Al Boudreau, Author
@threecifer on Twitter
- ME, USA
- member since March 25, 2011
“Kings Deception: Steve Berry
What secret did King Henry Viii take to his grave? What does he make his wife promise to relate to his son before closing his eyes for the last time? Why does Katherine loathe him and yet takes care of him until the very end? What secret related to the...”
“Kings Deception: Steve Berry
What secret did King Henry Viii take to his grave? What does he make his wife promise to relate to his son before closing his eyes for the last time? Why does Katherine loathe him and yet takes care of him until the very end? What secret related to the Tudors will come into the present? His former boss Stephanie Nelle of the Magellan Billet has asked Cotton Malone a favor. Hoping to escort a recalcitrant teen back to England should have been an easy feat. But, when arriving at the airport and hoping to present him to the police Cotton fails to notice some discrepancies in the officials that greet him. Entering the limo, falling asleep for fifteen minutes would cost him more than must the missing time. As he prepares to turn over Ian the young man in question he is greeted by two police men and when questioning one and asking for identification what he receives is definitely not a ID you or I would want. Leading him at gunpoint, finding himself in danger he tells Gary to run and take cover with the Ian. But Ian and Gary are on the run and disappear. Just how will Malone find out where and who is behind it.
But what happens next alerts him to the fact that his son has been kidnapped and this young man might have orchestrated the events. As Gary and Ian are running for safety thoughts go through the reader’s mind as to where this will lead by boys.
Just who is behind that what why would the CIA orchestrate this event so perfectly? The operation targets and hopes to solve a centuries old mystery. But, if revealed the information would change the course of history and question the veracity of the reign of one of their own monarchs.
Blake Antrim is the man who orchestrated the events at the airport. Malone once a powerful man at the Justice Department and agent at the Magellan Billet, he served there for many years. But, one call to Langley set the events in motion, which led Stephanie Nelle, the head of the Billet to enlist the Malone’s help in delivering Ian.
Kathleen Richards is about to be fired when summoned to The Serious Organized Crime Agency where she learns of her new assignment and fate. As Katherine learns of his new assignment it takes her to a vault whose hidden occupants are non other than King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour his wife. Learning the reason she was taken there and the fact the coffins were opened and the vault rummaged through, Kathleen would soon learn the reason she received her credentials and job back plus who requested her on the case. When Kathleen learns why she was summoned the author takes us back to when Henry VII relates a secret to his son before he dies and then over one hundred thirty years later the secret is related one more time to someone else. The wealth of a king lays hidden somewhere and was supposed to be protected by one son and the message passed on to another. Just what happened to it and what is the King’s Deception? Why did a group called the Daedal approach Blake and why did they want him to fail in his quest? As Kathleen learns the history of behind both Kings and Blake faces those that want Britain’s secrets kept hidden. Would he find the legal reason for the English to leave Northern Ireland? How does this link to the release of a Libyan Terrorist convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and who is about to be released? Why are they killing American Intelligence agents in order to make their point that nothing will stop them from his release by Scottish authorities. Why won’t Britain help and what will the American government do? What part does a five hundred year old secret play and what impact will it have?
As Kathleen is a member of M16 and the CIA is also involved trying to find and uncover the clues to the mystery, what happens when Gary disappears, Malone needs to find the answers to the reasons why. How does it link back to the Tudors all piecing together with from a puzzle that will take him as it did Kathleen from the Middle Temple to the Chapel at Windsor Castle where Henry VIII in entombed and Oxford college. Then things take a rough turn as one college professor enlightens her into the background of Elizabeth I, who she wanted to succeed her, her reign, those she trusted and her final moments. But, as the final words are spoken, the answers that might help her to decipher the coded journal just a few steps away, something happens to change it all and not only is the professor in danger but someone warns Kathleen what will happen if she does not stop her investigation. With Cotton and Ian trying to find Gary and learn more about what happened to Gary the author brings to light the fact that one prisoner is about to be released that was responsible for Pan Am Flight 103 and the British are not doing anything to stop his release. Why still remains to be seen as we learn more about the King’s Deception and hoping that it would not be scrapped. Operation King’s Deception relates to the wealth of the late King Henry VIII, where it is located and how it relates to the Daedal us Society who is behind Blake and Kathleen’s warnings and hopes to foil any attempt they might make to stop the release from going through. But, why did Blake initiate the kidnapping of Gary and why did he want link does it have to Malone and Ian? From Windsor Castle to Oxford college and Hampton Court deceit, murder, assassins, spies and much more are all out uncover this secret society based on Greek Mythology.
Blake Antrim is in charge of Operation King’s Deception and hopes to find out the legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. Just how this links to Queen Elizabeth I the final Tudor monarch, who conquered Ireland and took much of the land, remains to be revealed. Elizabeth I reigned as the author enlightens readers as queen of England and Ireland from November 17 1558 until her death. She was the fifth and last of the Tudor monarchs. Author Steve Berry gives readers a solid background of this monarch, the daughter of Henry III; she was born a princess and treated as such. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and one half years after her birth. Elizabeth was said and declared illegitimate and her half brother Edward VI gave the crown to Lady Jane Grey leaving both Elizabeth and Catholic Mary out of the equation. Mary however became Queen and Jane was executed leaving Elizabeth to succeed Mary when she was imprisoned for supporting the Protestant rebels. But, Elizabeth surrounded herself with trusted advisers as the author relates William Cecil and Baron Burghley. As a result she established an English Protestant Church of which she became the Supreme Governor. But, there is much more related to why she never married or produced an heir to continue the Tudor line. However, her reign weakened, economic and military issues but her reign of 44 years brought stability. The relationships she had were several the end result she never married. Even her engagement generated scandal and gossip. The author relates the many suitors and the possible marriages but the end result was still the same. On her deathbed she was asked to name her successor she never did. Therefore, James VI of Scotland was named when they entered into a coded negotiation. “Elizabeth may not have declared her wishes openly to James, but she made them known with "unmistakable if veiled phrases" Wikipedia.
Things change and Kathleen learns the true meaning of deceit, lies and danger as her life depends on whether Cotton and Ian can devise a plan to get her away from the one person who she thought she could trust. But, what about Blake and his role with the secret society? When things become more intense and Cotton reveals what think about Elizabeth I and the treasure that is supposed hidden somewhere just where will this all lead and will the truth be revealed?
The author reveals the true deception that I will not and the hidden information about Elizabeth I and her reign that unless you research it for yourself and read it in Chapter 49 and 50 you won’t understand what would have happened if the truth be told. With all the players revealed we learn more about Kathleen Howard, Blake and the woman he was having an affair with who was not what she appeared to be. Just who was behind wanting the King’s Deception foiled? Who killed the agent that was working to uncover the code? Who can anyone trust and what will the fate of Ian, Gary and even Cotton be when all of the deceptions are finally revealed? Just what is releasing the prisoner going to do for one country? Deceptions, deceits, murder, cover-ups, lies and one King whose hidden secret would change the course of history if revealed and another whose secret and hidden a treasure that would be the reward of the person who deciphers the code. Where is the Tudor Sanctuary and what lies beneath it? The King’s Deception: Truth be known and what would the end result be for both England and Ireland? How does this all link to Elizabeth I? What happens at the end will definitely defy all odds and make you wonder what is truth, reality or fiction. Once again author Steve Berry brings the reader inside the tomb, Windsor Castle, Oxford and throughout England to learn the true secret of the King’s Deception. You just won’t believe what this is really about.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
“Sleep My Darlings
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were one in the same. Henry Jekyll would transform himself into this sadistic, cruel and evil man with the help of a special mind altering drug he created. Henry Jekyll chose his fate when creating his alter...”
“Sleep My Darlings
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were one in the same. Henry Jekyll would transform himself into this sadistic, cruel and evil man with the help of a special mind altering drug he created. Henry Jekyll chose his fate when creating his alter personality. One specific drug would not only change his physical appearance but would create a monster so heinous and so evil that even not hiding the fact that he committed murder and any crimes did not phase him. Depression is not the reason why he decided to experiment with a mind-altering drug. He had other reasons for wanting to see if he could change his life, his goals and his life. Jekyll was a rich doctor who was revered by his patients and society. Hiding his pleasures and sort of freeing his soul to be able to do whatever he wanted to do is one reason he created Hyde. Could Jekyll be the man who wakes up in the morning and feels his life so dull and going nowhere and whose decisions he feel conform to society? Hyde is the one through Jekyll that makes bad decisions and the guilt factor eludes him. One man inhibited by society and the other frees himself from those constraints. When you read this account of the murders of two young teens you decide for yourself whether the murderer Julie Schenecker mirrors Mr. Hyde.
Julie Schenecker was locked into life that she wanted for appearances. Two bright, intelligent and education minded children each with different interests yet academically oriented. Author Diane Fanning takes the reader back in time to where it all began by giving us the tools we need to get to know not only Julie but her husband Parker, his aspirations for success in his career and what led up to the murder of their two children. As part of a military family these children were subjected to many changes and moving from country to country, state-to-state was common. Some kids would have trouble adjusting and making friends but not Calyx or Beau. They were so special, so giving and just wanted to enjoy life, play soccer, take art classes and be normal teens. But, from the start we learn that Julie’s behavior at times was undefined in some respects. After having her second child she became depressed. Chapter One we learn about the murders, hear the voices of the police as they enter the home of his woman, find her kids in two different places, each with fatal gunshots to different parts of their bodies, and we are privy to the murder scene as graphically depicted and described by the author. Chapter’s 2- 25 sets the stage for what will happen. The author takes us through her early life, her relationship with her parents, family and friends and then leads us to when she met Parker. Their courtship was short, their marriage at first seemed solid and yet you can sense something within her personality that was not right. Meeting Julie in 1987, through her volleyball team, that she was coaching, she was thrilled when Parker signed up to participate. But, his life and his goal was to become a high-ranking officer in the armed services and throughout these chapters although he did appear to focus on his marriage his primary focus seemed to be his career. Marrying Julie in 1992 and living on many military bases both seemed to thrive. Meeting another mother, as she had Calyx at the time, she and Karen Krivo became fast friends until she moved. Moving to Hawaii then in 1997 having their second child should have brought her great joy, but it did not. It created more depression for her and she needed medication. The author does share with readers in previous chapters that this is not the first time Julie required meds for depression. More moves, other friendships and in 2001 she had a severe and “debilitating episode” of depression. She was hospitalized. This should have been a red flag for things to come. Placed in an institution to help her with her mental health, she seems well enough we learn in 2003 to be reunited with Parker and her family. But, this was truly not the case as in 2006; she was diagnosed as bi-polar, reckless behavior and false beliefs. This incident should have made not only her mental health specialists but also Parker more leery about leaving her with her children. In 2006 Parker received many awards from the army. Moving again their children had to readjust to new schools, programs and hopefully make new friends. Chapter 11 is quite enlightening as we learn more about her beliefs, her thoughts and readings and her friendship with Lorraine.
But, throughout the book you can feel the tensions rising between Julie and her daughter as the author describes many incidents when Julie was grounded her and treated her quite mean. When Calyx met three other girls in her school with the same interest in Harry Potter a trend started, club formed and they were all excited. Meeting and games were picked up and delivered by her father or another parents as she was hesitated to impose on Julie for many reasons. Calyx even hoped she would be allowed to go to boarding school to get away from her mother. As her daughter matured and was growing into a bright young lady with who understood what she wanted for her future, her mother became more disillusioned as the author relates” more disconnected from her children, and from life in general.” Why didn’t anyone notice it and why didn’t Parker protect his children?
When we begin to hear her voice, her actions quite evident, her family’s thoughts about her mental status we wonder why Parker did not realize before he went overseas again that she was unstable. Masking her symptoms, lying to herself and family members what is frightening is the fact that she was able to get a gun even after being diagnosed with mental problems. Using drugs and taking antidepressants were two reasons she should not have been granted a gun. However, no one really checked that thoroughly into her background to learn more about her personal life just whether she had a criminal record. Why didn’t anyone realize she had been arrested for child abuse? When deciding if someone should have a gun maybe they need to check to see if they are on any meds and contact their pharmacy’s or doctors. Scary but true as we hear her thoughts that must have been written in her journal for the author to be able to relate exactly how she shot Beau in her car in his left temple and then the back of her daughter’s head, mouth and other parts of her face. No remorse just proud of her efforts she even emailed her husband telling him that the three of them could not wait for his return. Yet, Parker although trying to protect his family in reality did not.
This is a chilling account of murder that if the author’s account is accurate premeditated and in cold blood. When the police arrived and saw the carnage Julie seemed almost relieved and admitted her guilt. Questioning her friends would bring certain facts to light but no one really took heed to the many red flags that should have alerted them to what happened. Sometimes we are blind and do not want to see the faults or weaknesses of others. Her brother and her family knew she was ill but yet no one saw the end result. From the reading the account it is left up to the reader, the courts and eventually the jury to decide her guilt and her punishment. Will she be able to hide become an insanity plea? What about her journal is it admissible? What about her past behavior? Is she pretending depression and what about all of those meds that certainly sound that their interactions could have caused some of her problems? Why was she so over medicated? Why wasn’t she monitored more closely? The outpouring of grief by the friends of both children and adults was sad yet as one sad that Calyx would be smiling down at everyone and wonder about the fuss.
The author’s graphic description of the murder, the autopsy, her interviews with Julie’s friends brings the murders to the present, explains the indictment, charging her with two counts of first degree murder and indicted by the grand jury. Entering a plea of not guilty her legal team is pursuing a defense on the basis that she was insane at the time. Parker’s reaction seemed like he just wanted closure and having his children buried. It was hard to tell his feelings. With the help of the school psychologist they hoped to help Beau’s friends cope with this tragedy but no one could explain or answer the question on the minds of so many WHY? Marriage dissolved, assets distributed and Julie stating her dependents as zero. It was like she divorced herself from ever having children and wanted to erase them from her life even after the murder. Within chapter 34 we learn more about the two children, their academic standings and we hear the voices of many of their teachers. But, on page 142 a statement made by a pastor will definitely anger not only the community but cast a dark cloud over Parker almost blaming him for what happened. Then, Parker’s words at the funeral are heard loud and clear.
Calyx three friends made her dream come true as the planted as special willow representing Whomping Willow in Harry Potter. A special ceremony was held and the event described in Chapter 38. Parker forged ahead and planned to live a productive life and states that he will dedicate it to the memory of his children. Many outpourings of grief and consolation from different places, lawyers and public defenders making their cases and interviews on television to highlight the murders. Filing for divorce and wrongful death were his next two steps. The divorce and how it was handled might surprise readers when you read chapter 42.
Memorials, trial decisions, the death penalty on the table and two children whose lives touched so many. The startling revelation you will read in Chapter 44 is meant to sway readers into thinking Julie was not aware of many things when married or before she married Parker. Page 177 is quite compelling and when you hear the words you hear the response of the lawyers and where they decided to lay blame. The trial is set for October 13 and Julie is in jail. The end result: ? Who is to blame Julie for murder or Parker for allowing her to care for her children knowing her illness? To learn more about mental illness and the research the author presents read the Afterword. One heart wrenching story, one cold-blooded murder, two children whose lives ended at the hand of someone who was supposed to love them. Guilty or innocent: Read Sleep My Darlings:
Let’s dedicate this review to the memory of Beau and Calyx . Fran Lewis: reviewer
“A Ranger’s Tale: Mysti Parker
When someone’s life is programmed and they decide to rewrite it in their own way they often encounter many obstacles along the way blocking their path and hindering them from achieving their desired goals. Caliphany’s parents have always been inclined...”
“A Ranger’s Tale: Mysti Parker
When someone’s life is programmed and they decide to rewrite it in their own way they often encounter many obstacles along the way blocking their path and hindering them from achieving their desired goals. Caliphany’s parents have always been inclined to have her follow in her father’s footsteps as a mage. But, that’s not what she aspires to be. Her father is dominant, controlling and refuses to understand that his daughter does not want the same things life he does. Caliphany is smart and resourceful as we learn at the start of the novel. However, no matter how hard she tries to complete her lessons, create the required wizardry taught by her instructors some calamity befalls her and things never turn out right and in some cases not for the instructor who needs protection from his student in more ways than one. But, she is headstrong and although pretty much living in a guarded environment at times she ventures out alone and one encounter would not only change the complexion of her life, her ideals and more but create more friction between her and her father. Caliphany ventures to the docks and finds herself at the hand of some men who begin to rough her up and have other ideas for our princess.
As she fights to free herself a young captain, who experienced a tragedy at a young age, comes to her rescue and the connection between them is instant. Galadin was taken from his parents at a young age and the end result would be working on a pirate ship. As the now installed captain he manages to free her from her captors, using brute force to make his point in order to save her from being kidnapped. Hoping to properly thank this young man, she convinces her companion and friend Juliana to allow her to return to the docks for a specific purpose. Venturing out she enlists Galadin in a secret venture that she hopes will finally free her from mage bondage as she might say if she could express it to readers and allow her to pursue the career she wanted. Imagine a princess becoming a Ranger and being taught how to shoot arrows.
Told in the first person narrative alternating between Caliphany and Galadin the reader gets inside the minds of both characters as they take us through what we hope will be a romantic journey with a happy ending. But, not every story or romance is without obstacles, betrayals and deceit and this one has quite a few. As Caliphany takes on her lessons with Galadin she becomes quite good at archery, tries to wield a sword and then learns how to create and institute an invisibility spell which I think many teens or young adults might think worthwhile. Added in we hear their conversations, eavesdrop on their inner most thoughts as each one bares the truths about their lives to each other in different ways. Galadin losing his father at an early age and he describes how and what caused him to become a pirate. Caliphany explains her bondage or mode of slavery in quite a different manner. Both seeking the approval of the other as tensions mount and the electricity flows. But, all things came to an end and Caliphany’s trust is betrayed when her father reveals he knows the truth about what she has been doing and the end result is anything but what you would expect someone to do to her. Added in we learn more about his goals for her, her straightforward comments and her stubbornness in not giving into what her parent’s want. So, what will happen to her and will she remain locked away in a storage room until she acquiesces to her father’s wishes?
Truths revealed in private, betrayals uncovered and then Caliphany’s move to release herself will definitely surprise Galadin when she lands right you might say on his doorstep in a manner of speaking. The niece of the King and the truth revealed to him what will he do with her and what will happen when the King finds out what her father did?
How does she escape and what part does Galadin play as the tension rises and the excitement runs through both of their veins. When things begin to change and he leaves her in Faewood, Galadin worries about her and what happens next will certainly surprise the reader, as he has no choice but to rescue her, take her along with him when the King announces she is missing. How they get away, who they tell everyone she is just adds some humor to the story and we begin to realize that they just might wind up together but there are more hurdles to overcome and Cali as he calls her needs to reconcile just who she is and what kind of life she really wants. Hunting, shooting arrows, killing animals and living off the land seems to make her soar and using whatever spells or incantations she remembers just might keep them both alive. He is part elfin and she is all elfin. One parent human and the other elfin caused his mother to be killed by pirates and Galadin kidnapped and doing their bidding. But, what will happen if her father finds her and will her disguise hold out? Things change as she and Galadin decide to marry and Cali returns home alone. A bad storm occurs while she is away, her father’s wrath at her choices comes through and her life changes when she thinks he is gone.
Enter the King and his off for her to come work for his secret organization to train others to in the skills she has now acquired. But, one young man named Jayden has other ideas for her and although he claims to be training her, her skills are stifled and her thoughts return to Galadin and not wanting to believe he is gone. When Cali learns she is about to have his child and her condition changes what will the end result be?
Author Misti Parker brings to light many important issues some face today. What happens when people of different races you might want to be together? What happens when someone of higher stations falls for someone in a different class? What happens when two people feel they belong together and parents have other ideas? Some families insist on prearranged marriages. Some are decided when their children are very young and others later in life. When Cali decides to rebel the end result is what has already occurred and when she approaches her father things get out of control and when forced to leave her life takes on a different turn without Galadin.
Events change relationships come about and Cali realizes that she wants someone else in her life. With Jayden pursuing her and her guard you might say down they begin to bond but does he have another motive for wanting to marry her?
Hoping to do more to help people and use her skills as a Ranger when her uncle requests that she, Jayden and others guard her father on a mission, she readily accepts. But, what happens will surprise the reader and the reason for the mission will come clear, as lives are lost, the person behind the murder is revealed and the tensions rise between Cali and Jayden. Betrayals, lies, deceits and a harsh reality hit her in the face, as someone she trusted proved more than unworthy. Just what really did happen to Galadin and who was behind the blast on his ship?
When all the players are brought together and truths are revealed just whose heart will be broken and who will win the golden arrow that Cali shoots to keep her heart? Fear, lies, deaths, questions left unanswered, harsh realities faced and one woman named Cali in the middle of what you might say a triangle has to determine just which side she is on. Author Mysti Parker’s plot is realistic, characters true to life and a story that will bring tears to your eyes, anger at times within your heart and hope that someone will prevail before another spell is cast and more lives are lost. Is Cali really bad news to both men? What’s her final fate? Read A Ranger’s Tale and find out. You never know she might come back again in another novel. A romantic novel with its own special twists and turns. A definite must summer read.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
“Reader: Erec Stebbins
When the past collides or intertwines with the future what exactly do you see? What happens when your life is no longer your own, the choices you normally would make are no longer an option and your world has become dark? Ambra Dawn awakened one morning to a...”
“Reader: Erec Stebbins
When the past collides or intertwines with the future what exactly do you see? What happens when your life is no longer your own, the choices you normally would make are no longer an option and your world has become dark? Ambra Dawn awakened one morning to a world filled with sunshine and two parents who loved her. But, that was just you might say a mirage or an illusion as what would transpire next would do more than change her life but destroy the lives of those she loved. As he father tossed her up in the air and she experienced the feeling that she was floating or flying Ambra describes what she sees, hears and feels before landing in his arms. But, the expression on her mother’s face would more than tell a story that no one wanted to hear and no one could change. Three men in dark suits claiming to want to help Ambra in order to cure an illness within her brain were really there for another purpose. Within her mind she was able to see and feel things that no one else could. Early on as she relates the story and narrates it even her mother realized that she was different. She had what some might call a sixth sense. She could send her thoughts to the past and even reflect on the present. Within her dreams she would experiences events that most would shy away from, fear and not understand whereas Ambra new them as “strange and wild.” But, what was about to happen to her was terrifying. Why was she brought to the attention of as she puts it “the Dark Forces?” Was this a gift that she had or what was it? Within her brain she had a giant growth or tumor that was getting bigger and the people that took her and decided to enslave her and so many others did not care that it was growing. Sold into slavery she was beaten, prodded, tested and ignorant of her fate. As she describes the treatment she received you wonder why the cruelty, the hate for those so young and the real purpose that they had in torturing these children. Those able to understand what they saw and pass their tests just might survive and those that did not you can guess their fate. This might say is Survival of the fittest to the cruelest degree. Within Chapter 6 we are enlightened just a bit as one tester explains to her that she’s so special, her tumor so large and almost treats her as you might say some type of oddity. Operations to further their experiments and then the end result would me total blindness for this young girl. But, Ambra was strong, unique in her talent and what she finally realizes is her sixth sense and her skill as a Reader might get her through.
Erec Stebbins: Reader: One powerful novel that will make not only adults think about what happens when humans and aliens take it too far and decide who lives and who dies and teens might appreciate what they have after hearing what Ambra has to say. Ambra’s life was consumed with fear, tests, others controlling her movements. But, one thing that they could never take away is her spirit and her ability to seek out the past, revisit so many things that others would never be able to and foretell the future. At one point the past was so strong that the future was blocked.
Then, she and so many others were taken away and sent into orbit to work for a group and learn that she was someone’s property and that someone was there to examine her. If she failed well the consequences would be dire. Leaving where she was might not have been so bad until you, the reader learns more as so many were taken and the end result horrific. But, before leaving a revelation was made, a certain prayer you might say was revealed and Ambra knew what she must do. Her journey and the final destination is not anywhere anyone should be or would want to be. Just who are the Sortax, what is their goal and why did they need these children? As you read each chapter there is a profound saying and equation to whet the reader’s appetite before reading the events that befall Ambra and so many others. Page 67 is quite interesting as it begins with Leonhard Euler’s equation V-E+F=2. : To delve into the deepest mysteries of nature and discover the underlying truth has been denied us, but with the right imagination, a hypothesis may explain many phenomena.” Read the chapter to truly comprehend the meaning. Tests are all about scores, as you will learn within this chapter and what happens when Ambra’s fall guess?
We often have to compensate and use other skills to stay alive and survive. Ambra take readers on a journey within her thoughts, mind and hopes showing us how she uses her sixth sense, delves back in time to her personal experiences from the past and hopefully will understand the future. Her description of the trip to Point T her feeling about floating in space and her description of what she wants us to see as she witnesses her home sun and the feeling in her stomach alerts readers that danger was near and the fear instilled within her from the voices she heard was real. What she saw, witnesses and the odors and smells would defy all your senses and instill more than just fear in your heart. Two different universes were presented to her. Trying to understand the truths, the picture of a putrid world she faced and the indignities she was to face would send anyone over the edge.
When the Dram is defeated and Ambra is taken aboard another ship she learns more about her purpose, her powers and her future. Can she heal and find her way back to what she is supposed to be? Meet the XIX who were sent to rescue those along with Ambra that were abused and hopefully guide her to understand her place in the world as it is. However, she wants to return to Earth and learns more about the fate of the people there, the Dram revolution that took over her planet and hopefully she will be able to guide them into the future. But, things change and her powers do increase and even though she is able to guide them back home she soon learns the unhappy truth. Those that she formed a bond with no longer exist as the Dram once again take over and those that were kind to her perished. But, Ambra hears the voice of a friend, regains her strength, decides to defend her position and she is no longer allowing herself to be held at anyone’s mercy. Thel the one alien that befriended her met a terrible fate and now Waythrel an Xixian medic has taken over and she is about to learn Dram law and custom. Learning about the two religious castes on Dram, their civilization, the faiths and more created a conflict within her. Imagine hearing a conversation in one ear and a commentary in the other. Next, he explains the Orbs and which ones are vital to each religious caste. Imagine having to learn all of this as the author outlines it on pages 156-157, having to remember it all and then being questioned. What would the end result be and why would the XIX risk it all for her? She learned a startling revelation within this 26th chapter: reader and also a writer. What does that mean and how will that impact her future remains to be seen? Charges are presses against her and she is brought in front of the High Inquisitor. Ambra stands her ground and does not fall prey to what she is told. Will she face execution? Will she be tortured for refusing to give them what they want? Who will prevail: Believers or Naturalists? Which religious caste and what will the end result be? What happens to her will horrify you and help you understand the gravity and lengths these creatures will go to in order to get what they want? What they do to her is unforgiveable and when the Xixian medics examine her harsh truth is confirmed.
When Ambra faces her inquisitors and hears what they want the end result will surprise readers and let you know that Ambra just might have the upper hand. Can she take down the Dram? What is her plan? Will someone foil it or will Ambra finally see the future for what she wants it to be? What she does will mystify readers and what she is able to do to the Dram Emperor quite compelling. What happens to Earth and the end result is explosive? When the angel of death wins who dies? What is Ambra’s choice? Which world survives? Loyalties, deceits, betrayals and one young girl’s hope to live to save the lives of so many more. Ambra is blind yet she can see. The visions within her mind and her journey is compelling and when she comes to the harsh realizations that her visions are fading what her friend from the past is saying what will the end result be for everyone?
The final chapters will explain what happens as the Readers and our narrator explains how they became a closely-knit group and just where civilization winds up. Betrayed by her own kind, mutilated and then the sacrifices made to survive. What is next for our reader and who lives in the mind of the author? Minds and lives destroy what is next for Ambra? Her story must spread and you must endure her pain and take the journey with her. Author Erec Stebbins creates a plot so intricate, so complex and yet so simple that the reader or review understands that the world is not always what it seems, that your faith is often tested and the end result as he states: Do we dare to believe?
Take the journey and understand.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
“Daytona Dead: Karen Vaughan
What happens when two newlyweds decide to take a ride and their front bumper happens to hit something? Not thinking that they might have accidentally run someone over or just plain road kill, Laura and Gerry never realized that their honeymoon would take...”
“Daytona Dead: Karen Vaughan
What happens when two newlyweds decide to take a ride and their front bumper happens to hit something? Not thinking that they might have accidentally run someone over or just plain road kill, Laura and Gerry never realized that their honeymoon would take on a new twist. Headed for Daytona, shows, swimming, fun in the sun, hotel romps and much more these two did not realize that someone’s past would reenter their present. Stopping to see what they might have hit little did they know it was a body. Hoping that the victim was deceased before they connected with it, Laura calls the police to report the accident and what happens next is right out of a CSI or Law and Order Show but with a comedic twist. Author Karen Vaughan uses her own special brand of humor to sober up these two newlyweds, explain the situation in her own special way and let readers know that Laura and Gerry were in for more than just a night of marital fun. Daytona Dead: This one you really want to read as you take the trip to Florida, visit the many places, join Laura for her night out in jail and meet her two cellmates as they recount their stories, laugh it up and finally well you have to read it to believe it.
Dave Meecham a cop who will do anything to get the goods on people for his friend Duane Ford. When we learn just who was killed we find out it was Laura’s ex-husband Lou and the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear. But, the suspects are about to mount up and the cause of death revealed as poor Laura winds up in jail along with Gerry after being questioned by this police officer and then booked. But, the evidence points in a different direction and the deceased belongings are returned to Laura but what follows will definitely surprise readers as their quiet honeymoon turns out to be anything but that as the players or racers come into view and only one will cross the finish line. Who: remains to be seen!
Laura collects the photos and wants to make copies of them on a CD and then handing them over to the police. But, someone is lurking in the back and tracking more than just her every move. With a hotel staff that is anything but credible, an owner who has no idea just who he hired and several other questionable people, I do hope that Laura finds her way to a safer hotel next time. But, fear not, something will change and she and Gerry are given what they think are complementary tickets to an event and a room at a five star hotel. What happens back at her own hotel will let you know that leaving your valuables in your room while you are away for an extended time period might not be very wise.
As we get to know the players and realize just who is behind what and why we begin to see a pattern forming and wonder just when someone in the police department will get wise to one of their own. Little hints, some snide remarks and you can tell that there is no love lost among some of the officers for Dave Meecham. Just why he is doing what he does you will have to find out for yourself. Certain information or evidence is confidential and cannot be revealed.
Lou Igliati is dead but the photos from his camera reveal information that might catch a killer and put Laura in arms way. Several hotel employees have been eliminated one way or another. One race car driver that is definitely in the thick of things and one police officer that needs to do more than just clean up his act. While the lead detective, Murphy, decides how to utilize Meecham, he learns his real whereabouts but will they finally see the light? What is revealed and their thoughts about him will definitely surprise readers what they do about it you won’t believe as the bodies are mounting up and the rise in hit and runs seems to be elevating.
What do you do when you meet your ex-husband’s male lover who comes knocking on your hotel door? Telling him what happened, learning more about him and admitting to running into him with her car, relating her thoughts about Meecham and wondering about what Gary, her ex-husband’s lover related, the pieces are not quite fitting perfectly into this puzzle for the race to declare a winner or loser. Just how did Laura feel after meeting him? You decide!
Deep inside Meecham just might prove to have some backbone as we learn more about his wife, what hold she might have on her brother, the racecar driver and how she hopes her husband will finally be out of his strangle hold. When the players come into place and the evidence seems to point on one direction author Karen Vaughan throws some curves, road twists and race car moves that only she can pull off. Betrayals, deceit, lies, corruption, identity theft, credit card fraud and much more will be uncovered before someone crosses the finish line. Fast paced, filled with dialogue that keeps the plot flowing, issues that make you wonder just who you can trust in many areas of law enforcement, once again author Karen Vaughan takes readers in the fast lane and brings not only the characters but readers to an explosive and charged ending. One racecar driver that just might have met his match and one PI that let’s you know she’s a force to be reckoned with. What is next for Laura and is she really going to go for a career change? Only author Karen Vaughan knows what is next for Laura and let’s hope that she doesn’t fall over, hit, or find anymore-dead bodies. But, why ruin her fun and the chase of going after a killer.
Will Gerry and Laura’s honeymoon ever be normal? Is normal in their future? Just who flips on who and what happens you will not believe? Will the police ever get the goods on the person behind the hit and runs and the rest? What about the break-ins and the robberies? What about fraud and identity theft? Daytona Dead: Watch Out: This is one hazardous track!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
“Okay, I didn't really finish. I read about 3/4 of the book and just couldn't keep going. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. If I can't find anyone likeable, how can I keep reading? Also, I'm not a fan of the incredibly overly descriptive style of that particular era.”
“Okay, I didn't really finish. I read about 3/4 of the book and just couldn't keep going. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. If I can't find anyone likeable, how can I keep reading? Also, I'm not a fan of the incredibly overly descriptive style of that particular era. ”(read full review)
“This certainly isn't my first reading of the book. I've read it at least 5 times. I can relate a lot to Pony Boy. I think that is what makes this book so universal, is that we all can find a character inside it that we connect to.”
“This certainly isn't my first reading of the book. I've read it at least 5 times. I can relate a lot to Pony Boy. I think that is what makes this book so universal, is that we all can find a character inside it that we connect to. ”(read full review)
“I like the idea of an interracial romance. There are no where near enough of them out there. However, two complaints. What about regular people. Most of us arent rock stars, professional athletes, or famous journalists. Regular people of different races can fall in love too. And are we...”
“I like the idea of an interracial romance. There are no where near enough of them out there. However, two complaints. What about regular people. Most of us arent rock stars, professional athletes, or famous journalists. Regular people of different races can fall in love too. And are we still avoiding the "taboo" of the white woman and black man? I just want to see my family represented. ”(read full review)
Jenny Hilborne reviewed a book.
“44 is an excellent paranormal suspense
The story takes place in Bend, OR. Abby Craig drowned when she fell through the ice on a lake. Brought back from death, she is not the same as she was before. Her memory is gone and she lives in a world without colour. Her former best friend now...”
“44 is an excellent paranormal suspense
The story takes place in Bend, OR. Abby Craig drowned when she fell through the ice on a lake. Brought back from death, she is not the same as she was before. Her memory is gone and she lives in a world without colour. Her former best friend now hates her and Abby has no idea why. Unexplained mysteries surround her. Her only anchors are her sister Kate, and her friend Jesse, who Abby realizes she loves but pushed away before her accident.
Then Abby begins to have nightmares about murders and mentions them to her sister. In her nightmares, she cannot see the face of the killer, but her visions match a series of local killings. Her psychiatrist and doctor try to push her to remember more about her past life and why she went out on the ice.
When Abby realizes her visions are not just dreams, and she sees the face of the killer, she knows she has to stop him. She will also have to face the truth about what happened.
44 is a well-written story and moves quickly. The characters are engaging. Abby's reaction to her brush with death is believable and poignant. People treat her differently and want to know what it is like being dead. Some of them treat her as a bit of a freak. She is no longer able to do some of the things she loved, like soccer and snowboarding, and she struggles to find her place in a world she barely knows.
The series of murders is chilling viewed through Abby's eyes. The villain, when revealed, is unexpected and the author does a great job of pointing the reader is the wrong direction.
The ending is heartbreaking.
44 is an excellent paranormal suspense”
Mira Kolar-Brown finished reading a book.
Mira Kolar-Brown rated a book.
“In the City of Bikes: Peter Jordan
Traffic jams, overwrought motorists, cyclists and pedestrians trying to share the streets, the pathways and hoping to get to their destinations. But, what happens when all of these people converge and traffic gets bottled up and the end result...”
“In the City of Bikes: Peter Jordan
Traffic jams, overwrought motorists, cyclists and pedestrians trying to share the streets, the pathways and hoping to get to their destinations. But, what happens when all of these people converge and traffic gets bottled up and the end result is chaos or a bottleneck. Peter Jordan takes us on his own private journey through the many cities in Amsterdam, to back in time when the first bikes were invented and allows readers to join him on his special journey. Imagine finding your way to Amsterdam and deciding to become immersed in the culture and the customs but first having to decide your mode of transportation.
Bicycling came to Amsterdam in the late 19th century. The city itself had many changes in urban development and become conducive for the cyclist and the bike use. Most cities at this time had seen a lot of suburban growth but the inner suburbs was better suited for bike riding. As we hear the voice of our author we get his reaction to seeing so many different people riding bikes. From women in long dresses, short skirts, men in suits and others in different attire you can feel the excitement within him as he takes us across the many streets, cities and routes in this insightful memoir titled In the City of Bikes.
Amsterdam is better suited for the cyclist than for cars. A network of canals and bridges spans the center of this beautiful city and the result of their urban renovations resulted in trying to widen their roads but that did not work. Congestion problems soared when more people bought cars. Kids riding bikes, infants in little seats, some on the rear rack of a bike, these are the impressions related by the author to readers as we learn more about his yearning to live in this city and the fact that what he witnessed we would not here in America. Narrow streets, canals that could not handle car traffic and finding himself in need of a mechanic when he was in the bike lane just walking as he shares his experience on page 9 with readers. He gives readers the history of bikes and describes the many people that he sees riding. One all “dolled up, another with stiletto heels and still another rolling a cigarette while riding.
But, the author decided to take his journey even further by learning Dutch and then hoping that his soon to be bride would join him. We learn that at the beginning of 1890 we would see bikes with high mounts, solid tires and even four huge front wheels. The author continues on pages 22-23 telling everyone about what happened to Princess Wilhelmina and why she was not allowed to ride. In reading this book I decided to learn more and found the actual article written about this soon to be queen. I need to state that Amsterdam is a bike friendly city the most friendly in Europe. Believe it or not it has about 280 miles of cycling lanes. Most of the people living there ride bikes and as many as 43 percent ride them to work.
Bikes are popular here and many of its city officials and planners would prefer their residents to ride bikes. But, between 1955 and 1970 cars became more popular creating traffic jams. So, in 1970 those living in Amsterdam who were citizens voted in favor of bikes allowing the planners to invest more time and money creating a better and safer routes for cyclists. Bike lanes were created, and believe it or not they even have special areas for cyclists to park. But, of course those using cars or buses were not happy.
The author shares some history with readers about German Queen Emma just before Wilhelmina would become Queen in 1898. Poor Wilhelmina was not allowed to ride a bike for fear she might have an accident and get hurt. Challenging her mother she actually we learn she actually went to the Council of State, but they did not side with her. They felt that “ the matter of her Majesty’s life and death is too important for too many of her loyal subjects, to take the risk, how ever small it may seem.” They also stated it was undignified for a Queen. She of course obeyed the rule and the cycling ban until the early 1930’s and after her the death of her mother she began to ride along public roads with her daughter Juliana. An advocate of cycling she did a lot to encourage others to do the same. Learn more when you read the chapter titled Lucky Few.
This is the actual article and here is her picture. Amsterdam and the history behind cycling is exciting. They even opened up Cyclist Schools, which the author describes on pages 26- 29. He continues to enlighten readers with the many laws passed, the job of one man to control the traffic and next Bike Thievery. The author shares stories about many bike thieves, the law passed that states that bikes must be properly secured and his own naivety causing the bike he bought for his wife to be stolen. He then continues with his search for the thief and to what lengths he would go to recover the bike. Throughout the memoir we learn more about the history of the bike, the regulations that were made, the laws created and his love for the cycle. Imagine trying to cross the street and some who wanted to rule the road. As the author takes us back in time to the first 2 decades of the 20th century and explains in detail why everyday transport was expensive and how it changed after WWI. The book then continues with the history of that time period, German bikes of all sorts that were made and which firms received them. Every class of people wanted bikes and each person had a particular one that suited them. Read King of the Streets to learn more and understand why Queen Wilhelmina loved cycling. But, like everything else remember there are those that would be against it and that the author elaborates on in pages 59-64. Okay, so they even instituted a bike tax law whose enforcement was transferred from tax agents to traffic police. Read the chapter to learn more.
Everyone has their own preference so as you will learn in Chapter 6 which focuses on Automobile vs. the bike. We learn more about Amy Joy and their life in this city in Chapter 7. He takes us inside their apartment, the renovations need and the new definition of Cyclomania and how it affected everyone. He calls it the Amsterdam Cycling explosion beginning in the 1930’s and then booming in the present. Read Problem Children and Which Ones’ the Wrench to learn more where he shares his job, how he managed and his feelings for the city. He even includes statistics for those who smoke and ride, those with two bikes and those that ride with beer bottles and even those that ride with their arms in a sling. Next, he shares Remembrance Day in Holland in Chapter 9 followed by Chapter 10 which is quite compelling and focuses on WWII and anticyclist measures and banning Jews in the country outside of Amsterdam from riding, renting or borrowing bikes. The rest of the chapter you have to read for yourself to understand just what was done to so many. Nazi occupation described, the fact that Amsterdam was the home to about three hundred thousand bikes at the time including women and children. But, the Nazi decided it would be easier the author states to net 8000 bikes. The rest you can read including statements written by a diarist about how when the police took their posts most bikes were gone. There is much more that is shared and what part the police played. Then the final years of the Occupation followed by The Mystery Rider where the author describes his life in Amsterdam, moving into his fifth apartment and hoping to upgrade his bike which his wife did as a surprise. Added in his some history about Theo Van Gogh the great-grandnephew of the painter and the fact that he used to ride an old, black bike with a wicker basket. What happened and the attack on him is described and who did it was exposed. Van Gogh was murdered and this for some reason remains in the author’s mind till today. He even recounts events after his murder and an incident that happened to him.
The rest of the book focuses on The Chaos with the Bicycles: the 1950’s, new additions to bikes and bike programs and successes.
Sharing with readers the typical bike fisherman so why did he think Amsterdam did not match up to Copenhagen where he realized that a public-use bicycles program according to the author really worked.
He describes their arrival at the Danish capital and shares with readers the difference in the cities on page 328. Bike keys, bike thieves, keys in the locks and sharing the history with Amy Joy and his family we learn that upon being in Copenhagen for four days and further investigation that many bikes were secured by three locks where in Amsterdam only two. There is much more that he shares within this chapter. Let’s not forget the information about the bike fisherman within this chapter. So, why would you not need a car and what does Death to the Car mean?
For someone that has never ridden a bike because where I grew up there were no bike paths, huge streets with heavy traffic and nowhere for kids to really run and play I love reading It’s a Joy to Be On Bike Again where the author shares how he managed to ride and replacing the front seat of his bike with a rear one thanks to his wife and hopefully allowing his son to have a safe place to ride. Riding with his son Ferris will definitely bring smiles to reader’s faces when you read this story and the chapter. Conditions were changing for those who rode but the rudeness of many did not. So, the author shares on page 373 what the police think and feel about cyclists and what they plan to do about their disruptive behavior.
This book is filled with great stories, great history and will definitely make you want to go out and cycle in the park, on bike path or with your kids on a safe street that has of course very little traffic and very few cars. He even shares fact that he still has the snapshots of bike repair shops and rental shops. He is leads “enraptured foreigners on bike tours, and he still rides on the Spuristraat bike path the first day in town. The rest read it for yourself and take go alone with Peter Jordan and his family on this exciting tour, by bike through the city of bikes: Amsterdam. Don’t forget your helmet. Don’t forget to secure your bike when not in use and don’t forget to take some pictures along the way.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
How about : Five Golden Handlebars and Five Golden Safety Locks
H.L. Le Roy
Justice has many different meanings and each story has its own message within this collection of four very different stories each with its own hidden meaning. In each story the main character seeks his/her own brand of finding answers to questions, solving...”
H.L. Le Roy
Justice has many different meanings and each story has its own message within this collection of four very different stories each with its own hidden meaning. In each story the main character seeks his/her own brand of finding answers to questions, solving problems and hopefully coming out ahead at the end. Story One is quite unique and is titled Mistake Proof. The main character is in debt and owes money to his bookie. He explains to readers in the first person his predicament, the fact that leaving his present location, a bar might mean receiving severe injuries is this man finds him but something happens that would change it all. Just as he is about to leave a friend arrives and offers him a way to not only get out of debt but also score some big money. Thinking about it for not very long, listening to his plan and going along with the way things were supposed to be executed this young man falls prey to a scheme that would change not only his life but wait and see the final outcome.
With the plan in site and hoping to be executed he, Darien Klimo and another man named Joe hoped to rob a bank. But, sometimes what you think is well planned just might turn sour as the third man went haywire having a shooting match with the guard. Each one taking a bag but only one had the money. Shaking in his own skin our bank robber has a harsh realization when all is almost said and done. Finding his car, then selling it making sure that he left town he and his prize hoped to never be heard from again but there is much more. Realizing that his so called friend might come after him he decides to do something you might say that is insane and check into an insane asylum hoping to seek refuge. Thinking he is home free at least for a while he befriends one of the nurses and then the fun starts. Hoping to escape when he learns more about the doctor’s plans. Needing to recover what was left of the money he stole you have to read what happens and the final result when one man is more than just double crossed and justice you might say is meted out but in a unique and clever way. Just what happens to our bank robber you won’t believe? Who can he trust well you can figure that out? As author H.L. Le Roy takes the reader to a dramatic ending with a humorous and quite different twist. Story one: Mistake Proof or Pure Revenge: You decide.
Rare Justice is story two and the main character is a Private Investigator named Jillian Varela. Approached by a woman whose daughter was kidnapped and later found dead, Jillian agrees to reopen the case and try and find the killer. Crimes Against Children is the organization Jillian has agreed to work for Pro Bono and this mother’s appearance alone was heartbreaking that she could not refuse to help her. But, the police seemed to be lax in their investigation and Jillian backtracks her daughter, Amy’s last few hours and at first has no luck. Reading the reports, learning more about what happened and the lack of initiative by the police in trying to solve this murder, Jillian finally stumbles on one piece of information within a DVD tape that might solve who the killer is and hopefully safe others. Going on a website title Megan’s Law website she find some interesting information that might identify the killer. Just how Jillian manages to track this man down and how she follows him is quite clever and of course part of the imagination and great writing of this author as he describes through Jillian her course of action and how she was going to catch a killer and molester. The author’s knowledge of locks, where to place a GPS in a vehicle must be extensive. As with the first story this is told in the first person by the main character so that readers learn first hand just what Jillian is going to do every step of the way. Watching this man scope out his next victims and hoping to catch him Jillian needed to come up with a plan. But, what happens you won’t believe and the end result you have to read for yourself. Why didn’t the police find the killer before Amy died? What about the procedures not taken by several bureaus? This story will give many parents pause for thought and hopefully will alert teens to the dangers of shopping alone in malls, being more aware of their surroundings and never walk alone. A story that will make you really think about just how investigations should be run and one PI that this author can bring back again.
Hollywood Hitman is the next story in this collection. Elliot and Jennifer decided to end their marriage in an unusual way. Each one hired a man named John in order to carry out their wishes. But, neither bothered to check this guy out or learn anything more about him. Elliot is a liar and a cheat and enjoys his extra marital fun. Jennifer just wants to be rid of him to live her life in luxury. Just what happens when each one finalizes their plan with John you won’t believe? The end result is two people get their final wish and one you might say walks off with the profits. Just who wins and who is the victim of a huge double cross? Read this story as once again the author provides a twist at the end that will leave one character able to say: Justice once again has been served: In my own special style.
The final story is title Games End where we meet Jillian our ex-marine and P.I. once again. Her client’s name is Laurie and her job is to find out what her boyfriend is doing on the side. Robert Stratton is a car dealer who was running for city council. He’s dead. Jillian’s job is to learn more about what happened to him and who might want him dead. But, sometimes too much information can make things worse and what Jillian uncovers about Robert will definitely cause Laurie some tears. But, the situation becomes tense, as Robert’s girlfriend is found mutilated and dead. Laurie claims to be innocent. But, is she? The evidence points in her direction. Just why would she want Robert dead and why lend him ten thousand dollars supposedly to run his campaign. Lies, betrayals, deceits and much more are behind this man’s motive to milk her dry. Just who is behind the murders and why you will have to find out for yourself? Just who’s playing a dangerous game and how does this all play out? Laurie is up for the murders but someone is smiling. What happens at the end will let readers know that we have not heard the last of Jillian as she puts all of her skills to the test, finds herself in a bad situation and the end result will be someone will lose and someone will say: The Game’s End or just plain over.
These stories are unique, well written and the characters are graphically depicted and the scenes are vividly described. Read Street Crimes at your own risk. Be Careful!
Fran Lewis: reviewer