Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - - LIFE IS NOT A CANDY STORE; IT'S THE WAY TO THE CANDY STORE - AUTHOR - TAL YANAI

Life Is Not a Candy Store; It's the Way to the Candy Store: A Spiritual Guide to the Road of Life for Teens

Author:Tal Yanai Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Imagine you are standing in the middle of a road that has many different forks or paths that you can follow. The many roads we encounter often have different terrains, off ramps and detours that need to be explored in order to help each one of us find the right path. Take the journey along with me as we travel life’s paths, learn many lessons and encounter numerous opportunities, to learn, grow and understand how to choose between right and wrong something every parent tries to teach their child at an early age.

Each day we are given chances to create a better path for ourselves, overcome obstacles, learn to deal with negatives, turn them into positive and focus on reunifying with the Creative Force of he Universe: God. This compact, short but informative spiritual guide teachers the reader whether a teen, young adult or even an adult numerous and valuable lessons which will help each of them individually.

Life is not easy. Each road or path you take will have some smooth pavement and others rocky surfaces filled with ruts, stones, and maybe some boulders. Challenges make us stronger. Using love and understanding rather than discord and bitterness will easy your way and help you stand tall. Life is not always going to deal you a perfect straight flush. At times you might feel like you have to fold. But, the strength within you that is in all of use will guide you to take the right path. Something my parents taught me and a great point made by the author is that your actions really do impact on others and you need to decide before completing an action if it is going to hurt someone else- you might not want to do it.

One example that the author offers and it is so true is about the young girl who enjoys gossiping. Find out how or whether you can literally take back your words or what you say to someone else by reading pages 19-22 and decide just how some real lessons are learned.

Dead-end-Roads deals with lying and how to break yourself of the habit but first you need to focus on creating and setting the right priorities for success. Pressure from friends, bulling, getting caught in a lie not only leads to dead-end-roads but also diverts you from the path you should be taking and provides you with a detour you should circumvent. Living your life according to someone else’s plan is not what the Creator wants for you nor should you accept. Lying is a serious issue and learning the technique simply stated in this book will definitely create a more aware you. Just- become aware of what you are doing and think before you speak. Read Lesson We Learn to understand how using a notebook, great idea, will help you understand things you have experiences and thoughts you have had. Learn the differences between lessons from the head and heart in Chapter Four.

Sometimes we get, I know I do, so angry we cannot se part what is creating that anger and it does more harm than god. Harboring negative feelings as the author states, need to be released. Accepting and learning to learn others can be done. Try activity two-Guided Imagination: I did!. It will ease your tension, lighter your burden and release the negative energy.

Life Is Not a Candy Store; It's the Way to the Candy Store: A Spiritual Guide to the Road of Life for Teens deals with everyday issues teens, adults, and even small children face on a daily basis. If you think about it many things that we stress about at work, dealing with difficult bosses, your own children, friends, school, peer pressure and other teen issues are discussed in this outstanding spiritual guide in order to help everyone deal with life.

Teens and young adults feed off of compliments or even insults they hand out to others. Ego: Can be your own worst enemy especially when inflated like a hot air balloon. Let some of the air out, don’t worry you won’t fall. Thinking as many kids do that they are the best comes form “Your higher self, not your ego.”

Teens encounter many difficult roadblocks that often hinder their way and sometimes obstruct and cloud their vision. I have to agree with our author that verbalizing decisions and problems does help. Sometimes I even write down-hence the notebook idea, which is great, my feelings about what might be bothering me and hopefully find a positive solution. I did try what the author suggested on page 46-47 and believe it or not well read it for yourself and you will find out just how it works. Writing down the pressure issues and possible solutions: great start.

Drivers often need help when they get flats, blowouts or run out of gas. People need different kind of help such as Roadside Assistance, which the author expands on in Chapter 7. Helping the reader look at life through different eyes, clearer, more focused and with totally a totally different outlook. Finding a “higher purpose.” But don’t think you are home free. The Chapter titled Road Hazards is quite vital and important. Teaching yourself whether an adult, teen or young adult how to deal with anger and not walking away from God is important. Keep moving ahead and don’t’ allow life’s challenges to hinder your forward journey. My Dad always told me that if you worry about something that you can do something about then do something about it. If you worry about something you can do nothing about that stop worrying. Don’t spend your life on things that you cannot change. Remember you can change your life and you can do better all you have to do is do it and have faith in yourself. But, parents, teachers, friends and siblings need to allow the teen or young adult the latitude to change and admit being wrong and accept the words “I’m Sorry or I made a mistake,” and not dwell on the past.

Finally, create your own unique road. Take the fork that is going to bring you where you need to be. Each one of us has a purpose in life. Each person their own path to follow in order to create a journey that will take you closer to God and that Candy Store of Life. Learn from others and you will grow on your own. I Did!

Author Tal Yanai created a unique and interesting format in this books where he speaks directly to the reader, engages the reader in the discussions, embraces your differences, allows you to self question while helping each of us travel down that road called LIFE! Read the book. Then reread it again. Hear the voice of the author. Listen to God and understand life is much more than instant gratification or feeding off of the pain of others. I love his stories; his examples and I do have a sense of humor that keeps me going.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - VOICES FROM THE LAND - AUTHOR- JAN MARGARET

Fran Lewis on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 4:03pm.Voices From The Land

Author: Jan Marquart

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Ever hear a story told by five different people? Wonder why they all sound different? It is rare that any two people look a painting, read a book or even observe a crime and relate it in the same exact words and the same way. Voices From the Land is a unique book filled with eleven different stories told by many different voices relating the same incidents from many different perspectives.

Listen carefully: Can you feel the wind kicking up? Do you hear the voices coming through as they each tell you their individual stories and experiences in their own unique way and first hand so that you, the reader will experience the phenomenon’s, the unexpected, their triumphs and sorrows as they happen. Shh: The Blacksmith’s Wife would like to tell you his story first. “ I am so excited. I have a surprise for my husband. He is the Blacksmith in town. I just met the most remarkable woman who shared her experiences with me as a poet. She was going to send me a copy of her book so that I could give them to my child when she is born and I can learn to write them myself.” Can you hear her voice? Can you tell how proud she is? A town filled with people who have their own hopes, aspirations and dreams yet many will not be fulfilled. Life in the West was unpredictable as we hear from the two strangers that enter the town and are befriended by the Blacksmith and his wife.

Two strangers all-alone enter this fictitious town. One a black man the other his child. The mother slaughtered. Drawn to the Blacksmith the two men bond and they become fast friends. But, as fate will have it as the Blacksmith’s attention was purposely diverted his world changes. The Black Man proves his friendship as the Blacksmith’s world comes crashing down. Meet the Blacksmith: The sight that I saw when I entered my home will remain transfixed in my mind forever. My wife and child were taken from me and what happens next will test my moral strength and every fiber of my being. Would you forgive someone that took the two people you love the most? Decide after you hear my voice and listen to my story.”

There are so many who want you to hear their words and stories but I think some you will have stop and hear for yourself. Women were not supposed to become independent and able to take care of themselves. Our seamstress was enterprising, bright and persistent in her goals. Opening her own shop, learning to sew quilts and sharing her craft with many of the women in this town that felt she should be home cooking and taking care of her family. What do you think? Women’s rights! Great for a pioneer woman!

When the author related how she came to write her stories she stated in her Preface that she sat down to write and something kept her writing until she completed the eleven stories. It was like a spirit calling out to her and every time she put her pen and paper down something drew her back. I have to be honest I received 8 books to review yesterday. One book that I knew had to be completed right away and six others including this one. For whatever reason, I chose to read this one first. Maybe, something was drawing me to read these stories filled with hope, dreams, sorrow, fate that played many a bad hand and a town whose people just wanted to survive and have the best for their families.

The story that touched my heart and really hit home the most is the How the Preacher Came to Town. As the young son tells the story about his father, the preacher, his work, his reasons for leaving his family for long periods of time, his grandmother explains to him the true meaning of believing in the Lord. At first he is not really sure nor does he understand but as time goes on, his grandfather passes on and many other hardships occur, he learns how to listen to the wind feel the sound of the heat and understand and believe in the Lord. Meeting a special Indian named Wild Eagle, who befriends him, teaches and explains to him about the Great Spirit, the Lord and that he is always around us this young man starts to believe. But, not until he losses more than most people should endure or can handle in a lifetime does he understand that his calling is to follow in his father’s path. I just lost my mom, sister, mother in law and aunt and the only thing that has kept me going are my prayers, my understanding that I still have much work to do and my belief in God and his strength to show me the way and not walk around in tears. This story was very powerful and I think it will help others who have lost loved ones move ahead in a positive way.

A young girls’ voice is heard loud and clear as she sits on top of a hill watching a white stallion. As she tries to approach the horse he will not allow her to touch him. But, when she sings to him he allows her to give him a carrot and realizes she means him no harm. Some day she will own the horse and ride him and maybe even become the sheriff. As the stories continue we revisit the sadness that befalls many when although there is no more slavery some refuse to understand that the black men and women are free and hangings are still the norm until one young, brave and outspoken young girl steps in and what happens will endear you to her and make you realize she just might teach some grownups some hard and fast lessons.

Hear the words of the Indian as he relates his feelings about the tragedies that befell his family. Listen to the sound of the wind and hear the voices telling you to be kind and understanding and rid yourself of hate. Remember the Great Spirit and the forces that will protect and guide you. The one constant in these stories is the Black Smith and the other the Preacher. Both the Blacksmith and the Preacher help many of the characters understand the world, understand others and draw those that are skeptical to them hoping that they will change understand and accept people’s differences.

God sends people to us when we least expect it as our Blacksmith finally meets another woman and has to decide whether he will take the next step. This is one of life’s challenges that he needs to decide if he is ready for and turning to the Preacher just might lighten his burden and make him feel free.

As the town grows and more people come to live there differences alight, even the gossip begins to get more respect as she passes on information she feels will benefit others and the complexion of the town changes with those that come to live there. How this all turns out for the Blacksmith, the Preacher and the rest of the voices you hear, read this inspirational, thought provoking and motivational book, hear the voices of the blacksmith, the gossip, the preacher, the girl and many others and most of all Listen to the land and hear the voices of the Wind. In the words of the Indian: Learn to live in Peace and Harmony. Wouldn’t that be wonderful in our world today.

Author Jan Marquart penned these stories in two days hoping to get some strong and powerful messages to the reader. Think beyond your realm of thought and open your mind when reading these stories. Listen: Can you hear the voices coming from the Land? I Can!

Fran Lewis: reviewer



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Thursday, June 23, 2011

FRAN LEWIS - BOOK INTERVIEW - MEGAN'S WAY - AUTHOR- MELLISA FOSTER

Meet Melissa Foster
June 23, 2011 by Just Reviews by:gabina49:

FRAN LEWIS BOOK BLOG -

I would like to take this time to welcome author Melissa Foster. Melissa is the author of Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda. Megan’s Way is an award-winning novel and is now being cast as a movie. Chasing Amanda is Melissa’s latest release and deals with child abduction. I am honored to interview Melissa today.

Day One
Please give our readers a brief Summary of Megan’s Way

What would you give up for the people you love?

When Megan Taylor, a single mother and artist living on Cape Cod, receives the shocking news that her cancer has returned, she’s faced with the most difficult decision she’s ever had to make. The love she has for her daughter, Olivia, and her closest friends will be stretched and frayed.

Megan’s illness reawakens the torment of her best friend, Holly Townsend, whose long-held secrets and years of betrayal come back to haunt her. How does one choose between a daughter and a life-long best friend? Can the secret she has been keeping be revealed after years of lying without destroying everyone in its wake? Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old Olivia’s world is falling apart right before her eyes, and there’s nothing she can do about it. She finds herself acting in ways she cannot even begin to understand. When her internal struggles turn to dangerous behavior, even the paranormal connection she shares with her mother might not be enough to save her – her life will hang in the balance.

Megan’s Way is a journey of self discovery and heartfelt emotions, exploring the depth of the mother-daughter bond, and the intricacies of friendship.

Fran: Why did you decide to write this book?

Melissa:

The main inspiration for Megan’s Way came from the surgery that my mother had years ago. She had told me that she was having a very benign surgery. A year or so later, she told met that they had thought she had cancer, and if she’d had cancer, she had decided she was not going to have treatments (if it was malignant). I went through many years of torment trying to come to grips with this decision and thanking God that it never came into play. After many years (ten+) I had transitioned through reverting back to being a child and wondering how she could decide to leave me, to coming full circle as a parent and understanding where her decision had come from.



Fran: How did you develop your main character?

Melissa:

I think that women are much stronger than people sometimes realize. We are mothers, sisters, lovers, workers, professionals, housekeepers, cooks, and so much more, all rolled into one. I wanted Megan to show the strength and the vulnerability of a woman in such a torturous and tenuous position, which is why I showed all aspects of her personality.



Fran: What was Olivia’s problem?

Melissa:

Olivia was dealing with so many deep seeded issues. Her mother had already undergone treatments for cancer and had gone into remission. Lay all of that on top of being fourteen-years-old, a time of complete and utter confusion, and therein lies Olivia’s issues in a nutshell. At fourteen, she’s not equipt to handle the issues she’s presented with – hence her behavior turning to dangerous.





Fran: What was her relationship with Jack? How does Olivia deal with what is happening to her mother?

Melissa:

Olivia’s relationship with Jack has always been that of her mother’s close friend to his friend’s daughter, another adult that loves her unconditionally.

To deal with her mother’s death, Olivia has to pull herself up by her bootstraps. She’s in a position where she has to confront her worst nightmare and learns of her father’s identity at the same time. Olivia is pressed into a coming-of-age sort of introspection, and I think she comes out the other side a new young woman.



Fran: Why does she rebel?

Melissa:

Most teens rebel at some point, and if any teen has a reason to, I’d say Olivia is at the forefront of that list. She doesn’t know how to handle all of the changes around her. She does what a lot of teens do, they reach out to strangers, to people they think might “get” them.



Fran: Why does Olivia have this special connection with Meghan? Melissa:

Olivia’s paranormal connection with Megan was brought on by the fortune teller Megan and Holly visited when they were teens. “She will need you, and you will know,” she had said, and then she cast the spell, “I empower thee.”



Fran: What is the ritual?

Melissa:

Megan and her friends had developed a birthday ritual for Megan that they carried out annually. They would each take turns, around the bonfire, stating what they hoped for and were thankful for that year. It was a spiritual connecting of friends, a coming together of the mind and washing away of the chaos of life. After they had their say, they said thank you to the Powers-That-Be and then they’d celebrate with dancing and music.



Fran: Why does Olivia feel she is ready to join her mother and her friends?

Melissa:

At fourteen, Olivia feels like an adult. She’s watched her mother and her friends take part in the ritual for as long she could remember, and has always longed to be part of this secret, special part of her mother’s life.



Fran: How do emotions come into play in this novel?

Melissa:

Emotions are paramount for me. I am a very sensitive, emotional person, and in order for Megan to be a real, three dimensional character, to have raw emotions and for the reader to feel those emotions right along side of her. I actually acted out many of the more powerful scenes of the book while writing them so I could feel what she would feel, how her body changed, what she might be thinking. Hopefully, doing so created more vivid scenes for the reader.



Fran: After losing recently losing both my mom and my sister I often feel them around me when I look at their pictures and talk about them: Did you mean to create an angel?

Melissa:

I didn’t mean to create an angel, per say, but I love that word, and think both Olivia and Megan were angels to each other.



I truly believe in spiritual connections, Fran. I think you are very blessed to have your mother and sister around you. Love is real, and when it’s powerful, I don’t think there is much that can stop it. I’m sorry that you’ve lost people you have loved, but you are truly blessed to have them looking over you, and they are blessed to have you thinking of them. Love lives on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BOOK REVIEW - IMMORTAL - AUTHOR TRACY L. SLATTON -

By Surya Reader "Jess"This review is from: Immortal (Paperback) Author Traci L Slatton

This is one of the best books I have ever read, of any time period, by any author! From start to finish, I couldn't put this book down. And for anyone looking for something deeper than your run-of-the-mill cheap, popular thrill - Immortal is definitely for you. This novel, set in 13th century Florence, follows the unnaturally long life of Luca Bastardo, an extraordinary man searching for love and the meaning of life. Luca is not your typical hero. He lives through the most horrible, depraved of sins and goes on to pave his winding path through the exciting worlds of art and alchemy, war and power, the most uplifting love and the agonizing pain of death. Along the way, he makes friends with many famed artists and political figures of the Renaissance. Let me emphasize though that you do NOT need a background in Art History to love this book! Slatton brings one of the most exciting periods of history to life and it stands completely on its own. No one could have created a better depiction of this time. Slatton does an impeccable job of merging a fascinating story with real historical events. And you'll fall in love with each and every character on the way!

This book takes a unique and interesting approach to historical fiction, one I haven't seen carried out with such artistic skill since Richard Powell's "Whom the Gods would Destroy," and that is placing a fictional character in a fantastical yet historically accurate world. Luca, by virtue of his long life, gets to meet and know some of the major figures of the Italian Renaissance, including Giotto, Boticelli, Lorenzo and Cosimo di Medici, and the great Leonardo da Vinci himself. Slatton creates such wonderful, true-to-life characters from these art history icons. I couldn't believe how much I, as the reader, felt for them, completely entrapped in their trials and tribulations. How strongly I loved the young, passionate and deeply intellectual Leonardo! How strongly I hated the brutal and severe Savonarola! And of course there is Luca's inveterate enemy in the Silvano family, but I'll leave that to you all to read...

"Immortal," like all great books, raises a few philosophical questions to the reader and explores them throughout the progression of the novel. Who, or what, is God? If God is all, how do we reconcile the "good" aspects of God with the "bad" ones? Is love the ultimate goal of any life? Luca lives through quite a few wars and participates in many battles over the course of his lifetime. We see Florence go through various ups and downs through his eyes, and we are left with the ultimate paradox between the "grand scheme" and the "individual experience." Is history about the big events, or is it merely the sum of more meaningful, personal experiences? In war, are unnecessary deaths sacrifices for the greater good, or should we take a more humanist approach and do whatever we can to minimize casualties and 'keep the peace?' You can see, this may be a historical fiction novel, but it's very relevant to our world today.

Highly well-written, richly detailed, yet completely readable; filled with history and still a complete page turner, "Immortal" is a must read for, well, everyone! Highly recommended!

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - QUIRKY KIDS ZOO -AUTHOR PAT BRANNON

Quirky Kids Zoo reviewed by Fran Lewis

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 10:51am.Quirky Kids’ Zoo

Author: Pat Brannon

Reviewed by Fran Lewis



Take a tour of the most amazing and unique zoo in the world. You have heard or have been to the Bronx Zoo or even the San Diego Zoo, but I bet you have never ever been to the one and only Quirky Kids Zoo created and invented by author Pat Brannon and illustrated and brought to life by Jimena Pinto-Krowiline. So, let’s being our tour by paying your admission fee and joining the tour group. Hope you have your walking shoes on, camera at hand or cell phone to take some great pictures. You don’t want to miss a thing. I am your guide and reviewer Fran Lewis and welcome to the tour.



Welcome everyone and let me tell you something about this zoo for kids. This is an exciting place to take children to visit and for parents to learn something about the many kinds of animals that are here and have courses much more. You will not see the usual sites that you might expect. No, lions and tigers in cages. No seals or elephants or snake houses. What will you see? Let’s enter together and make sure you have your cameras ready.





Ever see a polar bear wearing pink shoes. Look over to your right as you enter the zoo and take a look at her. Isn’t she gorgeous? Wouldn’t you like a pair just like those for yourself or join her in a game of tennis? Stay in line please and next I would like to point out our two special gorillas that can skate and further down the road the most agile and adorable four tigers that can jump rope or even Double Dutch. Or course my favorite and I am not saying it has to be yours are the 11 Kangaroos growing flowers. Imagine creating their own garden. I would love to know the secret of growing such beautiful flowers. Imagine 19 brown camels walking in purple high heels, and 24 pelicans marching in a zoo band. The entertainment is great and the songs are quite great from One Republic, to Jennifer Lopez and maybe even some rap. What more could you ask for. Step lively everyone as I show you the next sight of 25 French Poodles dancing the can-can. I bet you want to join in and get in the can can line. I know I do.



As I take you on this tour and you see the beautiful and unique sights remember to look at the pictures that are so beautifully illustrated helping to make the book come to life. But, there is much more that you can learn from your tour. There are many other exhibits and animals to see but if I tell you about all of them it will spoil your fun reading this great book and visiting the zoo on your own.



Before I take you back to the front gate I want everyone to know that you can learn how to count from reading this book. You can learn the many different animals and how to recognize them and even read their names. You can learn about action verbs since all of the animals are doing something special like dancing, racing, jumping or even marching. So, visit this Quirky Kids Zoo and maybe come up with some animals you might want to the author to add if she decides to add some more exhibits to this exciting place. For those young, old and just anyone who wants to smile and have some fun, read this great book, visit the zoo and definitely take your own tour.



Can you name all of the animals on the cover now that you have had your tour? Can you remember how many of each the author put on each page? Make your own Quirky Zoo and see what animals you might like to put.



I five this book: Five Gold Stars



Fran Lewis: Reviewer



.

Monday, June 20, 2011

BOOK REVIEW- AFRAID OF THE DARK- BY FRAN LEWIS - AUTHOR - JAMES GRIPPANDO-

Afraid of the Dark: Reviewed by Fran Lewis author James Grippando

Afraid of the Dark
Author: James Grippando

Teenagers often fall prey to young men that they feel will take care of them and offer them more than just friendship. As Vince Paulo, monitors the text messages, phone calls and communications between his friend Chuck’s daughter McKenna and her boyfriend, an alarm goes off in his head. Realizing the gravity of the text message that was sent from her phone and who the recipient might be, Vince races to find McKenna but is too late? Searching through the house he finds her blood soaked and mangled body on her bed with a deadly wound on her chest. Calling for an ambulance, hoping to safe her life, McKenna whispers the name of her assailant before closing her eyes one last time. Hearing the sirens, and leaving the body, Vince realizes the murderer is still in the house. As he opens the door a mass explosion hits him in the face resulting in blindness for Vince. Now, he is in the dark.

Flashing forward three years as attorney Jack Swyteck takes on a case defending a man who has spent three years in Gitmo for being a terrorist. Meeting with Jamal, hearing his story and understanding his history Jack decides to defend him and gets him released. But, the victory is short lived as he is once again detained and sent to Florida facing charges for murdering McKenna Mays his girlfriend. However, there is much more to this than has been revealed and as Andie Henning, Jack’s undercover FBI agent fiancé comes into the picture, she warns him to stay away from the case. Added to the mix Chuck, McKenna’s father is a computer genius who created Project Round Up is capable of searching eight billion files in an instant. How does this all come together and what role does Chuck have in this remains to be seen. As the case comes before the court and Jamal is release, emotions heat up, as the officer who lost his sight is upset about the end result.

A confrontation with the murder victim’s father and anonymous phone call from someone verifying Jamal’s whereabouts when McKenna was murdered draws Jack into a case that he would prefer to walk away from. The government knew Jamal was neatly tucked away in a cell being tortured in Gitmo while others thought he had murdered McKenna. Just who wants this murder covered up? Who is behind his arrest and why does Chuck want Jack on the case?

Enter Theo Knight, Jack’s investigator and you might say bodyguard. As Jack and Theo go to meet this unknown witness they encounter much more than either of them expect. What happens adds more intrigue and suspense as one man dies at the café; another leaves a note for Jack as his table. “Are you afraid of the dark?” Was he referring to what happened to Vince or was this person planning a lights out for Jack? An unexpected visit from Jamal’s mother would further clarify things in Jack’s mind realizing that he might have just been framed and that Shada, McKenna’s mother disappeared or died for a reason and it was made to look like suicide. Tracking and monitoring her daughter’s text and cell phone calls, she got too close for her own good. Was it her husband that had her silenced or someone else? That remains to be seen.

As the court will decide on Jamal’s bail and Jack delves deeper in his past, what he finds out about not only Jamal will surprise the reader. Imagine if a blind person could function as if he could see? Imagine if a blind person could be reeducated to learn to read and even write. Brainport might be in its experimental stages but Vince is forging ahead and becoming more independent. How will that all play out and will his wife Alicia support him no matter what? Just what part does he really play and why did McKenna point a finger at Jamal before she died if he was not her killer? What really happened to her mother?

Jack needs to prove that there really was a black site where Jamal was kept prisoner. Learning through Andie that the site was funded and owned by a private insurance company and not the FBI or CIA would make uncovering the truth even more difficult. The government will not admit what they did to Jamal nor can they deny that he was not in the states when McKenna was killed. Who killed her and why? Who is this Dark that continues to make his presence known yet is illusive?

As Jack delves deeper into the case and he learns more about Chuck Mays and his Project Round Up, other pieces come into play that will send him in many different directions. The doctor that administered CPR to Chang before he died revealed that someone with a white walking stick with VX or nerve gas stuck him. Thinking he was next he approached Neil Goodrich and the ending needless to say is two more in favorite of Dark. But, when you learn the connection between him, Jamal and the reasons why he is committed these murders you will feel more than just chills down your spine and definitely want to make sure that you are not anywhere near him when he decides to strike next. But, who is that dangerous man and what else does he have planned for Jack remains to be seen. Added to that he is holding someone captive. Who you won’t believe nor will you figure out until all of the pieces of this complex plot and puzzle come together. As author James Grippando sends the reader along with Jack on a race to find out who this killer is before the body count goes up even more. What part does Chuck play and why won’t he reveal anything about Project Roundup? Where is Andie and what part does she play in solving this case?

Jamal, Jack, McKenna, Shada, and now Neil and the Doctor: You should be afraid of The Dark. Vince monitored McKenna’s text messages and her computer and cell phone but never but never thought that the original text from her phone was sent by our killer and not her in order to set up Jamal. The link between Jamal and the Dark although fragile and not really tightly woven will explain everything. Sometimes you are victim of who you are.

As Jack and Vince race the clock to go to London in order to get to the bottom of what really happened to Shada and why, what he learns about her will change the course of the investigation, put more lives in jeopardy and open up a whole new world to him.


One man obsessed with darkness never wanting to be in the light. Sleeping during the day and doing his handiwork at night almost like a Vampire. But, this one is more pedophile, sadistic and definitely deranged. Now, with Jack and Paulo close what would be his next move and who would assist him in his plan? Just who is really behind this plot will make you shudder as the deceit and lies come out and the ultimate betrayal will rock many worlds.

While Jack is working with Chuck and learning the inner workings behind Project Round Up, Andie explores his family tree and end result will enlighten him to his past, help him understand his grandfather’s ravings as not rants but truths. Alzheimer’s is deadly and it destroys your mind and dignity. But, his grandfather’s long-term memory was loud, clear and sharp and what he revealed would help Jack illuminate much more as the final events and the pieces to this elaborate maze or puzzle come into place.

Just who is the Dark and what hold does he have on Shada? What was Chuck’s part in all of this and why hide the truth about his wife? Project Round Up could provide the technology to trace videos to their original camera that took them. Child porn, brainwashing, videos that would hurt the Black Ice operation and maybe turn the lights on for the man called The Dark. Tracking devices, GPS’s and one-man bent on taking Jack, Chuck, and Vince down in ways that would make you cringe. As the truth comes out just what was Chuck’s original plan to take down the Dark and bring his face into the light? Read the final outcome. Feel the tension, visualize the end result with an author who delivers that extra punch with vivid and graphic descriptions that will place the reader front and center with the characters as if you were right there with them, this is one book you want to read and one ending you will never expect. Monitoring the whereabouts of others can save lives even when you think it violates your privacy.

Revelations come full circle, the truth comes out and Grippando gives the reader an ending , filled with on the edge suspense and ties all the lose ends neatly as Jack, Vince, Chuck and The Dark learn who wins, who loses and who should really be AFRAID OF THE DARK.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this outstanding novel to review.

Friday, June 17, 2011

LOVE CHANGES - book review by Fran Lewis - author - Marsha Casper Cook

5.0 out of 5 stars Love Can Really Change Your Life: Love Changes reviewed by Fran Lewis, June 3, 2010
By Fran Lewis "Fran and Bertha" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE) This review is from: Love Changes (Paperback)
Love Changes by Marsha Casper Cook

LINK TO BUY LOVE CHANGES - E BOOK -.99
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Changes-ebook/dp/B002P3LBVM/ref=reg_hu-rd_dp_img

Marsha Casper Cook brings to light so many valuable issues in this book that are relevant today. A definite must read and one of my best picks for 2010.


Marriages have a way of outlasting themselves. Sometimes we don't even see the signs not until it is too late. Martin Lewis is trying his best to understand his wife Elaine's erratic mood swings. Honored at a dinner for the disabled, his wife and his mother both proud, but in two different ways. A man who is selfless, a doctor who is rare and rarely cares about his patients, does not see the warning signs in front of him as his marriage is about to smolder into ashes due to the secrets and lies his wife has hidden from him for years. Spending his life as a doctor and delivering children into this world, just imagine how he would feel if he found out his child was given away. Enter into the world of gambling, adultery, abortion, mental illness and the disabled. Elaine appears to us as a selfish, unfeeling woman who enjoys the life of a rich socialite and doctor's wife. Martin Lewis deliberately ignores her faults, her coldness and mood swings in order to keep his marriage solvent. Elaine Lewis has placed a veil of secrecy around her in order to hide the truths about her past. Will they be able to survive? What truths will be revealed in this heartfelt novel by outstanding author Marsha Casper Cook who brings to light so many issues that people face today but never really fully address.

Elaine Lewis appears on the outside to be a cold, unfeeling and distant woman. That is all a façade. Beneath the surface you will find a woman who is deeply troubled, hiding from her own pain and remembering a choice that she made that changed the course of her life, Martin's and an innocent child. Elaine Lewis made the choice to give away her young son, Steven. Steven was born with a disability, an imperfection that she could not stand for and would not allow into her life. Steven was born with Down syndrome and would need the love, understanding and caring of parents who would learn and want to address his needs. She was not that giving and she convinced Martin to give her child to someone she never met. Haunted by the images and dreams of her sister Megan who died in a freak accident, Elaine's emotional scars and guilt from that day on have tortured her waking hours and left her cold and afraid to love any other child.

Facing her fears, running away from her life and finally coming to a stark realization after almost losing her life, Elaine decides it is time to get some help but at what cost. Finding her diary and reading the entries, Martin learns the hidden secret about how Elaine really feels about their son Stevie and why she feels like a failure. With the help of her close friend Sally, Maggie and even Josh a man she formed a relationship with, Elaine might just find her way back but not before Dr. Ben Caulfield of the facility she is in forces her to face past in a very unique and brave manner. Three great doctors, her husband, her psychiatrist and her gynecologist, all-working toward the same end to save this troubled and tortured woman from herself. But, could they and the events that do follow are startling. A man who has devoted his life to his wife and yet questions his own actions and blames himself for not being able to help his wife and understand her problems. A woman who closed herself off when her son was born but in her heart and soul she loves him.

There are many children born with disabilities today both physically and learning that hamper their learning. As a reading and writing specialist I worked with students that needed that extra help in both areas and I taught classes of double grades with students who were below level and had difficulty in both reading and math. Before becoming the reading and writing specialist I worked with so many children who endeared themselves to me and who will always be in my heart and soul forever. Working with children with disabilities like Down syndrome, autism and Attention Deficit Disorder takes a specially trained teacher and parent to help these children succeed. It can be done as we hope Elaine will find out.

When Martin asks Sally to attend a gallery opening more than just the paintings are revealed as Sally and Josh come to terms with his feelings for Elaine as the plot becomes more complicated and lives are intertwined.

Anonymity is what Elaine strived for and wanted in order to forget her pain and release her anger. She found her solace at the racetrack where she stated she could rest her mind and no one cared who or what she was. Friendships are hard for Elaine to cultivate but the persistence of one woman would change the course of her treatment and hopefully restore her life. The dam finally burst the water began to flow and Elaine was finally on the road to recovery. Group therapy sessions revealed many other aspects of her childhood and past. As author Marsha Casper Cook takes us on a backward journey into her past and then reunites us with her present life, we learn more about the real Elaine.

The events that follow her release you will have to read for yourself. Sometimes when we wait too long we learn many other hard lessons in life. The ending has a twist and you will never expect. What does happen to Elaine, Martin and Stevie will surprise the reader. This is a story a man whose unrequited love for his wife. A story of loyalty, friendship, hope and the desire to set the past free and strengthen the future. Friendships that will last, others that will be tested and losses that will be hard to overcome, as Elaine Lewis tries to understand what lies ahead for her and those she loves.

Well written, characters that you will either love or hate, a woman who learns many truths about herself, and a man whose undying love helped her through it all. This is a must read for everyone that has ever had a child with disabilities, learning needs or lost someone close to them.



Marsha Casper Cook brings to light so many valuable issues in this book that are relevant today. A definite must read and one of my best picks for 2010.

Review: Children’s Books By Marsha Casper Cook « Working Girl Reviews

.99 - special price - e- books - THE BUSY BUS - SNACK ATTACK -

Link to books
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=marsha+casper+cook


Review: Children’s Books By Marsha Casper Cook
July 25, 2009 by workinggirlreviews

I recently received three children’s books in the mail and although we’d never done this genre at WGR, I agreed to do these because I’m a mother and my kids have always been crazy for books. All three of these charming books were very well received by the children I tested them on. They all have subtle, but important social lessons presented in fun ways. Both the stories and reviews are short, so all three are posted here together.

The Busy Bus

By Marsha Casper Cook

Cronos Press, October 2008

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Busy-Bus-Collection-Short-Childrens/dp/1604140631

Website: www.michiganavenuemedia.com

A wonderful little collection of rhyming poems with titles such as, Terrible Twos, Uncle Edward’s Pig, Tough Jake, Fair Weather Heather, and many more. The kids loved this book with its bright, cheerful pictures, perfect for younger children. They got the giggles when I read Whose Smelly Socks Are Those and I have to admit it, so did I. There are poems in this collection that are just for fun, but others teach social lessons in a subtle way, while keeping the children engaged and having a good time. Try this one on your kids, I think they’ll enjoy it and you’ll be introducing them to the world of poetry if you haven’t already.

–Willow



The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion

By Marsha Casper Cook

Fideli Publishing Inc.; 1 edition (March 9, 2009)

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Magical-Leaping-Lizard-Potion

Website: www.michiganavenuemedia.com

Isabella Pimpinella and her dog Milly Van Dilly are getting together with the other junior witches to make the legendary Magical Leaping Lizard Potion. If they do it correctly, they’ll be able to fly and become full-fledged witches. Something that all junior witches dream of.

I enjoyed the story and graphics in this little book very much. Then I passed it to an eight-year-old girl to read for feedback. Her mother said she’d read it over and over. When I asked the little girl if she’d enjoyed it, she said she loved it and wanted to know where she could get the next one. Obviously this would be a great series for younger girls.

–Willow



Snack Attack

By Marsha Casper Cook

Fideli Publishing Inc.; 1st edition (January 1, 2009

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Snack-Attack-Marsha-Casper-Cook/dp/1604141239

Website: www.michiganavenuemedia.com

Addison Apple is a little boy who doesn’t like the oatmeal his mother makes him eat for breakfast. Liking cookies and candy much better, he secretly feeds the oatmeal to his dog, Sammy, and then sneaks into the cookie jar to fill his tummy.

The mother in this delightful story comes up with a unique way to deal with her son’s aversion to nutritious food. It’s not a remedy I’d recommend, but makes for a charming story. I read this book to a five-year-old and a three-year-old. With shouts of ‘again, again’!! I’d say it was a hit with both of them. It also teaches an important lesson in a fun way.

–Willow

Saturday, June 11, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - HOOPER FINDS A FAMILY- AUTHOR JANE PALEY

Title: Hooper Finds A Family

A Hurricane Katrina Dog’s Survival Tale

Author: Jane Paley

ISBN: 9780062011039

Publisher: Harper
“My life before Hurricane Katrina was the best. Living with Mamma and George I never had to worry about where my next meal came from or where I would sleep. But, then something happened to change that and my world came crashing down. Listening to the humans speak and understanding what they were saying, I hoped they could tell from the expression on my face that I wanted to go with them wherever they traveled. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Leaving me a hardy meal and some water Mamma and George took off in their truck promising one of them would return for me. I settled down and ate my meal and felt all alone for the first time in my life. As I was looking for a safe place to sleep for the night the sky filled up with dark clouds and the rain began to fall. At first the rain came down in small droplets and then in torrential downpours, which really frightened me and chilled me to the bone. With no one in sight I searched for a safer place to weather the storm. My name is Jimmy and this is my story. I am a yellow Labrador puppy, kind of small and some think puny. I was separated from my family in Lake Charles Louisiana. A terrible hurricane strikes the land and now I have to find a new home and family.”

Author Jane Paley relates a heartwarming, true story about a brave dog named Jimmy/Hooper that finds his way from New Orleans to New York City in search of a new family. Cleverly written and narrated in the first person by the dog, you hear his inner thoughts, fears; understand his actions and interactions, as he meets some ornery animals when he finally arrives at his first destination. Courageous, brave, feisty and full of spunk this amazing dog never gives up despite any obstacles that come his way.

Jimmy’s first destination, after being rescued is a shelter for animals, is a metal cage, where he is not very happy. Learning how to get along with the other animals there would be equally as challenging as living through Hurricane Katrina. Jimmy refused to lose hope. A volunteer named Chrissie arrived at the shelter and things were about to change. Chrissie’s job was to find him a new family.


First impressions can make or break a situation. Jimmy’s new dad did not take to him at all. Jane, his new mom did. Understanding that he needed reassurance and kindness, Jane sat in the back with him holding him close. Renaming him Hooper and trying to make him feel apart of their family would take hard work and patience.


Author Jane Paley’s first-person narrative account of this puppy’s ordeal is based on the actual events of a true story. Jimmy’s story is quite unique and he tells it in his own special way. The storms he weathered, not just during Katrina are vividly described and Jimmy’s underlying fear that he could be sent back to the shelter are heard loud and clear.


Taking his first bath, fearful of the water, thinking he might drown, it takes a lot of patience on Jane’s part to reassure him that he is safe. Standing up to the meanest dog in the park, impressing one beautiful collie named Willow and facing up to the squirrels in the park, allows Hooper takes his first step to becoming a New York dog.


Hooper tries his best to become part of this family. But, Larry his new Dad does everything in his power to make him feel unwanted until something happens that just might change his mind? A heartwarming tale of survival, overcoming fears, adjusting to a new life, Hooper is one special dog that everyone will fall in love with. “My name is Hooper, read my story.”


Without rescue shelters many of our unwanted or abandoned pets would not find homes. Thanks to the many who rescued Hooper and found him a home. This review is dedicated to all of those dogs that found homes and to my mother in laws dog Randi who was one of the lucky ones.


Reviewed for Bookpleasures.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SASS ASHE - BOOK REVIEW - KAREN FULLER - THE WICKFORD HIGH SERIES

The Wickford High Series by Karen Fuller



Author: Sass Ashe | Posted at: 11:25 AM | Filed Under: Karen Fuller, Teen, Wickford High, YA Fiction | 0 comments


I'm not usually a fan of YA books, although I've read quite a few. What I am a fan of is supernatural stuff. So even though Karen Fuller's "Wickford High" series is aimed at the YA audience I completely love it! Ms. Fuller introduces readers to several supernatural aspects while addressing the teenage issues of moving to a new town and starting a new school.

The first book in the series "The Revelation" is an great introduction to a unique town filled with all sorts of fun "types" of people. I don't want to give anything away but I can tell you that the story of Vicky and her new classmates will draw you in and have you eagerly reaching for the next installment in the series.

The storytelling doesn't slack off in the second book either! "Furiously Tempted" lets you further into the secrets that characters are keeping and opens your eyes to things you may have never considered.I raced through both of these books in one day, and was highly disappointed that I didn't have the next one on hand!

Don't discount YA books just because you aren't a teenager, there are some great ones out there and the "Wickford High" series is one you don't want to miss. If I had to complain about anything in these books it would be that at times the conversation between the teenagers is a bit too formal and proper. But all in all Ms. Fuller 'keeps it real' and helps readers see the way relationships and friendships work between "special" teenagers.

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM by Gerard de Mariagny

One Day: Two Twin Towers; Never Forget, April 14, 2011

By Fran Lewis "Fran and Bertha" - See all my reviews

(VINE VOICE) This review is from: The Watchman of Ephraim (Book Club Edition) (Paperback)
Title: The Watchman Of Ephraim
Author: Gerard de Marigny
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Ash, cinders, smoke and fog filled the air, blinded the vision and burned the hands, faces and bodies of many as the two planes minutes apart crashed into the Twin Towers forever changing the skyline of our magnificent city and leaving in its wake a carnage that would forever be embedded in the mind, hearts and soul of every American. Air permeating with a foul and burnt smell that would remain as a lingering perfume that would haunt those that live near what is now names ground zero forever, one man, Kris DeNiro, shares his story with everyone as he remembers that fateful morning when all he wanted to do was present his precious wife, Lisa with some magnificent roses, take her to breakfast and savor the life he so proudly loved not knowing seconds later it would all end. 8:46 A.M. on September 11, 2001 would be the time that no one would ever forget. Walking into the North Tower, carrying these magnificent roses, Cris witnesses a sight that he would never forget, a pain that seared through his entire body and a loss that would never be replaced. As he walked to the elevators only to be shot back, burned, pushed and thrown into a heap on the street. Clothes on fire, body burned and trying to make sense of what happened, he manages to help a woman in distress, answers his cell phone only to hear his wife's plea for help hoping it was not too late. As the author allows the reader to hear Lisa's voice, her final words and experience the pain and agony of one man, who goes back into the building only to be forced to turn back. As he walked up the steps and made it to the 30th floor one firemen who would become a lifelong friend, ushers him back outside. Explaining that his sons needed him and that there was nothing they could do to save those on the 104th floor where his was trapped, Cris made his way back down, left the towers and had to find a way back into the world that would never be the same and deal with a pain, or permanent throb that would always be a reminder of that horrific day.

Moving to Las Vegas, millionaire, Cris DeNiro started over again along with Lisa's brother and his best friend Ricci. Starting their own business they would soon become involved in missions so dangerous and grave putting them in danger yet, hopefully saving the world from another September 11th. Working his way to the top of the hedge fund world, he becomes the owner of his own counter terrorism agency. As De Niro reads from the Bible, he finds a passage titled the "Watchman of Ephraim,' a defender who watched and defended his land. Buying into this counter terrorism agency he decides to form sculpt, form and create one that would mirror the original of the Watchman for the United States.

Cris DeNiro sent his brother-in-law to begin work as President of the new counter terrorism agency The Watchman Agency formerly Liberty Defense Contractors. Upon entering the office he encounters a pompous man named Les Pastek acting as President and another Charley Santappai, Director of Operations. But, that changes in as heartbeat as Ricci enlightens everyone and explains to Pastek his new role or fate.

At a gathering at his home in Las Vegas close friend and firefighter, Keith Tompkins asks Cris for a favor. Prominent in the news is the building of a mosque at Ground Zero that many; especially the family of the victims and Cris are opposed to. Enlisting his help to find out more about who is behind it and hoping he can some how buy the property of stop the construction of it, causes Cris, unknowingly to come front and center with the man that would eventually try and bring down a lot more than the Twin Towers. Hiding behind his true agenda, and pretending to want to know his views on the mosque being built there, Cris discuss his viewpoint as this man puts his people on alert and wants to find out more about our billionaire mogul.

The ten-year anniversary is coming up. A sober reminder of the horror of that day. What could be next? Are we ever going to be safe? As DeNIro viewed the site-remembered the day, you hear his voice, echo his words on the page as he reminds us of how many were buried alive there in what many of us call a true burial ground and building anything there would desecrate the memory of those lost and much more.

As he reflects and is approached by one man who questions his feelings about this mosque not realizing that he could soon be more than the downfall of our country. Victims reduced to ash on contact, soot, dust and cinder how could anyone in due conscience think to build on such sacred ground. But, the man, Aref Zamani masks his thoughts and marks his words. Alert! Red! Flash! Zamani- sends his men to investigate Cris. Would he realize the danger before it is too late?

As the true or prime focus of this company is brought to light we learn the history involved and behind the name Watchman and the reason why he formed this company. Purpose: Never let your guard down. Protect your country. Since our government had no warning nor did the American people- We were caught off guard that day- not forewarned by our intelligence organizations and the end result we all know.

As the new team and heads get to work and form their teams and choose their respective staffs, Cris informs Mugsy, Charlie and Johnny F the new head of intelligence and security of the real reason behind the agency and the Black Ops unit he needs to form and keep under the radar of everyone. ArchAngel: Never again will he allow what happened to his wife Lisa happen again. Just what this group will do and who will run it and how many men will be involved that remains to be seen.

Intel information alerts Cris about an operation in Mexican dealing with a dangerous drug cartel. Sending two men to investigate and find out more information should have been no problem. But, there's a plant or traitor working within their walls whose feeding Zamani information and the end result proves fatal when they come face to face with their killers. Through the information found in their new Big Brother computer network they learned about a 25 million dollar cash flow related to a Mexican operation. Knowledge needed: Is this money funding the building of the mosque or something else? Frustrated whey they do not hear from the agents, what they learn will leave permanent chills down your spine after you read the events so expertly described by this outstanding author. What really ads to the plot is the author allows the reader to hear the inner thoughts, conflicts and emotions of each character when he/she expresses doubt, fear or conflict.

Truth be told and the traitor uncovered what happens next will alert this person of impending danger when teaming up with the wrong side. But, although injured and hurt what happens next creates fear in the minds of the terrorist forcing them to take stronger action and hopefully revenge on the one man he is really after: DeNiro.

DeNiro's team finds out more than these people realize and the race to see which side will succeed is definitely on and the starting gun has already been fired.

As Charley and the crew of the Santana go on a recovery mission and hopefully bring back the two agents, they face other adversaries before the truth about what really happened to the men is revealed. The end result will cause your heart to race, ignite your energy and create a definite rise in your anxiety level as you cannot put the book down, rush to turn each page and wait for the explosive ending.

Thinking he can bring down DeNiro hacking into his network, Zamani is toying with the wrong man and just might be out of his league. The Watchmen are smart, clever and crafty and definitely not to be under estimated and Americans: never underestimate us either!

Each member on high Orange Alert at all times using methods not often conventional, you come to route for their success and with they were not just part of the author's imagination in this first rate thriller.

Underlying this plot is one between Cris and Moriah that is not fully developed but hopefully will unfold in the future. Each losing a spouse on September 11, 2001, their feelings even after ten years raw, and the memories fixed in their minds, they are not ready to fill that empty void. Will they in the future remains to be seen as the main even has not been unfolded. Meeting her at a July 4th gathering the author allows the reader to her thoughts feels and entertains her doubts about meeting his billionaire and his two sons. Will something happen between them? That remains to be seen.

The truth behind Zamani's miss is revealed and the players are all in place- bomb is set to explode and the martyrs thinking they will succeed. A bomb is supposed to explode over Las Vegas is the goal? Can he be stopped? Wait and see! What they have planned is so far creative that no one will expect it. Invade DeNiro's ranch- capture or interrogate him but first they have plans for his kids, staff and more- horrific, deadly-bone-chilling to say the least.
As the phones go dead, computers compromised, leaks revealed- what happens next you will not believe as the enemy finds it way to close to its targets. Battle lines drawn- on site combat- families in danger. DeNiro needs to work fast as ArchAngel and Shadow Wolves team up to fight for their lives when the enemy comes knocking at their front door.

But, just who would deliver this package and where will it land? One twist, turn and surprise that I cannot reveal: You can place your bets on the roulette wheel as to who comes out the winner: Red the Enemy or Black DeNiro!

Just what happens you will not expect and will surprise the reader. One-man fights not only for his family, county and the memory of his wife Lisa, but those who gave theirs on 9/11 and those who lost theirs fighting this war you have to read for yourself. Who wins and who loses? Just how many lives are sacrificed and what is next for the team of the Watchman- only the author Gerard demerging knows that for sure. Let's hope he brings Cris, Brian, Johnny F, Michelle and the rest back again in a sequel to this great thriller. This book is a sober reminder that we must never let our guard down, we must fight for our country and we must remember those who gave their lives that horrific day. Tuesday: September 11, 2001: Never Again!

I dedicate this review to all those who lost their lives that day and to the author's friend Daniel and to Janine Gonzales my student who died in the first tower.

A book so well written and filled with suspense it kept me on the edge of me seat and I read it in one day.

Thank you for giving me the honor or reviewing your book.
Fran Lewis

BOOK REVIEW BY DENISE SPOONER - YOU CHANGED MY LIFE

January 1, 2011 *****

Exceptional book that blesses both giver and recipient
Any book junkie knows that other book junkies absolutely love getting books as gifts and there is one book that not only serves as a wonderful gift but is as encouraging and inspiring to read as it is to receive.

Max Lucado does a brilliant job in You Changed My Life, highlighting real stories about real people who make life worth living. Walk with him through these pages of hope and experience what humanity cries out for, unconditional love and concern for one another.

This book is about changing one’s life. How one act of kindness can impact someone in phenomenal ways and is a celebration of the love or concern you have for the one in whom will receive this book. It’s pages are beautifully illustrated and consists of over 188 pages including scripture, quotes and words of wisdom.

This is a gift that will keep on giving for generations to come. Be blessed as you become a blessing to that special someone whether he/she is a parent, sibling, good friend, mentor, teacher, neighbor or stranger that could benefit from an encouraging word or two. This book should rest on all of humanity’s shelves.


A wonderful book highlighting real stories about real people
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Smashwords - Addison Apple in ... Snack Attack - A book by Marsha Casper Cook

MARCH 1, 2011 ***** Denise Spooner - REVIEWS WITH INTEGRITY - BOOK REVIEW

Snack Attack teaches children a valuable lesson in too much of a good thing
Snack Attack, written by Marsha Cook, is about a young boy named Addison Apple who has a big appetite for sweets. His typical breakfast of oatmeal never went down well and one day Addison decided to share his gooey oatmeal with his dog, Sammie. Pulling this clever stunt over on mom was just the beginning of his problems he would soon find out were not worth his efforts to avoid his oatmeal.
Written amongst beautiful illustrations and a lesson to be learned by all young children about listening to their parents, Addison finds relief in following after his sweet obsessions and must contend with the sickening consequences to his dismay. Marsha Cook is an author, a lecturer, screenwriter, agent and radio show host living in the Chicago suburbs. She has published several children’s books as well as two novels and eleven screenplays. Marsha knows children and how they think. She shares a lesson in listening to parents through Snack Attack in a way that is both educational for children as well as delightfully expressive to parents.
Join Addison and his mom in his breakfast adventure from gooey oatmeal to extravagantly eating his choice foods and realizing his mom really did know best. Snack Attack is a fabulous story that will have your youngster begging for oatmeal at breakfast time and listening to your every word with anticipation and great eagerness. This is an absolute must for every child’s library of worthwhile books.
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