Hot Reads for the Holidays

From #Scotland 2 USA @jonmageeauthor wishes you a blessed #Thanksgiving lessons from past need celebrating




From Scotland to America author Jon Magee wishes you a blessed Thanksgiving. From experience he knows lessons from past need celebrating




Author of “From Barren Rocks to Living Stones” & “Paradise Island, Heavenly Journey”


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#Noelle thought “The First Noel'” was written just for her-in many ways it was.




Noelle loved Christmas and at the age of the, thought “The First Noel” was written just for her. For years that song would break our hearts.

#Noelle thought “The First Noel'” was written just for her-in many ways it was.




Dreaming of #vacations to #Ireland? Gift this book to yourself and others. Write for your special 60% disc. PLS RT


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Looking to save on your travel to Ireland-begin with the book! See my Pinterest Board- Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins for your special offer for the holidays!

DANGEROUS TRADE, a fascinating tale of paranormal, romance, war, espionage, highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review,




DANGEROUS TRADE, a fascinating tale, paranormal, romance, thriller, highly recommended by Midwest Book Review., video:



Interesting Blurbs which lead to great novels



Thanksgiving Belly Busting: 5 Easy Tips to Enjoy and Indulge Without the Bulge. ReTweet




I am #thankful for all my #readers.  Bless you.




I am thankful for all my readers.  Bless you.


Twitter:   Pressures: parental and peer drove Matt and Sal to become two faces behind my stones. Fran Lewis: Bad Choices:


Elsewhere: Virginia Green was wrong accused of a crime she never committed. Hear her voice. Hear her story: Faces Behind the Stones: Fran Lewis:


Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor

Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor

Author: John Kerastas


Solving a puzzle and putting the pieces within the frame might seem like child’s play. Each puzzle is unique unto itself and the pieces are specifically shaped to fit within the confines of the outlines drawn in simple and beginner puzzles and smaller, more detailed and delicate on the more intricate and elaborate ones. But, no matter what kind of puzzle it might be the end result is that you complete it and the picture created resembles what is on the cover of the box. Not all puzzles are quite that simple to complete or finish. Some require finding the answers to hidden clues, mysterious happenings and strange events. You might say that sometimes these mysteries require a detective or even a researcher to find out what is causing the problems, the symptoms that a suspect of person exhibits or in this case the changes in vision that one man is experiencing but has decided to table or not seek answers for so that his puzzle will stay unfinished until he’ ready to sort out the small pieces in order to find out what the big picture on the front cover might be. Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor: let’s find out just how our author learned what was happening beneath the hidden recesses of his mind, why his vision seemed to be impaired and why driving a car was becoming not only a hazard to his family and himself but his poor car too.


Before our author would even consider going to the doctor he decided to do some research on his own to start the ball rolling to find out what might be causing his vision problems and what he can discount. He did not have seizures. He did not have headaches. He did not have mental or personality changes. He did not seem to have the basic symptoms of what he would later learn to be a Brain Tumor. He did not have memory problems. But, his right eye seemed to be the culprit. For some reason in the right vertical third of his right eye he states he saw, “ a cascading series of irregular images that looked straight out of a 60’s movie hallucination sequence.” But, the rest of his right eye and his left eye had no problems and his vision and what he saw was like the everyone else.


Putting off till tomorrow what you should have done today helps many people not deal with the inevitable. Minor problems slip under the mass rug and the major ones like these amoebas appearing take the spotlight but have yet to be addressed. You just pretend they are not there or you call them floaters. However, in his case whatever they were would interrupt his train of thought and cause him to lose concentration. But, this did not send him calling for an immediate appointment to see his doctor. Just like most people he decided to put off the appointment. In this way eh would not have to deal with the bad or good news regarding his health. Whether this makes sense or not he went with it until well you guessed it, he could not ignore it any longer. People are busy and most often do not want to stop and interrupt their busy routines, take time off from work to deal with what would come back at him as the startling truth. So, he put it off until he couldn’t.

Serious health issues do not evaporate, vaporize or disintegrate or even vanish. Some can be cured and others require surgery or more treatment. There are those that decide that the bad news as he states can wait a few more days and it won’t make a difference except when those few days turn into weeks and months. Whether it is peace of mind, fear or as he states the calm before the impending storm, whatever it is just might go away by itself, except when it does not.


Next, the author created a poem dealing with his illness that really says it all and showcases his great sense of humor. Putting his monetary affairs was next as he explained that had nothing to do with having an affair with another woman, which he never did. Let’s get that straight. But, to show that he really was trying to handle this in an adult manner but keep his mind active and his sense of fun in tact he shares his will with readers. Cemetery plots are next and of course the final accounting of who gets it all.


First step he survived the operation but the next step was hysterical. Deciding he could go to the bathroom without assistance you might say brought in the cavalry and definitely got nurse don’t bother me in a thither.


Not wanting to read and hoping to pass the time our creative author became addicted to HGTV. Now, don’t tell me you never watched Design on a Dime or House Hunters. So, he watched until they brought him a real treat: green Jell-O not my favorite either. Next, he decided to deal with a real medical problem that he had which was partial blindness.



Sharing his experiences when he first arrives home, how he deals with his family and why his wife created rules that he had to break, you not only get to know John but realize how hard he was working to get his life back in order to be more independent. From listening and choosing the right music to listen to, breaking the rules to use the bathroom at night, (read why and you will definitely agree with what he did,) to being offered a job, John proves that he was not going to ever give up. When his doctor set the goal for him to be walking a mile and half by Dec 2 he was ready to take on the challenge at full speed.


John was determined to get back to normal and with the help of his family and sister, Nancy, a doctor, he would definitely win this battle if he had anything to say about it. When Dr. Rousseau set some goals for him he set three of his own. He wanted to return to his normal activity, which means walking. Next, take advantage of his sister’s doctorial activities and finally regain his normal vision and cognitive skills. John is truly an inspiration for everyone. There are so many people that dwell on the little things, never really appreciate the fact that they are healthy and can learn some really important lessons about values, appreciation and courage from our author. John Kerastas has more fortitude, creativity and courage than most people would after learning that his surgery was somewhat successful but that he had taken a turn for the worse. Still showing signs of blindness in his right eye and now other visual problems in the left plus the added knowledge that he now had some type of infection, changed everything after their Thanksgiving celebration. The end result and what he learns would leave anyone else in a state of depression but not John. What he has to endure and the next phase of surgery you will have to read for yourself to learn just how much courage it took for him to endure more than anyone should and the support he receives from friends and family.


How many people could withstand having someone use a staple on his or her heads and not on paper? How many people would survive that and so much more? But, things changed when his doctor returned from her trip. Imagine wearing a helmet all the time in order to protect your brain. Imagine having to deal with having part of your brain or skull chipped away. So, John has to go through surgery completion, which he describes in detail. He also read many blogs of others how experienced brain tumors, cancer and had to undergo serious surgeries. More time spent in the hospital, doctors trying to rearrange the many doses of medications that worked or did not work to cure his infection. All the while trying not to feel sorry for himself,

His eyesight did not improve, His hope to get a job seem to wane. A brain tumor that he nicknamed the Blob and a man who just wanted to his life backs the way it was before being introduced to the tumor that seemed to like its position and status in his brain and refused to shrink and go away. Just how they replace pieces of your skull I will not share with you as you can read that for yourself in Chapter 6.  But, there is much more as he goes through the next phase of his treatment, deals with many different therapists that would use some therapy of their own in some respects as he learns some valuable lessons about life. Can he drive a car? Will he pass his driving test? Just how amazing is Barbara his wife and his sister Nancy? What happens when there are medication mishaps and jobs that you want to get and hope to in the future? Read this well researched book filled with one man’s real life experience and learn what happens when you refuse to deal with the inevitable, refuse to think you are so ill you won’t survive and realize that one brain tumor is not going to over take your life. Blogging, speaking and writing about his experience proved to be a positive way for John to deal with an impossible situation. For those of you that want to learn more you can read his blog: or better yet read this book.


One man’s journey from start and definitely not finished yet will make you laugh, cry, smile, cheer and realize that rehab is rough, caretakers deserve big hugs and yes laughter and a sense of humor in this case was the best medicine. Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor: If I know John just from reading this book this tumor has no chance of survival against him. Hear his words, listen to his inner most thoughts and find out the new words he wrote to one of my favorite songs: Run Around Sue on pages 110-112.

Fran Lewis: reviewer


Special Real life stories

Mud Puddles and Muscadines: Pat Brannon


Imagine trying to pass a simple eye test and winding up in trouble. What happens when one young girl and her class have to stand on line, wait their turn, read the eye chart and hopefully pass a really simple test? Well, sometimes what seems simple is really more complicated as one young nine year old found out. Medical staff setting up in their home economics class, preconceived attitude that country kids are not that smart and waiting in line forever for her turn to show the world just how smart she really is. Reading each of the charts she had no problem and knew that her answers were correct. But, something happens that backfires on our young author at the time. Reading every single line and not making a mistake would alert the school that she just might have a problem But did she? After all she only wanted to show everyone that she was smart and do her “school proud.” Showing her parents and teachers that she was smart well, she meant well. Unfortunately, the outcome was a trip to an eye specialist. Her poor mother had to take her to the eye doctor, not go to work and of course she felt awful. What happens and what does her mother do at the very end after the next test is administered? Read the story titled “Eye Can See Clearly Now,” by author Pat Brannon to find out not only what happens but also a valuable lesson that all kids should learn. Mud Puddles and Muscadines is a compilation of real life stories told by author Pat Brannon in her own special way.


There are quite a few great stories in this book so I will only spotlight a few. Doyle Franklin was a great man whose kindness and caring way left a lasting impression on Pat. Going to a country school and having to walk miles was not easy. But, Pat did it until she did not have to any more. Doyle Franklin was a bus driver who went out of his way for the students on his bus and whose undying love for Pat made her feel special. Living in the country on a dirt road Pat and her family lived a short distance from her grandmother. Meeting Doyle when he came to visit Ma Baker. Doyle had five kids and wife named Stella Ruth. Pat became friends with his five kids. The families were close and that’s how she started riding on his bus to school in the third grade. But, there is much more to tell. With her parents working in town it was hard for them to drive her to school, it was too far to walk and riding on this bus allowed her to not only get back and forth safely but to get to know this great man. Not only did he make sure she was safely on the bus first, but in Junior High and Senior High School he made sure she got back and forth to her basketball games too. Hating the cold she describes how lucky she was to sit near the heater on the bus and how really great her mother was to plug in the electric blanket to keep her warm when she got home. The author tells more about him, dating one of his sons, basketball and how important it was to her and moving to a new house but what about attending Wonderview School? Just how her family worked this is out is truly amazing. Hear the author’s voice, read her story and find out just why Doyle Franklin was the best bus driver in the world, had a kind heart and believe it or not never complained.


Don’t Touch That Dial is the next story I want to spotlight. Granny Hamm is the center of this story. She is her maternal grandmother someone everyone would love to have as their grandmother too. Definitely independent, freethinker and her own person you might agree with our author when she writes, “ she was the real deal through and through.” Not someone who wanted everyone to do everything for her or be catered to Granny Hamm worked in the fields, raised her kids and even picked cotton, canned her own vegetables and never once complained.


Working hard, making sure she provided for her kids, losing her husband when our author was very young, Granny was special and she states a riot to be around. Sounds like my kind of grandmother. Mary Ellen, the author’s mother was her middle daughter. Pat describes her mom as a real jewel in every sense. What a great way to describe your mother. You can hear the pride in her voice as she tells readers about her mother, her abilities and how proud she was of having her as a parent.


Flashing back to when her grandmother lived with them for a few weeks. Granny lived with them during the week and on the weekend she stayed in her own house to tend to business and go to church. But, Granny was great and every Monday, and you can smell the delicious food as she describes what she brought for them for dinner every Monday. But, the most fun she had was making snow cream with her Granny. Sounds great and awfully cold. But, when her school bus slides into a ditch you have to read what happens and when her parents miss a day of work and she missed school well wait until you read Plan A and knowing our author she had a Plan B too. So, what makes her special: she would play with her and her little brother. She made sure her parents could go to work. She knew all sorts of songs and sang them. She even played I Spy and Jacks with them. These are two great games by the way that my nephews still play when I see them today. Jacks is fun no matter how old you are. Now, Granny would have loved my late sister, Marcia because anyone that loves Ding Dongs and milk would definitely have loved my chocolate loving sister. She loved Ding Dongs and Hostess cupcakes and tons of milk. I on the other hand loved Dolly Madison Ice Cream and coffee. But, Pat understood that her grandmother did not try to slight her but she didn’t bother to buy her apples pies and cokes. So, using the dollar her mother gave her she managed to get her own treats. I told you Pat was enterprising and always had a plan of her own.


Granny was human and she tells the reader when she would get upset or agitated. What her younger brother would do to make her go after him with a fly swatter. That had to be hilarious. Now, if she is anything like my grandmother she loved to watch her soaps. That is when you never ever dared to touch the dial on the set or else! The Young and the Restless, The Edge of Night and my grandmother watched Search for Tomorrow and the Guiding Light. But, things happen and wait until you find out what Pat does. Changing the channel when her grandmother was out of the room. What happens you have to read for yourself and just what she does well wait and find out? But there is much more as the author relates more stories about her Granny, how she knew all of the plots of all of the soaps and what she left with her that no one can take away.


Two poems and a story about Annie Oakley follows but since our author loves Basketball I will spotlight Basketball 101. Moving again to the country meant new friends and a new school. Riding the bus was fun and she loved when they would get stuck in the mud or slide off into a ditch. Retelling us about Doyle Franklin and why riding his bus was the best adds to the story. With her mother close at hand she met her new teacher in the third grade. It is great when an educator makes you feel comfortable and welcome. Even better the author realized and shares with us how important it is to have a teacher that helps raise your self-esteem, treats all of her students special and makes everyone want to come to school. But, what she describes next is right out of things I don’t want to do but volunteered for any way. Two people arrived in her school and wanted to know who would like to play of all things basketball on a peewee team. Now, if you read the first two paragraphs on page 63 you will know exactly how she felt about doing this but you know Pat, she raised her hand and well you guessed it she had to safe face, she had to volunteer and what do you think happened next? You guessed it! Guess who would be on the team? Just how did her team do you won’t learn that from me you have to read that for yourself. Did she grow to love the sport and did they find a coach who just might make them into a winner team?  Her team the Wonderview Daredevils were together for four years under Coach Stafford. What she learned and why the team wanted to do their best for him you will have to read the story for yourself. Hear her voice, the respect she felt and still does for this coach and the memories that are precious. So, where does Basketball 101 fit into this story? To find out the answer to this important question read page 73 and the author will enlighten you herself. Not everything remained the same and things changes. Her message to the coach heartfelt and the ending of the story quite compelling. Each story carries its own message and the poem that starts the book Covers sums it up: Her description of her family, how they dealt with the cold and the warmth beneath the special covers not only creates the warmth and love expressed within the pages of this book but within the hearts and minds of readers too.


Fran Lewis: reviewer



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Interview with the author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

Fran Lewis Interview:

First let me say a heartfelt thank you, Fran Lewis, for all your support of my book, your wonderful thoughtful review, promoting it, and now having me over for this interview. You are a tremendous gift, not just to me, but to so many authors whose work you have supported and launched.

When you decide to write this book what is the message that you hope readers will come away with?

The book, the story, came to me, like all good things in life, it was really serendipity, a coming together, a melding of several events in my life. I was very ill with Lyme disease, for years, unable to do much of anything but write. When I felt well enough, I joined a writing class with a very prestigious teacher, Deb Norton,  (writer of stage and screen) who had us do an exercise based on a photograph. Mine was of two women, huddled very close together, in turn of the twentieth century garb, with a fearful look on their face, it screamed, lesbian couple afraid of being found out. That was the seed for the story that grew on its own. I couldn’t stop the ideas, the scenes, the dialogue, from flowing through me. The research tied it all together, when I hit pay dirt in discovering that around that time period, Oscar Wilde had just been imprisoned for indecency, homosexual activity, in Britain. His injustice haunted me. Can you imagine meeting someone, wanting them, loving them, making love to them and landing in jail because of that? The injustice, the intolerance for his natural preference, that can no more be changed than a tree can not want to breathe carbon dioxide, stayed with me to this day. It is this haunting of my cells that moves me to hope a reader will see intolerance in a new light, and not as just an opinion about something “out there” but rather a sullying of ones own heart. It is my hope that “we” can learn to see differences for what they are, simply different, and not something bad or good.

How can everyone understand how special Mildred Dunlap is as a person and as a character in your book? What about her causes people to shy away from her?

The only way to answer this is in a metaphor because no one sees what they cannot see. A woman is unattractive and someone finds her repulsive, they gossip about her, make up stories about her, and project toxic words at her to and through others, until one day, something changes to help them see her differently, in a new light. They see her standing over them in an emergency room, saving their life, and they know in that moment the beauty that lives within that very plain person, it lies within.  Mildred is that person. She is the internal light of goodness that doesn’t diminish because of external factors, the same light in all of us, not defined by who we love or make love with, but who we fundamentally are at our core. Others shy away from what isn’t pretty/handsome, intelligent, the winning ego/persona, because “we” want to associate with a winner, as determined by society; marketing, movies, etc. We want to say, my friend the attorney, my mother went to Harvard, yes, that beauty is my… We become who we associate with, identify with it, and lose a little bit of our own uniqueness when we do. Those with strong self-esteem don’t necessarily fall prey to this, like Mildred, and that can drive others with low self-esteem nuts, and so they project and put down that which they don’t understand, that fundamentally the light within is the same through all of us. I think when we connect with that internal light, love; we see how similar we all are. The heart knows what the mind can never comprehend.

Explain why you started the novel with the arrest of Oscar Wilde?

The flip answer is he came from his grave and haunted me to speak for him. Sometimes I wonder how far from the truth that is. His imprisonment has changed my life. He was the watershed poster boy for homophobia at the end of the nineteenth century. It was pure luck that I connected his imprisonment with the initial photo, but then that’s the beauty of research; we find these ah ha connections. He was the absolute perfect thread to move the story along, to give the women reason to fear being found out, and the news of his imprisonment did travel world- wide. There was an article in the New York Times, April 5, 1895, that shifted the attitude of homophobia, when it wrote about Wild’s immoral behavior.

Why did the British convict him and what happens when he is released? How did it affect his family?

To really answer this would take hours and volumes because it was complicated. Here’s the short version. The father of his lover, Marquis of Queensberry, brought Wilde to trial on the charge of indecency (Britain had recently changed its laws to make homosexual behavior a criminal offense with a prison sentence of hard labor for two years), for having a sexual relationship with his son. He lost the case to Wilde and Wilde countersued, which he later wrote was his own undoing and hubris. He lost the case and was sentenced to two years of sleeping on a wooden board, no pen and paper, enforced treadmill of six hours a day, and fed watery soup, not unlike a concentration camp sentence. It broke his spirit. On May 19, 1897, he was released from prison. He spent the last three years of his life in France in a self-imposed exile from society and artistic circles under a pseudonym. Although he was penniless, he was able to pursue the uninhibited pleasures that he had been denied in England. He died of meningitis on November 30, 1900, with his friend Reggie Turner at his bedside.

Edra was the one person closest to Mildred? Why did she fear losing her?


Edra’s mother died giving birth to her, her father shortly after, of a broken heart.

Edra grew up blaming herself. She was raped at an early age and again she blamed herself. Mildred was the only person who got through to her, to help her recover, and in doing so, Edra learned to trust. When Mildred’s parents died, Edra had no other relationship beside Mildred. Her fragility was calmed by Mildred’s love, and up till the Wilde news broke and Mildred devised a plan to show interest in a man, Edra had no reason to fear losing her. Mildred’s involvement with Charley, stirred up Edra’s early abandonment issues with the loss of her parents.


Who was Charley and why did he become a central figure in her life?

As the story opens, Charley is at his dying wife’s bedside. When Mildred goes to town and overhears the gossip mongers spewing hateful homophobic talk, she gets very anxious, until on her way home she thinks of a plan that might work, she will show attention to Charley. He being a very handsome man and very much in love with his wife will reject her, that’s what she gambles on but it all backfires and when it does Charley’s character becomes the central figure for change, for a devastated heart opening to something new, life and new viewpoints. Charley is the metaphor for hope, along with Gus, to help balance the tension/conflict over hateful Josie.

Why did the women that gathered together feel it necessary to discuss Mildred?

Josie, the ringleader, had it in for Mildred, for reasons that would be a spoiler and I won’t mention. Josie railroaded and manipulated other’s thinking to go along with hers. This is the impact toxic personalities have on others, who are spineless, or bored, or get swept up in the group and want to belong, ad nauseum.

What happens that causes Charley to care about her and why does he want to be her friend?

From suffering comes change, awakenings, and openings. Charley was ready for a new heart-connection , to fill up his broken heart. Grief stricken over the loss of his wife, it was Mildred, who went to visit him, and in that visit (no spoilers here) he started to come out of his loss, it was his watershed moment, when he went from wanting to die, to deciding to take a bath, clean his place up, and just take it one day at t time. It was in and through this vulnerability, he saw Mildred, just as he saw children, so honest, giving, and without pretense. It was in this raw, vulnerable place, he befriended Gus and learned what it was to listen, see other points of view, and embrace things foreign to his upbringing and conditioning. Charley’s broken heart opened him to a new life, a new way of living, the only way he felt would make any sense or be worthwhile, after the loss of his wife.

What rumors are spread?

It starts with the rumors of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, the hatred talk that comes with homophobia, then continue to racist rumor mongering centering around the success of Booker T. Washington’s attempts to get African-American children into school, and moves along to concentrate on the Dryefus Affair in France, that divided France, as a nation on anti-semitism. There are more intimate rumors about Mildred, Mildred and Charley, and town gossip but the overriding themes are covered by the aforementioned topics.

Who is Josie and who is Helene?

One of the themes of good story telling, novel writing, is that a story needs conflict, a protagonist and an antagonist that moves into crisis through conflict and reaches a resolution. Josie is the antagonist, the vehicle for toxic hatred, the source of what drives the reader to want to know what happens to Mildred. Josie is one of her puppets, the one who constantly battles with internal conflict; the fear of saying no to Josie, risking being the target of vengeance (and stirring up a traumatic past of her own) by not going along with the “group-think” versus standing up for what she knows to be right and ethical behavior.

When Mildred is taken ill who comes to care for her and why?

The town doctor gets a note from Edra to come see Mildred. He acts as a neutralizer for Edra’s anxiety and watches over Mildred to be sure she doesn’t take a turn for the worse. He knows that Mildred internalizes her worries and by showing up, is really doing an act of kindness to show support for the women, without stating such. The narrative makes it clear that he, along with other characters, understand Mildred’s benevolence, her charity to so many town people, and are there on the side lines silently supporting her.

What causes everyone to realize that Josie is the cause of much of the negative statements? Why does she hate Mildred?

This would be a spoiler and I think the reader needs to read this to discover why Josie hates Mildred.  And, I’m not so sure that everyone did come to realize how negative Josie was. Some did, but not all, as is evidences throughout the story. A lot of town folk already knew she was toxic, but because they were good people never bad-mouthed her. It isn’t until later on we start to get the idea that not everyone is taken in by Josie’s poison.

Who is Annalee?

She is one of Josie’s gossip monger cohorts, who really gets off on being included in and spreading negativity. She can’t get enough of it.

Besides being prejudice against people of different races and religions the women of this town are even more prejudice against Mildred and if they knew more about Edra her too? Why?

Some of it’s jealousy. Some pure spreading of hatred from Josie. Some from boredom. Mildred has wealth, power, and minds her own business. She refuses to cater to the small mindedness yet maintains civility and helps out people in trouble, to get through devastating winters and put food on their tables, to stay in their homes, and this drives the small minded hate mongers crazy.

What are the important lessons we hope that everyone will learn from reading your novel?

What we think of someone is not always accurate, most times it probably isn’t and yet we make these thoughts into realities about someone, think that’s who they are,  a uni-dimensional living creature, but no one is like that. Human beings are complex emotional, biochemical, conditioned, functioning conglomerations of cells joined together into organs that make up a body that houses a brain that thinks and identifies in all kinds of illogical, not based on fact, ways. We as humans, all have emotions, wants, desires, dark aspects/shadows (to use Jung’s term), we all do. If we can see our differences as different and not good or bad then we may be able to get along better instead of wanting to go to war with the difference, to subjugate it or meld it into our way of being. Can we accept differences, suspend beliefs/ideas and embrace these, which all humans possess? If so then the light on tolerance has seen a good day.

Where can we get your books and what are you other titles?

This is my first book and can be purchased at Amazon. Here are the links:



What is your next project?

While in college at UCLA, I wrote an award winning short story about a couple who met in an Oncologist’s office, both for treatment of cancer. They connected in a relationship that was to define what it is to be alive in this very living, breathing moment in a very unique love story. I’m working this into a full-length novel and am up to chapter 7.  That’s my next writing project. My two life projects that I will continue with are animal rescue (dogs in particular) with all my profits going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA where I live with my husband, Terry, and our two dogs Max and Bella. I will also continue my pro-bono work with women with cancer.

Thank you again, Fran Lewis, for the remarkably deep questions and inviting me here to speak to them, and the support you’ve given to The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, in the name of tolerance.





Inside the Other Side: my review


Inside the Other Side: Concetta Bertoldi


Some many think that the world is coming to an end from listening to the news, predictions made by those that think they know and others that just want their voices to be heard. Concetta Bertoldi is a medium and she explains in the beginning of the book that the world is not ending we are now she states, “ in the process of creating a new one.” Imagine the vast and infinite possibilities if we really focus on what she is saying and we open our minds to the many challenges that await us in the future. But, she also explains her connection to the other side; her reasons for helping people come to terms with the loss of loved ones. She also explains that although the person is not physically here does not mean that they are not watching over us and loving us from wherever they are. One statement that says it all before I begin to tell you more about her book and her experiences is as she states on page 4: “ Life goes on and we must go on with it. “ Well said. Seeing Ghosts is where I will begin when spotlighting this chapter as the author states that spirits can appear to you in many different forms.










She continues on chapter one explaining for us exactly how she connects with the other side and the fact that it’s an art not a science. Let me explain. She defines her ability as clairsentient, which means that every one of her senses are psychically involved. Some explains the different between her ability and that of someone who is clairvoyant. Physical sensations play an important role especially if a spirit makes any kind of contact with her body. In this way the spirit can relate to the medium the method of how they crossed over to the other side. An important point made is the connection is between the spirit and the person that she is doing the reading for. The author even explains that there are times she might be wrong and that it is difficult to find a middle ground when doing these readings. It is hard to tell when to say more and when you do not say enough. Explaining situations in her own life will clarify a lot for the reader as you read Chapter One. The most powerful part of this chapter is when she relates how she is home with the Dead explaining that they are always around her and sometimes arrive at any moment. She is always there to hear and listen to them and tells why when she is asleep how she can communicate with them more easily.


Chapter 2 Dead People and You: Opening the Connection to the Other Side: The author states that spirits appear in different forms. She relates some personal stories that others have had and we learn about what happened to her friend Madeline. Physical apparitions are explained and how she sees a full body and how she sometimes goes and finds out no one was there and sometimes in her subconscious state she sees them clearly. The one point she does make is that if you are going to connect with a spirit from the other world you need to let that spirit know that you are not afraid to hear or even see them. She continues in this chapter by explaining spiritual power tools, what you wear and Getting through to us or how the soul sends us the message or how we get that message plus visits and warnings. At the end of each chapter the author presents reminders and practices.


There is so much to learn from reading this book that I will only highlight some of the chapters in order for the reader to learn more but still have to read the book to fully understand the messages being related. Chapter 3 is titled Big God and Chapter Four Energy and Body. Chapter 5 Soul Contracts and Life Lessons is where I continue to spotlight her thoughts. The author relates an incident where a woman’s seven-year-old daughter picked out a picture of her grandfather whom she never met. She stated that she met him before she knew her mother. The author elaborated by stating that the young child obviously knew him when she was on The Other Side and that she was here before. The soul she states on page 63 goes on in returns to earth in another physical body. She also states that most people do not remember being on the Other Side in between lives, and we hardly or rarely remember,  “On this side of the veil the agreements we made for our lives here.” She explains in details Why We Return, The Soul Contract and Karma as well as man life lessons. The Soul Contract is almost you might say like an evaluation of our job performance. Every time we complete a life believe it or not you get a review when we return to the Other Side. You go over what you did well and what you need to do better you might even consider what you want to improve in if and when you return. Imagine deciding with God the family you will be born into, your physical condition and everything is for a reason. Think of it as she states as a Soul Contract. Believe it or not you do not have a predetermined or ordained fate and along the way you can change the course, change the way things go and renegotiate your contract. Finding your Path, Karma, Karma and Kids plus Assistance from our Guardian Angels rounds out this chapter. Reminders and Practices will help you on page 77.


Chapter 7 is titled Mission Entities and Mystical Travelers followed by Chapter 8 People Who Need People. We all have many challenges in life and we all have to deal with the loss of family members, friends and the sense of loneliness. Everyone has a guardian angel who has gone to the other side or as she states “the dead guys.” Like the assistant is helps behind the scenes that is the job of these guardian angels. The most difficult time of the year for me are the holidays without my sister and parents. Just like the author I love shopping for other people and during the holidays my sister and I would shop for all of her children and our nieces and nephews together. It was a special time that we had just the two of us together. I really miss that. As the author elaborates about how she tried for ten years to fit into her husband’s family but had difficulty for many reasons it is interesting to note that she was receiving help from her deceased father-in-law. With the help of her father-in-law and some of her guardian angels she realized that she had to make changes and that holidays were up to her to create the joy on her own. The section in this chapter that really impacted me the most was Wall of Grief which reminded me that my mom might not be here in body but she is definitely looking out for me along with my sister and my dad from the Other Side and that they are home safe. Mistakes I’ve Made A Few is the title of Chapter 9 followed by Negativity Chapter 10. Finally Chapter 11 Enough focuses on Looking for Peace and exactly how: Rule One: Begin with a positive mind set, next Rule Two: Don’t Give the universe mixed signals, Rule 3: Reinforce your intention, Rule 4: Put into action, Rule 5: Give it a Boost. Respect and Appreciation and Gratitude for what is Ours rounds out this chapter.


In conclusion the author shares her final thoughts we the reader and reminds us how spirits are in all places. Souls send messages to many people at once and what I love is when she says it’s like having a contact list on your computer. I put a message everyday on my sister’s facebook wall telling her about my day, my events and what I need her to help me figure out. I know she hears me because when I am stumped and feel like I just cannot get the answers for some reason she comes through in some way with the solution. As she states in the final pages “ The Other Side works with all the time, putting something we need in our hands, sometimes even before we know that we need it. You have the free will to choose- do I want to talk with this person? Do I want to do this thing? Read this book and learn more about Inside the Other Side. I did and you will love the real life stories the author shares, the humor and her honesty.

Fran Lewis: reviewer