An Inspirational Memoir by author: Michael Solomon


Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters

Author: Michael Solomon

 

 

What do you do when you are forty years old, own a TV production company and learn that you might have a potentially fatal illness. Doctors take a closer look after seeing something on your lungs during a regular routine exam but no one thinks it is anything to be concerned about. But, Michael Solomon was not about to take this lying down and decides to take charge of his life and his future. But, first he envisions the world without him as he begins this book with his own virtual reality tour of his funeral. What happens when you are fine one minute and find out you are not the next? Did you ever picture your own funeral, live it many times, and visualize who attended and wondered about the final outcome and where you mind wind up? Michael Solomon brings these issues and many others to light as he shares his real life experiences with the reader with humor, irony, sarcasm, fear, hopes, pure honesty and genuine heart. He starts his story at the end with is virtual funeral and those that attend it. Leading to the unforeseen present where he learns about his father’s cancer, his two sister’s cancers and the fact that he just might need to go for the dreaded colonoscopy to find out his fate too. But, often on our journey to learn the truth or deny it, we find ourselves at the mercy of the medical population who often speculate, try, test and hopefully help guide us through the endless battery of wear and tear that we endure in order to finally learn the answer to one simple question: What if anything is wrong with me?

 

The author relates in graphic detail the procedures he endured before learning the stark realities or truths. Each time he was shot with a dye, or injected with something the reader can feel the pain he endured, the burning sensations as he takes the reader into the CAT SCAN machines along with him. Imagine having a three centimeter friend within your body and totally uninvited. A lymphoma- these are the words no one wants to hear. Do you call friends? Do you tell your family? What about your son? Do you want emails relating information about the problem? Dr. Garay, one of his physicians refers him for surgery and feels this will solve everything. With his amazing sense of humor he flashes back to where it all began, the day he was born, his Jewish heritage, which I can identify with and his family’s guidelines, restrictions, advice and definition of when he should get married. Always reminding us of how much he loves his son, Luke, the way he feels about him as a Dad and much more.

 

Did you ever make a list of diseases? Where would the worst place to get some of these diseases be? Well on page 39 the author relates the ones where you never ever want to find cancer? Better yet finding it nowhere is about right. Next, he describes the PET SCAN, preparing and going for the culprit that started this whole deal off, the dreaded colonoscopy and the fun of being injected, having to stay still for long periods of time and knowing his best friend Michael was by his side guiding him through it. But, this was only the beginning of more tests as an endoscopy was next, finding out the disease and next the treatment. But, Michael is smart, alert and does not take the word of Dr. Raphael as he asks for a second opinion. This time with his way Layla along with him he meets Dr. Carol Portlock who states she will treat him and find a great surgeon to remove the dreaded tumor. Dr. Felix Heller is the man she chose and a thoracic surgeon. Describing the procedure is quite frightening to anyone reading this no less having to go through it. But, the positive lining if you can find one, is that he would probably be cured.

 

The diagnosis is set and the operation described but the harsh realities set in and the decision are made. How do you adjust to having surgery? What about your attitude? Are you in denial or are your willing to accept what you are being told? Every prognosis sounds different and the fact that you have no symptoms and they want to resect the tumor not only startling but frightening too. What is the wisdom, he states having the operation? Will it eradicate the problem? What about the survival rate? Did you ever really listen to doctors when they give you the statistics involved? You almost feel like you are getting the stats for a baseball team’s chances of winning the pennant or a football team’s hopes of getting into the playoffs. Looking into this himself Michael finds the answers on his own, which he shares with the reader on pages 54-55. You decide for yourself whether the odds are in his favor or not.

 

 

Meeting Dr. Valerie Rusch and then deciding on the surgeon was next. But, not before the author lays out the entire plan for the reader as you read charts all of the information he has gotten so far including doctors, tests and where they took place. His summation was quite telling as he states “they are assessing the collateral damage before they snoop around the main bombsite.” It sounds like a game about to be played with the odds in someone’s favor and you hope they are yours.

 

How do you tell your son? What do you tell him and how much? After the unsettling feeling he gets about the lack of communication with Dr. Portlock and the cavalier way the nurse spoke with him about his requests to the anesthesiologist about Raplon, he still won’t get the final verdict until all is said and operated on. But, the operation happens, he survives but what he describes next is right out of an Alfred Hitchcock or King Novel. Describing the discussions doctors have with patients about how they are going to treat you and receive your therapy will you understand what is involved.

 

Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and other Looming Disasters is a humorous, honest, thought provoking book filled with research done by the author as he presents accurate accounts of tests, procedures, doctor’s visits and even the operating room he entered before going under the knife. Relating his time in the hospital and explaining the outcome as he finally walks out 23 hours after surgery you have admire him, applaud his tenacity and definitely his positive spirit. Just the word Thoracoscopy is scary enough no less having to undergo one.

 

Thinking back over the events that occurred it was his father’s nagging and nudging that started this roller coaster ride straight to the operating room Think about the fact that all his father wanted him to do was get a colonoscopy because of his family’s history with cancer. But, what would have happened if he started there would he have found out the rest or stopped when they found nothing? Instead they sort of started in different directions and we learn that the culprit is his liver where they found the dreaded tumor. But, his first tumor turned out to be on his lung. With his marriage going on the rocks and the terrorist attack about to knock at our front door, what else would this man have to face as he shares his thoughts in this heartwarming, refreshing and humorous memoir of his life going downhill.   But, his spirit is high, his energy level as charged as a never ending battery allowing the reader to know that he is more than just a fighter but a survivor too.

 

Given a six month reprieve is great but it still weighs in his mind as the world stands still when the towers are blown up and the feeling of doom is right there in his own neighborhood, death is on every doorstep as we see the ash, fire and smoke and the people running for help on September 11, 2001 a day that no one will ever forget. But, the scene touches the author, losing friends and the reminder that he begins to reflect and take stock of his life.

 

But, more tests, another surgery and then the breakup of his marriage leaving him in financial straits for many reasons but Michael never gives up forges ahead and the end result in his life and what direction it finally took and does he find happiness you need to complete the journey yourself by reading the final chapters and learning more about his family, his family and the courage that made him more than just a survivor an inspiration to many. So, Michael don’t think about your funeral or what people might way if and when the time comes tons of years down the road, think about the humor, joy, happiness and inspiration you are to so many, your family, to those who see your films and to this reviewer who was touched by your words.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

Let’s give this book: FIVE FIVE STAR MOVIES for our Author and Filmmaker

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hag


Hag

Rachel Rueben

Labels belong on cans, cigarette packages, medicine bottles to warn us of the dangers and side effects before taking a specific drug, liquor bottles to enlighten consumers as to the ingredients they are about to imbibed and boxes of foods informing us of the number of calories, fats, trans fats and sugars in the cereal you might want to eat for breakfast. Labels are not supposed to be placed on people but they are. Black, white, fat, thin, old, young, straight or gay why are we often differentiated by our outer appearances, personal preferences or social choices? Audrey Saldano is about to learn many lessons in life. Audrey has become very complacent. She has disregarded her appearance, lost weight, anti-social, feeling ostracized and definitely not focused on anything dealing with that E word Education. Audrey seems to be in her own form of doldrums and why? Teenage boys and girls fall prey to social acceptance and peer pressures. When Audrey’s boyfriend decides to find another girlfriend rather than chalk it up to no big deal, or his loss, she reverts into herself, forgets who she really is and hopes to be able to walk that path already beaten and trodden and get the same guy back. But, Audrey will learn before all is said and done that some paths are so worn that you need to start your own in order to work your way back up to who you really are. Like a pyramid formed by 25 kids and you are the one at the top and fall the hardest when the pyramid comes down and the base gives way. Hag, by Rachel Rueben you don’t want to miss a word of this one.

As Audrey walks through the double doors of her High School her mind is focused on other things and not on Mrs. Goldman the guidance counselor’s forms that need to be turned in or the gym teachers 50 question quiz that no one expected. Life presents many challenges and it is up to you to decide how to handle them. Taking the impromptu test Audrey flashes back to Desmond, her ex-boyfriend and the impact it has had on her many friendships. Some friends remaining and others lost because of the breakup. Sad, what teens have to endure but what happens next is tragic as a secret is revealed, lives are changed and Audrey’s world will be shattered, changed and destroyed with one simple word. Low expectations is what others had for her and she did nothing at the present to change their perceptions or even her own. Parents that were stressed, money that was tight and arguments that ran high as one day blended into the next. The following day was not any different than the day before. Meeting a cute guy, blowing him off and the anger she focuses on everyone lets the reader know that before all is said and done Audrey’s life will definitely take a downward spiral along with so many others.

School becomes a nightmare but Audrey decides to teach Desmond’s girlfriend a lesson she will never forget resulting in her new found popularity. Meeting a great new guy who sizzles and pops when you look at him, Roddai cannot take the place of Desmond even though she finds him interesting. But, something happens and Desmond calls to apologize and a new friendship blooms but not for long. Asking her to join him at a carnival should have been two friends just having some fun but when they jumped by a group of boys from a posh school what happens would change the course of their lives forever. Roddai jumps in to defend Desmond he winds up in the hospital along with Audrey. Retaliation comes at a high price but not before we learn that Audrey’s grandmother is coming to live with her family after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Life takes a different turn for Audrey, Desmond, Carmen and their friends when Desmond decides to go after the boys he jumped him and Audrey. The end result might make teens think twice before going off headstrong. Desmond is seriously injured and dies hours later. One Winter Carnival that was supposed to be fun and one young man’s life lost as hidden secrets are about to be revealed and once again Audrey comes face to face with tragedy and has to learn to deal with lies and deceits that were so well defined and covered up she never saw what was right in front of her.

When the reader listens and revisits some of the final conversations between Desmond and Audrey you can sense that he wanted to tell her something but never did. All too often words and feelings are kept hidden from those we care about the most in order to spare them the hurt and pain that will follow.

As Audrey and Roddai develop a friendship they move at a definite slow rhythm. Audrey gets a job and soon gets fired when Desmond old girlfriend makes a comment about Roddai and she won’t take it. When the truth about him comes out and the gossip comes full circle just what will Audrey do next? Her highly volatile temper keeps rearing through and learning the truth about why the original fight happened and that they were after Roddai and not Desmond. Learning the truth about him and Desmond reading over the texts and looking over what his mother gave her many truths come to light but what she does next proves that she has a long way to go.

But, things get out of hand and seeing Roddai while shopping with her mom does not change the way she feels and only ignites her even more. Things change and Audrey sees life in a whole other way when Roddai is gunned down and the end result will surprise the reader. Friendships end, trust are betrayed and one young woman named Audrey needs to find her place in this world but will she? An ending that will definitely keep you guessing and wanting more and a girl who comes full circle with her feelings, tolerance of others and a new perspective about life.

Hag is filled with strong language, descriptive dialogue and plot that really hits home and characters that just might be living next door to you. What do you do when you know someone is guilty? Do you tell? What do you do when the world seems to be filled with so many obstacles that you do not know which way to turn? Find out when you read Hag. Audrey is one self-reliant, tough and no holds barred young woman who fights for what she thinks is right and goes to bat for those she loves.

This is one book that teens, YA’s, educators, guidance counselors, libraries, church and discussion groups should have on their shelves. This is one intense novel and Rachel Rueben’s debut as an author is definitely FIVE STAR. There are many definitions of a hag that can be applied to this book. Just which one you need to find out for yourself and learn that differences are to be embraced and if I tell you which definition applies it would take away from deciding if what it means really matters. Labels belong on soup cans, envelopes when they are addressed, mailing lists and of course medicine bottles as I stated before. Labels do not define a person. Appearance does not define who you are. Hag: read it: You won’t be disappointed.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Author Spotlight: Fran Lewis


Author Spotlight: Fran Lewis.

The seventh Messenger: my review


The Seventh Messenger

Author: Carol Costa

 

The House of David has many secrets behind its walls. Its members gave all of their worldly possessions to their leaders and worked behind the confines of this community for the benefit of its members. King Benjamin and Queen Mary were the leaders of this group and their followers never questioned their motives or beliefs. Ice cream parlors, baseball teams, amusement parks and The Diamond House were only part of what was considered the House of David. Just who were these leaders and why did one woman named Naomi want to learn the truth about her parentage so many years later. With a mother sworn to keeping it silent and a father she thought she knew but never really did, Naomi comes back to where it all began to find out the hidden secrets never revealed to her as a kid. Queen Mary is a frail and older woman who claims to speak and see angels. Naomi blatantly calls her on it in front of a small congregation. The story begins in 1879 1970’s as Mary’s voice is heard and Naomi will learn the secrets hidden from her for so many years. The Seventh Messenger: Just who is Benjamin Purnell and why did he claim to be the Seventh Messenger?

 

Mary Stollard was what most would call homely, plain with no outstanding features. Mary never had any man pay attention to her until she met Benjamin Franklin Purnell. Listening to him preach outside of the general store in her hometown she was immediately taken with him and he seemed to be with her. Walking her home he managed to ingratiate himself with her family. Spending time with him brought them close in many ways and when he decided to leave she informed him that she was pregnant never thinking he would offer to marry her. His goal was to join the Flying Rollers sect and become an invaluable member of this group. Arriving there they were welcomed by the members and the women helped Mary adjust to her new home. But, Benjamin’s attitude towards her radically changed and his reasons for wanting to be there come to light. As we learn more about these people, their work and how they operate one man, Michael becomes anointed at their Prince claiming to be the Seventh Messenger. Benjamin appears to be faithful to this man but in reality he has other plans in mind and when Michael is arrested for molesting several young girls within the sect Benjamin and another man named Jacob try to enlist someone to defend him. With buildings being burned and fear placed within the compound, many families choose to leave but Benjamin does not. What happens at the trial will definitely surprise the reader and Ben’s betrayal of Michael will aid the prosecution as their leader is convicted and sentenced to prison.

 

The author flashes back to the present and to Mary as she continues to speak with Naomi. Benjamin was then accepted as the New Seventh Messenger with mixed feelings from the members. Mary of course states that she just went along with his revelation as he was her husband but you can tell she did not really believe him. But, Mary learned that she had powers of her own and soon learn that she did not have to follow everything he said. Leaving Fostoria, where they fist met the Flying Rollers with other members they traveled the country to gather converts into their fold. They moved around as she states for many years and then returned to Fostoria where the rest of the remaining members accepted Benjamin as their leader.

 

In order to escape the scandal from the past he renamed the colony The House Of David where all members once again gave over their worldly possessions to the group, some worked for meager salaries and the rest went to Benjamin and the good of the colony. But, not everything went smoothly and something disrupted Ben’s church there. The year is now 1903 and The House of David has been created. Benjamin has decided to expand his horizons and used the money in the treasury to create an amusement park filled with a field for a baseball team, ice cream parlor, funds were used to publish his new book, and special train sets at beer station, ball field and zoo. But, tragedy strikes the church and the end result it is destroyed when a fireworks factory explosion takes his daughter’s life at 14 and the congregation moves to Michigan where Benjamin and Mary are now called King and Queen. But, his lust for power and his thirst to control his members becomes too overwhelming for one woman named Daisy when he imposes a Virgin Law on all married couples, things change and loyalties are questioned. Even his own son needs Mary’s help to meet a girl he likes in Chicago in order to find someone for himself. Will Coy be able to live his own life or his father’s? Added into the plot is Benjamin’s desire to create an inner circle around him of young girls the same way his predecessor Michael did. But, was he going to do the same thing?  Remember applicants had to hand over all of the wealth and married couples could no longer have sex and meat was banned. But, since he was King he did not have to follow what he inflicted on others. The Inner Circle was composed of young girls under the age of 16 and they would be sent to work under the roof of Benjamin’s home until he would “purify them.” At 16 his thoughts were to put them to work in the compound and be prepared for purification by him. But, Mary meets a wonderful artist named John Assanti, he joins the compound when she buys all of his pieces at a gallery and agrees to let the House of David have exclusive rights to his work. But, there is much more as we finally meet Naomi’s mother Evelyn when she comes to live at the compound and from the start hates it.  Mary begins to question Benjamin’s motives and the deceptions run high and lie even higher.

 

Throughout the novel Mary’s voice rings out loud and true and you understand her frustrations, her feelings of hate for her own husband and her loyalty to the members too. We finally meet Evelyn and learn more about the Inner Circle, Evelyn’s journey in the House Of David and hoping to bring some happiness into Naomi’s life.

 

 

 

 

This is an exciting insightful novelization of the creation and twenty plus years (up to the trial and death of Benjamin) of the House Of David. Mary is a terrific narrator who understood her late husband’s strengths as a charismatic leader who got people to believe and his serpent in Eden endeavors as she tells Naomi what happened to him and her mom hoping to bring some sunshine into the younger woman’s life. Character driven to include the commune, Carol Costa provides a deep twentieth century historical in which Mary’s salvation of the ruins of Eden and the City of David, still thrives. Evelyn had a menial job delivering eggs and in the afternoon enjoyed walking over to the park, which is where she met Coy. Coy enjoyed his mother’s company and returned from Chicago after signing two new members to the baseball team and bringing his mother a special gift and sharing their thoughts on Benjamin’s activities. Evelyn caught Coy’s eye and he asked to have her assigned to the park to assist one of the woman.

 

The office staff lived in Diamond House and the girls in the Inner Circle were fed in the dining room off the kitchen. Nathan Sullivan hoped to see his wife and daughters in Benton Harbor. What he does to gain access to his children and his wife is startling as Mary once again meets with the owner of a gallery to sell some of John’s work to a gallery. Benjamin seemed to be in his own world and Mary lost her time with him and the thought of losing John was painful. What Evelyn reveals about Benjamin destroys many lives including Coy’s and the end result still remains to be seen as she threatens to spill everything to the authorities. Fast forward to the present and Mary tells Naomi of the celebration of her birth and the loss of another for Mary as she continues her story and Naomi tries to forgive her mother for all that she did not do for her as a child. The loss of Coy, the loss of Benjamin and the end result was tragic for not only Mary but for Naomi too as the story continues.

Evelyn was shrewd and she became an important member of the House of David taking many of Jacob’s roles. But, when Benjamin goes too far a father will seek the revenge so many others have sought. Benjamin is brought to trial, the girls from the Inner Circle married off and the end result will ruin many lives yet one young girl will come full circle with her past and just might learn the true meaning of forgiveness. The House of David was divided after Benjamin’s death. The City of David is where followers of Mary could be found and her life centered around Benjamin’s ideals but in her own way. What is the final fate of this colony and just where are some of them today, author Carol Costa has enlightened the reader and introduced us as she states on the cover to a “ man charming and cunning as the snake that convinced Eve to bite that apple,” but in some ways deadlier.

 

Mary’s voice tells it all and Naomi relives it with her.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

Terror Comes Knocking: my review


Terror Comes Knocking

Author: Aaron Paul Lazar

 

From the author of Healey’s Cave comes another dramatic mystery thriller starting our favorite retired doctor Sam Moore. As the story unfolds Sam and Rachel are attending his late brother Billy’s funeral and the thoughts that have revolved in his mind for over fifty years come flooding through. From the reasons why he never learned of his brother’s death to the causes and who was responsible for his makeshift burial, Sam is trying to come to grips with the past as he tries to move forward in the present. Small distractions do not help, taking care of his grandchildren is a joy but fear and worry once again enter when Rachel cannot locate or get in touch with their daughter Beth. When a close friend and her roommate call to speak with Beth as Sam’s home, learning that she is not there alerts her friend and of course Sam that something is wrong. Contacting Beth’s boss brings to light that she just might be missing and hoping to collaborate his thoughts with her friend Zafina might shed light on her disappearance.

 

Going out to the garden after breakfast with his green marble in his hand he hopes to reconnect with Billy up in heaven hoping he will help him find Beth. Terror Comes Knocking in more than one way as Beth’s Egyptian roommate Zafina Azziz arrives and is concerned about Beth. Throughout dinner you get the feeling that Hashim her brother seems uncomfortable and Beth is holding something back. When the truth about Beth and Zafina’s relationship is revealed Sam becomes more concerned. Would Beth as her friend reveals have a fight over a man? Would she disappear and how can his connection with Billy bring to light her whereabouts as the author also shares a dream he has where Billy allows Sam to see Beth but has no idea where she is or why she is do unhappy. Recalling her boss and her landlord reveals that she is missing and that’s all. As Sam falls back into the past he does not hear Rachel in the present as he relives and event in the schoolyard, a fight with another student and the end result is not what you would expect as the marble pulls him back again and in the present a crisis arises. Rachel falls, dislocates both shoulders and the result is surgery and Sam has to tend to her needs. When Zafina shows up at his house and offers to help him out what is her motive and why does Sam seem to think she is coming on to him?  But something is off and when the truth about Beth and Zafina’s relationship is revealed Sam has a lot to take in and the end result was not what he expected. Calling in the police would be difficult when contacted them in New York but with the help of his friend and Senator Bruce McDonald he hoped to learn more.

 

But, an incident occurs in town that alerts the reader, Sam and the Presidential hopeful that terrorism knows now boundaries and might have just arrived at their front door. An explosion destroys the cleaners and the man who owns is arrested on the spot but did he do it as Sam sees the desperate look of fear in his eyes when he is taken away. Added in is the sudden disappearance of his son, Andy in Iraq, Rachel’s injuries and the disappearance of Beth being looked into by the FBI? A flashback occurs stronger than ever before and Sam sees his friend Fletcher Biddle and learns what really happened to the kittens, who killed them but hears Billy’s voice promising him that Andy just might be okay. But, what about Beth? What is the link between Beth, Zafina and her brother whose behavior seems odd? A strong circle of fear engulfs Sam and the pain in the pit of his stomach often lets him know that something is wrong. With no ransom note in sight, no kidnappers calling where could Beth be and why does Sam see her in a small room resembling a prison cell? What connection does the explosion have to do with the President coming to town the following week and will more explosions take place. The President is supposed to attend the Art Center’s opening gala and the town is excited will they be able to provide the protection he needs?

 

But, when the man arrested for the bombing gets ill and Sam is called to the prison to assist in his care what happens strikes more fear within his heart as the end result is fatal, the reason for his death a possible murder, and the end result might link everything to Beth, the bomb and the President’s visit the following week. So, just where does Zafina and her brother fit in? But, she and her friends has many meetings and get-togethers and their relationship with the other tenants in the building was not friendly. Witnessing Zafina move her brother out of the apartment would alert the janitor and create suspicion as tot the quantity of things moved and what they were. Added in as he learns from the FBI is the fact that although she enrolled in school, Zafina never attended classes during the new semester. What was her secret, was she a terrorist and what about her caring for Rachel? Family members were deported for suspicion of terrorism and now Sam would have to decide whether she was one too. Was Rachel’s accident really an accident, what about Beth and what Zafina claims was their relationship and so called fight? What about why she is really here?

 

Lies have been told and deceits well orchestrated and just what is the truth behind Beth’s disappearance, her relationship with this girl and what is Sam’s plan to uncover the truth? Should Sam confront them both and find out the truth alone? Is it safe explaining her inconsistent behavior towards Rachel and to him? But, what he sees when he enters his apartment will definitely shock Sam and the reader wondering exactly who they are, what her relationship is to this man named Hashim? When the truth is revealed what will Sam think and do? But, what Zafina reveals changes things greatly as she relates some information about Beth but is it true? With Hashim working for Bruce and the lies told when Sam tells him the story what will the end result be?

 

When Sam comes face to face with the truth, who is behind what happened to Beth will it be too late for him to find her? What will the FBI do with the information they uncovered and will the President be safe when he arrives in Conaroga, New York the following week? The links in the chain are coming closer together and the welder will either solder them so tightly they will never come apart or will they finally come lose and be sent in many different directions? What happens when Sam tries to go after the terrorists and find Beth? Just who is next on their hit list and who is behind the plot to destroy the President?

 

Just what happens to Beth, Sam and Bruce you won’t expect and just what does this 62 year old retired doctor do to prove that he is not down and out and a force to be reckoned with? Can he stop the plot in time or is it too late? An ending so explosive and terrifying will anyone survive the blast? Just what happens when all is said and done and the fires are put out and the damage is cleaned up? Is Zafina a friend or behind the plot? What about Hashim and the students and will the final plot be foiled? Read Terror Comes Knocking and find out if the plot to destroy the President comes to pass. Sometimes when a caller comes knocking at your door you might consider keeping it locked. Fast paced, true to life, definitely high tension and seriously up there with the best mystery/thriller writers author Aaron Paul Lazar’s green marble series is one of the best I have reviewed in a long time. Let’s hope Sam keeps coming back for more and let’s not forget the green marble and Billy.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Let’s give this book: Five More Green Marbles and one more for me.

 

Out of His Mouth: Logan Rogers


Out of his Mouth

 

Logan Rogers

 

Before reviewing this book I have to state the following: I am reviewing this book based on what the author has shared about his experiences with Fred and Marcella Williams and his Glory in the Lord sermons. I will not state in this review whether I agree or disagree with what he is saying about Fred Williams and his manner of prayer. I am strictly sharing the letter from Fred Williams as told by our author Logan Rogers.

 

 

 

Some events that you experience can change the way you look at life and your perspective at the same time. Meeting one person can teach you many different ways to understand the meaning of many truths that you failed to realize before. As the author introduces not only himself and Maureen to Fred Williams we learn of how he helped those he greets and encounters to experience the Freedom of Worship, the bliss of the Glory Gatherings and the words he bestows on each person as he places his hands on them and restores the many gifts, he as the Lord can that day. The man, Fred Williams, his letters and words and understandings written by first time author Robert Logan Rogers.

 

As the author describes the energy and the way Fred captures and envelopes those coming to hear his sermon you can feel the fire the fervor and the joys that he bestowed on others as we get to know Fred Williams. With his prayer partner Peggy our author invited Fred Williams to a weekend in the mountains. Sharing his life as he dealt with a divorce, his dark hours and finally releasing himself as spirit sings out the darkness would break. Entering Logan’s house Fred not only made his presence known but that or the Lord too by saying his presence was there in a big way. Reaching out to them and sharing his message about communion, the elements and “our tasting of God’s goodness,” would start the weekend off in a huge way.

 

The author’s journey did not begin with meeting Fred. It began with a vision that he had before meeting him. A vision that encompassed something so powerful that most people would deny it ever happened yet it did. Imagine seeing people releasing a sound in unison as the crickets did when he broke through the darkness worshipping at home. Powerful and definitely life changing as he would experience this once again with his wife Maureen many times over. Music seems to play an important part and when hearing a song or a tune on the radio, the author states that with Fred, if your “doctrine was established and the need to find it in the Bible critical, the your reference point would be challenged.” If seems that Fred would place a boulder or obstacle in your path in order to challenge your patience. Fred was known as the man who knows all things.

 

The author includes a short subtopic in Chapter Five titled, “Stumbling Blocks,” which allows the reader along with the others to see if the “subtleness of idolatry existed.” Interestingly enough he sates that many do not believe unless they see it in the Bible. His challenge to those present was whether the Lord’s voice comes through without focusing on his outer appearance. Several though provoking questions follow and the reader can decide their own response as he continues with several other subtopics, such as Nokomis Came by Night, the Kingdom of Heaven Suffers Violence and Rejoice in the Lord. But, what follows next explains their meeting on one Sunday where the wine was starting to turn from water and when he and the others drank is there was a grape aroma, no alcohol taste and the “intoxication from heaven began.”

 

A Time for Everything Under Heaven, But Be Filled with Spirit focusing on the breaking of the curse, drinking wine not made3 from the elements of earth and therefore not subjected to the curse. Drinking Heaven’s wine and sharing his stories enlightens the reader about the author’s experiences with Fred and many others. But, when Fred refers to the angels he refers to them by name and the author related a story early on in this book and revisits it in this chapter. When Maureen, his wife, that the sign of Heaven fell from the sky in the form of a gemstone as diamond fell at the foot of a pregnant woman, he was skeptical.

 

The author’s voice comes through loud and clear and his thoughts about Fred, his sermons and much more are discussed and questioned. In Chapter 8 the author shares Fred’s thoughts on jealousy and defines it as a poison feeling in insecurity. He once again refers to the gemstones and questions as to whether these stones who these stones are for what they are missing when listening to Fred as well as doubt being cast as to the value of the diamond that fell being worthless. Fred and his wife Marcella were accused of using sleight-of-hand magic. They would respond by keeping silent. Anger engulfed many of the followers and one follower named Alan stated that darkness came over him and could not understand why. Leaving the trial in pain of rejection both Fred and Marcella could not believe the turn of events. What followed would be numerous phone calls from their leader demanding that they both repent. Their leader, believe it or not was their main accuser and many calls of warnings were received as both refused to repent. Meetings were canceled and doors slammed and Marcella seemed to be affected the hardest by the personal attacks on Fred’s character. Fred was not accepted within his own town and there is much more to come as the author shares Fred’s reflections on his time in prison.

 

The author is sharing the events that he documented first hand as a journalist and have seen and witnessed from his own experiences. He included eyewitness accounts of what he experienced. He is not trying to convince the reader or anyone else to believe in the super natural or in the possibility of miracles. His voice and thoughts are interesting, honest, truthful and quite insightful.

 

His prison sentence seemed to be the start of his enlightenment as he had gone through four marriages, four homes, fathered children that he never would know except to provide for them and had time to contemplate his actions and fate. Then, a new cellmate arrived who was a former Assistant Pastor and he asked him poignant questions for the one-month he was there

 

As the author brings to light the issue of Angels that many people speak to and believe in. Angel of light can appear as an angel of deception and the author discusses the many different controversies about Angels and how they appear and learning to know the difference of each Angel which he states requires intimacy with the Lord to help sharpen out skills in telling good from evil. He follows with other references in the chapter to Angels, Fred’s understanding of Angels and the many that we need and that came to him.

 

Attending a black Pentecostal church Fred seemed to be accepted at first. But, with so many accusations following him they never knew what would happen next it would resemble a witch hunt and the leader was pursuing him the most and know one knew when the other shoe would fall. Therefore, Logan and many others decided to attend a biker church and the friend who invited Logan invited some of the worship leaders that he knew. Fred would be there too. But, the reception for Fred and the restrictions placed on him were not what Logan expected. But, Fred adhered to them and sat in the rear of the church but our author was angry. There is much more that the author shares about this meeting, the pastor of the church and the warnings she received about Fred. What they decided to do about to this and whether they would fight back was discussed on pages 58-59. In Chapter 12 the author shares some really interesting stories about a man named Joshua Mills and his account of being translated to China and a group of Asian people and the experience was eye opening and the end result you will have to read for yourself. Other references to the Bible are sited within this chapter. With his relationship with Maureen strained he leaves for a retreat with this friends in Kentucky hoping that she will change her mind join him. One phone call and a vivid description of a dream would drastically change things for both Logan and Maureen.

 

William Branum’s angel came to Fred and he shared his message with the congregation. The message as Fred relates it to the congregation was that there would be a ten -year period of blessings, including unusual signs and wonders. The angel brought this message to everyone through Fred. But the strongest and most powerful part of this chapter was his description of Fred when he anointed people and their reactions including his. There is so much that I could share with you but you need to experience some of this yourself as you read the book, hear Fred’s words and how the author brings them to you in his amazing way. Angels Communicate in Hebrew, Wise Virgins, A special letter from Logan to Fred, A Trip Up North including Fred praying with a waitress, gathering at a kitchen table and feeling the weight of God’s glory in the room and finally Validation and Endorsements ending with the story of the gemstone and how it came out of a man’s mouth and where the stone winds up. The final story about a little boy witnessing or seeing gemstones coming out of Fred’s mouth as a little boy stated that “angels were throwing them at Fred.” You decide for yourself as you read this book what you believe and what you might be skeptical about. Out of His Mouth is where these stones came from as related by our author who witnessed it first hand. A very though provoking book about a man named Fred Williams as told by our author Logan Rogers.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Talon: Flight for Life


Talon, flight for Life

by Gigi Sedlmayer

 

Brooding comes easy to Matica at times when she has huge decisions to make involving Talon. Talon is her best friend and believe it or not a condor that she learned to fly with. Imagine a young child befriending a group of condors, able to communicate with them and have adventures with one in her air. But, when Matica’s father wants to her walk with him to the next big city of Cajamarca, she does not really want to go. Asking Talon, her mother and family what to do only makes her brood even more. But, when Talon assures her in his own way that she should accompany her father what follows is hilarious. Aikon her brother, Talon and Matica play a game of Hide and Seek that only author Gigi Sedimayer could create for these endearing characters. Keeping her mind off of her mission for a short time even her mother Mira joins in the fun. But, her father despite the torrential rains that just subsided needs her to walk with him in order to buy food, medication and tickets for their 6 month holiday in Australia.

 

Before leaving Matica, Talon and Aikon have some adventures, Talon falls from a branch in the tree, he’s brave but everyone is concerned. Elsa, is a new character, a chicken that is added to the group and is so adorable and loves Aikon the same say Talon loves Matica. When Elsa wants to allow Aikon to fly on top of her the author reveals a side of Aikon that is so endearing and kind.

 

Seeing her three close condor friends Matica is said and knows what they will miss her. Timo, Tamo and Talon all say goodbye to her in their own special way. Her connection to these condors is really great and her feeling of loneliness without them shows the reader how she feels about them and why.

 

Tears filled her eyes and intertwined in Talon’s feathers as the journey is about to begin and what happens will test Matica’s strength, endurance and love for her father and the condors. Even her best friend Amos comes before she leaves while Matica recounts the entire day to her mother and Aikon shares what happened with Elsa with them too.

 

 

Matica is walking with her father to the next big city of Cajamarca to purchase some food, medication and the tickets for their six-month holiday in Australia. On the way she misses her condors terribly, but still has an adventurous and very good time with her father walking through rain forests and other parts of the beautiful country of Peru, seeing macaws, toucans, monkeys and a puma. In Cajamarca, they heard that the poachers are back, asking for condors. Matica is distressed, and wants to go home quickly, to tell her condors. On the way home, they visit an old Incan dwelling. And there, shortly after something terrible is happening. Her father fell ill with high fever after a nasty huge spider bit him. Not knowing what to do, she calls for her condors. But the wait until they arrive, that is the hardest time she ever had to endure.

 

As you hear the story told from the voice of Matica you understand her feelings, the fears she felt leaving her home and the sadness that filled her heart. But, a disturbing dream bothers Matica and when she relates it to her family her father seems not too concerned but her mother prays for their safety hoping that Tamo will be with them every step of the way as they prepare to leave for Cajamarca. The journey begins but everything she sees she compares to Talon. Her father trying to share the world and its beauty with her Matica seems to revert back to her feelings for the condor and might miss the beauty of the macaws, the toucans, monkeys and pumas which are amazing too. Her mind and heart at filled only with Talon and she needs to widen her horizons and listen to her father and her friend Amos to learn new things. The author shares so many amazing sights with the reader through both Crayn’s and Matica’s eyes. The Bambamarca plateau, the amazing Rainforest and its canopy, floor and jungle appearance, the macaws, the monkeys, the bold monkey and the Tapir that sniff’s them all add to the joy of the trip and the education that the author shares about these amazing animals hoping to allow Matica to learn about other animals not just the condors.

 

Imagine seeing an orchid for the first time. The beauty of that flower is breathtaking to me and Crayn tries to describe it to Matica along with the strangler fig tree, which cannot stand by itself. Then Matica sees her first tree frog and her reaction is priceless. Introducing the Bromeliad plant that is truly amazing as it is a plant with fleshy leaves where insects and frogs leave their eggs or larvae under the plant. As Matica looks inside she sees insects, water and other things creeping within the confines of the plant. Butterflies come and drink from it and even lizards can be found there too. “Everything is eating each other,” she says. They take advantage of the juicy visitors. Matica even points out the good and bad points of this plant.

 

 

 

 

 

But, what happens next really brighten Matica’s smile as Talon, Tima and Tamo arrive and she enjoys her time with all of them. They arrive in Bambamarca and she meets some of the people and learns many things.

 

Harsh realties come to light as Matica befriends the children and they talk about her disability, the reasons for others not accepting her and how she managed with the help of the condors to learn to soar on her own. Finally, meeting Jonah’s parents and letting them see her with the condor makes them realize that what they did to their son was more than just causing his death but wrong. The trip to Cajamarca is next the greetings she gets quite remarkable as once again the condors arrive and Matica wants to know if everyone there will know about her and some do. But, Cajamarca is quite different. The houses on the outskirts were huts and within the suburbs brick houses but still had a dirty appearance to them. Learning about where the Indians lived in this town the tourists that come from other countries would fascinate most and then she comes face to face with a famous hotel, the Marriott and is amazed.

 

Meeting many different people who have heard about her, exploring different places and finally meeting a puma was fascinating to Matica and learning more about other cultures, buying food in the bakery to show her mother seemed to make her happier. But, this trip does not continue on an upward slope. Visiting the hospital she meets many people and learns about the care they give their patients. She learns many things before tragedy hits.

 

When a deadly spider Crayn, Matica needs to take control of the situation. Finding the right medical serum was just the beginning but what happens to her father after receiving it frightens her very core. As she yells and screams into the sky for Talon she prays for some help for her father. Unconscious, delirious and with a high fever he cannot be moved and she will not leave him alone. Throughout the novel you learn about Matica’s devotion to her family and to the condors having faith in them to save her when things get tough. But, will Tamo’s presence and flight for life save her father? As Matica and Tamo try to stabilize her father Talon shows up and flies to her mother for some aide. But, what happens next is definitely what you would not expect. With little of no means of transportation and living in a secluded village how would help come? Will he live or will it be too late?

 

An ending you won’t expect and a girl named Matica who never gives up. But, what happens between the condors and Crayn will definitely surprise you and what are those special leaves that Tamo found? Will Crayn make it home? Will anyone come to help them? What will the final outcome be? Just how will the Flight for Life turn out as author Gigi Sedlmayer brings the Talon series to a dramatic close or will she continue on with more?

 

Three birds that you will fall in love with each with their own personality and differences making them unique. One little girl named Matica whose spirit and drive never give up on anything especially life and who begins to question God’s will and why things happen. So many friends made along the way and others who are revisited along the way. Find out where the final flight takes Matica, Crayn and the three most precious condors in the world.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer