Saturday, August 20, 2011


Pink and Say
Author: Patricia Polacco
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Children's books come alive on Magicblox-

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

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

Special visitors -Freda Roberts and Claudia Graziano and more -

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

link to show - live or on demand

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Granite Key: Nancy Wikarski

Reviewed by Fran Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Sunday, August 14, 2011



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

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

her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communication, graduating Magna

Cum Laude.

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

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

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

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

of the Year" award.

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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

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


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

I’m Bertha

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

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

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

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

Bertha is my character’s name

Hoping to get her some glory and fame

Won’t you take a chance and read about her

Bertha Speaks Out you might prefer

She is over weight and not so cute

She is smart and very astute