Saturday, July 30, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - WORK IN PROGRESS - AUTHOR LARRY SHERIDAN

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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Friday, July 22, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - SEVEN -INCH VINYL WRITTEN BY DONALD RIGGIO

Memories you Want to Remember; The Best Music and Times
by Fran Lewis on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 2:10am


Seven-Inch Vinyl
Author Donald Riggio
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Living in the South Bronx and growing up near a record store that carried the top 100 hits is something kids today will never experience. CD’s, DVD’s and IPod’s are the way to go in 2011 but not so long ago we had stereos, our own 45’s and you were able to pick out the ones you wanted and bring them right to your own special jukebox or turntable. Playing these records, inviting your friends over for a party to dance and have some great fun brought the songs and the artists right into your own home. The greatest things was that good old 45 record never wore out, was right there where you wanted it to be and you never had to play all of the songs on a tape or CD to get to listen and dance to the ones you wanted. Nothing better than taking out those old discs and listening to the artists, looking at the different labels, doo wop sounds, Motown, watching Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and hearing the voices of DJ’s like Cousin Bruce and Alan Freed over the air on the radio to get the fun started.

Seven-Inch Vinyl might be fiction but the events in this book definitely bring back a time when the music was truly great, the artists could really sing and growing up was really fun.

Joseph Rabinowitz and Danny Cavelli were great friends. Both wound up joining the army for different reasons. Joseph loved music and learning the history of many genres, and Danny fixing cars. Author Donald Riggio describes their army tour, their friendship and their passions.

Danny and Joseph both had their own visions of what they wanted for their futures. But, fate steps in and Danny and Joseph are both in a fatal car crash leaving two dead including Danny as the third and Joseph critically injured. As Joseph rebuilds his life he becomes close to Danny’s sister Janet and here is where things begin to change. As he becomes stronger we learn more about his determination to become part of the music industry and start a life with Janet. We also meet Teddy Boyette a young man who finds his way into the music business as one door is slammed in his face another opens. Meeting or trying to get an audition with Artie Franklin proved to be the wrong move or way to go but an accidental encounter at diner with Cap Steward would be the chance of a lifetime. Cap offers him a job and chance to sing and play his guitar that he cannot turn down and one waitress named Dee a different opportunity.

As Joseph and Janet get to know each other, Teddy begins his life on the road and his music career. Janet and Joseph made a bold move and Sol and Myra Rabinowitz will now decide how they feel about their relationship. Janet hoping to win them over and Joseph relentless in his hopes for their future.

Joseph Rabinowitz was enterprising, smart and knew exactly what he wanted when he walked into Harmony Time Music Store. Playing the piano I have to admit that Harmony was where my teacher bought my music. This book brings back so many great memories. As Joseph meets Leo Klein the owner they form a strong bond, he offers him a job and his entire business soars as they now carry the top 40 hits, 45’s, 78’s, record equipment and a brand new recording studio. As Joseph helps Leo embark on their latest venture, Teddy Boyette comes to mind when he calls his friend Chanty to ask if he would like to record a record in his studio. Meeting Teddy, Chanty’s visit and his agent would forever change their lives. Helping many others get started was Joseph’s goal and the end result is still to come.

As their recording studio was built, contracts drawn up and signed and their first record made Billboard Magazine lists Teddy right up there with Fats Domino and Pat Boone. Reading about the how a 45-vinyl record was made, the history behind it and the process really is quite astounding and compelling. The songs that were sung, You Belong to Me and many others of that time period really brought it all back and made this book come alive for those of us that grew up during the 60’s and loved the music of the decade before. But, with everything and in every time period the mob seems to have their hand in things and two friends form a business alliance supposedly selling magazine subscriptions and then become more involved in the music business. How will this affect Joseph and Leo still remains to be seen? How will Janet, his wife feel when he learns he took her poems and turned them into songs? As Teddy becomes more popular and their business booms they move to Manhattan. Added in we learn about Rosa Parks, John Kennedy and the Holocaust, which Joseph’s parents lived through, and will never forget.

But, things heat up and do not always go the way you want and successes become too paramount and then the downslide begins. The mob gets into the business and forms Alexis Records. Just as Teddy’s career takes off and he becomes a household word, teens all over are listening to him and he becomes number one on the charts, fate once again sets in, his plane goes down and his life and career ended. More than upset, Joseph, now Joe Rabin, Leo has to find a new singer, deal with the tragedy and create a newer sound with another singer. Four young men who are friends decide to form a group called the Du-Kanes. Practicing in one of the group’s apartments upsets someone and the police ask them to stop practicing so late. But, one officer goes to bat for them, finds them a place to practice and eventually things turn around as Joseph and Leo now have a new group that soars and some that still have not made it. From Elvis Presley, to Buddy Holly, to Pat Boone, Fats Domino and many others the author reminds the reader of the greats from that time period.

But, things will change as the times do and the mob sinks its teeth into the business trying to control the singers, their monetary gains, but the record industry too. Hoping to make the DJ’s play their songs, their music and their artists would dramatically change the complexion of the industry. But, when the author writes how these four young men celebrated with an egg cream and malteds it really made me smile and reminded me of on once a month treat of a vanilla malted or chocolate egg cream made just right in the candy store that was directly under our apartment building on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.

Things began to change in the lives of Joseph and Janet as their marriage began to backslide and they drifted apart. He buried himself in his work and she went to England to see the world and the castles. Then the British invasion came along with the Vietnam War, Kennedy’s assassination, the downslide of his business. Losing Janet, several contracts and the Beatles made things difficult not only between Joseph and Leo but others as well. Joseph needed a group that would pull in money, sell records and recoup his loses. Then once again tragedy strikes in an unexpected way when learns of the death of a dear friend and the reason behind it. So many things happened during this time period. Castro comes into power, McCarthy, Kennedy, the Russians and Sputnik and so much more. This was a time period filled with so many changes in the world not only in politic, space but in music too. I remember watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing some of the greatest performers in person on his show when my dad’s friend got us tickets on a Sunday night. This book is filled with so much history, nostalgia and reminders that things really don’t change only the people do. Music is so different today and the groups varied and the sounds definitely not Motown.

The characters might be fiction but some of the events are real. From Chubby Checker and the twist, to Bobby Rydell, Bobby Darin and Fabian the music of this time period is timeless and this book brings it all back. But, when the author talks about the Bronx, the many different places he lived and Morris Park and Pelham Parkway, I smile. Because, it is all still here and still beautiful just the people are different.

As careers ended and his company was bought out, his life took a different turn and what happens in the world will change not only the complexion of the music industry, government, life for many and Joseph too. How does he revive his business and what brilliant idea does he have? You need to take this outstanding trip back in time when the Du-Kanes reigned, when wearing bobby sox was a definite fashion statement, when Dion and the Belmonts were hot, and the music of the 50’s soared and the emergence of Rock ‘n Roll took over the and performers like Elvis, Dion, Hank Williams, and Jerry Lee Lewis were at the top of the charts. From World War II, to Korea, Vietnam, racial tensions and the first man on the moon, author Donald Riggio brings it all back with a flair that is unique, filled with facts, even a murder, some deceit, treachery and much more before it all comes together in a surprise ending that will bring tears to your eyes and the audience on its feet.

There is nothing like listening to the old 45’s and I still have some of mine and wish I could convert them to a CD to listen to the songs that meant something, had meanings and made everyone get up dance my favorite Lindy Hop with my favorite partner my late sister, Marcia. This is one outstanding novel that everyone should read whether you lived through the era or not the music then will always be the music now to me.

So, Donald, thanks for the memories, the great story, Joseph Rabinowitz, Leo Klein, the Du-Kanes, Chanty and of course Teddy.

This book gets FIVE SEVEN INCH VINYL’s
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

TO LIFE - SALA LEWIS- HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR -


This poem was written by Marsha Casper Cook after her first interview with Sala Lewis, a HOLOCAUST survivor.


TO LIFE

The question is to be curious
To be curious is to care
To care is to love
To love is to forget
But if we forget
Who will answer the questions
Who will be there
To make sure
The deaths of our loved ones
Will have not have been in vain,
So please don’t ask us to forget
The pain and the sadness
The outburst and
The tears
They belong to us
They are dreams,

They are the sparks of light
That survive in us
To remind us
Of love and honor
And of being who we are
We have been spared by G-d
To hold in our hearts
All that is dear to us,
For we as a people have
Survived
We are not just Jews
We represent honor
And courage

We are the inspiration
We represent love,
We are not only survivors
We are teachers
We are friends
We are the assurance that
The Holocaust did happen
We are here to repeat
The facts
So it can’t happen again,
Yes, we are the reminders
But you my children
You are the future
You have the power
To say no
We didn’t …

Poem by Marsha Cook

Monday, July 4, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY BENNET POMERANTZ- AUTHOR MARSHA COOK - THE BUSY BUS

JULY IS THE MONTH FOR SPECIALS! .99 E- BOOK

4.0 out of 5 stars Bus is Boss, June 29, 2011

By Bennet Pomerantz "Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOWORLD" (College Park, Maryland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

This review is from: The Busy Bus - A Collection of Short Children's Poems (Kindle Edition)

Poems for children are either smartly written or overly childish The Busy Bus, which is one of the smartly written poetry volumes, is poetry for the new age of children, The poems are subjects that current childten will relate to. It is a short book, only 50 pages long, but it has heart.

When a writer writes poems for children, they should be read aloud and enjoyed. Marsha Casper Cook seems like a modern day ,children's Odgen Nash with her style and wit.

A Parent asked me "What should I do for my three year old child to get him interested in reading?" I told that parent-get some poetry and read it to them nightly. This collection is one to do that with

Bennet Pomerantz
AUDIOWORLD

Sunday, July 3, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - AUTHOR - GARY BRAVER- TUNNEL VISION

Tunnel vision

Author: Gary Braver

Reviewed by Fran Lewis



Can a corpse rise? Can someone declared dead just get up and walk out of a hospital? What would happen if you were the nurse that was there when he coded? What would you do if the doctor pronounced him dead and you saw him walking toward the exit sign looking non the worse for wear? You would probably scream!



Zack Kashian loves to gamble. The problem is he hates to lose which seems to be the norm for this young man. But, when he leaves a poker game and heads for the road he winds up in an accident and what happens next will definitely make you wonder if there is such a thing as an outer body experience. According to our victim he’s looking down at his mangled and beaten body from above and what he describes and tells the reader you won’t believe. This atheist non-believer just might do a turn around and find his way back to God. But how, wait and see?



Do you believe that there is life after death? Do you believe that when someone is in a coma they can hear your every word, comprehend your thoughts but not be able to respond? Zack stays in a coma for 80 days but what happens in between will definitely enlighten the reader. In the hospital under the doctor’s watchful eye and his mother’s constant vigilance, why would some religious fanatics flock to his room? What could they have seen on UTUBE that would make them think that this non-believer was reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic? Zack does not believe it when he wakes up. His mother explains over and over again that it’s impossible. But, there are two people that read about this Miracle Man and they are determined to enlist, engage or persuade him to join in their experiments that would clarify whether there really is life after death. So, why is a paid assassin taking out the very scientists whose work in developing the MRI would help monitor brain cells and possibly find the answer to that question?



Confession is good for the soul they say. How does a priest handle the confession of a paid assassin? What does he do or not do with the information? Forgive the killer or hire him to do what he does best. Told to return in three days he does hoping to get God’s forgiveness for his deeds. Speaking the priest he realizes that it is not the one he saw three days before and what this man asks of him will definitely surprise the reader and make you wonder just what this priest really has in mind and why. Would he be redeemed? Roman Pace is a paid assassin and his penance or punishment to be forgiven is to kill. This starling revelation would send most people running out of the church and possibly to the police. But, he was a special circumstance requiring special sanctions. He killed for money and power. He was to become a Christian solider and warrior of God. His redemption would be granted by recommitting himself to same acts of murder by plying his trade on those who these people are working against God.



When Zack finally gets out of the hospital he resumes his old habits and goes to a casino with his friends. But, what happens when he is at the tables and can actually visualize the other person’s hand. This leaves him more than just unsettled but definitely in the black when he leaves. Zack needs money and sometimes people don’t think when they are desperate and he decides to sign up as a paid volunteer for a scientific study. The subjects that qualify are placed in a near death coma while the scientists monitor them and record their brain waves for activity. So, why is a paid assassin killing the very scientists linked to this study and homeless people too?





Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe that people can have a near death experience and recall every detail? Do you think someone can have visions and see a dead parent or friend or feel their presence? Zack allows himself to undergo several sessions and during the first two he sees his father and envisions his family in many different lights. Mind control or does he really thing these visions are real? Did he really hear his father’s voice? The sessions left him unsettled yet he considered allowing himself to be placed under even further.



Warren Gladstone and Elizabeth Luria are the ones running this study. Gladstone is preacher who has his own channel. Charlatan or Preacher you decide as you get to know this man. Dr. Luria what was her real objective during session two? Was she really monitoring his brain waves or did she have another objective in mind? Why did Zack decide to continue? Was it the money to pay his debts or was he really curious about this study?



A noted physicist is the killer’s first victim. Next, he gets another scientist leaving her daughter alone. But, his killing spree has just begun and as Zack becomes a subject in this experiment that just might cost him a lot more than the debts he has accumulated. As he enters each session he puts himself at risk for many other problems. Going under a second time his end result is bone chilling to say the least and what one of the researchers reveals quite starling as Zack really needs to decide whether money for your brain waves is really the way to pay off his debts.



Near death experiences refers to sensations reported by people who have come close to death or demeaned clinically dead for a period of time. Their heart or breathing stopped and then starts again. As you will hear in Zack’s own voice he will recount having feelings of total peace as if he floating in a tunnel going toward a bright light. But one of the researchers, Sarah Wyman working with Zack disagrees and says it is pure neurobiology and not someone floating down tunnels to a celestial light to meet their spiritual beings.



Is there an afterlife, she is aiming to prove it. Her evangelist backers want proof and the answer to that question and that God exists uniting religion and humanity and ending religious strife. But, remember that Zack is an atheist and a total non-believer. How would they change his mind? What will happen when they finally put him under? Were his reactions really recorded in what they referred to as the God Lobe? How far will they go to get their answers and what happens when the paid assassin finds out about Zack? As the suspensions increased Zack became more aware that there might be an underlying reason why Luria wanted him for the study and her real purpose has yet to be revealed. When the pieces finally fit perfectly into the syringe and all the tetrodotoxin is ready to be dispensed, what will happen to the next victim when the plunger is pushed?



What happens at the end will enlighten the reader about the truths, lies, deceits and betrayals that sent Zack and Sarah racing the clock hoping to find the answers to many questions lying dormant within his mind for years. What really happened to Jake? Why did his father leave them? Who really killed the people that he saw in his suspensions? One ending that will not only send chills down you spine but also make you think you and Zack are experiencing an episode of the Twilight Zone first hand. Weigh the test results, read the evidence and decide for yourself: Near Death Experience or Something Else? This book gives the reader much pause for thought and does teach many important lessons. Before agreeing to any medical study you need to research the lab, the methods and the end result and find out if there are any complaints of violations against them. Find out about the drugs being used and learn more about their side effects and not from those doing the testing. Find out the end result and what happens to Zack when you read this outstanding novel. Author Gary Braver brings to light many important issues: is there really a life after death? Can you have a Near Death Experience and will you be able to recall the events? Characters that are true to life, one young man that learns many hard lessons throughout the book and one important one that changes his outlook on life.



Fran Lewis: Reviewer



I give this book: Five Beautiful Dreams Filled With Joy and Love!

Do you believe in the hereafter? Decide for yourself after reading this book!









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BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - AUTHOR -JAN BRITLAND - ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHAEL SWAIM

ANOTHER WONDERFUL BOOK BY JAN BRITLAND AND ILLUSTRATOR- MICHAEL SWAIM

Subject: the book with the three chapters fran

The Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog By Author Jan Britland


The Adventures of Rodger Dodger Dog: Three Great Stories in One Fantastic Book:

First we meet Rodger Dodger the Talented Dog:

Now you wonder how I know this that well you see

He’s handsome according to our author and can even climb a tree.


Second tale tells about how he goes to the sea and sees a fish jump on the land

Plop he crashes down so hard flat on his back on the sand

But, author Jan Britland she understood his plight you see

Sending Rodger to the rescue bringing the fish home as fast as can be.

Now you won’t believe me when I tell you what Rodger had the fish do

So, read it for yourself to find that if in trouble you’d want him to help you




The final tale is called The Strongest Dog you see

But, poor Rodger would be seriously challenge by of all things a tiny flea

Poor Rodger met this persistent flea and what can I say

But, Ouch, Ouch, get the calamine lotion right away

Scratch, scratch, he really needs help

To get ride of the pesky flea before he did really yelp

So , why did this flea find a home on our poor Rodger you ask

Well, annoying dogs was his favorite and primary task

What finally happens and what is the fleas fate

You have to read this because it is getting quite late

Sit back, put your feet up and read this great book if you dare

And learn about Rodger and while reading in a comfortable chair.

Will he ever be rid of this pesky flea who has no name?

Will Mack help him and prevent him from more of the same?

Will he ever stop scratching and be able to have fun with his friend

The only way to find out is read the book and you learn what happens at the end.


What happens to the flea will definitely bring a smile to your face and hopefully teach the flea a lesson. Find out when you read the story told in rhyme what happens to poor Rodger and the flea. With friends like his it is no wonder author Jan Britland can create more and more adventures for our smart, talented and wonderful dog. Illustrations that are so realistic you can tell from the facial expressions on Rodger’s face that he is in pain. You might even feel like scratching. Rodger learns the true meaning of friendship, and the stories or chapters teach each of the animals the importance of loyalty, friendship, understanding and love.

Let’s hope Rodger and his friends come back for many more adventures and children in every elementary school read his stories. All of Jan’s books should be in the public library, home libraries, school libraries, and children’s hospitals and used for lessons in Character Education.



Let’s give this book: Five Gold Stars

Friday, July 1, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - AUTHOR R.J ELLORY -SIMPLE ACTS OF VIOLENCE

Author: R.J. Ellory -Reviewed by Fran Lewis

So, you think you exist- maybe you don’t! Imagine having your life, your entire identity obliterate. Imagine four women killed and no sign, clue or identifiable print left, no family to contact, vital records have no information on them or anywhere on the net to help find their killer. Detective Robert Miller is thrown into the investigation which her would rather pass on. After having been acquitted of murder, being cleared by the court but not public opinion, he finds himself as the lead detective in this high profile murder case. But sometimes the choice is not yours.

Four separate homicides yet one MO. All the victims were suffocated, strangled, badly beaten and left with different colored ribbons tied around their necks and a non descript toe tag attached to each ribbon- devoid of a name and telling the police that each victim, according to the killer was nameless, invisible and not worthy of recognition. Almost like: you figure it out if you can!


But, when Catherine Sheridan, victim four was killed the killer decided to taunt the police, make sure she was found and what better way then calling in a pizza, leaving the door opened and the end result you can imagine when the delivery man discovers the body and gets more than just an unpaid pie.


There is much more. Intermingled and intertwined within the chapters and dealing with the investigation author R.J. Ellory allows John Robey- sadistic killer to speak to the reader taunting you with privileged information about each victim. But, is he the real killer or just someone who wants the world to know he exists? John Robey was a CIA operative- maybe that’s how he knows so much or maybe not! Flashing back to the Iran-Contra scandal we learn about the entire clandestine actions and incident, which began in 1985 during the Reagan Administration where weapons were supplied to Iran to secure the release of hostages, held in Lebanon by Hezbollah terrorists. Not sanctioned by Congress or the Reagan administration, definitely a covert operation, where the U.S. took millions of dollars from these weapon sales and gave guns to the rightwing Contra Guerillas in Nicaragua. How does this play into the plot? Meet Natasha Joyce and the back-story about her boyfriend, his drug addiction and his final murder will explain that.


As the investigation proceeds and Miller becomes embroiled and enveloped into finding the answers, the killer he reads tons of reports, paperwork and much more up driving on several dead end streets.

Remember: Four Victims- each with an identity at the time they were found gut when SS, vital records and their birthdates needed to be verified: No history was found, none existed- ingenious to say the least. As the investigation moves along more things about it disturb Miller as the birthdates do not match up and one phone call adds to the mystery as Darryl King’s death comes front and center with one anonymous phone call, one little girl’s observation and one mother who would like to hide her past but cannot. How does he come into play and what link does he have to our John Robey and his story plus the drug operations wait and see you won’t believe it. Coming through loud and clear are John’s inner thoughts, his life before dealing with the CIA, his father’s influence on him and his relationship with Catherine Sheridan. But, the hidden back-story involves the Contra Scandal and somehow Darryl King ties in as the author allows the reader to learn that he was an informant working to take down a major operation. Unfortunately, it cost him his life and much more.

Author R.J. Ellory weaves a plot filled with intrigue, twists, surprises that will keep you glued to the page until the end. Where will this investigation lead Miller and just how does Darryl’s death intertwine with the other four victims that still remain to be seen. Added to the mix is the fact that all four seem to have hidden identities that the bureau of records which deals with birthdates, Social Security information, phone records and much more seem to have no history of. With no DNA, fingerprints or any physical evidence left at any one of the scenes except the last, Miller and Roth are becoming quite frustrated but definitely will not give up. A newspaper clipping dating back to the Contra Scandal, a photo found at the scene are their only clues. But, Miller seems to feel that the four women have something in common as people but he has yet to figure out what. The plot thickens and the suspense builds up and this reviewer will continue reading until she gets the answers everyone is waiting for: Who is John Robey and who is the killer? But, since I don’t want to be next, I won’t give out that information. You will have to find out when you read this novel yourself.


As we get to know John Robey in depth we learn about his affiliation with the CIA, how he came to be indoctrinated in their ways and the truth behind his meeting with Sheridan. He and Sheridan did not meet by accident, it was preplanned by him and he and the higher ups wanted to make sure she could be trusted, thereby their strong alliance. But, when he realizes exactly what is expected of them his life would drastically change and turn him into a cold-blooded killer with little if any remorse. Added into the mix his the entire history of both the Iran Contra scandal and the U.S. affiliation with the Sandinistas spanning the two decades the early part of a third. His job was to gather intelligence, watch and listen to people, evaluate their positions and report to Langley.



But, just when Miller and Roth think they came to the end of their long rope with no beginning or end, someone identifies the man in the photo and they question John, but things take a different turn as another body turns up beforehand, Natasha Joyce. Linking him to Sheridan, Joyce, the three other murders, the missing police officer and Darryl King would require some heavy police work and much more. Will anyone else pay the ultimate price? Why did they let him walk when they had him? Who would be next? Photos under the carpet, newspaper under the mattress, wrong dates for documents, wrong addresses and just about any link to a person fabricated including their names, who was behind the subterfuge, the CIA, FBI or someone else? But, Robey is clever and taunts Miller and Roth with his lies and deceits hoping to get caught and then spouts off his personal biography, job descriptions and evades answering the main question as to where he was when Sheridan was killed and telling Miller he’s asking all the wrong questions.

Just who is behind this plot you will not believe. Miller and Roth are racing the clock to find this killer before the body count goes up even more as the attempt to catch Robey but find another body this time of one of their own. The ending will not only surprise you but make you wonder what is really going on behind closed doors of our government agencies. This is one novel that will give the reader much pause for thought as once again best selling author R.J. Ellory creates a plot so filled with history, truths, surprises and twists that you will stay glued to the printed page, keep turning as fast as you can to see who wins.


As you learn the truth and the end comes full circle does anyone really win? The reason behind this devious plot I cannot reveal. The truths behind what Robey knows and his final fate you have to learn for yourself. Who committed the murders? Who comes out standing on firm ground at the end? Robert Miller: honest, smart, perceptive and yet dragged into a web of lies, deceit and betrayals that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Catherine Sheridan’s death: A Simple Act of Violence or something else? You decide when you read this five star novel. Just why did Robey find Miller so fascinating? This reviewer cannot divulge as the file is sealed and locked away.

R.J. Ellory is right up there with Clancy, Berry, Connelly, Patterson, Kellerman . This is one book everyone needs to read. A Simple Act of Violence is anything but simple.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Tune in on October 19. 2011 at 3 Eastern on Blog Talk Radio when I interview the author.