One Man’s True Story


Expecting the Broken Brain to Do Mental Pushups: Dave Elder

Take a piece of blown glass or a fragile porcelain doll, hold it in your hands and gently place it on a glass table. Within the pieces of this glass the delicate workmanship, the craftsmanship of the doll needs to be handled with care, gentle precision and calm in order to prevent it from cracking, chipping or shattering. The mind is fragile and something simple or more complex can shatter a person’s life, cause their mind to be unable to function in the read world and sometimes even revert into their own. Dave Elder knew from the age of three that his mother’s mind was delicate, often hard to reach her inner most thoughts and hoped that she would someday return and be his real mom. Adopted and never really wanted and accepted for being who she was his mother spent most of her young years apologizing for being “a bad girl.” Children make mistakes but living your life always afraid of being chastised would take its toll on anyone. So, when growing up with his older brother, two years his senior, and then a new brother coming home little did Dave know that things would drastically change and not for the better. Expecting the Broken Brain to Do Mental Pushups brings the reader into the world of mental illness, the seriousness of it and what happens when a young child has to deal with his mother disappearing right in front of his eyes. How do you explain nervous breakdown? How do you explain shattered nerves? How do you deal with mood changes and how do you explain to a young child that his mother will never be normal? There is no physical cause of a nervous breakdown. It is a period of a “period of mental illness, usually without a physical cause, which results in anxiety.”

Growing up could not have been easy as the author explains his relationship with his family; his father’s struggling to support three sons and a wife who was constantly in the hospital and a young boy that just wanted to understand. With a friend whose father seemed unstable yet not really comprehending what it meant to have shattered nerves, Dave spent much time trying to understand the causes of his friend’s father’s agitation and hoped by the time he entered High School to understand even more. A mind is just as fragile as a piece of blown glass and can shattered into millions of pieces that remain unseen. Whereas glass, tiles, plates, cups, dinnerware, candlesticks, picture frames or even a simple toy can break just by falling to the floor or being flung across a room and landing on a cold hard surface or table, a mind can snap, break and shatter and the end results are sometimes often unseen. Dave’s mother’s troubles began after the birth of her third son. Often hearing voices and needing medication to have a somewhat normal day he lived in constant fear of what would happen next.

 

 

Throughout the book we learn more about Dave and hear his inner most thoughts and reflections on his mother’s illness and the world around him. The drug scene is quite prevalent in his writing as he reflects on the many different people that he partners with in his career as a songwriter and musician. Learning that some need to escape reality and use drugs or other means of enhancement in order to deal with everyday issues and life is definitely eye opening. Some cannot seem to even write a song or relate their message without the help of some hardcore drugs or alcohol. Tempted and lured into the scene the author seemed to stand hard and steadfast by his own convictions and not succumb to what some might say as peer pressure or the thoughts of others just to fit in. Disconnected from his family for long periods of time, trying to understand the rationale behind his mother’s behaviors and illness sent him to do research about Freud and Jung coming away with new perspectives that would help him learn more about mental illness.

Added in he relates the Berkley drug scene, the situation so many mentally ill faced with funding being cut to facilities and many being turned away and forced to live on the street, the author reminds the reader of a time when other issues were in the forefront and the care of so many placed more than just on the backburner. Added in his reaction to the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest enlightened him to what these patients endured and sent him to reflect more on what his own mother had been through. Going back to his family and learning more about his mother, brothers and his grandmother’s illnesses were next.

 

“Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder (or a group of disorders) marked by severely impaired thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Schizophrenic patients are typically unable to filter sensory stimuli and may have enhanced perceptions of sounds, colors, and other features of their environment. Most schizophrenics, if untreated, gradually withdraw from interactions with other people, and lose their ability to take care of personal needs and grooming.

The prevalence of schizophrenia is thought to be about 1% of the population around the world; it is thus more common than diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. In the United States and Canada, patients with schizophrenia fill about 25% of all hospital beds. The disorder is considered to be one of the top ten causes of long-term disability worldwide.” Free Dictionary. com. What happens when you hear voices in your head? How does a person control hearing others who are talking to them, fighting with them and trying to control their actions and thoughts? The author describes his own experiences in trying to understand these plus violent thoughts within Chapter 10. Focusing on the reasons behind his mother’s illness would not provide the real answers but the views of others that did not really comprehend the gravity of what this disorder really was and is. Reverting to the fact that his mother considered herself a “bad girl,” is not getting to the root of the problem just masking it. The author adds within this chapter more information about his friend D, his relationship with his brother and more about his family. The research about the times was extensive and the information about many famous stars enlightening and invaluable. Learning about his relationship with a woman named M is quite revealing and helps the reader to get to know the author as a kind and compassionate person who tries to help others.

 

 

Medication can do many things if not given in the proper form or dosage. As his mother began taking certain meds for schizophrenia other side effects came into play. When she stopped taking them she heard voices, exhibited dangerous behavior and his older brother needed to take her to get her meds changed. Becoming more involved he spoke with her doctor to learn more about her medication and perhaps how to help deal with her illness. Learning more, researching, asking questions and seeing a program on television would create more of an overall picture and understanding for Dave. Learning to understand the differences between psychiatric and psychological problems helped clarify things even more. As you read chapter 13 the author shares his research, insights and better understanding of the meaning of the term Broken Brain and how to apply it to his mother. Sharing her medical history and childhood helped clarify not only to him but the reader the root of the problem and his understanding about the voices heard in her head. The story continues as the author shares what he learned about M who is Bipolar and how he was able to finally help her along with her doctors. The final chapter will tie it all up for the reader as the author relates to everyone what he learned and what he hopes you, the reader will take away after reading this book. The end result is that he finally has a firm understanding of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and remembering others that dealt with drugs and alcohol as a means of escape. Genetics play an important role as to who we are, our health and much more as he learned. Take the journey along with Dave and then read the two poems at the end that will enlighten you even more. Told in his own voice straightforward, honest and in detail from the start age 3 until the present author Dave Elder shares his insights, knowledge, research and his love of his mother, brothers, grandmother and family with all of us. Take that piece of porcelain or glass with those intricate designs and place in on a special shelf and remember to protect it always.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Between Two Eternities: my review


Between Two Eternities

Barbara Brett

 

The portrait of a family should include all of its members. Each one distinctly painted, colors vividly depicted and smiles beaming at their unknown audience as each face has its own expression that they want to leave when they are gone. But, portraits as is life never last forever, as the paint fades, the colors blend and the faces that were once young have aged and the final scene that many see after so many years differs from the original But, what happens when one member in this portrait is caught or blindsided by fate, has no idea that the next painting will not have their image or face and the world as they knew it and would see for just a short time is about to come to an end? Between Two Eternities will leave readers with many ethical questions, debates that some have had over the issues brought to light in this novel and unanswered questions that many would have liked to ask the characters themselves.

 

Robert and Marcie Silver lived what they thought was an idyllic life. Not rich but comfortable Robert a college professor and Marcie an artist in her own right. Hoping to create illustrations for Bambi every child’s favorite storybook little does Marcie know that her life span as some might say has not been cut short but is complete. Although only 32 and the mother of two children we do not decide how much time we have on earth but it is up to each one of us to use it wisely, embrace the good times and manage to hard ones. Some feel that death is more than just losing a spouse and a mother. Understanding that “no life can be cut short before it is complete, that death, evil and tragedy are all a part of living,” can be difficult to comprehend. When Marcie starts to feel tired, looks pale and finds it hard to function she ignores the symptoms and feels that it might be a virus that will eventually go away. As we meet her and Robert attending a function of one of his faculty members, we learn to what lengths she will go in order to help Robert attain tenure, deal with some difficult people and even handle one that would like more than just his attention.  Dictionary.com defines eternity as: “infinite time; duration without beginning or end. Eternal existence, especially as contrasted with mortal life: the eternity of God.

Theology: the timeless state into which the soul passes at a person’s death.” But, Marcie and Robert faced more than just understanding the meaning of eternity or everlasting. Robert faced and made a decision that brings to light what the role of a doctor is when having to tell a patient they are terminal. As we get to know Dr. Halpern he seems callous, cold and not accessible nor is his partner. Almost like trying to avoid the inevitable and when he does the conversation between him and Robert just might leave the reader cold. An inoperable brain tumor with no chance of survival told to him by her internist. Claiming that his best neuro men looked at the results and gave him the final diagnosis still should have sent Robert elsewhere looking for answers but it did not as Dr. Halpern convinced him that all roads would lead back to him. But, what happens next is totally questionable as Robert demands and pleads that Marcie not be told. This is where ethics comes into play and where her final wishes if she had a Living Will or DNR should have been respected.

 

Told she had a virus and not really concerned Robert began noticing little changes within her and rather than face them what he does will surprise the reader as their closeness was one thing that most thought would never falter and the temptations placed in front of him should have been ignored. But, being what some say is only human what happens creates more than just a wide rift between him and Marcie. His children are so precious and her mother so supportive yet no one seems to realize what is happening to Marcie and Robert is hiding from the truth, as you will learn from his actions.

 

 

Marcie is astute, resourceful and definitely one to be trifled with as a major outburst that she cannot explain or control sends her to finding out what is wrong with her and as the doctor states: all roads led back to him. So, what happens when the lies, truths and falsehoods come out and how do they deal with the final outcome? Robert and Marcie are special and when she learns the truth they decide to live life to the fullest, take chances and enjoy the time they had. With the help of her courageous mother, her two children and one special weekend Marcie will get to not only live out a special dream but hopefully enjoy her time on earth.

 

With references to the Torah and definitions that will help the reader understand more we learn that there are two kinds of immortality: “ there’s the finite kind right here on earth, where we live on in the hearts and memories of those who loved us; there’s the infinite kind, where our souls return to God, who created them.” The reader learns more about the traditions the author shares and the feelings of both characters, Robert and Marcie come through loud and clear as each one voices his/her thoughts about the final outcome. As Marcie comes full circle with her feelings, her final wishes expressed quite clearly will Robert respect what she says. When trying to give her a special weekend the thoughts that are shared will bring tears to your eyes and hope that some kind of miracle will occur. But, truths are told, facts are real and the end result you will have to decide for yourself whether you agree with the final outcome. Do you respect the wishes of someone even when they are given verbally and not written down? What are the rights of the patient? What are the rights of the family? What role do the doctors and nurses have? Why did all of the medical personnel seem so cold and unfeeling? What happens when people need compassion? What happens when one man is torn between two eternities? This is one book that everyone should read to understand that time is short and we need to life and love life to the fullest because you just never know. Author Barbara Brett presents many issues that so many will debate after reading this heartbreaking and enlightening novel. Some portraits will change and others we know will last for eternity if just in our hearts and minds.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

FInding Family: my review


Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA:

Richard Hill:

Maps show the route to where you are going on a trip, journey or just on vacation. Some include highways; roads, valleys, mountains and some include different ways to go to the same places. Some maps show just the physical attributes of countries while others show their waterways and some different views. But, what about a map that shows you whom you are, where you came from and what your lineage is? What about a map that when created you will learn just why you exist, who created you, who your family is comprised of and even more just who you really are. What happens when a young woman decides that she cannot care for her unborn child? What happens when she hides the fact that she is pregnant in order to protect her first-born son? What happens when this same young woman quietly puts her child up for adoption and the adoptive parents, their family and friends keep it a secret? How can so many know something so important and yet no one ever said a word? What happens when one young 18-year-old named Richard goes to the doctor for acid reflux, answers all of his questions and then finds himself the recipient of one that would forever change his life? Acid reflux is not fatal but can be increased as I learned today from watching the news from stress. Stress can make it worse but it is not caused by stress as the doctor explaining it did state. But, when this one physician asks our author: How do you feel about being adopted? It’s a wonder that he did not burst out in anger, run out of the office or call his parents on the spot and ask them that one major question: Is it true and of course the other one word Why? Like why didn’t you tell me?

Richard Hill learned that very day in a short moment that he was adopted and it was up to him to find a way to deal with the truth, understand his medical conditions and follow suit on what he thought he needed to do next. Secrets are deadly when they come out. Some require keeping in order to protect others. Some are kept when a surprise is being planned. But, what about a secret that is kept in order to protect a young man from finding out how others felt about an adopted child? What about a family, a community and two parents that never told him about his true parentage? The year 1964, the place the doctor’s office and reaction remarkable. Deciding on his course of action would take time but Richard Hill would begin a journey, create his own directions and map that would take him across many states, different places in search of who he really is and where he really came from. But, the map started out with just a few lines and several different places because he did most of his searching online, going to some places but not until January of 1978 did the truth come out when his father decided to bring up the subject of his adoption. Born in St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing, his father worked on an Oldsmobile Forge Plant and his mom was a licensed cosmetologist. Returning to Ionia is where the story takes off even more. Learning that a young girl named Jackie wanted to put her child up for adoption set the wheels in motion. Jackie lived with his parents before he was born and he tells the story of who put them in touch with her and how they are all still connected. Added in Richard learns from his father that his mother and her sister died in a car crash and that he might have a brother. With a wife who is supportive our author began developing a journal, a plan and now his map or as you might refer to it family tree would start by drawing the foundation, placing the trunk firmly on the ground or in the center of the paper and then fill in the branches one at a time.

With his own family growing Richard would have to take a break from his search. But, then things changed and with the support of his wife Pat he knew he had to find his brother, learn more about his past in order to live in the present. A group called the Adoption Identity Movement would play a major part attending one of their meetings a great starting point. Dropping in on some of his family he learned that they were in on the secret and more than willing to help, yet he never told his mother what he learned. Talking to the doctor that told him about his adoption many years later would trigger more information but not a lot. Speculation about his birth father seemed to take him in many directions but never lead to his identity. Learning that his mother died in an accident and meeting a woman named Jeanette who ran an organization called Adoptees Search for Knowledge would take his quest in so many more areas, lead him to finding one girl that connected him with his past and then the situation snowballed like a beautiful storm. Carol Woods was her name back then and when she saw Richard she opened her up her heart and home to him. She knew about his adoption, he summarized what he had learned and then she informed him about her mother, Mickey, a man named Bill French, his wife Marie and the parts they play in this interesting plot. Imagine receiving a call from her Uncle Bill, Mickey was asked if she and her husband would adopt a young boy. But, she had already adopted Carol and that is where our story begins with just how he came to learn more about Jackie Harzell his birth mother, his aunt Marilyn, her sister, many other relatives, cousins, uncles and aunts and even more how he finds his brother, Mike.

Richard always wanted to know his ethnic background and the speculation into his father’s was quite interesting. Some thought he was Polish, others Italian and some thought Leonard, the man on his birth certificate was his real father. But, he was not as we learn. There are so many small branches on this tree this point, so many extended family relatives that he meets and then meets again years later but no one seems to be able to put the map and him in the right direction of finding his father. Jeanette was able to find his brother and the meeting was quite remarkable. Tense, reserved and hoping to bond with his brother, Richard was excited but Mike more cautious. Meeting Eleanor, his mother’s best friend would set up a chain of events that would take him to learn more about Jackie, her relationship with Leonard, Marion and Bill’s connection and about the fatal accident. Just where did she work at that time was in question? Who was the man that drove that worked at the Cavalcade Inn? What happened to him? Then in Chapter 12 we experience the actual meeting of the two brothers. But, what happens next will bring tears to your eyes as he writes a letter to his mother, explains what he has learned and hopes that she will then fill in the blanks. His mother’s story is remarkable as is the fact that she did tell him at one point about being adopted but due to the mores of the time and adopted children being shunned by some, everyone thought it better to keep silent.

Those that think these searches are not costly are wrong. Wanting to know who his is his ultimate goal. Descriptions varied, nationalities too, paper trails as long as some you might hike on and false documents backing up the many different stories told, and Richard Hill was relentless, diligent and would never give up. Told in his voice we hear and experience the joys, frustrations and disappointments first hand along with him. Imagine getting a picture of his mother after all of these years. JACKIE’S PHOTO IS ON PAGE 79 is amazing. She was beautiful. But, then he’s told about a man named Conrad, thinking he finally found his father imagine when the real truth comes out.

Miracles do not always happen and a chance conversation overheard would start the ball rolling in his direction. Learning about a new DNA test that helped people trace their family trees his friend Joe explained how this worked and sent him the link. Going to the Family Tree DNA website he followed the instructions and the end result, what he learned the family he met and who is father really is you won’t get from me. You have to read Chapters 31-42 for yourself. Meet his new family, hear their voices, find out whether they accepted him and just who is father was.

Read his story and meet his family. Go to his website called http://www.DNA-Testing-Adviser.com. and learn more. Changing careers and becoming a genealogist. But meeting a man named Bennett Greenspan would change it all and bring his story to light for everyone read about. Find out the hidden secrets of his family. Learn what happens when families do not want certain things known. Find out about the mysteries of DNA testing, learning about your roots and just how many branches are on his family tree and where that new map filled in with so many places and sights takes Richard Hill. Just how does this all end and who is Richard’s real father? Mysteries come in different ways and are solved by the police or in this case by a DNA test that reveals it all. Read Chapter 46 and find out the answers, understand why and hopefully you too will create your own family tree. Lies, deceits, false documents and one man who would never give up in Finding his Family. Questions that might still be unanswered. Two parents who just wanted a child and one man who would never give up his quest. Let’s dedicate this to Harold and Thelma Hill and to his new family.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Pandora’s Temple: MY REVIEW


Pandora’s Temple

 

Jon Land

 

Captain John J. Hightower picked up a stranger on Crete Island. This mysterious and unidentified man remained by the research ship’s deck rail watching the turbulent sea and hoping to see what he was looking for. The ship is the Aurora which has been mapping” the seafloor in detailed grids.” Hoping to find something of unknown size, composition and origin by this man. Not really telling him what he was searching for the man gave him some clues but none specific enough to learn what was hidden beneath the dark waters. This man who Hightower named El Capitan insisted they were missing something but what? What happens will shake the core of the Aurora, feel like they were on a huge nonstop roller coaster ride and then the ship lifted in the air as this huge dangerous wave enveloped the ship and the stranger’s final words were “Far out, Man!” Just what this was still remains to be seen as the story now fast forwards to the present and we meet our main character Blaine McCracken. As Blaine and his partner Sal drive up to the home of drug cartel kingpin Morales, they hope to create a ruse so great that this man and his guards will not realize what the end result might be. Hidden beneath the compound and taken, as slaves are four fraternity brothers that was kidnapped by his man. Trained assault rifles pointing in his direction. Arturo Nieves Morales thinking he has the upper hand what follows just might alert other drug lords that the United States is watching and we won’t allow you to take our kids. Asked by Henry Folsom the head of Homeland Security author Jon Land gives the reader the inside information into this mission and why Blaine was the logical and only person who could pull it off. A veteran of the Viet Nam War McCracken’s fee was simple, honorable and definitely quite heartfelt. Placing the names of those men who did not make it back on the Vietnam Memorial was his only request. The mission explained and the players in place you learn just how tough he and his friend Sal really are as they manage to make their way into the compound a day early, convince the drug lord to see them and then the end result was anything but what you would expect. Sal Belamo handcuffed to a suitcase. Turning the key to release his hands will set off a chain of events that would teach this drug lord who was in charge and that what he was about to lose was more than the simple release of the four boys. As the scene plays out the violence is expected, the explosion that took place shocked not only the guards but Morales too as his whole world was about to go up in huge puffs of smoke and his wife would forever not have to deal with his cruelty anymore. Hired by Homeland Security to rescue the four college students it really disturbs McCracken when one of the students is fatally wounded, help really takes a while to get there and Special Forces cannot be sent. Now, with McCracken and his partner Sal, using Hellfire missiles to infiltrate this drug lord’s compound what happens should definitely wise up any other drug lords who think about doing the same thing.

 

Paul Basmajian is the chief engineer of the Deepwater Venture as the story moves to the Gulf of Mexico and the stakes become higher and the seas grow rougher as we learn more about the world of environmental sabotage and espionage from two different sides. The purpose of this ship is to break the record for deep water drilling rig. The ship lost oxygen, it went down and the end result was no response to the mayday signal. Those that received the call would report it as a Level Six. The end result will affect the entire world. As the story shifts to McCracken and we learn more about Katie DeMarco the female that managed to escape the ship before being arrested and her role in this intricate plot. Katie was not whom she claimed to be as an assistant to the Operations Manager on the Venture. Katie is an environmental activist and was part of the group called WorldSafe whose mission it was to plant environmentalists in settings where without the knowledge of the other part, learn how they conduct their business and understand how they destroy our environment. Her job on the Deepwater Venture was routine but certain emails that she was about to read from an organization called Ocean Bore were not replied too. Without any way to communicate on the ship she could not alert her boss, Todd Lipton at WorldSafe of what she had found or warn him to abandon his location. As Katie finally communicates with Todd the message is so unclear and the end result will lead her right into the arms of McCracken and his friend Wareagle.

 

The Deepwater Venture is owned and operated by Ocean Bore and was housed in the Gulf of Mexico where there was little likelihood if any of finding oil. This was to be a record-breaking venture but when the drill reaches its record-breaking depth, what it releases is definitely not fossil fuel.

Retired Blaine and Johnny Ware eagle are asked to investigate and never backing away from danger Blaine and Johnny are going to find out more. Just what is this thing that that seems to be controlling the sea? Could this provide a source for unlimited energy, a nuclear weapon or something that will take us right into Greek Mythology and to one of my favorite stories about Pandora? What they uncover both is a powerful unknown force that is linked to the mythical Pandora’s box and you know that happens when it is opened.

 

As the mission comes into focus and the reality of what happened to the men on the Deep Venture is revealed Blaine and Johnny investigate for themselves and what they learn and find out will give you more than just deep sea chills. Checking out the damage from the fire and trying to piece thinks together one thing is for sure whatever caused this destruction is still out there or on the ship.

 

Thomas Landsdale is about to meet his match in Sebastian Roy. Two men with one similar goal to control the power sources for the entire world. One claiming to be concerned about the environment and going Green the other unscrupulous and concerned with profit and monetary gain. So, why did Roy invite this man to visit him and what is wrong with Roy. Well, devoid of emotion and not able to ever see the outside world due to physical disabilities and injuries from a fire, Roy is bent on taking over Landsdale’s companies any way that he can. A home filled with Greek artifacts, urns that tell the stories of gods and goddesses within each part of the urn, Roy tempts Landsdale and taunts him before the final revelation of why he really invited him is revealed. Landsdale calls himself a naturalist and Roy I think more an opportunist. Living in a hyperbaric chamber and in sterile conditions not only as frozen his mind and made him insane but definitely quite dangerous. Discussing energy sources with Roy was quite enlightening finding out his real motives scary. As Roy discusses his reasons for wanting to purchase Landsdale’s companies and his rejects all offers we hear his voice summarize what Landsdale’s companies want to control solar, wind and water power and he even learned that his company won the contract for the battery for every hybrid or electric car manufactured in the U.S. So, why does he want his companies and what happens when Roy reveals more about Landsdale’s family? . But, one billionaire who wants to own all of the energy is just one of the major players there are many more. How about a Japanese doomsday cult and even worse this “dark matter” that seems to be controlling it all. Secrets, lies, betrayals and so many wanting so much but will McCracken be able to stop what has been set in motion? What about Katie DeMarco an eco-terrorist or just someone trying to preserve the environment but what was her real motive and why does Blaine feel there is more to her than meets the eye?

 

As Blaine and Johnny investigate even further on the Deepwater Venture, Johnny uncovers something that will brings in a man called Captain Seven and his technology skills hoping he can help both men understand what might have caused the men on the ship to vanish and the fact that no weapon could cause what happened to the rig.

 

Meanwhile Katie DeMarco meets with a man named Twist who is her only link to what happened to her boss and the fact that The Venture should not have been out in the first place drilling so deep. Enter a Japanese doomsday cult leader whose goal it is to flush out of Katie what she learned on the Venture. But, kidnapping her did not bring about his goal as the author enlightens us further as to his mission and what he wants to do to fulfill his late father’s wishes. Imagine the world coming to an end! Imagine being in control of it! But, Katie’s real mission on the ship was not what he thought but to log the truth that the oil industry was still making the same mistakes and never learned from past experiences. But, Katie is smart and what she does not only will surprise the reader but the Japanese murderer too. But, can McCracken go up against this man and the billionaire and save the world? What secrets does this Japanese man not want revealed? What secrets lie beneath the wool of the mitten on his hand? All of these people are keeping secrets within them. All of them have scars whether visible or hidden inside of them

 

The research that went into writing this novel is extensive. Just learning about oil rigging and drilling plus the oil industry alone is quite interesting. Added in we learn more about the Japanese cult and nuclear and solar power and what would happen if one person controlled it. The author includes information about Pandora’s Temple, its origin and what happened to it. What he includes might seem like fiction but much of what he writes is fact. This fast paced novel will keep you glued to the printed page and holding your breath until you find out what the final fate of each of the major players is and who wins and who loses.

 

As the links fit together and the pieces of the puzzle are placed within its frame you will find that there are many hidden secrets and many hidden scars that have been uncovered. Was doomsday the real reason behind what the Japanese cult leader wanted? What did the vision of his father reveal and what is the history behind the Desert of Lost Souls and its link to Pandora’s Temple? The search for Pandora’s Jar, the coveted goal what will the final outcome be and what is the link to Pandora’s Temple?

 

Characters that are tough, hard nosed, straightforward and definitely should never ever join a gated community. Let’s hope McCracken and his entire team come back for another adventure but not before they fine Pandora’s Jar and hopefully put it back where it belongs.  Pandora’s Temple: will it remain under the sea or will it forever be entombed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyberspace: Jeff Horton: Winner of the 2012 Just Reviews Book of the Year Award


 

Cyberspace: Jeff Horton

 

 

Storms are really amazing to watch and children love the flashing lightning that streaks through the sky and the sound of thunder rumbling in the air. Flashes of darkness and then silence followed by giant bolts of lightning creating a swirls of light in the night sky yet lighting up the world in a unique and frightening way. Fireworks but not the kind you see on the Fourth of July. A young boy named Henry is glued to the window and watching all of this happen when his father, Jake realizes that what’s happening might be serious. A huge explosion, two in fact and what they find when they go to the spot will surprise them and the reader. Imagine a two spacecrafts exploding and all that is found is some type of lifeless figure: not human. The year 1947 and now let’s fast forward to the present and a Cox News Alert.

 

What will happen if China decides to attack the United States? Cyber attacks what exactly does that mean? Imagine an attack on the Department of Defense and another one on the Department of Energy. Can you imagine what will happen if China is about to get into the computer systems of both of these organizations and can access their data plans, schematics for their facilities and even know all of the intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites and much more? Well author Jeff Horton tells the reader that this has already happened and that there is growing concern that the Online Blue Army has been using cyber warfare to steal sensitive information. This agency belongs to China, who denies responsibility for the attacks and is gathering information about intelligence on the U.S. civilian infrastructure and Intel that could be used to more than hamper and cripple the U. S. civilian infrastructure. Of course when questions are asked and discussions had analysts state that although this is possible they don’t feel that would ever execute. But, whether they attack or not one two things come to light that we all must remember that if two nation states are at war their battles will be fought on the battlefield and Cyber Space. Jeff Horton has taken us out of the 21st century and into a new age of cyber warfare. But, what appears to be the cause on the surface is a plot by someone else that if escalated might destroy two major powers.

 

Age has nothing to do with a person’s capability to handle difficult situations as we learn when we meet Dr. Nicholas Reynolds whose life is about to change when enlisted to head a program for the commander of the Cyber Command Unit. Graduating from M.I.T. with PhD in Computer Science, his specialty is cyber warfare and he has spent ten years consulting for the NSA and later Cyber Command. So, why wouldn’t the General that summoned him to see him want him to head the program? Discussing the cyber attacks and learning more about the operation the General tests him to see if he has what it takes. But, when he decides that he’s wrong for the position what Nick does lets him know that experience and intelligence counts but guts and determination even more. Operation Counterpunch would go into affect and Nick was going to spear head it. Rumors about who might be behind it and who might not, Nick throws out the possibility that it could be someone other than China. Wait until they learn the truth as the reader meets the primary force behind what is happening. It is former KGB agent Nikolai Chervanko and a group of other KBG agents, whose goal is to restore Mother Russian and how you guessed it, destroy China and the United States by pitting them against each other before they even know what hit them.

 

Kate Summers is working on a major breakthrough when her father, her boss comes into the room. Telling her to take a vacation, not telling insisting that she does would prove to be the wrong move as what happens will change the complexion of the research she is doing. Project Prometheus just what is it and why would someone kidnap Kate just to get to her father? As we learn more about the cyber attacks, the possible origins and the opinion that the goal of the attackers is to probe and penetrate our national infrastructure. How would we handle a full-blown military attack against us as a nation? A cyber attack of great magnitude is what he was told to expect? The fact that the United States was light-years behind the Chinese was now common knowledge. How Reynolds would handle this and where he would ask for help still remains to be seen. With the help of a Chinese dissident brilliant in the field of computer science and able to create cyber attacks that are cannot be traced back to him, his computer, the people funding the attacks the end result would be more than catastrophic to the United States if they succeed. Trojans, worms and phishing programs and the ability to bypass firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and any other threat or obstacle the end result would make Russia so powerful and leave more than just the United States in its wake. The ability to take down nuclear power plants, power stations and do it unnoticed. But, what about the man who created this and made it all possible? Would he survive or does he know too much?

As Nick speaks with the General he explains what is needed to defend the U.S. Let’s say it’s exactly what the Russians are using against us. What is Prometheus and how will that project help safe the United States? What part does Area 51 play in all of this?

 

But, when the person who designed the computer system to destroy the United States and China is asked to take down two nuclear reactors at Indian Lake cannot push the final button and kill over 100, 000 people someone else does. As the United States learns the fate of 125 thousand people if they do not evacuate in time, and the Russians lord over their accomplishment the man who made it possible pays the ultimate price.

 

Imagine a computer system with the capability to run an entire ship. But, when Henry Summers meets Nick Reynolds it is anything but cordial. Nick’s job is to stop the cyber attacks and knowing or thinking the Chinese are responsible. Hacking into our systems is how they learned about the project he and his daughter, Kate are working on and this is where things get interesting and start to connect as we are reminded of the imminent attack that just might be unleashed on our infrastructure if these brilliant minds do not work together and stop it. The piece of equipment named Ignis, meaning fire, is what they hope, if integrated with our computer system will be able to stop the attacks and prevent a nuclear war. But, this is a huge IF! As the author brilliantly takes the reader back to 1947 and the initial crash that this General, then a small child witnessed. A spacecraft from another world landed and what he saw was one craft in tact and the other severely damaged. Thinking it was a flying saucer, had been found and feared the Russians wanted to know more about this advanced technology. But, there is much more that he relates to the reader about that frightening night. Imagine being able to access one of the spacecrafts. Imagine interacting with someone from another world. The project remains secret its purpose is to recover the craft and what they’ve discovered and how they are using their technology you just won’t believe and you will have to read for yourself because it will blow your mind. So, how will all of this blend together and what about Ignis? What’s going to happen when Kate meets Nick? The sparks fly, the power struggle comes front and center and then the two of them finally decide to call what you might say a truce. But, when Henry Summers decides to test the next piece of equipment, a helmet what happens will definitely stupefy the reader as he winds up in an entirely virtual world, what he sees is classified unless you read it for yourself and where this will take them in the hope to stop what is going to happen still remains to be seen. As we flash to the Russian Colonel and the Chinese Ambassador and the information passed about what the former KGB agent is doing as the situation gets tense and the FSB agents sent to investigate are killed.

 

Author Jeff Horton takes the reader inside the mind of a man who has delusions of grandeur, hopes to reinstate Mother Russia, head the government, create a nuclear holocaust and then offer to rebuild the world. Just how powerful is this new technology and what if something unknown was controlling the outcome of what you hoped to do? Just what is Ignis and how powerful is it and what could we do with it if we could duplicate and keep it?

 

An ending that will teach everyone an important lesson to learn to overcome our fears of what we do not understand and not use violence as the way to get things done. Just what this means you will have to read for yourself and just what happens that will teach one man a lesson he won’t forget and one powerful computer that reminds us of the importance of compassion, understanding, empathy and love. Who wins and who loses you have to learn that for yourself? Humans need to know that there are often consequences for our actions or inactions. Cyberspace: Take a trip inside the mind of one powerful computer, put on the helmet and find out if you have what it takes to ward off the next cyber attack. Kate and Nick are interesting characters that often blend together and sometimes clash. What is next for them? Only author Jeff Horton knows and maybe Ignis and he’s not telling.

 

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last summer with you: No fanfare for a withered rose


My Last Summer With You: No Fanfare for a Withered Rose: Fidelis O. MKPARU

 

Life can change in the flick of a moment or in this case when answering the phone. As one man now comparing himself to a withered rose, or flower reflects on his aging body a voice from the past will bring back memories that will flood into his present. What happens when one woman decides to leave you part of her own legacy in order to enrich your later years? When Joseph remembers Wendy and hears the voice of Francesca we go back 31 years to 1977 and enter the halls and dorm of a small town college in Chicago and learn more about this remarkable man.

 

As Joseph takes us back in time we learn a lot about his culture, his feelings and his discipline. Arriving at a new school and being a foreign student created certain obstacles when it came to registration and getting assigned to classes. Having to fill out certain required papers and completing them the rest seemed to flow with ease. Entering the registration room is where we meet Wendy. Wanting to get to know more about Joseph she invites him to lunch at the cafeteria but not before he buys his textbooks, takes his first class and makes it abundantly clear that his main focus are his studies. Bright, astute and definitely into what the professor is teaching, his questions are right on target, insightful and extremely well thought out.

 

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes can be considered quite superficial. But, when one young woman tries to sell the attributes of another to Joseph his disappointed is aired, his feelings expressed as he was hoping to have a private lunch with a new friend that turned in a different direction.

 

Cultivating his friendship with Wendy was paramount as she enveloped him in so many different worlds. Science, art, music, world politics and more learning about her family and background explaining to him that seeing and feeling what he learns in school would help in rise in the future. Her experiences are vast and her knowledge base wide as he went further into the areas of plant species and art.  

 

Told in the voice of the young college student we hear his thoughts, understand his changing feelings and fears as he enters Wendy’s world, meets her family and becomes accustomed to her style. But, Joseph never loses sight of his goals and when the Chairman of the Department asks to see him he has no idea, feels uneasy but soon finds out that his future is in this department and with the help of this professor and a mentor he was considered for a job as a research assistant during the summer something unheard of for a freshman student. Imagine his excitement when given a tour of this man’s research lab first and assigned a student mentor. Complimenting him on his achievements but letting him know that he needed to live up to standard, Joseph wondered if she were his mentor or mother. So, when the visit was over Joseph learned he was directly working with the head of the department had to report his progress to his student mentor and could use the departmental library for his studies.

 

Like all men or some men Joseph was doing well academically but began to fell stifled in other ways. Having his career and his movements channeled and monitored by so many women was overwhelming at times and confining. As we learn more about his feelings about Wendy’s friends, their backgrounds, his take on them and the friction that he encountered at times. Meeting Lisa and her boyfriend Bruce brought to light for Joseph and the reader the definition of the words prejudice and bigot. But, this would not be the last time he endured racial slurs, rejection and the feeling that he did not belong. Getting to know Wendy created mixed signals and situations throughout his first year. Asked to join her at the family home and at her talent show he learned the extent to wish a father would go to prevent his friendship from Wendy from continuing. Although he was an A student, award winner and scholar the fact that they were of two different races should not have mattered when it came to their friendship. But, sometimes people read more into things that are there and Joseph as the reader will learn is quite perceptive, analyzes each situation and decides on a solution that is not always what is best for him but for the other person. Students that escaped from South Africa enlighten him even more, others in some of his classes realize the value of his friendship and help as experiments are done in class and he receives enough college credit to become a junior after one year.

 

But, Wendy is special to him and no matter how hard he tries the connection is there but will never be permanent. Respecting him, valuing his knowledge she alerts him to the fact that Francesca, the cheerleader, model and her very beautiful friend needs his help in physics and then things change for Joseph even more.

 

The author brings to light many important issues within this novel that were not only prevalent in 1977 and 1978 but in the present too. My Last Summer with You: No fanfare for a withered rose is a story that envelops the reader from the beginning. This story takes place over 30 years ago but the storyline could bring it into the present. Joseph could be any foreign exchange student, that at the age of 17 wants to find his own way without the distraction of a social life, girl friends and withstanding the disregard at times for who he is and the disrespect of some of the other students. But, as some would rebel and take action Joseph is centered and does not take the bait when called names or rejected by a close friend. You hear both Wendy and Joseph’s thoughts in their short yet intimate notes as the story continues.

 

Some are taught that inter-racial friendships are wrong and parents frown upon them. Joseph put is all into his studies and his belief in God. Wendy although at times the reader feels she is truly a good friend to him we can see deeper into her character and realize that she used his kind and caring ways to better herself. With parents that did not want her to continue her friendship, listening to their demands she still could not divorce herself completely from Joseph. His personality is quite compelling. Francesca becomes his friend but to whose advantage? With his limited funds he still soars and when Francesca has trouble paying for school he rallies to her aid. Francesca enlists Joseph’s help and he pays her way in more ways than one. But, when he is invited to meet her family we realize that cultural differences do matter, prejudice rears its ugly head and very few if any accept inter-racial relationships no less marriages. When things seem to get estranged Francesca leaves for a while and returns with a modeling contract in New York.  Almost tied to her apron strings and setting up the rules for their relationship to discounting it all in a heartbeat as if they are two blossoms that are slowly fading away. His life changes and his friends leave and now it is up to him to decide his future.

 

How this all ends you will have to read for yourself. Friendships that are strong often do not last. Life takes many unpleasant turns and then we have to recycle them in a more positive direction. An ending so raw and so heartfelt yet understandable that you have to decide for yourself what will happen next for Joseph. Friendships are valuable but when others play too strong a role then the end result will be: No Fanfare for a Withered Rose. This is one novel that college students, high school students and study groups can use to learn how young people often judge people by their color and not by what they are within or inside.

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus was a Time Traveler: My review


Jesus Was a Time Traveler: D.J. Gelner

 

 

Doctor Phineas Templeton is our narrator and is given the job by a man called the benefactor to go on a scavenger hunt. Told when and where he will go and visit within a specific time frame in order to return to his own time period will require that he find his way back to many different places, centuries including prehistoric times when the Dinosaurs reigned. But, first our doctor creates and builds his own time machine, tells us about his benefactor and begins his journey starting in the year 2032 and moving back. Opening the doors and entering this new world hoping to meet non other than Jesus himself but what does happen is not what he expected. The first person named Trent explains how the time machines work, how history cannot really be changed and how even though he is moving back and forth nothing will ever be altered. I am not going to focus on the religious aspects or comment on how he handles many issues related to religion, the church or anything having to do with Jesus himself. I will comment and review on the plot, storyline and the character’s over all appeal, what he hopes to accomplish and where he winds up with his time machine. Phineas Templeton is world-renowned scientist in the area of physics. Telling the story in his own words, taking us back in time to many different worlds he begins in 2032 with the aid of his Benefactor and his monetary backing too while he completes creating his time machine. Just why and where should this lead him? He is supposed to according to this unnamed man or benefactor travel to ancient Judea and meet Jesus himself. Learning and studying many different languages in order to become proficient in case he needs to understand other people, Phineas looks forward to his journey back in time. So, who is this Trent or man that he meets? He is a time traveler from the future which Dr. Templeton learns if Jesus a grad student from Colorado who goes by the name Trent Albertson.

 

The encounter was odd and the end result brings him back to his time machine that needs some work, a computer that he has to figure out and a letter from this Benefactor that explains it all. But, after reading his itinerary, learning where and when he is supposed to go his anger wells up, he destroys the list, goes for an expensive bottle of liquor and finds out just what will happen if he fails. His first time is supposed to be 1666 and the person he is to meet is Sir. Isaac Newton. Coming out of his wormhole and opening the door of his ship he meets a woman and the greeting and what happens is quite remarkable and odd. We are now in England and he is about to learn more about this great man. Each encounter and each stop on the list allows him to meet many different people that created important pieces of history for all of us to remember. But, in order to return home he has to complete this scavenger hunt, got through time, be able to figure out what the clues left for him by his Benefactor mean and hopefully come back to 2032.

 

 

Meeting Sir Isaac Newton is his first stop and where we meet not only Newton but an interesting figure of a man named Hank Fleener who has been enlisted to teach Newton all about the things that were in the books that he had already written. He is also explaining the many laws of motion that he created and spouts off on the way kids learn. Interestingly enough he elaborates on the educational system, the lack of interest of students and the hope that they will try and gain the knowledge on their own. But, Newton seems to cower in front of this man and although he is smart and learning we have yet to understand the exact reason why each point of time is related to one man named Commander Corcoran and more about ChronoSaber the time machine. He also tried to get Finny to become this Commander but without success. Each person he meets introduces him to the person that he came to meet and he learns more about that time period, that person and why this man for some reason does not want to teach physics which seems to be the reoccurring theme surrounding each person we meet including Phineas. As each person he meets learns that he is time traveler the reactions vary and the end result quite unique. Telling Newton about Christ and that time period plus Trent Albertson explains that Trent is now a time traveler and he went back in time and became Christ reliving and creating the miracles, hell and the Bible as a source. So, what did he think of Newton and what was his opinion of him? You have read it to find out. Quite interesting to say the least. Next, stop and place to go is Cozumel, Mexico where his Benefactor who has all of the notes and technology needed to complete his trip and provided the machine sends him to the right place which is my favorite part of his book the era of the Dinosaurs. Imagine seeing the stegosaurus, triceratops and ankylosaurus. These are the veggie eaters but what about the meat eaters? As the author takes the reader back in time describes the vegetation, the landscape, the greenery and finally seeing meeting a female woman who is identified as Chronobase Alpha where he lands, meets some American soldiers and finds himself in a hospital when he awakens. Explaining what happened to him, why and the reasons for his illness he meets Commander Sanchez and beings the next stop on his list as he learns she is supposed to insure his safety but what else does he learn from her and the soldiers? But, what he experiences is right out of a sci-fi movie or you might say a show at a planetarium filled with historical slides and more.  What would you do if you lived in a world where all of your problems were solved by some of the great minds in history? Wouldn’t that be amazing? The questions asked are on page 75 and the historical figure that you might ask as the answer. Would you want to speak to Socrates? I would? Would you want to learn more about dinosaurs? Would you want to meet the King Of Lizards or even Cleopatra? The knowledge base is vast in this book and the entertainment level high as well as a character who has substance and who seems to be willing to learn what those he meets in each time period offers. The most exciting part of this time period or chapter is the vid that describes time travel, the history and the fact that they required a disclaimer definitely regarding safety really ads some humor and realism. They also explain what happens when they try to sent people farther into the future and that they might not be able to come back which is something not perfected nor do they know if they do return. Now, for the second time he meets another person besides Trent that never heard of him and cannot bring him back to his time period. Chapter 9 continues with enlightening him to the many advances weapons used, the T-Rexes and what they think of them and finally meeting Commander Corcoran, dealing with the Mayan soldiers and never really seeing what was happening in front of him as he befriends so many but just what deceits are being withheld by our creative author?

 

 

 

Descriptions of the characters, their appearances and comparing them to humans, communicating with the Mayans we learn how people can become familiar with other customs, languages, on page 119 we find out just how resourceful Finny really is and telling them about the future. However, reactions are unique and not quite you would expect and just where will he wind up next? Victor U. Burnham: Principal is next but why? We learn about betting on games, movies like Back to the Future and the end result well you have to read what he gives them just for meeting him. Not quite what you would expect. Meeting Burnham and learning about how he dealt with the Japanese and being invited to a special party. The reader gets a lesson on the quantum computer, listens to the dispute between Finny and Corcoran and they bring in the New Year but which one I won’t reveal as the reason behind the party, just what Burnham was doing, his donation and new building plus not acknowledging Phineas’s research and advancements. Every step of the way we learn more about him, what he claims he did and just who seems to be taking credit for his work. Added in at the end or beginning of some of the scenes on of the characters holds up the symbol: LIVE LONG AND PROSPER. Just which are real, which people are illusions and where to next?

 

Author D.J. Geiner leaves the reader many unanswered questions, quite a few twists and turns as the travelers meet many more historical figures, get the hear the great composer Bach play and find their way to WWII France and dealing with the Nazis. Who is the Benefactor and why was he really sent on this mission? What will the end result be and where will he wind up? Should he have listened to his father and gone into business and stayed out of the physics?

Did the author accomplish his goals? Did the main character find his rightful place in history? Where will you find the answers within a special manuscript written by our outstanding author but you might say penned by Phineas Templeton. But, when you read the ending you decide where he winds up, what is next and the final outcome. Jesus is A Time Traveler: Find out just who travels where, what happens to the time machine and where Finny winds up when you read this outstanding novel filled with human, research and one man named Finny who you just might to see more of. Fran Lewis: reviewer