by her when finding out he had house guests.

 

As Lauren questioned the portrait in the guest room where she spent the night, Logan flashes back to his time at Bishop’s College and the reasons for his expulsion. One parent floored and upset, and the other hoping he will change his ways. Success is what Logan is all about so just maybe he might have learned something. Next, an important player is introduced as we meet the Prime Minister himself Erick Freeman whose morning is destroyed when made aware of a serious situation and decisions involving his three ministers would have to be made. Just what part does he play in all of this and why is his government unable to control all of the crime and murders taking place in his country. Threats were being issued all over to many top officials including the Prime Minister and the head of Criminal Investigations. Slaughters, murders, cover-ups and many lives lost because procedures were not followed, greed got in the way and one Caribbean country became riddled with crime you could barely see through the dense fog and fires that often lit up the sky. C.I.D Chief Inspector Robert Palmer knew that it was by a stroke of luck he had come upon the evidence needed that someone in the government was corrupt and cost his detective his life and he needed to watch more than just his back. Author J.P. Lane has set the stage with her expert craftsmanship and intricate where many players who think they are strong will learn at the hand of others they are not. Some fall prey to the wiles of women while others fall prey to the brilliance of this author who weaves a dangerous plot for each one of them hoping that the maze will allow them a solid path of escape. But, just who comes out alive and who won’t remains to be seen. Who will bring down some powerful government officials and how will they do it? Who is the man that is working with those involved and how will they pull it off in order to bring some respectability back into the country and hopefully rid them of all the drug trafficking. Just who can be trusted? What about the Prime Minister and just what was Lauren’s aunt really into?

 

The plot really gets more intricate as many other players are brought into it and the reader begins to wonder just who can really be trusted and who was behind the murders of five innocent people that let to more than just their deaths. A seaplane, cigarette boats, Fisherman’s Key and a powerful drug cartel able to buy off some really powerful people added to the suspense is a conversation Lauren over heard that sent her reeling from her aunt’s house. Yet, an invitation from Logan would change it all for both him and Lauren. Would the police end the search for the killers by finding out who is really behind the murders? Would they be able to stop what both sides have planned? Detective Doran is on the case and is trying to sort out what really happened that day that caused five innocent people to be killed at the marina.

 

The Prime Minister is assassinated and chaos breaks out. Just who decided to take him out you won’t believe. Erick Freeman was not exactly the epitome of what a minister should be nor did he have the ethics one needed for the job. The murder being investigated and two ministers resigned. Logan concerned about Lauren and end game about to be played when a definite twist the plot occurs as the web just might entangle a bit but the ending will leave room for much more. What happens between Logan and Lauren when certain realities come to light? Just who is behind the murders and what will happen to those involved? Where will the killer strike next and just when will the drug cartel be taken down? The answers to these questions will only be answered when you read this fast paced definitely well written book with more surprises than you will expect and an ending that leads the reader to hope that Logan, Lauren and the entire cast of characters might be back for more. Loyalties are tested and friendships are frayed as the truths come out and the police try to close in on a killer. But, will they? Author J.P. Lane keeps the reader on edge from page one until you read the last page and find out the dramatic ending. But, is this over? Only the author knows the answer to that. The Tangled Web: One book that deserves FIVE MORE TANGLES TO KEEP THE PLOT GOING!

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cry into the Wind: MY REVIEW


Cry into the Wind

Othello Bach

 

 

Close your eyes and imagine your life living in the back of a pick up truck with six other siblings, an alcoholic father, a mother who was caught between more than just a rock and hard place. Imagine having to run away from landlords, a father whose temper reeked of alcohol and the abuse you took was not just physical. Imagine having little food to eat and your father using what little her earned for himself to get drunk and on other woman. Imagine living in a life that is less than poverty.  The world of Othello Bach and her siblings was just this and when you open your eyes you won’t see much more than the fields they passed, the farmhouse they would never live in and the running water in a sink that they would never drink. Cry Into the Wind will bring tears to your eyes, anger within your heart and the hope that no other child will ever have to endure what she and her siblings did. Imagine your home living in a field. Imagine a father who just did not care. Imagine having to beg to be allowed to go to the bathroom.

 

Life did not get much better for Othello as they all realized food was scarce, their father was usually never home and they lived for a long time in trench covered with a tarp to prevent the rain from soaking them. Going to school was difficult and imagine having no shoes. A father who was abusive and a mother who tried so hard this family survived on their strength and love alone. As you hear the voice of the author you can feel the pain, see the tears they shed and simple joys and triumphs they experience even though they are short lived. Imagine receiving a homemade sweet potato doll for Christmas made with love by your mother. Imagine hand made decorations cut out from paper. But, what happens when Othello’s uncles come to visit bearing food and the police come and cruelly take it away. With no regard for the children and a father whose answer to everything is anger and the belt. No child should ever live this life and maybe if kids today read this book that would appreciate even a simple present like a hug.

 

Othello, our author learns many lessons even before her eighth birthday. When neighbor offers to make her a birthday party she is thrilled and cannot understand why her mother has mixed feelings until she herself realizes just how mean kids can be. Next, she becomes friends with a young girl named Kathryn who invites her to her home for lunch. But, when she reciprocates what happens will help you understand the cruelty in this world and the lack of understanding of others when some have and others do not. Running from her house Kathryn never looked back. Being poor does not make you a bad person or less of a human being. Sad, to think others do not see it that way. Tragedy strikes as a fire breaks out and their mother dies leaving them all alone with their father. Her first encounter with her father was not exactly what a young girl should endure. After that they were sent to live in an orphanage and the conditions and the treatment were worse than horrific and the abuse alone angered me as Ms. Hornaby needed a night in the basement herself. Separated from her brothers and sisters and forced to live in this place they were finally liberated by their father but for how long? Her older brother Don remained in Colorado with Mason the two that she counted on and really loved. Gordon the youngest lived in Oklahoma with her aunt and uncle. Then, the truth came out as they learned more about their new home but their father was not going to be there for very long. Telling them they were going to be alone and that Mason would be there at night taking Thurmond with him to earn some money. A simple question was asked: What about school? Telling them he had to leave in order to give them food and clothing. But, the food did not last and things only got worse. Othello was humiliated in school, her father beat her mercilessly and did things that most parents should and would not. Then her brother insisted she do something and the end result was not exactly what a brother and sister should be doing. But, when the author relates how her brother sent money home for their care and he learns that they were sent to an orphanage things change. Another orphanage this time in Texas called Tipon Orphan Home. Never looking back at them their father left them and with a feeling of hopelessness Othello, Amy and Jenny once again were left alone. The conditions were so bad that she and Jenny decided to escape only to return again. But, Othello had nightmares and kept dreaming about being locked away in room with an open coffin. This book brings out the horrific ways parents, teachers, those that are supposed to nurture kids and protect them use their power to abuse them and take advantage of their youth. Living with her father was not any different than the abuse she took living in the orphanage. As you hear the voice of the author it changes from beginning to middle to end as at times it is one of hope, then heartache and then despair always hoping to find that one positive that would change it all. From working in the laundry to the kitchen to the unnecessary beatings she and her sister endured Othello withstood more than anyone should in a lifetime even before she reached her ten. But, when she turned 12 things changed at the orphanage and her father came to see them to take them for the weekend. Leaving them alone and then making them wait until he took care of his male needs with Othello. How can a father abuse a child like that and how did she deal with his betrayals only wanting him to care for her and her sisters and brothers. Then the most precious gift of all she bestowed upon herself. She learned to read and the whole world opened up to her because now she could read her brother’s letters and the bond was even closer. Not only that it seemed to ease her way with Ms. Polk her matron. Othello was bright, full of life and made sure she protected her family when she could.

 

 

Then, a miracle happens and her brother Don returns from Korea. Things changed for a while since he and his family came to visit and the rest were united for a short time. Then the unthinkable happens at the orphanage and the abuse roars on even worse several children were raped. The ending will astound you as Othello gets punished for reporting what we all know is wrong and should not have been swept under the rug.

 

When you read the Epilogue you will know what the fate of her family members and the courage it took for Othello to forge ahead, go after what she wants and never ever have to Cry Into The Wind Again and let her prayers and wishes fly away.

 

The final chapter is quite compelling and can be used as a resource for anyone who has ever been a victim of any type of abuse: Regaining, Self Respect. “Before you can succeed at anything, you must decide what you want to do, and create a plan of action to make it happen. You certainly did. Abuse of any type is wrong and the way the children in the orphanage in Texas and Oklahoma were treated is beyond horrific and the fact that there are places today and kids in foster care that are enduring the same type of treatment equally as horrific. I started with review with Close your eyes and picture your life in a field filled with mud. Now: Open them and realize that everyone needs to protect the children from harm and the picture painted in the first chapters of this book should not be the ones painted in real life for anyone. She concludes with the Happiness Program and I will quote one line to complete this review of this outstanding memoir: “ There is Power within you that is sufficient to overcome all obstacles.”  “God gave you that control because God is Love!

 

I dedicate this to all children who seek help and hopefully will be rescued and receive it. I dedicate this to the memory of Mason and Thurmond and to an author who shared her thoughts, her life and her goals with us and achieved so much in her life. Thank you for sending me this book to review.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

 

This book gets FIVE HUGE HUGS AND FIVE WISHES THAT WILL NOT CRY INTO THE WIND: THEY WILL BE HEARD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was not uncommon for Othello and her family to be referred to by others as “white trash.” What Othello really wanted in life was something to eat other than greens, a pair of shiny black shoes and a rubber doll. Her mother told her she might as well, “cry into the wind” because the possibility of getting any of those was next to none – hence the name of the book.