Monday, December 5, 2011

Friendship means: embracing our Differences -Author G.R. HOLTON - REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone got along and no one judged people by their appearances or the way they look? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone realized that your outer cover or appearances help to tell you apart from everyone else so that we can put a name to your special face it does not define who you are inside?

Meet Jordan and Turlo and enter a special land called Squazleland and learn the true meaning of understanding, what dreams are made of and friendship. Jordan hears a noise coming from under her bed and is afraid. Wouldn’t you be if you heard a noise and saw three purple spiders? One of them comes right up to her and tells her he’s afraid of the big furries. She tells him she’s afraid of him. How would you feel if there was a whole other place right under your bed filled with great things to see, beautiful houses, unusual creatures and a special machine where wonderful dreams are made? Imagine how exciting that would be and right under your own bed. Jordan is amazed and Turlo wants to be her friend so he invites her to come and visit his home. But, she doesn’t know how she can do that being because she’s too big. But, this is a special story and magic that is good magic can make wonderful things happen. Close your eyes and come with Jordan and me and enter a land so beautiful you might never want to leave. Imagine a place with pink castles; trees, bushed and a factory where dreams are made and special characters come out of the smoke stacks.

What a wonderful place filled with some many special and amazing things to see? But, what is really endearing and special is the friendship and bond that is formed by one little girl named Jordan and one special Squazle Prince named Turlo. Jordan is invited to visit the factory where dreams are made and what she sees you won’t believe and the amazing things she does so fantastic. Riding on a special Ferris Wheel and watching the Squazle children fly their colored kites and the seeing the beautifully colored houses and much more. But, the ending will definitely make you smile as one little girl and one special Prince learn many of life’s lessons. I can’t tell you how she returns or how she gets back to normal size. I can’t tell you anymore about this magical place because it’s a special place and you have to find out all about it yourself.
Creatures that are purple and orange with six arms are and one little girl with only two who teaches the Prince not to judge a creature or furry by its cover. One little girl who learns that friendships come when you really try hard and understanding differences is one way to start. With drawings are that really outstanding, colorful and help the reader young or old to fall in love with the characters, illustrator Michelle Izmaylov really gave the book that special added touch. The faces of the characters are very expressive and the colorful pictures and places really bring the story to life for young readers.

So, what happens to Turlo and Jordan? Will they see past their differences and become friends? Will she want to return to see more of this special place? Will Turlo become friends with the Furries and realize they won’t hurt him? You have to read this Five Squazle Book to find out and let’s hope Jordan and her friends will come back for more adventures and bring more kids to this special place to learn the true meaning of friendship. Would you like to visit and see how dreams are made? I would and hope that Turlo will invite this reviewer to get a closer look at this special place.

This is a great book to teach children how to deal with differences in appearance, friendship, fears and understanding. Teachers can use this during story time lessons, character education and guidance counselors when kids need to learn how to get along with others. Great book for parents to read at bedtime and imagine if writing teachers had kids create their own special dreams for Turlo to create and have come out of his special smoke stack. What would your dream be and what would you like to see coming out of the stack for you? Read the book and you definitely will love it as much as I did.
Fran Lewis: reviewer

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Memoir of Liberian Refugee: So Far to Run- Author: Louise Geesedeh Barton

BOOK REVIEW - REVIEWER FRAN LEWIS - The Memoir of Liberian Refugee: So Far to Run -  November 4, 2011 at 11:25am

Author: Louise Geesedeh Barton
Reviewed by Fran Lewis


Some people learn to survive by being tough, learning how to live off the land and some with the hope and strength given to them by their faith in God. As you hear the voice of the author and listen to her story you will truly understand her courage, persistence and will to live while running for her life for ten years and hoping to escape what so many did not. Imagine being killed by a child because he did not like your face. Imagine being killed because of the color of your skin or because his ring started to burn and get hot telling this murderer that you were of a specific tribe or group that they hated. Living in a world filled with danger, fear and hate. So Far to Run: The Memoir of Liberian Refugee Louise GĂ©esedeh Barton by Louise G. Bartoni brings to light what happens when fear is instilled in your everyday existence, your mother leaves you as a young child and you find it hard to understand and your life one that causes you to be shuttled and juggled from family member to family member. As the story opens you hear the voice of Louise as she and others are being hunted down because they are members of the indigenous Krahn tribe and related to the President of Liberia Samuel K. Doe. The graphic beginning will bring chills down the reader’s spine, sadness in your heart and hope for those who are still struggling as you follow her journey from the start until the present.

Entering the house of Mrs. Smith Louise thought she would be welcomed. Instead, she was abused, overworked, treated cruelly and made to work ungodly hours all in the hopes of getting an education. Wrong doings or mistakes were greeted with severe punishments. The love she received from the Smith children the only that she knew and her family no longer there to protect her. Solo, her older brother left, her cousin who delivered her in the Army and her only salvation turned out to be Mrs. Smith’s sister who took her to a revival meeting where her life really began. Realizing that she no longer was a servant of this woman except in body but her heart and mind belonged to Jesus and the Lord, she began to thrive and change. Excelling in school and finally being able to teach Bible Studies with her teacher Ruth, Louise began to feel she had a purpose in life and not so alone anymore. But, the worst has yet to come and her newfound understanding of life was enhanced by the visions of the future that she saw in her dreams and mind and realized that trouble and discord were on their way to where she lived.

The courage of one woman to withstand all that she did comes through loud and clear. Her determination and drive to succeed and rise above what others thought of her brings tears to your eyes. You can feel the pride in her heart, the joys of her successes and the fear instilled in her when running for her life. Her love of life and persistence and will to live comes through in this outstanding first person narrative of her life. So Far to Run: Just how far will she have to go to find her freedom. Will it ever be far enough to hide the pain and feel the joys of life?

Then something happened that would change her life as she learns of her heritage and realized that her roots lie with the first family. Imagine finding out that the First Lady of Liberia is your cousin and that you have an Aunt Sarah that would be there to take care of you. Imagine getting full scholarship to help pay for her education, clothes and much more. One young girl that washed floors, cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed, did dishes, was never allowed to eat with anything but a spoon and treated as anything but what she was and is a bright, kind, intelligent and giving person. Riding in a limo to meet the first lady, learning about her past and finding out that she would have a future renewed her faith in herself and God. Seeing her father after so many years of separation was heartfelt and yet sad. Realizing her that her life was like and learning that his daughter was a servant and looked beaten sadden her father although nothing changed. Then a major rebellion brewed against Samuel K. Doe and those that were of her tribe would have to run for their lives. Living in Monrovia she felt save. Going to college and hoping to complete her education she did not think she was in danger. Then on Christmas Eve everything changed as rebel forces entered Monrovia. Krahn: thought to be her salvation as part of this tribe but the National Patriot Front of Liberia headed by Charles G. Taylor was out to rid the world of her tribe and many more. Wrongly accused of stealing Mrs. Smith’s perfume she no longer had a home and was forced to leave. But, truth is told Mrs. Smith just wanted to be rid of her so she would not have to deal with the war and the rebels. Finding her uncle she would now be on the run with him and his family has Mrs. Smith’s heart was cold and would not melt or budge. But, the story just begins here and the rest you won’t believe.

For years she would be on the run and what Louise, her family and others encountered was more than horrific. Defiled, degraded, tortured, beaten, raped, losing a child, betrayed by a friend, questioned as a rebel by the police and running for her life with no light in sight, Louise expresses her fears, joys and triumphs. Where someone else would have given up, given in to the fears, she stood up for herself, survived and defeated what others would have wanted for her, her family and friends: Death. What these refugees were through and some still are no one should have to endure. The hate and the cruelty goes beyond the definition of these two words and what she describes can only be understood by reading what happened to her and understanding why it should never continue. Losing her family, finding others and praying to God for her survival and others Louise opens her heart to the world without pause for thought. Finally going to college and hoping to take Library Science the road to freedom is still not hers and there is much more that she will endure because she does not have to run anymore.

Everything in her life came hard and the road and paths were blocked with many obstacles, people who stood in the way of her friends, family and loved ones. Losing so many along would have disheartened most and deflated their will to continue. Then, she heard God’s voice saw the visions and knew what her destiny was and what she needed to do. Walking into a meeting of the Liberian Refugees one evening, speaking about her experiences and explaining what needed to be done a young man named Abel and his friend Jeddee would change the course of events. Finding family, old friends and seeing the one person in her life she thought she lost would give her the spirit to make her final journey not just for her but for so many others too. From the streets of Liberia to the prison cells, jungles, forests, camps and the streets where she had to fend for help, the corrupt guards and the atrocities that she and so many faced, Louise Geesedeh Barton is more than just an inspiration. She became the voice, heart and soul of so many. For that I am sure there are those who will never forget her spirit, what she did for them and pursuing her own goals. Louise: Africa was your motherland but America is your home. So Far To Run: You have come all the way. Just how she survives and what else she had to endure in order to be free you need to read this outstanding, heartfelt, sad, heartbreaking true story of one woman’s courage to survive.

Thank you for sharing your story with me and for the honor or reviewing your memoir.


Fran Lewis: reviewer

I read this book in one day. Once you start reading you won’t be able to put it down until you read her entire story. Take the journey along with Louise, Abel, Moses, Cecelia, Josephine and all of the Liberian Refugees and the Krahn tribe and read her first hand account and hope that someday the rebels will no longer exist and the people of Liberia will no longer live in fear. 
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Busy Bus: A collection of Children’s Poems By author Marsha Casper Cook

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

There are many ways to teach kids how to love poems and want to read them. There are also many creative ways to help drive many lessons and points home without them knowing it. In the collection of humorous poems called The Busy Bus, Peculiar Pete takes adults and children on a humorous, innovative and wild poetry ride filled with silly, heartwarming and creative poems to just make you smile.

The poem, The Perfect Wish is one of my favorites as the narrator wishes for a day just to have fun in a pool, to swim and hope that someone will grant his/her wish just once. I would love that too. Do Re Mi Fa So La must have been written for everyone, like myself who always wanted to sing like Pink or Madonna but in reality when they tried sounded like a lemon on a really sour day. Off key would not describe my voice when I had to get up in my Voice class in college and sang a simple tune. Everyone stifled his or her laughs until I burst out hysterical laughing. My face might have turned a bright red like a red apple and I felt like running from the room, but I looked at the humorous side of things. How many people could ruin Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? For that I would always be famous. Yes, it could happen to you.

 From poems that every girl can identify with like The Brat, who tells why her sister definitely did not look like her to Nasty Miss Masters the teacher who never had to worry about discipline these poems are what every child and adult should read on a day when you just need to laugh, smile and read some great poetry.

Poems about Hiccups, Giggle Giggle Cheer, and Hit, Miss or Duck that teaches you if you keep trying you might succeed. Author Marsha Casper Cook along with Peculiar Pete take us on a giggly, funny, humorous bus ride into the land of poetry.

Each illustration will help even the non- reader to enjoy, understand and embrace each poem. For the child in everyone read this great book, give a copy to your school’s librarian, take one to your public library and buy a few copies for your kids, grandkids and friends. This children’s book should be on the shelf in every school library, classroom library, public library and your own personal children’s library at home.

 I give THE BUSY BUS - Five Gold Stars.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Friday, October 28, 2011


WOW!!! just received this first AMAZING review for Peter and the Pumpkin Patch!

This was one of the most entertaining books I have ever read about Halloween. The
authors have done a terrific job in giving hooks and holding suspense.

Thirteen year old Peter and his new friend Emily are in seventh grade. She lives a of couple doors away and one day Peter decides to visit her and her grandmother. Peter has just moved from a smaller town into a huge lonely city. His mother is ill from being allergic to so many pollens in the air. Today she's down resting and Peter wonders what he can do to help.

Emily's grandmother is asleep so she decides to show Peter something "special," as long as he can be trusted to keep quiet. She leads him up to the rooftop of their apartment building where she shows him a secret garden. It's lovely and the pumpkins that are covered are large and beautiful. Peter asks for one, hoping it might help his mother. Emily seems to think that it will as well.

Peter asks his father to help him bake it and soon after eating some, his mother appears to feel better. The next morning she is a new person and Peter is wondering what's going on. He decides to sneak out that night and find out what's under the other covering in the secret garden. He finds one that grows bigger and lovelier than the speed of lightening. He's just got to find out what's different about this special place. When he gets there, Emily and his parents are waiting for him. But there I go again. I'm not telling anymore about the Pumpkin King. You will love this story about love and harvest in the city. Enjoy! :)

Pick up your copy at Amazon today!
When Peter's family moves into the city, everything is different for Peter. Now they are living in an apartment instead of a house, but at last he meets Emily, who lives in the same building. Emily has a magical garden on the rooftop but Peter has no idea how that garden is about to change his life!


BOOK REVIEW BY Marie McGaha - Peter & the Pumpkin Patch by Andrew & Patti Miller

This was one of the most entertaining books I have ever read about Halloween. The authors have done a terrific job in giving hooks and holding suspense.

Thirteen year old Peter and his new friend Emily are in seventh grade. She lives a of couple doors away and one day Peter decides to visit her and her grandmother. Peter has just moved from a smaller town into a huge lonely city. His mother is ill from being allergic to so many pollens in the air. Today she's down resting and Peter wonders what he can do to help.

Emily's grandmother is asleep so she decides to show Peter something "special," as long as he can be trusted to keep quiet. She leads him up to the rooftop of their apartment building where she shows him a secret garden. It's lovely and the pumpkins that are covered are large and beautiful. Peter asks for one, hoping it might help his mother. Emily seems to think that it will as well.

Peter asks his father to help him bake it and soon after eating some, his mother appears to feel better. The next morning she is a new person and Peter is wondering what's going on. He decides to sneak out that night and find out what's under the other covering in the secret garden. He finds one that grows bigger and lovelier than the speed of lightening. He's just got to find out what's different about this special place. When he gets there, Emily and his parents are waiting for him. But there I go again. I'm not telling anymore about the Pumpkin King. You will love this story about love and harvest in the city. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway with Gail Gurley

Welcome everyone. I would like to introduce Gail Gurley, author of Fearless Hart. She is here today to answer a few questions and give away two e-book copies of her book, Fearless Heart. All you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment. Winners will be drawn on October 26th and we will forward each winner a copy of Fearless Heart in whatever format you require for your e-readers. Remember to enter a comment to participate.

Hi Gail, welcome to our blog and thanks for participating. We have asked your readers to comment on your interview for a chance to win a copy of Fearless Heart.

Gail, tell us your latest news.
We have bought my grandmother’s house in Rowan County, N. C. Built by my grandfather in 1905, it remained in the family until 2004. Ed (my husband) and I are currently renovating it with the hope to someday live in it. It’s in very good condition for a 100+ year old house but it needs some TLC and we’re perfectly willing to give it!

Gail, your readers would like to know when and why you began writing?
I always had a dream to write but life forced me to put the dream on hold. After my grandmother’s death followed by my mother’s death and then my father’s, I felt it was time to quit procrastinating and follow my dream. I entered an international short story writing contest I found online and was one of the winners. From that small encouragement, I wrote and published by first book, a short story book entitled Tales From the Sunroom.

Gail, what do you like to do when you are not writing?
I crochet, cross stitch, sew, take trips with a group from our local rec center, line dance, do Yoga and an exercise class. I also work on the house we bought in Rowan County every weekend. And spend many hours loving our two dogs and one cat!

What inspired you to write your first book?
Memories of people I knew and events I heard about as a child.

What do you think makes a good story?
Descriptive narrative and believable, gentle characters with a conceivable plot that is consistent and follows a true timeline. I really don’t like to be reading a story and there is suddenly something inserted that contradicts something else I have read in the same story. Consistency is major in telling a story as readers who are truly enjoying it remember the minute details and components.

How do you want readers to feel after they read your stories?
This is one of the first factors I consider before I begin writing. It is my goal to entertain readers and make them feel good after reading my work. I have no desire to insult, frighten, disgust or offend anyone. There is a place for blood, gore and explicit sex in literature and there is definitely an audience for it but that is not my genre and not my intention to try and write stories with these elements included. I just do not identify with them personally.

What is your favorite character out of all the books you have written?
I love all of my characters, even the unpleasant ones, as there is a place in our world for the angry or offensive individuals. It makes our appreciation for others even more heartwarming and acceptable. I would have to say that my favorite character is probably Molly Fulton featured in my book Fearless Heart. I admire her courage, determination, intelligence and spirit.

What influences your creativity of your characters?
I would have to say it’s the influence of the people in my life as I was growing up in Rowan County, North Carolina. They were humble, gentle, hardworking, honest, down-to-earth people with character, class and bravery. The fact that I was born shortly after our country began to recover from the Great Depression and during World War II also influenced the characters I have developed. Those days left an indelible impression on my psyche and personality, making me more sensitive to the hardships of others and the manner in which they respond to those hardships.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My latest release is Fearless Heart. I have been overwhelmed by the genuine, positive comments I have received from people who read it. It is one of those “I can’t put it down until I finish it” books and that means a great deal to a writer. It means that no matter how little success the world may think the book realizes, it is indeed successful because it has actually touched someone in a positive and meaningful way.

What are some of the goals and future plans with your writing?
It has been suggested by several readers that I write a sequel to Fearless Heart but that is not a project currently on my radar. With all the work required for the renovation of the home of my heart, it cannot possibly take place at this point. As weeks and months progress, this is certainly something I will look at as a possibility as it remains on my mind, although tucked back into the deep recesses at this point.

Gail Cauble Gurley, Author

I would like to congratulate our winners, Granny Annie and Sookie22. Please contact me at and tell me which format you would like your copies in.


Author Interview and Giveaway with Debra Brown

Welcome everyone. I would like to introduce Debra Brown, author of The Companion of Lady Holemshire. She is here today to answer a few questions and give away two e-book copies of her book, The Companion of Lady Holemshire. All you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment. Winners will be drawn on October 26th and we will forward each winner a copy of The Companion of Lady Holemshire in whatever format you require for your e-readers. Remember to enter a comment to participate.

Thank you, Debra, for being our guest today and participating in the giveaway. I'm sure everyone is anxious to learn a little more about you.

So, Debra, tell us your latest news.I started a blog for authors of English Historical Fiction. It has been a huge success, with more than a hundred followers and over 2,000 unique visitors in less than a month online.

Tell our readers when and why you began writing?I had lost my job and my little business with the economic downturn, and had the time to indulge my desire to write a story like the ones I enjoyed as period movies. It was only for my own enjoyment, in the beginning, but it developed into a book that I wanted to share!

What do you like to do when you are not writing?Endless period movies would be perfect. :) With some chocolate and whipped creamy cakes.

What inspired you to write your first book?It was actually because I ran out of the movies that I had watched while making jewelry for my past business. I thought that more stories were needed, and quickly.

What do you think makes a good story?I love some mystery woven throughout, but for me, the polite society of Regency and Victorian times is the frosting on the cake. And the frosting is more important than the cake.

How do you want readers to feel after they read your stories?
Of course, they would have to like my genre, but during the reading, I would like them to feel as if they were swept away from modern cares and concerns back to a time when they are pampered by servants and have an overabundance of everything. (Oh, well.) But after they finish the book, I want them to be saying, Wow, how did I miss that? Now it all makes sense!

What is your favorite character out of all the books you have written?I love Genevieve from my one and only published book. She is a strong woman that had to go against the role for women at the time to become happy.

What influences your creativity of your characters?That is so hard to say! I write, not an outline, but a number of paragraphs which eventually each become a chapter. Then I just have to start filling in all the details, and the characters seem to take on a life of their own. Where their personality comes from, I don’t know.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?Yes, thank you. I am writing a Regency story, again, a mystery with some sweet romance. It is about an eccentric woman who lives on a country estate with her twentyish twins. She has elaborate and strange house Rules, including that the twins cannot go near the gate. That means, basically, that they cannot leave the property. The young gentleman, Dante, begins to grow desirous of seeing other parts of the country. His sister is fearful of his breaking the Rules and wants him to leave well enough alone. It is really a book about obsession.

What are some of the goals and future plans with your writing?I would love to write a book each year, or a little more, if possible. I would like to see this become my career for the rest of my life.

Debra also requested that we post a link to another blogspot she participates in

Thank you, and please rememember to enter a comment for your chance to win an e-book copy of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire. Good Luck!

Congratulations to Julie and Margaret for winning a copy of The Companion of Lady Holmeshire. I'll drop you an email.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work is Progress is Finished NicelyOctober 14, 2011
This review is from: A Work in Progress (Paperback)
About a month ago, I co-hosted Marsha Casper Cook's Blog Talk Radio show A Good Story is a Good Story with guest Larry Sheridan. Before I did the radio show with him, I has seen his video interview with Candy O'Donnell on You Tube. If you have not seen it, you should! 

When you read a new author's first work, you can overlook many faults a first time author falls into. For a new writer out of the barn, you give them a slight bit of breathing room reviewing-wise. The only problem I have from Larry Sheridan's first novel is there is NO FAULTS!

This well crafted tale seems like it can happen to anyone. That is why the novel works so well. You can seem like you have all the cards stacked and working well in your life..and then real life rears its ugly head. It works as a novel since it seems so real. It is fast paced, just like life is! Sheridan's characters leap off the page and are word than words on a screen. That is what a great novelist can do. 

I cannot wait unril his next novel. I am impressed with this book

Bennet Pomerantz 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


BECAUSE WE CARE  Author - Fran Lewis -
Book Reviewer - MARTHA A CHEVES

As the primary and only caregiver for my mom who has Alzheimer’s I have had to develop different ways to keep myself active and my mind stimulated. All too often as a caregiver you become so immersed in taking care of the needs of the person who is ill that we forget about our own. When you make the decision to care for a family member at home you are really taking on a challenge of herculean proportion. Every day is different and every challenge unique and must be handled differently but with kindness and care. When a person has Alzheimer’s the hardest thing to deal with is their changing and erratic behaviors. They can be calm one minute and out of control or violent the next. These behaviors tend to put a lot of stress and strain on the caregiver.’

Through her trial and error learning Author Fran Lewis discovered some of the most basic yet important things that the caregiver will be confronted with when caring, not only for those with Alzheimer’s but other diseases and incapacitating illnesses. Through her book Because We Care she brings to light the warning signs of Alzheimer’s as well as the importance of discussing your fears with the patient’s doctor. She explains why it’s so important to follow a routine with the patient to keep some of their confusion down. This includes things as simple as when to go to the bathroom, when to eat and even bed time. She stresses the importance of security with Alzheimer’s patients. They do have a tendency to wander off so items such as ID bracelets or necklaces are exceptionally important as well as keeping a current picture handy in case the police are brought in to help with the find. Lewis discusses the choices you might face as to keeping the patient at their own home, having round the clock nurses, moving them into your own home or placing them in a facility. She brings to light the pros and cons, not just for the patient but also for the caregiver. How to find a suitable facility and even what questions to ask of not only a facility but of nurses for in-home-care. And truly just as important, how to spot patient abuse and what to do if you suspect or know this is happening to your loved one. Lewis also speaks, through first hand knowledge, about Traumatic Brain Injuries, which caused the death of her sister. And I must mention too that the proceeds for this book go to Montefiore Hospital to the fund they set up in memory of Fran Lewis' mom and sister. But one thing Lewis puts heavy stress on is the importance of the caregiver’s own health and well being.

She impresses the fact that the caregiver’s whole normal way of life will change when taking over their patient. The stress that goes along with being a caregiver is so much more than you can ever imagine. And to help with this stress, Lewis offers suggestions throughout the book that will help when dealing with this phase of the care. I’ve only had short bouts with being a caregiver and never for an Alzheimer’s patient. My Dad and I were both blessed with his being alert until the last couple days of his life. But I still know the stress that just watching him deteriorate in a short 5 month period put on me. I can’t imagine watching someone with Alzheimer’s change into a person who I no longer know nor knows me. For any of you out there that are going through this situation, I suggest you read this book. I really feel it just might help. For those of you who aren’t currently acting as a caregiver, this is still a book I recommend you read. You never know when you too might have to make the choices and deal with the stress that Lewis and people like her have dealt with and are still dea

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Pink and Say
Author: Patricia Polacco
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

In the middle of a blood-soaked pasture fifteen-year-old Sheldon Russell Curtis was left to die. Unconscious, afraid, in dire pain he went in and out of consciousness until someone would come and change his life forever. Out of nowhere came a vision or image of a man with dark mahogany skin that stood over him and took hold of the situation. Pinkus Aylee was a hero of a different type. He fought the same war as Sheldon did, who touched the hand of an American President, yet never received the tribute he deserved for fighting for the same freedoms many still are hoping for today.

Say was shot by the Confederate Army and left to die but that is only the beginning. The story of two young men of different races who find their way to put color lines aside and become friends is endearing. Pink, a black soldier separated from his unit drags Say home. As they bond and talk about their lives it becomes evident that Say is a deserted and left his unit. Pink wants to return to the battlefield and fight for freedom. But, what happens is not always what you want or expect. The pictures bring the story home and allow the reader to become closer to the characters as she shows two African Americans touching the hand that once touched that of Abraham Lincoln.

Fighting during the Civil War these two men fought to bring freedom to many who were enslaved and lived in fear for their lives. As Pinkus Aylee carries Sheldon to the safety of his mother’s home he puts more than just himself in danger as you learn how these two young men became friends and more than just two soldiers that met during a war.

Moe Moe Bay is Pink’s mother who takes care of both young boys keeping them safe and hoping they will heal and not go back into the line of fire. But, fate steps in and things change as the Pink decides it is time to leave but not before relating to Say how he learned to read, the pride he took in learning to read and the hope that one day he would teach Say. Telling how he touched the hand of Abraham Lincoln and relating it to Pink bonded them even more. But, when Moe Moe Bay learned that they were leaving she did her best to protect them but fate stepped and their destiny sealed. Marauders came and what happens next will endear you to both boys and bring tears as it did to this reviewer’s eyes when you learn the final fate of Moe Moe Bay and the two young soldiers. But, as Say is recovering and about to rejoin his unit, marauders show up and Moe Moe Bay risks her life placing them in her root cellar and not telling anyone they are there. But, her fate was sealed and unfortunately so was that of Pink and Say.

When trying to find their unit both young men are captured by the Confederates and imprisoned. Sent to Andersonville prison noted for its harsh and inhumane treatment what happens to both young men is an example of what should never have happened back then or today. The color of one boy’s skin brought him one fate and the color of the other a different one although horrific.

An ending that you will have to read for yourself and the fate of two young men that deserved more than what fate dealt them. Pinkus Say’s fate you need to read for yourself and Sheldon when released from prison weighed a mere 78 pounds. The sadness lies in what happened to Pinkus and the reason behind.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Children's books come alive on Magicblox-

One year may not seem like a huge milestone for most, but it is for Magicblox.Magicblox has a goal to make tons of colorful, interactive, and fun eBooks available to as many parents, teachers and children as possible through their unique kids eBook library. Jason Lane - Founder & Chief Executive Officer is a technology veteran who has spent his career building digital media systems and other business applications for the entertainment industry.
His website is very unique and kids love it!

He started Magicblox because he enjoys helping kids grow and learn. As a father himself, he loves spending time reading with his son and he also realizes that the kids of today are the leaders of tomorrow so we need to give them great tools and training to make our world a better place.

Special visitors -Freda Roberts and Claudia Graziano and more -

Joining Marsha and Virgnia will be J D Holiday.
Learn more at

link to show - live or on demand

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Granite Key: Nancy Wikarski

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Waking up in the middle of the night after envisioning your sister’s murder is more than frightening for nineteen-year-old Cassie. Thinking what she so vividly pictured in her dream was only a dream she never imagined waking up to the harsh reality that while dreaming the murder it really happened. An intruder that was after a Key of some type that cost Sybil her life. What does this Key unlock and why would someone kill to get it?

One man Abraham Metcalf holds the cards or the answers to this question as he sent this young man wearing a Stetson hat to find the Key. But, his overzealous attitude, anger and impatience lead to the death of one young woman. Reporting his lack of success did not please the head of the Blessed Nephilim. Arkana us a secret organization that Sybil was connected with. Linked to finding a specific artifact is in search of artifacts that will recreate the lost history of the human race, you enter a world totally unknown and more than dangerous. Followed and stalked by this religious cult, you and Arkana need to stay way ahead of them in order to find this ancient relic before they do. What would happen if you did not find it first? The fate of the world is in your hands and the treasure hunt of a lifetime has just begun for Cassie.

Two separate groups are watching her every move both wanting what they think she holds. Coming back to her sister’s apartment encounters her sister’s killer present only to be rescued by someone else. Searching through her affects she comes across a stone rule with unusual markings on it. Discounting it at first as something from her sister’s shop she never realized that this was the first step to solving a much broader mystery.

One letter would change everything for Cassie as Sybil’s words are heard and understood drawing Cassie into a world that she never would have encountered had Sybil survived. Meeting Faye the head of the Arkana would change the direction of her life, possibly explain what her sister was really doing and bring them the information needed to replicate the artifact that was stolen by this dangerous and religious cult. Revealing that she saw the killer in her dreams and able to identify him would alert Faye to the fact she might have paranormal or telepathic visions that would help them down the road.

What if you could retrace the path of civilization from the beginning and learn why people are so different from thousands of years ago? Why some lived in docile and hospitable environments and others chose a more violent route? What if we could change things now by linking the past to our present? Just what does Arkana want to find and how does this religious cult come into play to hamper their plans. Added to that the man running, although called Father, does not seem like anyone you’d want to call father alluding to his way of dealing with his children, wives and disobedience is bone chilling. The tone of his voice and the way his flock agrees to his every command or wish is frightening. Many who lived in environments filled with storms, floods, changing climates and forgetting that animals were killed for food and not for possessions or other reasons. Anger filled their hearts and instead of keeping their faith to the goddess they turned to a like-minded god. Outcasts became new to the world and driven to warfare raiding and invading villages and spreading their ways like a plague with no cure. Faye relates all of this to Cassie hoping to make her understand why humans are drowning in their own blood and what digging up the buried secrets of the world and finding these artifacts would do to change things. But, as Faye hands her an artifact to hold something happens that enlightens not only her but also Faye to the immense powers that Cassie might have as she relived how this bowl was found. Imagine holding a precious and dated artifact from thousands of years ago and reliving in your own mind how it was found, where it was and what it might mean.

Cassie agrees to become part of Arkana and learns the hidden meaning behind the secret society. As Maddie enlightens her about the history of the group, the fact that the word itself means to keep safe or protect not only the artifacts but the culture and the beliefs of the past, Cassie takes on the role Pythia, the one her sister carried out before her death. Next, she enters the inner rooms labeled with the names of the continents and finds out more about this society, the history of many cultures and much more.

But, as she learns more she questions more about the history of the Blessed Nephilim which Maddie reveals and the role of the Scribner which Griffin reveals and where artifacts are stored in troves or vaults. Cassie has decided to enter this world and find those responsible for killing her sister. Added to that the Operations director distrusts her and is not sure that she is the one to entrust with all of the information already imparted to her. On the side of the spectrum we have those in the cult who are managed, controlled and told what to do by one man who calls himself the Diviner. His own son is pressured to decipher the markings on the stone, find the clues and proceed into the Fallen Lands in order to do his bidding. Although an adult, he is manipulated and controlled by this man and his followers. Told that disobedience will bear him and anyone else grave punishments no one seems to go against his wishes.

Cassie and Maddie have another session and this time she relives another moment in history. Each time she comes in contact with an artifact she experiences whatever happened that time in history and she becomes on in the same with the person, the object and the time period. As Cassie learns more about her past and her future the author enlightens the reader as to what the granite stone holds and what it will unlock. Imagine a cache of Minoan sacred objects that have been hidden somewhere. The directions have are in Crete and encrypted in code and the granite key is the only way to unlock the code and its secrets. Added to that the first line of the stone has been translated by both groups and now the hunt for the Bones of the Mother which is what the first line means. Just how this links to the past and history you will have to learn for yourself.

One Christian Fundamentalist and group called Arkana. One out for the good of humanity the other wants to control it. Why would Arkana not take action against the Blessed Nephilim? What are they really after and how will this turn out still remains to be seen? One man who wants to control the actions of others and keep the world male dominated and those under him his servants surprised. One organization or secret society trying to do just the opposite and create a world where everyone is equal. Can they? Will they?

Two separate groups and one agenda: find the missing artifacts called the Bones of Mother. However, Arkana is hoping to find them also known as the Sage Stone in order to restore prosperity, peace and harmony to the world. The cult does not want them for other purposes and definitely not to allow a democracy to prevail nor do they revere their women and want them to have any say in their lives. Called the Consecrated wives and forced to obey like slaves or automatons, their prime purpose is to get the artifacts and use them for some other purpose. They are totally the opposite of the Arkana and definitely shun and dislike the ways of what they refer to as the Fallen Lands or where the rest of us live. However, Daniel along with the Sybil’s killer goes on a quest to find these Bones or Stone for his father. Anything other than success is not acceptable.

Imagine what would happen if the world were more peaceful, filled with prosperity and no wars. Imagine what would happen if there was no overlord domination. What would happen to this cult and its leader? What would happen to the need for weapons, and the desire for war? One stone: The Sage Stone: Voice O Heaven could change everything if found and placed in the right hands But, first both Arkana and the Blessed Nephilim are searching all over Crete to find it. History lessons every step of the way as author Nancy Wikarski takes the reader on a journey back in time to ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome and many other places to find this hidden artifact. Who will find it and what happens you won’t want to miss taking this journey together with Cassie, Griffin, Erik and the Trove Keeper in charge of Crete to find the answers for yourself.

It’s a race to see which group will find the key first as Cassie and her team search many caves, relics and travel throughout Crete to find the granite key. Trailing right behind them is Daniel and his group from the Nephillim. One man alerting him that there are others in search of the relic puts in him a bad light and makes him feel uneasy. How will this all play out and who will finally find the Granite Key to save humankind or not?

As the Arkana team searches many caves, dark places and uncovers the hidden meaning of the symbols, ancient customs, animal rituals of sacrifices and much more they begin to unravel the clues and the first two lines of the key’s code. What they learn will teak them in more directions before the final words of the key are unlocked. What does a cow; bucraninum sings of the goddess, one key with five sides, five edges and half codes have to do with solving this mystery? What does this all have to do with birth, death and rebirth? What happens when two different worlds meet in the darkness of a cave? One explosive ending that will shake the inner core and rock the world of those involved sending them deeper into the caves and delving more into the past. You won’t believe what happens and where this will take them next. What is the fate of our three Arkana team members? The answers to all of your questions and what happens next, where they five relics are, what the key means and what the true mission of the man called the Diviner won’t be revealed unless you read this outstanding, well crafted, highly suspenseful novel by author Nancy Wikarski. One group working for the good and one you won’t believe why. Where will this take our three-team members and when will they all meet again? The secret to the code and the answers to these questions and more are locked away in the mind of our author and only she olds the Granite Key with the code. One girl’s dream, one girl’s vision many lives will never be the same. Read this FIVE GOLD KEY NOVEL to find out more.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Sunday, August 14, 2011



New 2011 release, My Father's Colors. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia

with her husband and their spoiled but playful dog, Winston. She received

her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communication, graduating Magna

Cum Laude.

Her debut book, Color Me Jazzmyne was awarded as one of the Top 100

Books-1st Qtr 2010 by the Sankofa Literary Society Review. It was also

nominated for 2010 Book-of-Year by AAMBC (African Americans On the Move

Book Club Literary Award). Marian was nominated for the 2010 AAMBC "Author

of the Year" award.

Marian's print appearances included: Atlanta Skirt! Magazine as one of

Atlanta's top 9to5 Women in Business, CrossRoadsNews, Black Pearls

Magazine, Sync Weekly and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, just to name a


Her radio show appearances include: The Award-Wining Morning show, AM 1530 KCMN with Tron Simpson, The Source, 560 Am-KLZ on the Experience Pros Show and Podio Rackets, as well as a host of others. Her books have seen on the Oprah Winfrey Network and Ovation Network. In the fall of 2011, The Writers Notebook TV show is scheduled to air Nationwide on the ION Network. Marian will be one of the featured authors.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Candy O'Donnell's Authors' Blog: Editing that Manuscript!

Candy O'Donnell's Authors' Blog: Editing that Manuscript!: "Is editing exciting? Is it fun? For those of us who have to edit that long manuscript multiple times, no it is not the greatest aspect of ..."


Welcome Author, Reviewer, and Blog Talk Radio Host, Fran Lewis 08/01/2011

I’m Bertha

The name is Bertha and I am a character in three books written by author, talk show host, interviewer and book reviewer Fran Lewis. All of the stories you read about me are true. You see, she wrote about her real life experiences growing up in the South Bronx and created me to share her hilarious stories. First and foremost you should know that I am a total klutz. But, not to worry there’s much more about me that you need to know. I am really smart and always get good grades in school. No, not just good grades: All A’s. My mom believes that everyone needs good grades in school to get anywhere in life and she felt that the only grades that are acceptable, at least for me, are A’s. Not that easy to live up to her expectations but I did manage to do it. She is really tough but she made me strong, smart and I have to love her for it.

My stories are funny. The first in My Name Is Bertha, my first appearance in a short story book, tells about my dancing lessons, ice-skating lessons and the first time I ever went bowling. Dancing lessons was not something I really ever wanted but my beautiful and talented sister, Tillie, (real sister- Marcia Joyce) loved to dance and sing. She could tap, do ballet and toe as well as any professional dancer or singer. She even starred in two broadways shows and I was the one who accompanied her on the piano. Oh, did I forget to tell you that I love playing the piano and the violin. Using my smarts and my sense of humor I even convinced the dancing instructor to let me play for some of the dancers and not dance in the entire recital. How, clever am I! Well, my ice-skating experience was met with much resistance too as I fell on the instructor three times in Rockefeller Center. Did I not tell you I am a klutz? I am also overweight which makes skating even harder. My sister is thin and can glide on the ice without any problems. I, on the other hand got a lot of practice falling and slipping and sliding. Now, when I think back it was hilarious.

Of course there is the time I really wanted to learn to bowl. But, being overweight and not realizing that the pants I was wearing would split as I bent over, air conditioning without the machine to blow the cold air, created another funny situation. My mom came prepared. She gave me her pink sweater to wrap around my you know what and told me I was good to go. Now, I never bowled before but I am great a punch ball and winding up my arm to punch. So, what do you think I did: I wound up the ball and threw it cross lane and the end result you will have to read for yourself. You don’t think I am going to give it all away without having you buy my book and read my funny stories.

Next, Fran Lewis wrote Bertha Speaks Out. When you read these stories you will really learn a lot more about my sister Tillie, my mom and me. But, for this book I wrote a poem:

Bertha is my character’s name

Hoping to get her some glory and fame

Won’t you take a chance and read about her

Bertha Speaks Out you might prefer

She is over weight and not so cute

She is smart and very astute

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Work in Progress reviewed by Fran lewis
by Fran Lewis on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 2:17pm
Work In Progress

Author: Larry Sheridan
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Jeremy Jackson is about to experience life as if he is the primary actor in an episode of the Twilight Zone/ What you are about to her and real will enlighten the reader and help you understand that life throws you definite curves, appearances are deceiving, things happen and situations can be orchestrated, created and unexplainable. Jeremy stated his day like any other going through his normal routines, But, this day would turn out toe be anything but that. So, why would Jeremy be contemplating using a gun? What could make this intelligent and rational man want to resort to violence?

As he states, Let’s start at the beginning! Revved up like a racecar motor, excited about closing a potential business deal, Jeremy prepares to go to the airport and fly to LA. Events that happen forewarn him that something might go wrong and thing feel off balance. Premonitions, we all have that sixth sense or unnerving feeling that makes us wonder if we should get out of bed in the morning. We get that gnawing, nagging feeling that something is not right. But, do we listen to our inner voice or self, or just ignore it, shrug it of as just plain nerves or paranoia? Can you retrace your thoughts or double back when something seems wrong? So, when Jeremy relates to the reader his argument with his wife Cassie, his things he’s hiding for the form her, seeing a black cat stare at him when he leaves the house and a violent encounter with a police office plus getting rear ended, do you think maybe a warning or siren should have gone off in his head and yelled: STOP and THINK? But, Jeremy leaves the house, speeds to where he is going, gets stopped by a violent officer and meets one gorgeous woman at the airport who sets a plan in motion that you won’t believe and neither will he. Conniving, cunning, definitely outfoxing our Jeremy he falls prey to her wiles, and never suspects what is happening to him until it’s too late. Helping him through security, getting on the plane and not realizing that what he thought he was taking in meds was anything but his prescription.

Waking up feeling disoriented, unable to focus and unbalanced he thinks its stress, just not feeling well and never suspects the truth. You hear his fears, his frustrations, anger and inner most thoughts as Jeremy tries to figure out what is happening to him and the author takes you on a journey that will be anything but someone’s nightmare but definitely during the day. Trying to process what is happening and the events, he can’t. Maybe it’s something he ate or drank or something unknown. Able to understand most things but being able to process and put the facts together and in some order, no.

Every man needs an assistant to prepare his schedule, make appointments, take phone calls and keep his day straight. Tish is Jeremy’s trusted assistant. For all appearances she seems to be the perfect assistant able to coordinate his life, make sure that everything goes right, get the deals in order and make sure that Jeremy rakes in the money. As a financial advisor he comes in contact with huge amounts of money that he handles for clients. But, when he meets his driver and arrives at the airport things happen that make you realize there is much more to this meeting than meets the eye. John Stephens is the name of the man who is his driver. Appearances are not what they seem as you will learn. Tish his assistant appears to want to help him close this multi-million dollar deal at all cost. But, when the meeting is over and the plan presented to the group of men present, Jeremy thinks all is well, but is it? Ross Holder is the man in charge of the meeting and the group that he is presenting to. Who Ross and his connection to the truth behind the deal and the group funding it remains to be seen. As the men assemble in the conference room the games begin. Jeremy once again addresses the reader explains how the players appear to him, but who are they really and what are they really after? After all this is Las Vegas and the stakes are higher than the payout in black jacks or roulette.

As the meeting begins Jeremy thinks out loud to himself, switches fears, changes his plan and his presentation hoping to engage his audience, make a better impression and close the deal. Three strategies that are proposed yet not embracing any one. Engrossed in his presentation those present seem to be listening, hearing what he is saying, taking notes for further discussion. Questions flying, making, final decisions not made. But, as Jeremy leaves there are three more groups waiting in the wings to present their plan to win over and get the account for Portfolio K. Who will be the victor?

Returning home he sees his wife Cassie, expresses his true feelings, his thoughts about their past, their lives and their future. Regaling how life has its disappointments, joys and hoping to recapture some of their beginnings. But, then something happens, snaps his out of his reverie. Cassie begins to yell, scream and his vision is blinded and he does not know where she went or what happened to his children. Winding up win a car with his driver, his vision limited and his facts confused, he is not sure whether he dreamed what happened or if it is real. Jeremy’s lack of perception and reality become his norm, disoriented and confused his world turns dark but he has no idea the cause. Thinking he was in a car accident and in a coma for two weeks he awakens finding himself in restraints, his driver present and the truth about his identity revealed. What he learns frightens him, changes his perspective on life, his job and those he thought he could trust. Learning what is expected of him, who might be behind the deceit, the deals, and his supposed accident not only angers him but also puts him and his family in grave danger. As things progress he’s made to believe that he is in another car crash causing the deaths of several people, defending himself against an intruder in his home and finding out that one nurse is anything but what she appears to be and much more. Why? Threats, innuendos, intruders, police brutality, messages that are given and implants within his body to prevent him from not complying with the plan, Jeremy begins to not really know who or what he is. Would you squawk at getting an account that brings in over 300 million dollars? Would you complain if your assistant were so efficient that the financial benefits of what she has done are astronomical? Would you care if what she is into were illegal money laundering, deceit, murder and fraud? Would you fire her to learn you cannot? Who is behind the deals, the group that claims its works for the government? Where is the money coming from and what part does this John play, Tish and even his wife Cassie? Who can he trust? Anyone? Why are there so many bodies piling up and why is his world becoming surreal, contrived and totally orchestrated by a master conductor?

Author Larry Sheridan takes the reader along with Jeremy on a dangerous roller coaster ride with so many twists, turns, ups and downs, curves and fast paced speed that you won’t see the end coming and the final outcome will keep you on edge until you turn to the last page and find out the truth.

Life like a house of cards or dominoes can come falling down in a flick of a finger or wink of an eye. As the pieces fall into place and the truth behind the deception revealed what will happen to Jeremy, what will his final fate be and what will happen to his life, as he knows it? One ending that will have the reader hoping that Jeremy will come back again in another novel written by this outstanding and creative author. What is the final outcome? What exactly is the Company and when and how did it start? Well, there are cameras, bugs, videos, and surveillance equipment all over the place so that this reviewer will not reveal the secrets nor tell you the final outcome will be. This is one book you definitely want to read and one author who has taken the mystery/thriller genre by storm. Watch out Larry Sheridan is definitely going to be right up there with Steve Berry, James Grippando and Daniel Silva. Will Jeremy remain a work in progress or will he become a finished product? You decide when you read this Five Star Novel.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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