Tear: my review

Tear: Hillel Ramirez


A misdiagnosis in the ER could cost a patient his/her life. When tests are run and results are read the patient has to hope the doctor reads them correctly and that the lab performs them properly. One young doctor would make a startling discovery that will send shockwaves throughout an entire hospital and just might cost him more than just the patient’s life that he is trying to safe. Dr. Joaquin Weitzmann enters the ER to begin his shift and asks the doctor about to leave for his detailed report on the patients that are listed on the white board. The white board is where the names of the patients are listed, their complaints listed, their tests that were ordered and their final diagnosis. Dr. Greg Lambert was set on leaving in order to go on a date. Dr. Parker, the attending physician of Mrs. McFinn signed the order for her release. But, something told Joaquin that more attention was needed for this 62-year-old woman and upon examination and a short conversation with her he realized the order to send her home was wrong. Checking her x-ray and questioning Dr. Parker brought nothing but his wrath. What does a young intern do? Does he let her go home when he realizes she could die or does he do something drastic that might cost him more than just his job? Alerting the OR team of her condition and getting them to run more tests reveals what he thought was correct and as a result the woman’s life was saved. But, what about Dr. Parker and his misdiagnosis? What would the final outcome be for this young intern? Not revealing the truth to anyone Parker took the credit and the rest remains to be seen.


Tears are rips that can destroy your life. A tear in your heart can create damage and you might not live. Pulling something apart by force and ripping it into pieces can create a huge tear. Imagine a piece of paper with no creases, no smudges and no flaws. Imagine taking a pencil and placing one small dot on the upper right hand corner. Then take a scissor and cut out the dot leaving a space or a hole within the paper. Imagine doing that until nothing is left of the paper except small pieces that have been torn away. Families are supposed to be loyal and care for each other. We are briefly introduced to his father Santiago and then given a brief hint about his mother. Two people on different ends of the spectrum that no longer function as one yet stay together. Tear: Hillel Ramirez: When will the final Tear occur? This is one book you definitely want to read and will not want to put down.


A phone call from his father sets the scene for the drama to come. Together they speak about his childhood, his aspirations as a doctor and the final hint that something was wrong with his father, Santiago. The author takes the reader back in time to his childhood, his life in Cuba sharing his heritage and the feelings of the people about Cuba and Cubans. Living in Boston and working there he hears the many voices of the people and their feelings about Cubans but what happens next will alert the reader to the fact that prejudice rears its head in many different and unexpected ways. Not only did Joaquin rid himself of his accent by the time he was in the eighth grade but also his father did the same thing later on. As a noted psychiatrist he hoped to practice but without his accident. The author shares more about Joaquin and the inner rage and anger that flashes within him at times but does not share and hopefully will not explode. There are many flashbacks throughout the novel and the author reverts from the present to the past many times to allow the reader to get to know more about his past before coming full circle in the present. When he receives a call that his grandfather has passed away the anger wells up within him and the author shares his feelings, his love and his past with the man he called Lolo. But, this is another Tear but there are many more rips to come.


In his fourth year of medical school an incident would rock his world before being accept to Harvard Hospital. A noted intern of great standing he is relieved of his position because of where he went to medical school and not for his outstanding medical skills. The harshness of the phone call about his grandfather’s death, the dismissal from his job, the fear that is father is ill and the coldness of his mother create more tears in the paper and in Joaquin. When his father relates the fact that he looks yellow he discounts the severity of the situation until it is too late. Not wanting him to know about his impending operation he calls his daughters and not him. Learning about it from his mother he flies to his father’s beside but is too late because the surgery has already begun and the hospital chosen substandard.


On his trip back to Miami he remembers the past and his times with his sisters. But, Joaquin lived on the edge of his own personality so tight sometimes almost like a taut band about to pop. Hope, fear and self-preservation among the things he dealt with as the author shares the birth of his sisters, his youth and much more. All of this while sitting in the waiting room waiting for the doctor to come out with the verdict one no one wants to hear but they must deal with. Pancreatic cancer is almost like a death sentence but the doctor states they think they were able to remove most of it. Hopefully the jaundice will go away and his father will recover. The reaction one more sadness, one more tear in his perfect world and one more corner ripped out of the perfect page.


His father undergoes the surgery but the staff is totally incompetent and if not for his skills and his knowledge his father never would have pulled through. From failing to do a simple blood gas to taking out the breathing tube too fast, Joaquin deals with the horrific and callous care given to his father and takes a stand that the staff will never forget. With a mother only concerned about herself and a home that needed to be fumigated, Santiago returns home with the help of his children and the knowledge that his son would see to his care. The anger pent up inside of him is real and the relationship with his father that he wants to mend just might not happen. A mother who allows someone to finally clean La Casa and a family trying to create a tie that mind bind them. But, what happens next will create more tears in the paper and the family might never be whole again.


When his father finally returns home we learn more about his mother and her coldness comes through, as his father needs to go for treatments and each one of his children will take turns. Thinking that his wife would take the time is definitely futile. The resentment shown when he won awards as a child and one person named Lena who understands him and tells him never to give up. One house filled with so many people yet they were all alone. Three children of Cuban-Jewish heritage who never really melded and felt alone with parents concerned about their own needs. How do you handle the tightrope you live on daily and come to terms with your fears, hopes and dreams? How do you prevent yourself from going into a violent rage when your father hikes up the sound on the television when you are trying to study for a test? One family filled with deceit, lies, secrets, unhappiness and so many tears in their structure and framework it is amazing they function at all. Coming together in a crisis should unite them. But will it? Joaquin then shares with the reader his relationship with Betty soon to be his wife. Will that survive the test of his family, his other obstacles and his past?


Flashing back once again the author allows the reader to meet the two people who had the greatest impact on Joaquin’s life. Lena and Andy were and still are special to him and often centered him when he felt frustrated and could not handle different situations dealing with his job and his family. No matter how he tried and excelled in some forums he would never be accepted for who he was by everyone. Prejudice rears its ugly head or face in this book in many different ways. Even at his own wedding to Betty you can feel the dividing line or tension.


If you were to create a portrait of this family you could use the fragile tiles of a mosaic painting and find the pieces do not fit together to create a perfect picture. The images you would see would reflect a distorted image within the glass of a mirror that magnifies your flaws and hides the real you. There are many who prey on their own imperfections and insecurities like his sister Deidre and the problems Consuelo faces within herself too. The many doctors he meets their support or non-support does not dissuade him from pursuing his goals and choosing his calling in medicine. But, tragedy strikes again and his father becomes critically ill and his mother presents a side of herself that no one would ever believe any parent would. What his father reveals will surprise the reader and not endear you to Dorothy. The Jewish expressions brought me back to my childhood and the one on page 275 said it all. When the three siblings returned to La Casa what they saw was horrifying but they needed to carry out their father’s final wishes and much more.


Forgiveness, anger, hate, deceit lies and treachery are all part of this novel as the author reveals the inner most conflicts of this family and one man in the center of it all with his music, his instruments, his goals and his own way of expressing his love for his family but will it all be too late? What was their mother’s final blow that would destroy them once and for all? Why did she prey on the mind of a dying man? An ending so powerful you will not believe it. One man’s career hanging in the balance as a result of the greed, pride and anger of others who was supposed to trust. Tear: it will rip you apart, bring tears to your eyes, hope and faith that justice will prevail and keep you glued to the printed page until you read the dramatic and climatic ending. Flashing forward you will meet them years later and what you will learn will definitely surprise you as Joaquin and his family come together for a finale you will never expect.


Fran Lewis: reviewer



Porcupine Seeds: My Review




Porcupine Seeds


Viji K. Chary


Hi Everyone: My Name Is Porcupine: Here is My Story:


All my life I have been told that I would never be able to create a beautiful garden with magnificent flowers. My friend Raccoon has the most picturesque garden filled with soft grass, juicy apricots and precious sunflowers. He works hard on his garden. I have tried and tried but all I get are brown plants. Instead of a green thumb I have been blessed with a brown one. But, my friend Raccoon told me that I could grow sunflowers too. The secret he says: Sh: all you need is soil, sun and water and of course seeds. But, please don’t give it away. I want to make sure that no one knows what I am going to try and do and if everyone learns the secret things might get too crowded and I really want to surprise my friends if I succeed. Besides having a brown thumb is not something that I really want to get around and if I do not succeed I really do not want anyone to know. Determination and hard work is what it will take to get this special project done. Putting that extra effort and care into this will hopefully

Work. When my friend Raccoon heard me say that I would to plant and grow Sunflowers he told me the secret ingredients needed and he even gave me the most important ones: THE SEEDS!


Step one is to get all of the ingredients or things I need together in order to begin. I found a pot in the shed, an old bag of soil, a watering can of course the Sun. Hoping to get this right I scooped up some of the soil and filled the pot. So far so good. Next, is the hardest part. I had to pour out the seeds and make sure that I had just enough. Five should be about right. I do not want the pot to be overcrowded. Okay: One, two, three, four and five seeds. I did it! But, then a breeze came along the seeds blew away. Now I have to start over again.” Porcupine would not give up so he poured out five more seeds and this time using one of his own quills he managed to poke five holes in the soil and drop the seeds in one at a time.


I hope you remember the ingredients because Porcupine is not home free yet. “ Next, I needed to make sure that I watered the seeds, the soil part is done and of course the precious sun. Just hope it does not rain. I put the pot on my sunny porch and now for the water.” Filling the can it overflowed and he had to pour some of the water out. Lifting the lightened can Porcupine watered his precious seeds. So, proud of himself as you can see from the illustrations in the book and the huge smile on his face, he now did everything he could. “ All I need to do is water them every day,” he said. And he did!


Everything did not go as planned as you will learn. Porcupine noticed that the sun was brighter and stronger on the other side of the garden. He decided to move the seeds. Before he could get to the other side of the garden he tripped. Poor Porcupine was really upset and did not know what to do. The pot broke. The seeds and the soil splattered all over the place and the end result he realized that the seeds were gone or at least he thought they were gone. Porcupine was really sad. He did not even enjoy his lemonade or reading his book.


When he stepped outside after his nap you won’t believe what happened and what he saw. “ This is Porcupine and I have asked Fran not to tell you what happened after the seeds and the pot fell apart. I asked her to not give away whether my brown thumb ever becomes a green one. The seeds were gone and I won’t tell you and she won’t tell you where they wound up or if my garden has sunflowers. When my friends come over to see my garden will they be surprised? Will my garden be filled with beautiful sunflowers and maybe some other plants? I do not mind hard work and I know that if something really matters and is important then you have to work hard and try your best to succeed. Author Viji K. Chary created me and I hope she will bring me back for more adventures with my friends Raccoon and Skunk. She created the story and her friend Bridget McKenna made it come to life with her great illustrations. She really made me so handsome and my friends looked good too. Her artwork is so colorful and the characters, like me, look so lifelike. The author loves to write children’s stories and adult books too. But, just like me Viji enjoys reading and she hopes that you will enjoy reading the story she wrote about me Porcupine Seeds and find out what happens”


This is great read aloud story for younger readers to hear in school. It is a great book to teach kids about friendship, determination and hard work to get the job done. Beautiful story and great pictures and a really great way to teach kids about planting and gardening.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer


Red White and Dead Again: My review


Red White and Dead Again:

Author: Jeffrey A.  Friedberg



From the rooftop she sprinted with the stolen nuclear weapon files tightly fastened in her leader vest. Risking everything 16-year-old Shanna made sure that she was not seen. But, something stopped her cold. The face of the man who created these files, Robert Oppenheimer was somehow drawn out of the safety of his compound and now was in dire danger. Accosted by two men and held under water hoping his lungs would fill with water ending his life, Shanna witness this act and had to make a flash decision. Realizing the immediate danger she was in did not stop her from taking action. But, the end result was not exactly what she expected when she realized just who was behind the attack and why. Facing her was a 17-year-old teen named Yaakov who saved the day and the files. But, why didn’t they return them to the creator and what was in store for them next.


Mercenary turned PI Jack Vane is about to be made an offer he cannot refuse. Jack is down on his luck and his favorite lunch seems to be M&M’s or chocolate kisses. Jack is in debt, good at what he does but when he failed to find a lost treasure he wound up in prison, dealing with an international cabal and tried to steal the mineral wealth or New Mexico. But, let’s not forget that he managed to catch a serial killer and much more. But, here is where our story takes a different turn. Sixty-six years later from when the nuclear files were stolen the following events would occur leading back to where it all began.


Imagine Jack’s face when the Mafia Baroness Sophia Gambeno-Lanksie enters his office and presents him an offer that he at first refuses. Stating his reasons and presenting his case to her did not seem to make a difference. Blackmailing him and reminding him of things that she knew he did not faze Jack. But, he needed money and he was terrified of the old tapes and information the mob had at its fingertips on him. Refusing this deal was the only way to go. One phone call changed it all as Jack picked up a pad and pencil and started to write.


Flashback to 1945 to our young teens and their quest to keeping safe from the submachine gun fire and not allowing the files to get into the wrong hands. With the assassin plane right on their tail how would they escape? Yaakov was assigned to protect her which did not seem to upset our teen. Taken with her at first sight he did everything possible to get away from their attackers. One fighter pilot whom thinks he has them cornered and two teens that might prove him wrong.


Let’s fast-forward to the present and jack to learn more about what he is expected to do and meet Yaakov Irgun, the boss or head of the Jewish Mob our young teen 66 years later. Facing this man Jake is about to learn more about his assignment as the author briefly shares Yaakov’s past as an assassin for the CIA, OSS killer and much more. The assignment would wipe out many of Jake’s debts and bring him a hefty fee but questioning this man would bring down his wrath and although he is now 79 the power he yields is strong and definitely terrifying.


The author enlightens Jake and the reason to the reasons behind his mission and flashes back to the past to where it all began. The secret super weapons plans were stolen from Oppenheimer’s office in 1945 by Shanna where are they now? These top-secret papers are dangerous. While thinking about the past Yaakov allows the reader into his former world, his feelings for Shanna, their relationship and the roles of the spies and the U.S. government. Back then an unholy alliance was formed between the FBI and the families. Secrets were kept, not all revealed, debts paid and cover-ups sealed as the U.S. government and the mob both committed heinous crimes and atrocities left unpunished. But, if these papers were not located the end result would be catastrophic as implied by Yaakov. Learning more about the both Santé Fe and his close call with death, both he and Shanna formed a brief bond for a while ending in her mistrust for him and Yaakov revealing his time in the prison camps. The author includes quotes at the top of each chapter from Sun Tzu related to the events to come.


Flashing forward to the present he includes extensive research that he shares with Jake and the reader regarding some political figures, the FBI, WWII, the KGB and much more. Blending history and the events in this novel into an intricately woven plot keeping the reader glued to the printed page to find out more as the Baroness of the Mob, Sophia returns to the spotlight to explain the mission or job at hand to Jake in more detail. Hoping to learn more about the secret plans and the weapon of mass destruction, Jake becomes enveloped in a plot to find the secret plans for a super bomb more powerful that the hydrogen or any other bomb. But, the story is not only centered around Jack and the mysterious papers it centers around two young people who fell in love, separated for so many years and just might reunite decades later. Shanna is bright and quite astute at the time and although she was only 16 when they met she realized that there was much more to Yaakov then on the surface.  Thinking he was hired to o kill her Shanna overhears a conversation between Yaakov and another man which sets off a chain of events that changes the course of their relationship and causes her to disappear.


As you hear the voice of Sophia in the present and meet her extremely tall daughters, you learn more about the hidden truths behind the plans, who might have them and whether one set destroyed. Dr. Edward Teller is one diabolical mind behind this plot and Oppenheimer the other. Just what happens when Teller is given his own lab and Oppenheimer continues his project will terrify the reader as both have a similar vision in mind but will they succeed? What if I told you the ultimate goal is to create a bomb so powerful if found in the wrong hands it might be used for World Domination.


Added in the story is the history of Santé Fe and the many photos included at the end of the book allowing the reader to actually see the many places discussed and described by the author and feel as if you are experiencing the journey first hand. We meet the investigative team that Jack has put together to help work on this case. Tiffany Chablis who runs a delivery company. We meet Little Boy, a Native American Police Officer, his sister Diana, Adrianna Crow another officer and Captain Roberts. We also meet the FBI link that is not out for his best interest, Christian Cake. The author introduces these players and then brilliantly flashes back to Shanna and her injuries and we learn more about her life and what she learns about Duncan Pike from his son. The plot thickens as we once again find out more about Irgun or Jake “the Ghost” Irgun and his link to what happened in the past and the fact that he just might not be what he appears to be in the present.


One news article would enlighten everyone and bring to light a man named Valentino Reefe and his connection to the original project. This information remains classified so you won’t get any more information from me unless you read it for yourself and make all the connections on your own. Enter a man named Romulus who just might help Jack put the entire situation in perspective since he wants the plans too. Betrayals, mistrust, deceit and one man who was behind it all and it is up to Jack to teach him and many others a lesson they won’t forget but what happens next will surprise the reader and Jack too.


When all of the pieces of the puzzle finally come together and the past comes full circle with the present in more ways than one just where are those plans and will Jack find them? So, what does the sun and the song Let the Sunshine In have to do with the missing plans? Just who has them and how does this all link together? An ending that will keep you guessing and make you wonder what will happen next for Jack and the rest of his team.


What happens when Shanna faces Yaakov? Who is the mastermind behind this devious plot and who wants World Domination? What happens to the plans and the plates? Is this the beginning of the end or the start of more to come? Red White and Dead Again or are they? Read this fiery hot novel and find out just who lives, who dies and who makes it into the next book by our outstanding author. Take the journey into New Mexico and the past with Jack, his team and the others and experience the excitement yourself.

Let’s give this book: FIVE SUNSHINES TWICE IN ONE DAY!


Fran Lewis: reviewer