Don’t Wake Up

Don’t Wake Up: Shauna Kelley


Spiral staircase has many twists, winds and turns as the person that is either ascending or descending this intricate staircase decides to make their way up or down. As the person treads carefully on each stair he/she needs to be careful of the openings within this staircase and not fall within the intricate pattern created. But, this staircase is not the only thing that can cause you to fall and descend into fallen hole but life can do the same as you try to overcome childhood fears and obstacles created by others or even yourself as you suffer the torment, deal with the pain and finally try and see your way out of this maze and into the light or a path that is smooth and goes in the right direction. The center of a spiral before the winds can often create a vacuum or hiding place for someone that whose destiny and direction is clouded, unsure and uncertain. Gillian Avery has been hiding her whole life. You might say she is living in this world in way that she hopes no one will notice her. Being invisible makes her able to wander through life and not care about what she does, her appearance or her strife. Living in the shadow of herself, hiding behind her limitations and making excuses for them allows her to justify her actions. Gillian uses these limitations to often fall prey to the wiles of others and at times her naivety in certain instances and circumstances leads her down the wrong spiral road. We meet her as she reflects about her childhood and shares with the reader a definition of a word that most think they know: Love. But, the dictionary provides the words you need to provide the rest. Gilly learns this the hard way and when she falls for anyone she falls hard landing not on her feet most of the time. Meeting Ricky was her downfall but as a young girl trying to find love and wanting to be accepted, she does not see it clearly until much later on when it is too late. For young girls that might read this book take a lesson from Gilly and realize that one moment’s indiscretion can cost you a lifetime of unhappiness. Gilly spends two decades wondering why she did not pay closer attention as a youth. We meet her family when she is just a child and learn about her sister Liza and her close friendship with another girl named Rayna. Watching them interact made her uncomfortable when her family found out it ended more than just their relationship. Meeting Ricky she thinks that he is wonderful but he is cruel, manipulative and divisive. His mother is steel hearted and stands in her way resenting her from the start. We meet her in the present sitting in the hospital staring at her husband; Ricky hooked up to machines and monitors. Author Shauna Kelley masterfully guides the reader as she allows you to enter the mind of Gillian and understand her rationale, feelings, frustrations and actions while wondering if she really wants her husband to wake up. Ricky had a mysterious fall leaving him in a coma. As we listen to Gillian relate the events leading up to his arrival at the hospital we begin to question whether she really wanted him alive or dead. Added in we learn more about her family, her sister Liza and her close relationship with another girl named Rayna that sent her away from her family too. Parents that were judgmental and a town that casts shadows over those who do not conform or comply to their way of thinking we begin to understand why Gillian and her family are so dysfunctional and miles apart.


Gillian is resourceful if not really smart even though she seems to feel that she has limited options, if any to escape her life. While sitting and wishing that he never awaken he does but minus his memory. Able to remember the past but not the present she convinces him into thinking that they had this idyllic life and great family. Creating a scrapbook out of magazine pictures and planting the seeds in his mind he thinks their life together was really wonderful without any thought to the fact that she is lying and does it quite well. Added in she lies to his mother about the fact that he is up and feels that because of her coldness towards her this is the least she can do to put off the inevitable plus the doctor questioned hearing her talk about this false family and hopefully she won’t blow her cover.


Entering the room she decided to test his memory and see how far she could go with the charade to learn whether he is lying about losing his memory. Relating what happened when her sister left and how her parents reacted to her being pregnant you wonder why she remained within the confines of their grip and why she just did not leave after her child died. Lying seems to come easy to her and dealing with Ricky she becomes more cunning, deceptive and greedy in many respects. With each question he asks she comes up with an answer but when things heat up she leaves hoping to find solace in another man’s arms. Meeting Roger at the bar she becomes involved in a superficial way but never reveals too much about her life. Seemingly in control of her own destiny for appearances sake but is she as the author shares the events that followed her son’s death. The questions continue is he remembering?


Family memories flood back when Gillian wanted to return home and her parents turned her away. With parents that did not listen or even feel her pain she decided to life a life of regrets. Now, coming back to this house she is flooded with memories. But, when she returns home Ricky alerts her to some facts about things that happened when she was gone which creates doubt in her mind as to whether he might or might not recall his past. An ending that will make you wonder whose side you will take if either one. Truths and lies uncovered, feelings expressed and blame cast in many directions as Gillian faces her demons head on and Ricky’s past comes to light in the present. Uncovering some information about him leads to her two startling revelations. Casting blame on herself or doubt does not even come into play with her as she states he is cold, calculating and justifies her actions after he son’s death and blames him for not supporting her but did he? Two people living in the same house one should have left way so why didn’t she? Just what really happened when he fell you have to read and judge for yourself. What happens to them and how Gillian winds up will definitely leave you with many unanswered questions that you might want to confront her with if you met her or could interview her? Why does she lie to Ricky about his past and will he learn one startling truth that might set his mind free and bring him back to the present? Don’t Wake Up: Living in a fog and unveiling the truth might do more than wake up both of them as they learn the true meaning of the word Lie.

This is one great mystery with a surprise ending and one girl named Gillian whose life took a sour turn because she thought she understood the meaning of the word LOVE but did she ever really experience it. This is a unique novel with a great plot that will keep you glued to the printed page from start to finish. I wonder where life will take Gilly next.


Fran Lewis: reviewer


I am offering a…

I am offering a new service that I think many authors can benefit from. I do reviews for no charge but I have been asked to read unpublished manuscripts and provide instructive and constructive criticism. It takes up time from completing reviews and I can no longer do this for no charge. Therefore, depending on the length of the manuscript I will charge the following:

100 dollars for manuscripts that are under 200 pages and 150 dollars for those that are longer. This is not for a BOOK REVIEW it is to read and critique your unpublished manuscript. I have a checklist that I will send the author to let you know the areas I will focus on and will provide a detailed and fully typed critique. Fran 

Think with your Taste Buds

Think with Your Tastebuds


Mouthwatering delicious deserts that will tantalize your taste buds and force you to go off your diet and run to the store to buy the ingredients to make one of these tasty treat. Martha Cheves and Lillian Mort have created a cookbook that will send everyone that not only reads it but who creates one of their recipes into sugar heaven, treat euphoria and definitely on the bestseller list for cookbooks. So, sit back and read my review and I guarantee that when you finish reading it you will not only buy a dozen copies for friends to enjoy these tasty treats but you will head for the supermarket and straight for the kitchen when you return and start baking.


So, just how did these two master chefs meet? The net of course! Just why did they decide to create this masterfully written cookbook? Read the introduction and find out because certain secrets you have to learn for yourself and I will only reveal a tantalizing morsel to you and the rest you have to have learn when you read the book, try out these great recipes and find out their hidden tricks, tips and special ways of making these foods come alive.


Let’s start with my favorite food Bread.  I bet that you did not know that there are at least 23 ways or more to make bread. Well, you are not going to believe what Martha and Lillian have prepared for you to try as you learn how to make Quick Breads which rise with the help of baking soda and baking powder and needs no kneading and Lillian’s tip at the end for slicing this delicious treat. Next, I would love for someone to make Martha’s Apple Sticky Buns for me. Oh, yeah, my husband is a great baker and cook and this book that you Martha and Lillian was really autographed to him and not me but I think I better do the review while he just might be creating something delicious. What is great about this book is right after each recipe the two authors have a special Think With Your Taste Buds tip I would say to tell you how they both added something special to each recipe making it unique to their style of cooking and taste. Applesauce Bread, Apricot Bread, Old-Fashioned Date Nut Bread and Tiny Aloha Pineapple Muffins are just some of the bread recipes that will send you straight into the kitchen to start heating up the oven, getting out those ingredients and baking pans to create your own special breads for every occasion.


Cakes: Who does not love to eat cake? For those that can bake why go and buy a ready made one when you can bake one of these over the top delicious recipes starting with, not so fast, learning and reading the Tips for Cakes on pages 36-38 which will instruct you on some important things to remember before you even start. The authors share some family history in this chapter too. So, which ones look good to me to make me go off my strict diet: All of them but I will only give you a small taste. Angel Surprise Cake smells great just from reading the recipe. Lillian made this cake for the first time for a girlfriend’s birthday. Martha adds something about what she adds to this great recipe, which is unique to her style too.


Applesauce Cake would enhance any dinner or lunch table and Martha shares how she learned about this delicious recipe with readers Lillian how she loves to bake in a tube pan. One of the most original recipes is Banana Nut Cereal Cake. You won’t believe what Martha used when she ran out of one ingredient and replaced it with his healthy breakfast cereal making this cake truly a Martha Cheves creation. But, Lillian has her own variations on this cake and believe me you want to try them both. Coconut lovers page 51 has a recipe you just might love. To jazz up any birthday or anniversary party how about a double treat that everyone loves Italian Cream Cheese Cake you the get the cake and the cheesecake all in one. So very tempting followed by Maraschino Cherry Cake and they say cherries are seriously good for you. To bring out your bad side and let the world know that you cannot be trifled with try out the recipe for Devil’s Food Cake. Now, that I have tempted your taste buds with these sweet delights how about we move to the next section and titled Cheesecakes which I have to say our my favorite if and when I ever eat cake. Lillian shares with the reader what her favorite ingredients are for adding to a cheesecake. She loves its “cool, creamy, velvety texture.” She tells readers about how she first made them where she found some recipes and how she creates her own delights. On page 82 she shares some valuable tips for making these cakes that you have to read for yourself. How else will you learn!

My favorite cheesecake is Sour Cream Cheese Cake and the recipe is on page 85 and the tips follow. Lillian includes a fact about her daughter and why she is called a “purist.” Sound like we must be related because when and if I eat this delectable treat I would eat it the same way.”


Considering the fact that I do not cook the next recipe is perfect for me to attempt to make anything. No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake who can go wrong with that! Martha bakes hers with fresh fruit and a can of pie filling and Lillian adds her own special twist to it on page 88. Coffee is something that most people like to start with day with. Nothing like a hot cup of coffee to start the day to rev up your motor any time during the day. So, why not coffee cakes to go with the coffee which Lillian describes on page 91 and adds special tips for coffee cakes on the next page. From apple coffee cake and overnight coffee cake you have a smorgasbord of recipes and choices to try. Pound Cakes are next and they are truly great when serving coffee, tea and just for a great snack or dessert after a fun meal with friends. Pound cakes are great when guests are over and you have game night and want to serve something simple, fun and not messy so you can get back into the games being played. Lillian gives the chef in you a little history lesson about pound cakes, how to make great ones and some of the important ingredients that she uses to make these. She even gives away a family secret of what her mother used as a special baking dishes. Want to find out read pages 101-102 plus let’s not forget the tips. So, what kind can you make Blueberry, Cranberry Pecan, Easy Pineapple Pound Cake, Orange Soaked and White Chocolate? Next, we learn how to make frostings and toppings, which add that extra zing to every cake or muffin. Lillian shares her specialties and her way of creating these frostings and toppings using a double boiler and following the instructions on the recipe plus her valuable tips. What kind can you make? You are going to have to read this section to find out.


For the kid in you or just because you want to create special treats for children or grandchildren’s parties you might want to attempt one of these sugary and tasty candies and snacks. Lillian begins by sharing how valuable sugar was during the Second World War and how it was rationed. Sharing the treats that her parents made like my favorite taffy and fudge. She adds some special tips on page 122 for making candy. Let’s start with Cereal Square Snacks, which seem easy enough to make. Martha shares how she makes this snack with shredded wheat squares and pecans. Lillian said long ago she used caramel corn. Reminds me of Cracker Jacks that my mom loved to eat. Peanut Butter Fudge and Tara’s Candy. Just wait until you read these recipes. Cookies are next followed by Cobblers and Dumplings, which I am going to leave to the reader to learn more about. With the holidays approaching or any time of the year you want to try their recipes for pies, pastries and tarts. Lillian begins by telling the reader a little history about pies and the fact that preparation is quite easy since you do not have to do the measuring, or rolling of the dough. Imagine ready-made crusts found in stores. Years an ago crust she shares was made with lard and the crust beyond flaky and much blander. My grandmother had pin tins as she relates hers did too and she even has one. Pages 172-173 include tips for pies, pastries and tarts. Cherry Nut Cheese Pie, Coconut Cheesecake Pie (sounds great) and Cream Cheese Apple Pie are enough to make your mouth water from just reading the recipes. Now, oatmeal is my favorite food so an Oatmeal Pie is definitely perfect. There are too many to tell you about and you might be tempted to stop reading before you find out about Piecrusts and Specialty Desserts. Piecrusts you are on your own but Specialty Desserts I will share some. Lillian includes a definition of desserts and then the meaning of specialty desserts, which includes tips for puddings and desserts and the desserts themselves. How about some Apple Roll-Ups or Banana Split Pudding or something that Lillian says is quick, easy and a great dessert: Cherry Crunch Dessert and Martha says she would see it with apple filling served over hot cheddar cheese melted on the top. Yummy. There are tons more but you have to read and learn the rest for yourself. I cannot give away all of their secrets that would spoil the fun of reading it for yourself. Two great chefs and many great tips: Think with Your Tastebuds is a must have in every kitchen and a great gift for the holidays or any occasion. Thank you to Martha and Lillian for meeting on the net, creating this great book and making me want to go off my diet. Check out that cookie jar on the front cover and click away and get your copies.

Fran Lewis: reviewer


Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN MIXING BOWLS



It’s Never Enough: Madison Montgomery

It’s Never Enough


Madison Montgomery


Some women have this insatiable appetite for men. Some cannot ever seem to get enough no matter how many times they get it they need more. Virginia Templeton’s husband died and she is going on a mass celebration. Slater is dead and she could not be happier. His money is all hers. The hotel chain she thinks is all hers and the rest is just gravy. Virginia Templeton uses men until they bore her and then tosses them out like yesterday’s fashions or a worn out pair of shoes. But, Virginia has a master’s in business and is quite shrewd. As the story opens we find her in her favorite place doing her favorite thing with her soon to be ex-toy boy Chandler whose body and him have worn out their welcome. But, Virginia cannot seem to control herself and when her maid Olivia informs her that she had a guest and she learns who it is, why turn down a good time. So, Chandler leaves and Shepp enters and you can just about guess the rest. No, you’d be wrong. The poor man tries to resist her and almost gets away scot-free but you know what I mean. But, little does she know that Shepp might be her new driver but he has his own plans for her and a definite ulterior motive for getting close to her. Just wait until she finds out just how much of her company he owns, who he’s related to and what he has planned for her. But, first there is much more to tell about Virginia.


Nicholas Waters was her psychiatrist until he dismissed her as a patient for her inappropriate and compromising behavior towards him. But, you know men and our Virginia seems to know just how to pull more than their strings, she bursts into his office, disrupts his session with a woman named Kathryn and she cannot understand the fuss. Calling security on her she refuses to realize that she once again horned in on her session, disregarded her privacy and was somewhere she was not wanted.  But, Nicholas listens to Kathryn as she explains her relationship with Chandler, who we all know was doing his thing with Virginia until she tossed him out. As she unburdens herself to Nicholas just what she reveals might give you a better handle on her and why she felt Chandler was perfect for her. What she does not know is the ultimatum that Virginia gave him. While Kathryn keeps talking and he keeps writing Virginia is waiting in the lobby pacing pack and forth and really proud of herself for taking control of the situation but she soon learns she might not be the one in charge as he keeps her waiting while she stews in her own juices so to speak.


While Kathryn made the call that would change her life, Virginia began thinking about taking charge of her hotel business and controlling the board of directors. She even attempted to convince herself that she would change her ways and become the executive needed to run the company. That still remains to be seen in more ways than one.


But, what happens next you wont’ believe and what she does will not endear you to her but definitely let you know she’s not fool and she’s in charge. What she learns about someone kicks the person in more places than one. What she does you won’t believe? Then ending will leave you hungry for more and the so called revenge that she enacts will definitely let you know score one for her side. Just whom she gets and why I will never divulge. It’s Never Enough: In more ways than one for her: Money: Power Men and there is much more! Once again author Madison Montgomery paints a picture of this outrageous woman that everyone would like to be in some way and leaves everyone ready for Part 3.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer