Monday, January 15, 2018

Robert John Estko Presents Evil, Be Gone, a Fascinating Political Thriller


Comfortable that the house was secure and Susan would keep close tabs on Josh, John popped a John Mellenkamp cassette in the tape player, put on the earphones, and climbed on the treadmill. Five miles of walking and running were a lot easier to the beat of Mellenkamp's heartland ballads. Having finished her favorite talk show, Susan had moved on to the kitchen to prepare dinner. She quickly discovered that her boys, John and Josh, had already polished off the gallon of milk she had just picked up yesterday. A quick car ride around the corner to the market would only have her out of the house for a couple of minutes, so without going to the door of the gym, she shouted down the hall to Lilly that she'd be right back. He never heard her.
He also never heard the carpet cleaner's van pull into the driveway the moment Susan's car was out of sight. This particular carpet cleaner was more adept at picking locks than he was at steamcleaning. And as Lilly broke into a run of the treadmill, packing himself to the tempo of the "Coug's" guitar 


in "Hurt So Good," the man made his way down the hall to Josh's room. As he walked, he poured a small amount of liquid into a heavy handkerchief. Josh had no opportunity to protest this time as the handkerchief was placed over his mouth and nose. The carpet cleaner turned kidnapper then rolled the unconscious child up in the five-foot by eight-foot rug that covered the middle of the hardwood floor in Josh's room, threw the rolled run on his shoulder and walked out of the house. The van was a block down the street before Susan drove up the driveway with a fresh gallon of milk.
About forty minutes later a sweat-drenched John Lelankevitch walked into the kitchen where Susan was busy preparing dinner. "What's cookin', good lookin'?"
"How's roast beef and mashed potatoes sound, handsome? You better grab a shower quick or Josh will eat all the mashed potatoes and gravy."
"Where is the little guy anyway?"
"Well, when I ran out, he was in his room zapping bad guys or monsters or whatever it is he zaps on that electronic game he plays."
Surprised, Lilly barked, "When you ran out! Where'd you go?"
"I told you...I ran to the store to get some milk for the mashed potatoes...I told you when I left," Susan snapped back.
Lilly was already running down the hall towards Josh's room and didn't hear her finish her remark. "Josh!" he yelled as he ran. Grabbing the doorjamb, with a hand on each side, he leaned into the room. "Josh!" he yelled again.
"Oh My God!" came the cry from Susan who had quickly been on Lilly's heels when he took off and now stood behind him at the doorway to their young son's room. "John...John...where is he?"
Noticing that the rug was gone, Lelankevitch said, "They came back. They got him this time."
Susan just crumpled to the floor.
Lilly didn't even move to console her. Still staring into Josh's room, he simple said with resolve in his voice. "They won't hurt him. They want me. And I'm going to give them what they want...in spades."
~~~

Evil, Be Gone
By Robert Estko


"Evil, Be Gone"

The small intruder, without thinking, lunged into the darkness toward what he believed to be the attacker, only to find his feet lifted from the deck, by a hand clutching his throat just beneath the jaw-line. Assisted by his captive's momentum, John "Lilly" Lelankevitch, carried the man through an arc in the air to a crashing collision with the living room's hardwood floor, still gripping the throat of what was now more rag doll than man. Clenching the hand that encircled the little man's larynx into a fist, Lelankevitch began his mental journey back to an earlier time, and between the popping sound and the gurgling of blood in his enemy's throat, he said, "Evil, be gone," under his breath.
~~~




This book reminded me a little of the "Taken" series so I
immediately thought of Liam Neeson as the perfect star to play John Lelankevitch. A Vietnam vet who learned how to kill for his country, first had to deal with the issue of murder. He realized that if he could actually see evil intent, he was able to move decisively to take the enemy down... And he became a master, but always, always, he said the mantra, "Evil, Be Gone..." to ensure he could actually kill the individual.


He had continued somewhat in the same business when he was hired into a firm where he had been working, in retirement for ten years... But there were people who remembered his expertise and were now calling upon him to do jobs that were not exactly clear in the evil versus good decision.

This time they wanted him to kill an innocent... And to ensure he did it, they kidnapped his son. Fortunately their first attempt failed, but on their second try, they were successful. In dealing with the safety of his family, John was forced to share his background activities with his wife, who had known him only as a beloved husband and father. Now he had to introduce her to danger, by moving her into a safe house while he dealt with the kidnappers...

The startling plot of who is to be murdered was a new twist to the presidential election process and proved to be an excellent look at both the personal life of potential candidates, as well as what it means to be part of a "political family" where the power of the office overrides anything else.

The portrayal of Lilly Lelankevitch was both as a hero in his
decisions to fight evil, but most telling was that, once he had left that life and was asked to go back, he had to work himself into the mind-frame of once again being a killer... Still, could he kill an innocent?

At a time when turmoil in Washington is in the daily news, Robert John Estko has written a plausible and exciting thriller. His character is "hero-stuff" with his love of family and country overriding commands given, when they are "evil" orders... It is a thoughtful, intriguing concept while at the same time an exciting "good fighting evil" page-turner... It is highly recommended for your consideration...


GABixlerReviews


Robert Estko grew up on Chicago's south side before winning a Marine Corps scholarship. Later in Chicago, he became a social worker. A three-month odyssey ended when he ran out of gas and money in Northern California in 1978. Today, he is a lawyer and corporate executive in Silicon Valley.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Soldier and The Author - A Spoiler Alert Review Revealing Why Not Recommended...

Immediately upon graduation from college, with a degree in nursing, I joined the Air Force as a registered nurse. My stint in the Air Force surpassed my original goal of fulfilling only the minimum requirement of time. My passion while there grew each day for a job which I loved more than I dreamed possible. Upon joining, my thought was that I would use my time invested in military service as a means of developing discipline and resolve, nothing more.
My parents were both driven and focused. I, however, was lazy and spacey. It surprised me when I found it impossible to walk away from the mandatory two years. Instead, I retired from the service after twenty-two years. Most likely, I would not have left then, but my mother died at the same time that I was up for re-enlistment. Demands of settling her estate became my focus, so I retired from my job as Lieutenant Colonel in service to my great country.
It was a sad day when I left. The surprise party, which my friends threw for me, did not erase the feelings of moroseness and a little fear of what I would do now with my life. At the young age of forty-two, having obtained the status of Lt. Colonel, my life had revolved around the demands of caring for my patients as well as serving in a noble field. Nothing else in the world seemed appealing after years of feeling essential and respected while service my country. Still I owed it to my mother to make sure that all of her affairs were in order. Clarissa's estate was vast and involved. As an only child, there was no one else to make critical decisions over her several properties and a significant amount of funds held in a sizable trust.
My plane landed on a beautiful, bright blue spring day in Mobile, Alabama. It was impossible for me not to wear my uniform despite the unseasonably warm afternoon. When I served, I bemoaned wearing the dark blue each morning. Now, I refused to wear anything else. I had become "married to my job." Purposefully, I left my home on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama very early on that bright morning, for my new home in Fairhope, Alabama. My Mother, Clarissa, had purchased this massive estate upon the death of my Father, Clarence Barker, years earlier.
"Bailey, I may we well live like a queen. Your Father was miserly for all of my life. Better I enjoy the money than leaving it to you to squander."
I guess she had forgotten that I was a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, not the immature child of yesteryear. Clarence had built a large factory which manufactured table linens from a tiny cottage industry into a sprawling compound. He was famous in our town of Charleston, SC.
As a child, I dreamed of breaking away from the demands of being Bailey Barker, child of wealth and privilege, to Officer Bailey Barker, the world traveler. It seems that I had always dreamed of being an officer in the Air Force. The nursing degree was merely a way of establishing myself and gaining entrance into a world of measured decorum. Dreams of becoming an officer drove me to excel in school and later in college. Working as a nurse was not my dream but provided me the means of quickly obtaining status as an officer in the Air Force. As time passed, I discovered that taking care of the wounded veterans in my charge was an honorable and sincere career. Suddenly, the status of officer diminished in my mind, and my job as Registered Nurse provided the catalyst of joy and purpose for each day.
As I now walked across the field in Mobile, I wondered if I had made a mistake.
Well, Colonel Barker, what will you do now?
~~~

The Soldier and The Author

By Linda Heavner Gerald

I had mixed feelings related to this book. It started with the cover that shows a male soldier, while the actual soldier, the main character, is female. But there were questions as I continued to read--questions about logic and plausibility. The basic storyline is interesting from a romantic and faith-based standpoint; it was not enough.

The lead chapter self-describes the main character, Bailey Barker, noting that she was "lazy and spacey" when younger, but shows that she moved on to become a dedicated registered nurse and military officer for 22 years. She rarely spent time with her mother and admitted she had some anger that she was not quite able to understand... yet she feels obligated to handle her mother's estate, now, that she is dead.

She comes home, discovering that her mother had a live-in lover, who was now living in the guest house, working as a writer... there is nothing included about his actual work, discussing genres or what his latest work is...he stays "mother's lover" to me... That is, until he and Bailey look into the other's eyes and falls in love... Then, Bailey starts wearing all of her mother's clothes, instead of buying her own or even a combination of some of the special clothes... They soon plan to marry...

In the meantime, readers are teased about a young woman who has psychological problems. We are presented with her ramblings and they are extreme enough to question why she is not committed, and later she is sent back... 

Oliver has told Bailey nothing about his background. Interestingly, he shares that his arrangement with Bailey's mother was that she owned the house and he paid the bills... Nothing further is said about that extensive estate that was mentioned in the first chapter... The soldier is apparently willing to accept anything Oliver says...

Then he decides the location of their honeymoon. He takes her back to where he lived with his first wife. Coincidentally, after many years, it is during that visit that the police suddenly discover the individual who had killed his first wife... Again, Bailey seems to think nothing about being whisked away to part of her new husband's problematic past...

Bailey begins to discover that her mother was very involved with local activities, including visiting the orphanage, where she had been hoping to adopt a beautiful young girl. We discover that she is the grandchild of a neighbor of the estate and that the grandfather had once tried to burn down the estate...

Bailey thinks she should be able to solve any differences or problems, so she visits the grandfather and becomes friends. Now there is no mention that there was any police involvement when this man set the  fire... This seems to be a pattern, because when the young lady gets involved in the story again, she talks about killing Bailey's mother... In fact, she says it three different times, but again nothing is discussed about any police investigation. Oliver says that she died from cancer that came on her quickly, but by this time there is enough to suspect that she may have been murdered... Who knows?

The attempts to engender suspense fails miserably since nothing is ever done to clarify exactly what happened. Oliver successfully keeps holding things back with Bailey blindly being in love. Then deciding they all need to start church and everything is placed in God's hands...

The whole book feels contrived, scripted. Loose ends appear constantly, leaving the reader wondering what is going on... To further complicate the matter, the woman in the hospital is allowed to see people without anybody else in attendance... She attacked both Bailey and her father, in addition to really wild accusations... Also, the grandfather neighbor had begun to visit her and again, there was no visible coverage of visitations where apparently another fire being set was planned...

The book itself appears to be self-published and reveals inexperience in formatting, questionable editing issues. The book ends by the author telling what is needed to catch the readers up to what time changes had occurred and what happened. There is a constant, I have to say, unreal emphasis on devotional love and faith, that it seems is the main thrust of the story.

If this had been a straight Christian romance, it would, in my opinion, be better received... Throwing in hints of insanity, post-traumatic concerns, criminal acts, including those that are life-threatening, show an inexperienced writer who is striving to expand into genres for which she is not prepared. She is playing with topics that are clearly beyond her knowledge and it shows. Medical and legal issues are not treated lightly in today's fiction. And claiming that all things are handled by God, in today's world, is almost condescending to the savvy reader. This author clearly needs to start reading outside of her own work and stop playing with medical issues that are treated much too lightly... 

No, I cannot recommend this book. However, this is the first time reading this author so do check out other reviews as you consider options...


GABixlerReviews

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Poetry from Adolfo - Adolph Caso - Celebrating His Birthday with My Kisses Lived as The Rose!




My Kisses Lived as The Rose


My kisses lived as the rose!
In those ecstatic moments I felt
sweet caresses of the wind
and the vigor
of a thousand sparkling drops of dew.



Green diffused in vermilion,
and red dazzled the image within the eye;
Dark were they of olive deep purple
that entranced each kiss



Deeper still were the velvet twinings
wrapping their arms around the branches
and losing themselves in the suave twining
of purple hue. The quivering grass
from beneath secrete the ascending
perfume of vigor, and the descending
light bathes them with toxic excitement,



the sibilant winds go singing through embraces
with notes of the exotic and the erotic.
The rain excites the roots to the movements
and the streaks of lightning glitter,
thrusting its baton into sensuality.



And all then moves in awesome rhythm.

Trickling water ripples itself away.
Within the limpid air, the rays of the sun mix
and the spiritual atmosphere becomes king.
Smiles and sweet kisses get lost in shades.
Time passes; the water ripples itself away,
and those kisses live as my Rose.




Note: 8th Edition Now Out



Dear Adolfo! Happy Birthday!
I don't know how I missed this particular poem...
It must have been fate saving it for your day...
the day upon which you can look back proudly at
accomplishments and, most importantly,
family and friends...
and know that you are loved and respected...
May your memories sustain you today and always
As new ones are created each day!
And I thought you might enjoy sharing my
favorite Italian tenor's birthday with yours!
God Bless!

And, oh, yeah, just one more surprise...

Friday, January 5, 2018

Murder on the Brewster Flats, book 12 in the LeGarde Mystery series. Aaron Paul Lazar



Yippee! It was the holidays and I had a chance to be an early reader for prolific author, Aaron Lazar's latest Gus LeGarde Mystery! This is a favorite series for me, but, once again, you can't be sure what Aaron will be doing within any given book!

Because this time Gus and his wife are leaving for a vacation, so we don't have too much time with the rest of his family, which I missed... On the other hand, Camille, his second wife, exhibits great research and investigative skills, as well as considerable compassion... She makes a wonderful partner for our amateur detective, Gus, who always seems to find a mystery wherever he goes...

Wow, this a great book!


This photo of Paine's Creek is courtesy of TripAdvisor


“I feel guilty,” Camille said, taking in the azure horizon where the sea met the sky. “I mean, how can we leave them alone for a whole month?” 
I opened my door to let the sea breeze flow into the car. “They’ll be fine, honey.” I hated to admit it, but I had the same niggling fears about leaving my family at home in upstate New York, because in my life, if something could go wrong, it would. 
“How can you be so sure?” She lifted worried brown eyes to mine. 
“I’m sure, because Siegfried is there. He’s our rock. He knows the animals and the farm. Your mother’s there. She’ll watch Shelby like a hawk. And with Mrs. Pierce in charge of the house, it’ll be running like a clock.” 
Her shoulders relaxed—just a bit—and she opened her door. “Okay. I know you’re right. And besides, we really need this.” “For sure.” The sign on the Paines Creek Beach said a sticker was required between the hours of nine and four, but our dash clock had just clicked over to a minute past four, so we were


This photo of Paine's Creek is courtesy of TripAdvisor


safe. We’d been driving on the New York State thruway and the Mass Pike for eleven hours and all I wanted to do was kick off my boat shoes and feel the soft sand beneath my toes. Or maybe flop into the cool sea fully clothed. At this point, anything other than sitting in the car sounded good. I didn’t want to face why we needed to get away. Not yet. “Looks like the tide’s going out. See the creek running down there?” I pointed down to the wide, fast shining ribbon of water running ten feet below the parking lot. 
She reached down to unbuckle her sandals. “Let’s go.” I locked the car and pocketed my keys, feeling excited about the prospect of a whole month on Cape Cod. When I’d researched the Cape’s various regions, the little town of Brewster had appealed to me, with its quaint stores and seven beaches on the calm bay side of the peninsula. In the far distance, the sea glistened deep blue with cresting whitecaps. But for what seemed like miles, the low tide flats shone in the late afternoon sun, butterscotch sand mingled with streams of water and tide pools glistened. A fresh ocean breeze tasted tangy on my lips, and I inhaled the salt air with a sense of unparalleled delight, trying to ignore the heavy feeling in my heart. 
We walked barefoot toward the sea, following a stretch of sand flanking the curvy twists and turns of Paines Creek. The water seemed to flow with urgency toward the open ocean, as if late for a date with the setting sun. “Let’s walk out there,” Camille said, climbing on the big boulders of a jetty that stretched along the shore. 
I followed her lead, making my way over the rocks. I landed with a satisfying thump on the wet sand. Emerald green sea grass—still damp from its recent hours under water—waved in the breeze, undulating with a rhythm in concert with the clouds racing overhead. I laced fingers with my wife. “I can’t believe we’re here.” 
She smiled and began to run across a wet bar of sand that stretched like a rounded Milano cookie pointing toward the horizon. “Come on.” 
I ran with her, letting the physical pleasure wash through me. It would be a great month. I’d get my book on Ella Fitzgerald and her jazz-era contemporaries finished—which would satisfy my no-longer-patient publisher—and I’d be able to check that job off the list. 
~~~

Murder on the Brewster Flats
LeGarde Mystery Series

By Aaron Paul Lazar


Gus and Camille choose to visit Cape Cod, which happens to be the setting for his Paine's Creek series, a wonderful romantic series! I enjoyed those but I love Aaron's mysteries... especially, how he always seems to find some local mystery, or two, to solve! LOL This time on Brewster Flats!



And, of course, it takes Gus' involvement to solve those mysteries! Because the very first thing the couple wanted to do was get on the beach. They started looking for seashells--doesn't everybody? It was there that they came across a man roaming and poking through the garbage...His name was Albert and lived in a nearby home by the sea that had been built centuries ago... Learning that he was in fear of losing his home, Gus and Camille were immediately sympathetic. But they never would have guessed that they would be right in the middle of helping to save Albert's home...

And by the next day, as they once again were walking on the beach and saw Albert, who was this time carrying a metal detector, they learned that he was looking for lost treasure from the man who had built his home...

“Morning, Albert.” “Fine day for prospecting.” 
“I’ll say. What’re you looking for?”
“Treasure,” he said solemnly. 
“I see.” I wasn’t sure if he meant lost pocket change or pirate’s gold. “Any luck today?” 
In one hand he carried an empty bucket. “Nope. Been looking for forty years. Can’t give up.” 
“Are you searching for a particular treasure?” 
He narrowed his eyes. “Guess I can tell you, since you’re an outta towner.” He stopped for a moment and sighed. “I’m looking for the treasure that was stole from my great, great, great granddaddy.” 
“Wow. The one who built your house?” 
“Yes sir. Mr. Zebediah Cook himself.” A far off look glazed his eyes. 
“Cool.” I waited for a few seconds, but when he didn’t say more, I started to walk away. “Well, good luck today.” 
He glanced at his watch. “Almost time to head in. You don’t wanna get caught when the tide comes in. Folks get stuck out here all the time. Have to swim in with their fancy iPhones held high in the air.” 
I automatically patted my pocket where my iPhone six plus resided. “Er, thanks. I’ll turn back then.” 
“See you tomorrow.” He continued to play the device back and forth over the sand.
~~~

With a takeoff of the old theme of the Hatfield and McCoy long-time feud, Lazar has pitted Albert's ancestor, Zebediah Cook who was a minister who had brought all kinds of religious artifacts, along with his new bride, to start a new home and church...But before they were able to land, a ship full of pirates took over and destroyed the incoming ship...Zeb and his wife made it overboard, but the pirates weren't willing to let it go and punished Zebediah by raping and killing his wife... 

Against the murdering pirate's kin!

But nobody was sure whether the treasure had gone down with the ship or whether the pirates had succeeded in taking it as well... They were a well known group who had stolen from many ships traveling in the area of the Cape at that time...  Albert was still not willing to give up looking and hoping that they could find at least some of the treasure so that they could keep their home...

And the pirate's family, the McNabbs, still lived there, owning the largest home in the town... Albert was convinced they really had the treasure hidden, so that when a young couple from the two families fell in love, Albert's hate grew stronger, since his granddaughter had become pregnant... and then deserted... at least that's what everybody assumed...

Not only is the research and investigation a fun activity, as Camille, Gus and others within the family and community start pulling out old property records, papers and church records, there ultimately is a murder, which was part of what the investigation had led to...

There are intriguing, exciting times ahead for readers, surprising, suspenseful and, in the end, a climax that could not have been anticipated!
But there is also some scary stuff happening where lives were placed in danger as the villain continued to destroy and try to prevent what was happening.

You know, I don't get to read Lazar's books as often as I would like, but in my mind, intuitively going over all the ones I have read, this seemed to be the best of the best in my opinion... It's standalone and can easily be read even if you haven't been reading the LeGarde servies... If I were to recommend one book from this author, this one would be the first! You can pre-order now and grab another book free: (https://aaronlazar.blogspot.com/2018/01/new-gus-legarde-mystery.html).

One side story which I loved was that Gus met Jack, a fellow musician, who happened to have need to replace the pianist in time for an upcoming concert! The actual meeting was when Gus was badly hurt and needed help which Jack and his wife provided... Gus was up for the event, with some practice, if he could, recover from the injuries he kept receiving, and find the time between all the work he was doing to help find the treasure! 

Jack was a violinist, a teacher, and also made beautiful hand-make violins. He was celebrating the opening of his new shop, Sea Strings, and announced that he planned to have further concerts by the sea. I hope we get to attend some of those in future books!  Gus and Jack started with Danse Macabre! Sit back and sink into the music, just like you will when you read...Murder on the Brewster Flats!



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Revisiting Impressions of One Memoir by James Womack...





It's 2018, and much of what I saw changing in my early years, seems to have erupted and come back even stronger... What I'm specifically talking about is discrimination... In 2014, I read the book by James Womack, among others by Black authors. When I finished I asked the question:

Where Is It? Check out my review first as it is the basis for this article...

In November of the same year, I published an email response from James... At that time, Jolande, James' wife was admitted to a nursing home.



Until 2017, a year I hope never to occur again, It was then that incitement of rage, discrimination, anger, prejudice, and hate began to be pressed into the open. Now, as years have gone by, I know what exactly caused James to change his response to my original question to him: Where is it, James? Where is the anger I feel after reading your story? Here's the main chapter from his book about what happened:
Chapter 27 - Bathsheba’s Revenge
              “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear.... When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” ― Gerald G. Jampolsky
               Our lives slowly returned to a routine minus my oldest daughter. I worked at DFAS in military Pay and Jolande returned to her job as a bagger at the Army Food Commodity store where she had worked since the summer of 1988. My children convinced Jolande to apply for a daytime bagger position. All four of my children worked as baggers at the Army Food Commodity Store after school to earn spending cash.
       Jolande worked from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. That way, she only worked while the children were in school, but would be home when the children returned from school.  Jolande immediately created a base of customers that loved her. Many of her customers would not allow anyone else to bag their groceries if she was on the premises. She was fast and very efficient, and she had the personality to turn every stranger into a friend, like my mother and Grandma Julia.  She mirrored my maternal grandmother and mother in that way: she knew no enemies. She even had one WWII veteran, Sergeant Happy who loved her and tipped her $20.00 to bag one bag of groceries.
Unfortunately, this generous tipper proved to be detrimental.  Jolande’s co-worker, Bathsheba, became very jealous of Jolande because she had so many good-tipping customers. Apparently, Bathsheba decided that in order for her to capture Jolande’s customers, she had to get Jolande fired. The episode detailing how this was accomplished will fill the pages of another book. However, enough details follow that will paint an illustrious portrait of Bathsheba’s plan and its successful execution.     
Our dubious acquaintance with Bathsheba began in the late nineties. When we met the first time, she suggested that Jolande and I should eat plenty of peanut butter and jelly daily. When we asked why, she replied that it provides increased sex hormones. I warned Jolande then that this woman was dangerous, ill informed, and just nutritionally challenged.  Bathsheba also often spoke of her three failed marriages. I sensed a hint of jealousy that Jolande and I had achieved something she desired but had not yet achieved. I warned Jolande not to trust her. In spite of this warning, Bathsheba managed to gain Jolande’s trust. She was manipulative and had perfected the art of buying other’s trust, but her friendship was agenda driven.  She knew perfectly well from the beginning the goals she worked to accomplish.  She bought my grandson a $50.00 U.S. savings bond for his birthday three years in a row.  She emulated Jolande’s lifestyle and accomplishments. Jolande and I visited her home at least four times for coffee and cake and we reciprocated. Bathsheba bragged publicly about how good she was in bed.  Jolande was the most courteous, fastest, and most efficient bagger on the Army Food Commodity Store bagging staff.  The Army weekly Newspaper even published an article that featured Jolande on December 7, 1989.
 In May 1997, Jolande survived two major cancer surgeries and was absent for chemotherapy and cancer treatments from May through November of 1997. While she was absent, Bathsheba converted a substantial number of her good tipping customers.  Jolande returned to a workplace where the dynamics of friendships had radically changed. The most drastic and devastating change came in February 2002 when the baggers voted in Mr. Judas, a retired Navy master sergeant, as Head Bagger.
Bathsheba loathed Judas when they were equals. When Judas became Head Bagger, he told the female baggers, “My wife had her legs amputated below the knees because of sugar diabetes and can no longer perform her wifely functions.”
   Suddenly, Bathsheba became his best friend and initiated an intimate relationship.  The friendship was such that they made weekly simultaneous medical appointments.  They departed and returned in the same car. This gives depth to a new meaning of “Car Pooling.” It does not take a PhD in physics to know what was happening.
On April 30, 2006, Bathsheba discovered that Sergeant Happy tipped Jolande $20.00 for one bag of groceries.  She wanted this customer’s tips, but realized that as long as Jolande was there, it would never happen. Mr. Judas told Bathsheba to file a complaint against Jolande, and he would terminate her contract.  Therefore, Bathsheba made a telephone call to the Army Food Commodity Store Office at 9:30 pm on April 3, 2006. She left a message using an alias of Jules Stranger saying, “I don’t know her name but her number is 37 and she used language that should not be used in front of a dog. She should be fired”
The next day Mr. Judas went up to the office and listened to the message he knew would be there. He came back downstairs and told Jolande, “You are the best bagger I have, but you are fired.” It took Mr. Judas two weeks to compose the simple hand written termination letter dated April 27, 2006. Bathsheba told us that Mr. Judas worked on the termination notice for two weeks before he had a copy that was presentable. He wrote a statement, tore it up, and then repeated that routine several times daily for ten days. Then he presented Jolande a copy of the termination notice.
The day after termination Bathsheba called my home to update Jolande on the activities in the Army Food Commodity Store. She convinced us that she heard Ruth, another German bagger who Bathsheba did not like, bragging about making the phone call that got Jolande fired. Based on her information, I sued Ruth in the Lawrence Small Claims Court for character defamation and lost wages.  Bathsheba agreed to be a witness in the small claims court case against Ruth. Mr. Judas brought in the tape recording as proof positive that he had sufficient evidence to fire Jolande. On the day of the trial, the judge asked to hear the tape before hearing Bathsheba’s testimony. When Bathsheba heard her voice on the recording, she slumped into her seat and became lifeless. The crowd thought she had a stroke or heart attack. Bathsheba disorientation confused her and did not know where she was or why she was there.  My only witness failed to testify. I lost my case.  As we departed the courthouse parking lot, a prior head bagger identified the voice on the tape as being undeniably that of Bathsheba.
The week following the small claims court trial, Sergeant Happy shopped again in the Army Food Commodity Store and requested bagger Joel to bag his groceries. Bathsheba’s scheming had backfired on her. She became so angry because Sergeant Happy requested Joel that she had Mr. Judas and the Army Food Commodity Store office restrict Joel’s work schedule.  From that day forward, Mr. Judas restricted Joel from working between 7:00 - 10:00 am on the first three workdays of each month, Sergeant Harpy’s monthly scheduled shopping days.
After seeking help from thirteen federal and state agencies, I learned that military wives have no legal rights.  The head bagger terminated Jolande because of a fabricated SOP violation without a verifiable name, address, or contact telephone number.  Indiana’ employment-at-will status successfully triumphed over this minor inconvenient detail. 
Jolande and I have been friends since June 1960 and married since February 12, 1961. The pain of hearing her cry herself to sleep nightly was like the pain of a dagger plunged deep in my chest.  After each attempt for redress failed, I decided to have a one-on-one conversation with Bathsheba.  By April 30, 2006, Jolande had lost a considerable amount of tips and lived in a severely depressed state of mind.   She loved her job and missed the comradeship of her coworkers and customers. This job was therapy to help her overcome the loss of her daughter.  This was the only job other than homemaker that she had ever pursued.  Before marriage, we agreed that a mother’s primary duty was the proper raising of our children in a Christian home.
However, once the last child graduated from high school, Jolande signed a contract and began bagging in October 1988. All of my children's prior customers requested Jolande.  Prior customers of my daughter specifically,  Jolande Wratny-Womack, killed on March 14, 1997, not only requested Jolande, but frequently brought her gifts, boxes of candy, flowers, and prayer cards. Bathsheba was jealous because no one brought her gifts.
I decided to take action. I did my best to prepare myself for every possible outcome. A secret that has served me well in life is to play a mental game with myself where I imagine all possible outcomes of every anticipated adverse situation.  That way when the ultimate happened, my mind would automatically default to the best possible solution.  I knew how to respond because I had already played that tape and responded to that threat.  In my hypothetical situational mind games, I sought an amicable win-win solution for both parties. I thought I had played out every possible situation of how my confrontation with Bathsheba would go.
I was so wrong. 
On Sunday June 26, 2006 after the 11:00 a.m. Mass, Jolande and I shopped as we have done religiously each Sunday since April 19, 1978. I told Jolande to select the items we needed while I had a private conversation with Bathsheba.  I waited until we were alone, the mistake of my life, because I had the courtesy to not publicize her reputation and expose her dark side to unaware customers and co-workers. I was stupid for having neither witness nor a tape recorder.
Bathsheba has the unique distinction of being the one and only woman that I have ever touched in a confrontation. Mom taught me to protect women, not harm them. Bathsheba is also the first woman I have touched in anger. My last confrontation with Herodias in June of 1965 at Fort Lewis, Washington was without physical touching. I adopted a personal policy of non-violence. I believe that God created us equally in the image of Christ. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. To harm another is to harm Christ.
Not to mention the fact that I am a trained Army combat infantry soldier and a qualified expert rifleman. If I had intended to harm Bathsheba, she would be wearing a halo and I would be in the Federal Penitentiary.  If I had intended to harm her, I would certainly have worn casual clothes and carried a weapon. On the contrary, though, I was completely unarmed and wore a $300.00 two-piece suit and necktie. The only weapon I had was my tongue and intellect.
I structured my conversation thus: “Bathsheba, we both know the game you are playing. You need to get Jolande reinstated.  And you need to take a few days off or I will meet with your fourth husband and expose the games you are playing.” Before the Judas coalition, all baggers worked a set schedule. They were either day baggers or evening baggers. However, Judas allowed Bathsheba to work from open to close every day the Army Food Commodity Store was open. She is the only bagger so privileged since April 1978.
She responded, “Are you threatening me?”
 I replied, “No dear, I am simply telling you what I am going to do so there will be no confusion or surprises.”
At that, Bathsheba stuck two fingers up my nose and screamed, “You black assed M* F* “N” racial expletive!”
Her attack was like that of a cold, slimy venomous rattlesnake traveling up my nostrils; it was mental, verbal, and physical. Her cold fingers in my nostrils were a greater shock than any mental game I could have envisioned.  Her touch was worse than the spit from protesters in California when I returned from Vietnam.  There I was forewarned and anticipated being spat upon as I departed the airplane.  I never anticipated that Bathsheba would jam her cold her fingers up my nose.  Her action caught me totally off guard. I never dreamed that she would respond in the manner that she did.  Her attack thoroughly shocked me and my automatic reflex response was to grab her by the neck and push her away from me.
The moment I felt her cold, slimy fingers ripping their way up my nostrils, I wanted to snap her neck.  Army Infantry training taught me to do that. The anger and built up frustration with her and the total system failure to protect Jolande increased my frustration.
Instantaneously my mind replayed the last scene where dad hit mom over the head.  I instantaneously saw moms head full of blood. At that moment I remembered a promise I made to God that I would never harm a woman. That thought saved Bathsheba from my wrath. She had awakened my most debased animalistic urges that I have successfully suppressed since the ninth grade. This situation could have gotten ugly fast with my bare hands and my uncontrollable anger. She is the only person that I have touched since I broke Fred’s nose in High School in 1956.  With that thought, I immediately withdrew my hands from her neck and backed away.
I know how I respond to anger.  When my anger escalates to a certain point, I become so out-of-balance that I lose my sense of direction and reason as I did with Herodias in 1965 at Fort Lewis Washington.  To counteract this potential anger, I said a prayer for Bathsheba and walked away. 
I should have known better than to think that Bathsheba and I could have an open adult discussion.  I have always believed that reasonable people can talk.  I never in my wildest dream believed she would attack me.
However, she did, and I reacted.  In April 2002, I had both knees replaced with prosthetic (titanium) knees and I lose equilibrium easily when I am on uneven ground.  When I pushed Bathsheba away from me, the thrust of my push caused me to lose my balance.  We both fell.  She fell on top of my left shoulder.  Her weight tore my left rotator cuff.  Bathsheba screamed, “Call the police!”
Since my bullying days at St. Francis, I have pre-played and responded to every worst-case scenario I could imagine. By doing this, I programmed my mind to respond to the threat so that when it happened, I would know how to respond because that response in earlier days had been pre-programmed in my brain.  I had already responded to that threat and knew how to respond with dignity.
However, I never imagined that a woman would jam her fingers up my nostrils.  Since I had not programmed my mind for that threat, I responded with a normal human survival instinct, by getting her fingers out of my nose as quickly as possible. I behaved the way any other normal human would have behaved under the same circumstances.  I was unaware that in Indiana, it is a misdemeanor to touch a woman regardless of the circumstances, even though she touched me first! I paid dearly for my ignorance of Indiana law.
A woman jamming her fingers up my nostrils and calling me the racially charged M*F* “N” expletive was the one scenario that I never played so when it happened, I had no programmed behavior response to which I could default. I did the most logical thing any human would have done; extricate her fingers from my nose and her from my personal space.     
When I got up on my feet, I told the gathering crowd not to worry; I called 911 on my cellular phone and reported that Bathsheba had attacked me. The Lawrence Police were immediately on the scene.  I related that I had a conversation with Bathsheba and she attacked me. They took my statement then verified my statement with Bathsheba.  After that, the officer told me he had to drive me to the Marion County Lockup.  The officer then placed me in handcuffs, ordered me into the patrol car, and transported me to the Marion County Bread and Breakfast.
This was the first time in my life that I had been in a police car, and the second time that I had seen the inside of a jail.  At age thirteen in Yazoo City, I, an altar boy, visited a maximum-security cell with a priest to give the sacraments to a man held in maximum security. When the guards closed the metal doors behind us, the clanging sound of the metal doors sent a chill up my spine.  I promised God then that I would never do anything that would land me in that God-forsaken hole. The Lawrence police hauled me off to jail dressed in a $300.00 suit and necktie.


Thank you for your interest in my saga. I realize that all the statues of limitations have expired. I am not expecting any redress. I simply want to get the message out of how blatant discrimination continues without punishment...for whites... You see, a woman destroyed a good solid Catholic marriage of 46 years because she was jealous. She insulted me and verbally hurdled words at me that cannot be spoken over the airwaves today, she got promoted and I was jailed for extracting her cold nasty fingers from my nostrils. In today’s sexual exposures, men lives and jobs are destroyed over allegations that happen decades ago. What happened to our constitutional right of being innocent until proven guilty?


How does one respond to this type of situation. We've seen it in the Justice System - See Justice in the Round  by Harold Michael Harvey - regarding the number of Black individual being shot in police actions. Then we saw a threat to fire Black athletes who protested again this injustice... Then we've seen the allegations of sexual harassment, some of who have spoken out... What has happened that we can no longer trust that the accused will be heard before judgment? There is a real problem, and it continues in stories that don't reach the news, except, maybe, in a blog like Book Readers Heaven - when I read books, the impact stays with me for a long time...

Here's what James sent me recently practically yelling, "Yes, I am NOW angry!"
Several days ago, I posted the following message on FB but I think they deleted it within hours of the posting.  This definition came up in my daily scriptural readings and it defines the very fiber of which Jolande was created.  Her godparents that raised her gave her a solid Christian foundation that would make her successful in whatever profession she chased  Her choice was marriage to me a total stranger of a different culture and language. When we met, she only knew two word of English:"Yes and No" 
Beginning the day, I announced my engagement to Jolande, multitudes of men and women have challenged me with the question, “What did you see in her?”  I am sure I never fully answered the question with the true feeling that was in my heart because of my spiritual immaturity.  Today, I found the most elegant definition of the worthy wife in Proverbs.  Jolande is the idyllic definition and personification of the Worthy Wife:“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting, the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates”.  I Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31 Since our wedding, each Christmas day, every resident living on our street, regardless of where we lived in Germany or the various states in the USA:  New York, Maryland, Fort Lewis Washington and Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN,  received a plate of Jolande's fresh baked cookies and goodies. She knew no enemies.  It's ironic that her goodness and love of everyone became her Achilles hill.  But is not that what happened to Christ?
It is said that we must forgive seven times seventy. I wonder, because when I heard from James, I grew just as angry as I had when I first read his book... So I asked if I could share what has happened...  
Hi Glenda,
The answer is emphatically YES. I sent a copy of basically the same letter and a copy of my book to president Trump two days ago. Men have no protection in the state of Indiana.  I have a female IMPD (Indiana Metropolitan Police Department) officer who informed me that in Indiana all a woman has to do is call 911 and report that a man threatens her by his physical presence and the police will lock him up.  The women's progressive movement has removed the right of a faithfully married man to protect his wife if she is attacked by a jealous hater. These feminist are destroying good marriages and good men across America.  I pray for this nation daily.  Thank you for being a loyal friend. 
I wish you and your family a Blessed Christmas with all the Peace, Joy and Happiness that goes with this Holy Season.  This will be my third Christmas without my beautiful wife.  February 12 will be our 57 year wedding anniversary.  The 10 days I was in jail, my wife neither ate or drank anything, lost 44 pounds and almost died.  She has not been the same since then.  She had to be assigned to a secured nursing home on October 7, 2014 for her own protection.  She wanted to take revenge against her co-worker but because of the one year protection order (No Contact) by the judge, if she had done anything to her co-worker, I would have ended up back in jail.  I told her that unless she wanted to see me back in jail, she needed to forget what happened.  She worked so hard at forgetting the incident to protect me that she forgot everything.  She has no memory of anything today.  The victim of this incident was my beautiful faithful WIFE. I see her daily but she's incapable of talking to me.  According to her Doctor, the only thing that is wrong with her is total memory loss.  It breaks my heart to see her in this condition. 
I sing to her daily and she will reach over and hold my hand but she can't talk to me.  The ten days of starvation destroyed her ability to communicate.   
I am now also struggling with high blood pressure.  It took the VA from June 1980 until July 2017 to discover that my top blood pressure number ranges between 160 and 180.  I have researched every heart institution in America and no physician can tell me what is a normal blood pressure reading for a person with an Ischemic heart (Exposure to Agent Orange in 1965-1966).  Since June 1980, I have buried three of my four children, nursed my beautiful wife through lymphoma cancer, knowing the ten day starvation destroyed her memory and ability to communicate.
You have my permission to include any part of this note to the original email I sent you. 

James Womack
     
Subject: I am finally boiling over with anger
Hi Glenda,
The subject may be confusing because it is the same letter I sent to conservative talk show "Chicks of the Right."
I remember you asked me years ago, after reading my book, where is the anger?  I told you it was a learned response.  Daily when I visit my beautiful wife and realize that she doesn’t recognize me, my eyes swell and my heart is full of loneliness when I realize that this will be my third Christmas without her.  I miss her so much that I can't express it in words.  She was the best thing that happened to me.  
Her condition was created by a very unhappy four-times married prejudiced white female hater.  It breaks my heart to see some men's lives destroyed as mine because of an allegation made that alleges that something happened years ago, and in some cases the women accepted payments or special favors and now they cry wolf.  I wrote to 14 state and federal social justice organizations that were put in place to ensure the elimination of discrimination and equality of treatment.  Now we see these very organizations are ineffective and not concerned unless you're a woman, gay or trans-gender.  They're only effective in destroying men in the wrong political party or that have the wrong Christian morality. 
I sent the attached letter to President Trump today.  After 10 years, the Indiana Parole board denied the removal of the misdemeanor from my records.  I am 77 years old and the only crime I have committed in my life is loving a wonderful German woman and tearing away a white woman's fingers from my nostrils when she attacked and insulted me.  I don't even have a speeding ticket.  I have lived an honorable life according to the Ten Commandments and treated everyone the way I wanted to be treated. 
However the real victim, not counting my 56 year of a solid catholic marriage, is my beautiful wife.  She is a good woman but this prejudice hater changed her life forever.  I sent the same letter to an afternoon talk show where I was muted twice for trying to explain what happened to me.  It is so mean and ugly, it cannot be discussed on the airways in America today. Radio host and other citizens who have used the "Nigger" expression have been removed and/or fired.  My attacker got a promotion!   This is what the socialist and political organizations are doing to good men in this country.  It is time for it to STOP.  In America, you are innocent until proven guilty unless some woman makes an unproven or unprovable allegation against you.  Then you are automatically guilty!
Last week I listened to a young man on a local radio show.  His brother is 26 and went into a nightclub in Indianapolis where he met this beautiful well endowed young lady with whom he became intimate.  Citizens under the age of 21 are not allowed into night clubs.  She entered with fake ID.  When he didn't do what she wanted, she turned him in for rape.  He got a 10 year jail sentence and put on the sexual offender list for life.  The security and the nightclub should have been sued for allowing her to enter. How was he to know that she was only a well endowed 14 year old. However, that doesn't count because she is a vulnerable female and was taken advantage of.  I have had all that I can take. 
The anger you failed to see in my book has been awaken.  It has been growing for about 64 years but has become full bloom, and it scares me.  I have to find a way to overcome the loneliness and disappointment in the justice system of this nation that I gave the best 21 years of my life to protect.  I go to Mass daily and offer up my loneliness, tears and disappointments with the blood of Christ on the Cross but that doesn't give me the peace I seek.  Pray for me.  I have to find a way to overcome the anger and frustration I carry now in my heart. 
Your friend,
James Womack
Author:  "Black Dad-White Dad"


Can we realize what is happening to each individual that is being attacked within our own country...Lies are being thrown out and nobody is sure what the true story is... But, when you come across an individual who is tried because of a lenient law that supports any woman...That is Just as Wrong as Allowing the Guilty to Go Free... America, hear one man's story of his side of what happened years ago...The White Woman made false accusations...and got promoted because of her relationship with her boss! I support BOTH men and women when they are confronted with false allegations... Open your eyes, ears and mouth... Pay attention to the words accompanied only by music...






James, my friend, I found two of the songs, He Touched me and Through it All, that have kept me going through the years... I believe God can speak through the words that are there for us to hear...May you fill your loneliness with songs from Him...



James, I thought of this old song when you spoke of
Jolande placing her hand over yours...
Jolande, there is indeed grace and power
in both the hands of James and God who was with
you both during your marriage...
James, hold her hand and continue to sing...
And let His words fill your sadness and loneliness...
~~~

The anger will pass; your love is stronger 
And God's love is with you both...even through anger...