Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: New Fantasy Series Begins with Chrysalis: The Awakening

Chrysalis: The Awakening
By M. L. Lacy
ISBN: 9781438959856
589 Pages

Note: Check out the author site by clicking on the title of this article!

Book 1 of a new series by M. L. Lacy, Chrysalis: The Awakening, is an intriguing addition to the fantasy genre. With nearly 600 pages, that read very easily and quickly, I highly recommend you start this series right now, as Bree awakens!

No, Aubrey Marie Campbell has not been “asleep;” rather, she has been a mortal since birth and now is her time to “transition” into the magical realm. You see she is A Chosen One—in fact, she is the “last” of the Chosen Ones and if she fails in her mission, both the mortal and magical worlds will ultimately be destroyed. I plan on following this series! It is well written and Book 1 has established a firm understanding of the storyline, the primary characters, and what will be happening; and entertains and pulls readers in so that they want more. I personally hope we don’t have to wait too long for the follow up!

As the last Chosen One, Bree’s life has been in danger since she was born. Her parents were constantly threatened so that Bree’s childhood was constantly more and more confining and restrictive. She was separated from her “intended” and, instead, married to a sadistic mortal that constantly abused and tormented her, even to the point of “sharing” her with his male friends. Finally, when she became pregnant, was beaten, lost the baby and was then unable to have further children, Bree gathered her strength and filed for divorce.

While Bree was made to suffer during her childhood, she was not left totally on her own. There were many that stood guard over her, even at night while she slept—although they could not be seen!

Now her grandmother has invited her to a “reunion” of old friends and although she was not interested in going, fearing that her friends would all be the same age as her grandmother, she finally gives in and, once there, finds that there are many of her own age. One in particular greatly attracts her. Oops, shall I highlight here that memory of her old friends, especially Steven, her intended mate, had been magically erased, so that when she now meets them, she does not remember their earlier relationship. Actually, it was the interaction between the characters at this point that I especially enjoyed since Bree had felt for many years that there was perhaps something wrong with her—she heard voices, she healed quickly, even from the continuous abuse from her husband, and she had been restricted from so much activity by her parents, she had assumed that she was mentally ill! This part is funny and sad—sad to realize what parents, even parents with magical abilities, can do to a child.

For Bree’s rival, Esmeralda, did indeed threaten—and everybody knew that she would follow through on her threats! But now Bree was finding her own strength and much of her early life had been explained. Bree’s first confrontation with Esmeralda is excitingly funny—because by now of course, readers are all supporting Bree’s new reign and looking forward to her final transition, when she gains her full powers!

Hey, everybody needs a little magic in their lives—you know, clans of vampires, a few werewolves, a giant or two, witches, elves, and wizards—Oh My! Seriously, readers, if you love fantasy, then you will indeed enjoy Chrysalis: The Awakening by M. L. Lacy!

G. A. Bixler

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review: The Shenadoah Spy Begins Exciting Civil War Series!

The Shenandoah SpyBy Francis Hamit
Brass Cannon Books
ISBN: 9781595959027
433 Pages

I met Belle Boyd this past weekend, thanks to Francis Hamit, and was thrilled to meet and spend all my time with her! This first book in a series starts with The Shenandoah Spy: Being the True Life Adventures of Belle Boyd, CSA, “The Confederate Cleopatra.”

“Belle Boyd was a real person, and became world famous as a spy for the Confederate September, 1862, [she] became the first woman in American history to be formally commissioned an Army officer.” (Foreword) The book centers on her role as a scout and spy for the Confederate Army. If only a small percentage of the story were true, Belle gutsy woman! I am thankful that Hamit is publishing her story, for she is a woman to be much admired and embraced by all Americans and especially our younger generation!

Belle was a true Southerner but she was not the typical “belle” as we think of most women of the south. True, she might have worn the big-hooped gowns, learned how to flirt with gentlemen as part of her training, and had her first “season” in Washington with the intent to find a suitable husband. However, when the war began, she was just 17 and she automatically sought to find ways to support the south.

Her first major role was to assist and then nurse at the hospitals. Perhaps it was her required intimacy with those men that first started her reputation. Or perhaps it was her shooting a drunk Yankee soldier who had attacked her mother. But it was her scouting and spying efforts that firmly established Belle’s as a spy that could easily flirt and then finagle from the Yanks to learn and gain information to pass on to H. Turner Ashby, her immediate commanding officer, Jackson and other Confederate officers.

Hamit has created an exciting story of the civil war against which he tells Belle’s story. Through extensive reading and research, he presents the major players and battles of the war, and includes his characters that effectively supplement actual soldiers and officers. He also considers the political issues as to why the war was started and by whom, whether slavery was a major or minor point and highlights the role of the professional soldiers who moved from war to war, fighting for pay rather than through dedication to the people and the cause they supported.

Two other points of interest for me were the drinking, theft and lack of courtesy shown by the majority of Yankee soldiers and the role of the slaves/servants as they chose to support their families (owners) rather than their supposed liberators.

As the author stated in his foreword, he wrote the novel to entertain readers. Whether or not he took license with the truth in telling the story, I for one believe he did exactly what he said he was doing! This is truly an entertaining, fantastic tale of the past and provides all the excitement, intrigue, action and suspense that readers expect and enjoy!

Francis Hamit has the knowledge, experience and interest to have picked a remarkable character from our historical documents upon which to build this series. I highly recommend that you get the first book, The Shenandoah Spy, now and watch for the next one coming, hopefully soon!

G. A. Bixler

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Texas Rangers in Terrific Techno-Thriller!

Strong Enough To Die
By Jon Land
Forge Books
ISBN: 9780765312587
351 Pages

A “western” flavor with great historical information and action from the Texas Rangers is merged within an exciting techno thriller, in Jon Land’s Strong Enough To Die. In my opinion, it’s a must-read out this month!

Caitlin Strong, a fifth-generation Ranger, has had one too many close calls--the last one resulting in the death of a dear friend and partner. Leaving the Rangers, she goes back to school to get her degree for counseling and gets a job at the Survivor Center for Victims of Torture. Although the director is unsure about her working with victims, when Caitlin is brought in to see one of her potential patients, and recognizes him, she is pulled into an experience to be faced like no other she has ever known and assures the director that she will work hard to handle the job in order to be able to care for the man.

As she begins her new job, she learns that Cort Wesley Masters, the man who had been the leader at the ambush where her partner was killed, has been released due to a new test for the DNA that had proved him not guilty, and he was coming after her for revenge. They meet when he finds out where she is working and goes to the Survivor Center, only to find that the facility is under attack and Caitlin is the only staff member left alive and she is fighting to save her patient. In a split-second decision, Cort forgets his original plan and works along with Caitlin to eliminate the attackers!

Reclaiming her Ranger’s badge is one part of Caitlin’s first acts after this massacre. As Caitlin discovers that Cort was set up and wants to find out who falsely accused him, she also learns that, by protecting her patient, who others are trying to kidnap, she, Cort, and his two children, are now all under attack. Cort and Caitlin are forced into an uneasy alliance as they discover more and more about everything happening.

Caitlin and Cort are terrific characters and I hope they will be in future books; however, one minor character, Guillermo Paz, stole a lead role for me—a mercenary/hit man, Paz visits various churches and confesses his actions to the dismay of local priests. His latest job has brought him from South America by the “head man” and is told to get rid of all witnesses. However, when he finds Caitlin, protecting the sons of Cort Wesley, he leaves without killing them—and later revisits a local church. Paz has found his role in life!

Strong Enough To Die by Jon Land is refreshingly different as the role of Texas Rangers is blended with hi-tech murder. One of the best I’ve read!

G. A. Bixler

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Thanks to Lifetime TV for hosting information and petition! Please sign and let other friends know about this important announcement! You can click title to go to Lifetime for complete information or directly to the petition via the http link below.

Proposed Mastectomy Law Change

(written by a surgeon); I'll never forget the look in my patients' eyes when I have to tell them they must go home with the drains sticking out, new exercises and no breast. I beg the doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands are tied by the insurance companies.

So there I sit with my patients giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because their glazed, hopeless, frightened looks spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank you' they managed.

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is totally removed in order to extract cancerous cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are insisting mastectomies are an outpatient procedure. Let's give these women the chance to recover properly, with professional care and instructions, in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

This Mastectomy Bill is in Congress now. It takes only seconds to make your wishes known. It is truly important. Please take the time and do it now! The Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill is vital legislation for all women and their families.

Please send this to everyone in you know. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of them. If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the few seconds to go vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

The bill is called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act and it will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just hours after surgery, against their doctor's advice, still groggy from anesthesia and often with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

This only takes a moment. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

News from VPublishing


During tough times it is important to find a way to keep moving. Although times are hard, these times will also be a memory of the past. We at View House Publishing, have reduced the prices of our Writing & Self-Esteem Workshop for children. There are a few spaces available. Below and attached is a flyer about our workshop for children. Also, if you would like to sponsor a child's tution to the workshop, please contact for information.

Writing & Self-Esteem Workshop for Children
(ages 8–12)
Only an educator, social worker, parent, and publisher could have designed a group that combines creative writing, art, and self-esteem building in a way that attracts children. Participants will have the opportunity to meet in weekly workshops that consist of group activities and fun tasks with the goal of completing a published book by the end of the sessions. These workshops are designed to help children develop an interest in writing, a passion for creative art, social skills, and an opportunity to feel good about a great accomplishment.

Registration form:
Workshop sessions are $21.00 per week. Please note that half of the total payment must be made before or on the first day. The remaining amount must be paid prior to the fifth session. The total cost of $210 covers 10 workshops, two copies of a published book that contains the group’s completed work, and a completion certificate. The books will be mailed to the participants 10 days after the last session.
Note: Two early-bird discounted rate of the total cost:
1) $190 (half payment by June 2) or $165 (full payment by June 2)

Location: 1305 Franklin Street, Suite 502, Oakland, CA 94612 (basement conference room)
Day & Time: Saturdays, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Start & End Dates: June 13, 2009–August 22, 2009
Workshop Dates: June 13, 20, 27 July 11, 18, 25 August 1, 8, 15, 22

Child’s name: __________________________________________________________ Grade: _______________
Parent’s name: _________________________________________________________________________________
Street Address: _______________________________________ City: _____________________ Zip: __________
Home Phone #: ____________________ Cell Phone #: ____________________ Email: _____________________
For more information, call (510) 350-5502 or send an email to Please make your check payable to View House Publishing (VHP), and mail it with this completed form to: VHP, 1305 Franklin Street, Suite 502, Oakland, CA 94612 (credit & debit cards are also accepted). Fax (510) 404-5278
Photo Release, Dismissal, & Collected Work:
Photos may be taken during the workshops for the website or any other official printed publication. We reserve the right to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, or distribute the photos for purposes of advertising our services. By signing below, I signify that I understand that I may choose to not allow photos of my child or children to be used in any way. I understand that once an image is posted on the View House Publishing website, the image can be downloaded by any computer user. Therefore, I agree to indemnify and hold View House Publishing harmless from any claims.
Please Check One:
___ Pictures of my child or children may be used for publication by View House Publishing.
___ Pictures of my child or children may not be used for publication by View House Publishing.
___ My child has permission to walk home alone after the workshop sessions.
___ My child needs to be walked to the after-school program named: _____________________________________________
____ Please have my child or children wait in class until a parent or guardian arrives.

Note: Parents will be given a permission form to review and sign prior to any work being published as part of a book or otherwise. No work will be published as part of a book or otherwise without the written permission of a parent or guardian.
Parent’s/Guardian’s signature: _____________________________________________________________

Date: ____________


We Have Editors!
Our editors are the best in the business.

Proofreading and Copy Editing for
your Novel, Ebook, Business Plan, Website, Academic Thesis, School Essay, or Application Letter

For more information:
Call 510-350-5502 or send an email to:

View House Publishing

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review: Grandma's First Computer - Fun for Kids/Adults!

Grandma’s First Computer
By Linda Hayes
ISBN: 978-0-557-01609-9
35 Pages

I think in every family, there is at least one older member who has absolutely no understanding of the “potential” of computers. Some, like my sister, have no desire to learn either. However, as more and more opportunities for sharing pictures, letters and even researching the family tree becomes known, many people who had no earlier opportunity to use the computer are taking the plunge!

Linda Hayes, in writing Grandma’s First Computer, apparently had that situation in her family, for her son Lawrence and Grandma Sylvia inspired Linda’s book. I am totally supportive of having young children learn to use computers—it is “their” future, after all! But I also am pleased whenever someone who has previously not had the opportunity decides to find out what the “internet” is that everybody always seems to be talking about.

Using excellent illustrations, by Acesgraphics, Linda shares a simple story about the time Grandma decided to buy a computer, only to get it home and have no idea what to do next. I had to chuckle at this point because even though I’ve worked with both mainframe and personal computers for years, there were technical staff members who actually set up and cared for the hardware (all equipment including the computer and peripheral machines such as printers, scanners, etc.) So when I decided to have a home computer, I admit to some trepidation, even though I had already been using personal computers and enjoying their benefits for work and research. Believe me, Grandma knew what she was doing to leave the computer in the box...until...Timmy came to visit!

Timmy looks to be about 8, but he obviously is already totally capable of setting up and getting things ready for Grandma. The book effectively shows and explains what computer components he’s working with. Only when he starts to use some routine computer terms, such as mouse and cursor, does he realize doesn’t know anything!

I got the feeling Grandma and Timmy was going to be spending quite a bit of time together! And won’t Timmy feel great about being able to help his Grandma learn about computers!

Not having knowledge and experience can exist, no matter what age. Many of us were in jobs and had an opportunity to learn, but many others were busy doing other jobs! I applaud you if you are one of the latter and are just now beginning to learn about computers. I work almost daily via email with a gentleman in his 70’s who is learning to promote his books online, having never learned much other than using a word processor. You could be that person and need help...

Grandma’s First Computer is very, very elementary and is geared toward children, but it wonderfully shows the potential of two generations being able to reverse roles and the older individual learn from the younger. So, if you’ve decided to take the plunge, check out Grandma’s First Computer by Linda Hayes and share it with your nephew or grandson and see if he takes the hint! You just might get much-needed help and start that young individual on the way to a future career!

G. A. Bixler

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sworn to Silence - Outstanding First Novel by Linda Castillo!

Sworn to Silence
By Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9780312374976
352 Pages

I just spent a wonderful weekend with Linda Castillo, author of Sworn to Silence! The book is scheduled to be out in June--pre-order this exciting, edgy thriller if you can! I loved it!

Sworn to Silence is the first book in a new series introducing Kate Burkholder, Police Chief of Painters Mill. Kate grew up as an Amish girl, but when she was just 14, her family was torn apart by terror. As is usual for Amish families, they handled everything within the family, and all family members were to keep that secret.

But now, as police chief, Kate faces her first murder as Chief and all of her memories, fears and anger from her past are brought back to her. She can’t even turn to her brother or sister for support because when Kate chose not to become a member of the Amish church, she was immediately placed under a “bann.” Her choice to follow English ways and language had separated them for many years, now one of them even betrays her and the family secret!

All of Kate’s staff totally support her and begin working around the clock to gather evidence regarding the murder. But Kate has political enemies in the town council and a local sheriff who would like to take over the case. The only good thing that comes out of this is that when the council calls for assistance from the State, the BCI takes the opportunity to send a rogue special agent, John Tomasetti, who they’ve been trying to get to take early retirement. He was once a great agent and it would be hard to fire him; however, tragedy had taken his entire family from him and he’d turned to alcohol and prescription drugs. Now he’d either have to take the assignment...or else...

So when he came to Painters Mill, he had mixed feelings—he really didn’t care about the case in many ways, but he knew that this was probably his last chance, if he didn’t want to be forced to retire. Fortunately, he was quite willing to allow Chief Burkholder to remain in charge and soon was impressed by her capabilities. With territorial concerns uppermost, Kate soon grudgingly admitted that John could and was helping her and she was grateful, especially when more women were found who had been tortured and killed.

The interface of the Amish and town community is an interesting and unique setting that adds greatly to the novel’s tension. When the second girl discovered is determined to be “plain,” Kate works effectively with the family, calling on her knowledge of their language and customs as they deal with their loss. One memorable scene is when she attempts to drive the parents to the morgue and they refuse, so she follows them in their buggy for hours, as they go to see and identify their daughter.

Castillo keeps a fairly fast pace throughout the entire book, but as the book moves toward ending, what happens is breathtaking—by then readers totally identify with Kate and live through the intensity of what she is facing, as if she’s right in front of you, fighting for her life! Sworn to Silence is an outstanding first novel and the beginning of a must-read series by Linda Castillo! And, yes, there’s a budding romance brewing between Kate and John! Once you meet these two, you know they are going to be two individuals you’ll want to meet again!

G. A. Bixler

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Review: Dirty Little Angels - Memorable!

Dirty Little Angels
By Chris Tusa
Livingston Press
147 Pages

“That night, I dreamed of Mama’s flesh creaking as the doctor unstitched the trapdoor in her stomach.”

Step into the life of Hailey, a teenaged girl around 16 who will tell you about the Dirty Little Angels in a novel by Chris Tusa.

Most people would think Hailey’s just another teen girl, trying out new things, trying to find her own way. Her family would have probably been considered middle class, until her father lost his job and her mother miscarried. Things had changed at home: her Dad is drinking a lot and having an affair, while her mother spends most days in bed bemoaning the loss of her baby. Neither parent pays much attention to Hailey and her older brother Cyrus anymore. And then her uncle, who was supposed to be a righteous man, is talking about evicting them from their home. Hailey spends a lot of time praying to God to help put her family back together. Lots of times she felt He was just not listening to her.

Her best friend is Meridian, but she can’t quite figure out why, with her being so dumb, and with all her fake “additions,” she was so popular with the boys. So when her boyfriend starts to pay attention to Hailey, when Meridian is not around, she finds it an exciting diversion, until Meridian finds out...

At the same time Cyrus and Hailey have gotten involved with a man called Moses, who is going to build a drive-thru church, and has Cyrus “picking up” some statues for the site. Of course, that they are stolen from graveyards doesn’t bother Moses. Moses has his own set of beliefs and when a young girl is raped, Moses and Cyrus decide to rough up the guy, only to have him die several days later and Moses thinks Cyrus has informed the cops!

Little by little, Hailey starts having strange things happen inside her head; she’s always tried to be a good girl and follow what her mama said, but now her Daddy is even taking her and having her sit in the truck while he talks to his girlfriend—who is begging him to leave his family, since her husband is lying in the hospital waiting to die of cancer. When Hailey visits the husband, and discovers a very nice man with whom she enjoys talking, she becomes even more confused.

Until finally, Hailey figures out what to do—and then learns all about the dirty little angels...

Tusa writes with a literary flair that sweeps you into the times and the lives of his characters. With a real talent for creating characters, readers begin to feel as if they already know these people—why, they are just like your neighbors, or those with whom you work: some very good people, and others, no-good, two-faced liars!

Most of all, though, is that the ending will create a memorable impression that sticks with you, even as you close the book, set it aside, and go on through your day...those Dirty Little Angels will be remembered for a long time!

If my review makes you think you’d like to read this book...get it! You won’t be sorry!

G. A. Bixler

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kittens From Heaven: A Short True Story

Living in a log cabin has been a wonderful exciting time for me. Sometimes it results in totally unexpected happenings: like, kittens falling...from heaven?

Wherever they came from, they wound up in between two walls in my cabin! I had thought in the past that I had heard small kittens mewing, seeminly from the walls, but soon it stopped so I thought the kittens were outside or under the cabin and their mother was away for awhile...

But this time the calls for help were insistent! Soon, Striper, one of my mother cats was involved and tried to get behind my book cases to find them. When she couldn't, she would look up at me as if to say, "Do something!"

I tried--one of the rooms was my furnace and storage, so I moved everything out from the corner to see whether I could get to them, even though I had no idea how they could have gotten in the corner. Nothing. However, upon hearing the noise and having Striper "talking" back to them had ensured they knew that someone was there... Their cries became louder and more insistent: "Yes, we're here! Help!"

...And on the third day, when Striper and I were getting desperate trying to figure out something, my brother-in-law, Bill, came to visit. "How do you always know when I need you," I asked.

"What's the problem?"

"There are kittens behind the walls! Is there any way that you can think of to get to them?

"Put a hole in the wall! Are you sure they are there?"

"I'm sure, it's been three days and I'm going crazy with their calling!"

"Where's the hammer?" He promptly took it, got near the wall, and started pounding.

The first one to come was a little tiger and white one and I pulled him close. Covered with dust and dirt, he snuggled into my neck--Saved!

Next to be handed to me was a little black one. Bill had picked him up by the tail, but he wasn't even crying or trying to get away. Cuddled next to me, he immediately started purring!

We stood there listening but didn't hear anything, but Bill decided to leave the hole open...just in case...

...there were more kittens from heaven!

--to be continued...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review: Can Money Stolen by Terrorists Be Found? Check out The Chameleon Conspiracy!

The Chameleon Conspiracy
By Haggai Carmon
Leisure Books
ISBN: 9780843961911
369 Pages

“...World War III has already begun. It’s the terrorists against the rest of the world.” (p.117)

Haggai Carmon’s The Chameleon Conspiracy is the real thing! By that, I mean that you can readily tell that Carmon has the background knowledge and experience to write this tale of intrigue. Sharing both the slow gathering of information as well as the many false leads lends added realism to a story in which many of us could star—as a victim!

For you see, young men who have left the United States, for vacation or business, have their identities stolen. They are killed and someone takes their place to come back into the States! Is it one man, or many?

At the same time, there are a number of major financial scams across America and the Department of Justice has been brought in to try to follow and recover the money.

Dan Gordon, an attorney was trained by the Mossad, with the Justice Department, and is working with the CIA, FBI, and the Mossad as he travels the world looking for who he believes is one man, who has taken the various identities and handled the various thefts. Gordon dubbed him The Chameleon...

Following the trail of money is not easy, especially when an American is helping the foreign groups! Gordon doesn’t find it strange to discover that a bank officer of one of the small banks that had lost millions now has his own New York City business. Name changes, aliases, identity thefts are all part of this investigation.

It was not surprising that tracking the money resulted in discovering it was being provided and used by terrorist groups. What is interesting though was that those involved had been trained so well at an American university that their language skills were perfect and the knowledge they gained provided sufficient expertise to be able to infiltrate and work in America. Going undercover, Gordon takes on the role of a writer, wanting to find his roots, and hires a graduate of the university to assist him. One method of gaining information was to host a reunion of graduates, since the school had been closed many years ago. But Gordon’s cover is blown and leads to major problems since a high-level intelligence agent wanted to defect and met with Gordon to determine if he could help him escape.

And then it was discovered that terrorist members were running counterfeiting activities!

All in all this was a good solid read, rather slow-paced, but with many twists and turns as new events and discoveries are made, that keeps high reader interest and involvement. I think I most was impressed by the coordinating efforts of the various groups involved—a nice change since many writers choose to highlight territorial issues among security agencies, which are intended to cause more intensity. Gordon’s being able to meet and have an old friend from the Mossad help him was just one of the relationships between characters that made the book not only more believable but more interesting, intriguing, and a nice change of pace.

This is a different side of the “terrorist” issue—the money issue that is oftentimes much more explosive and realistic than bombing and intensive action books. I highly recommend The Chameleon Conspiracy by Haggai Carmon for those interested in today’s alternative fiction novels!

G. A. Bixler

Monday, May 4, 2009

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Review: Voice of Conscience A Thought-Provoking Novel

Voice of Conscience
By Behcet Kaya
Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 1439203903
345 Pages

When cultural imperatives and internal moral feelings collide, such as those in The Voice of Conscience by Behcet Kaya, the turmoil produces a disturbing, yet wonderfully open and thought-provoking novel!

The Voice of Conscience begins in Atamkoy, northeastern Turkey, in the early ‘60’s. Ramzi Ozcomert, Jr., was just 14. His role in the first part is minor, for his father and mother are preparing for the marriage of their daughter, Erin. Known for her beauty, Erin had been fought over by many of the village men, although her heart had already been won and she was tentatively committed for marriage. I say tentatively because there are certain customs that must be followed. There had been no hurry until one night . . .

Elder Korucu and five men from his family came to call; they sought Erin’s hand for Orhan, the Elder’s grandson. Interestingly, the Korucu and Ozcomert families were not on good terms. Indeed Ramzi Jr.’s role that night was to stand out-of-sight, with the shotgun, in case there was trouble! The scene in which Erin’s hand is sought is one of the highlights of the novel and effectively sets the framework against which the book proceeds.

For, because of this marriage proposal, Ramzi Sr. sees that they must move more quickly if they are to grant Erin’s desire to marry for love! And so the process and arrangements for the wedding begin. Here, too, is one of the highlights of the novel: the description of the wedding preparations, including the convoy of the groom’s family as they travel to the wedding site.

But it all ended in tragedy¾for Ramzi Sr. and his wife, as well as Erin were murdered! Ramzi Jr., escaped from the house with the help of relatives and was sent far away where he would have to make a new life, accompanied only by the nightmares of his family’s bodies, lying bloody, dead, on the eve of the ceremony! There had been so much planning, hoping to avoid any trouble, hoping that the marriage would take place. Now the only thing left was Ramzi’s pain and his need¾for vengeance!

As Ramzi grew older, he graduated and met his soulmate, Megan, for whom he had great love. As his family began, so, too, did Ramzi’s successful ventures in business, and he was soon a wealthy owner of an engineering design company and father of two young girls. Devoting his life to family and his business won over even Megan’s father, who had been against the marriage initially; and he soon was proud of his son-in-law’s accomplishments.

The story could well have ended, telling a beautiful and exciting love story; however, Kaya then takes his readers back—to the time when Ramzi lost his family!

When Ramzi looks at his success, he begins only to remember what he has also lost! And his deep, instinctual teachings of vengeance began to consume him, until he could no longer indulge in his own and his family’s happiness. He attempted to discuss his ethical and spiritual concerns while visiting a monastery, but, for him, it was too little, too late.

What finally happens is an unpredictable, dramatic explosion that takes readers completely by surprise. And yet, by its very ending, it changed the novel into a literary statement that must be absorbed and pondered for its relevance! There is much to learn from Kaya as he shares how continuing cultural practices and instilling them so deeply into our children that they become all consuming, can be and often is potentially harmful to the very children we have brought to life and love!

Kaya has presented us with a must-read first novel, a tale discussing cultural imperatives that must be explored by all of us as we face today’s world. This is a memorable read! At this time, the book is being reprinted, so make sure you wait to get an error-free copy! Click on the title of this article to go to web site for Behcet Kaya!

G. A. Bixler
For IP Book Reviews

News from Destiny Booze--Blurb, Excerpt from Novel, Altered Beginnings

Altered Beginnings will be released May 15, 2009!

I’ve put together a book trailer for Altered Beginnings. You can watch it here:
I’ve got the most exciting news! My local newspaper, The Fincastle Herald will be doing a story about me and my debut novel at the beginning of May. It will also be posted online at

Altered Beginnings
By Destiny Booze

The headline in the small town newspaper read Young Woman Missing, Presumed Dead or Worse.

Leigh Lawson returned to Nags Head, North Carolina after four years with a huge shock. That big and bold headline was about her! Everyone thought she was dead!

The truth was that she was doing well. While gone, she had gotten clean from drugs and worked hard to get her bachelor’s degree in engineering. With her life back on track, she returns home in hope that she will receive a warm welcome. Instead, she gets the townsfolks' disdain.

Everyone hates her, everyone except Jason Altarez, an ambitious and resilient reporter with his sights locked on Leigh. He chases her with oozing charm and romance, but does he really want her or is he after his next story?

Leigh’s life soon spirals out of control when the police recruit her for an undercover assignment. They want her to go back to the life of her troubled teenage years, back into the drugs, and help them to bring the local drug supplier to conviction. It may be Leigh’s only chance to redeem herself with her family and friends. If she can complete this one assignment, the town will forgive her. The only problem is that she needs to figure out how to stay alive in the process…

Jason is her continuous partner through it all, proving his dedication to her as he struggles to keep her safe. Leigh wants to believe he is a man of his word. She wants to believe that her heart isn’t completely foolish for falling for him, especially when she discovers evidence that Jason may be working for the very drug dealer that Leigh is trying to have arrested. Will he betray her in the end or will he demonstrate the most romantic notion of all – that love at first sight truly exists?



“I’ve got to find her. She could be in danger,” Emma mumbled and turned to leave.

“No, Emma, listen to me. You have to stay out of the middle of this!”

She glared at him. “She doesn’t have anyone, Shawn.”

He groaned loudly, and cursed again. Emma needed to stay away! Why was he always unable to say no to this woman?

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll come with you.”

He had to convince her to try Jason’s house before going after Freddie Garrett like the crazy woman had a mind to do. He thought she was unreasonable and overemotional and impossible to please, but he also knew he was madly in love with her. “I’m pretty sure she’s with Ice. She took off the earrings earlier, but the team said they were sure she was with a guy.”

It didn’t take them long to make the trip. A Lexus pulled up behind them in the driveway. It was Jason. “What are you guys doing here? What’s wrong?”

Emma answered. “We’re looking for Leigh.”

Jason swallowed back the panic that those words immediately caused. Leigh was probably just inside. Why the hell hadn’t he come straight home like he’d wanted to? Because Nate said he needed your help and you couldn’t say no, and you convinced yourself that she was smart enough to wait for you. “I just got home. Let’s see if she’s here,” he said calmly.

No one expected to see the house in shambles or Leigh on her knees in Jason’s living room when they walked in. Slick stood in front of her where it looked as if he’d just pushed her there. The air of the house grew thick with expectation as Slick pointed a gun at the three in the doorway. “Come in and shut the door,” he said.

They did as they were told. Instinct directed everyone’s hands up in the air. Leigh was staring at the floor, her face hidden behind her thick, black hair.

Shawn took a step closer, but made no move to draw his own weapon. No one spoke at first, afraid to disrupt the scene or upset the man with the gun.

Slick directed his attention to Jason. “I did a little redecorating. Hope you don’t mind, Ice.” Then, he looked to Shawn. “Just the man I’m looking for. My boss would like to see you, Shawn.”

Emma gasped. Jason’s eyes remained glued to Leigh. Shawn said, “Let my sister go.”

The look in Slick’s eyes never wavered. He continued to look Shawn in the eye when he suddenly backhanded Leigh across the face so hard that a noise echoed in the room as if he’d hit a wall.

Leigh moaned softly. She still did not look at anyone, eyes shut and head bent to the floor.

Jason reacted without thinking when he charged Slick. He was brought up short when the gun redirected to point between his eyes. “Don’t be a hero,” Slick’s velvety voice murmured.

The emotion could be seen surging through Jason as veins popped from his neck. “Stop this!” he roared.

Slick kicked Leigh in the side and repeated, “My boss would like to offer you a job, Shawn.”

Emma began to cry.

Shawn only stared.

Leigh took another kick that made her scream in pain.

Shawn broke his silence. “What do you want from me?”

“You’re a pretty smart guy. I’m sure you can figure out what it means to be on Freddie’s payroll.”

Slick jerked Leigh back to her knees and punched her. “I need an answer, Shawn.”

Emma cried out, “Please, stop this!”

Shawn stepped forward. Tears glistened in his eyes. “Okay, okay, I’ll do it.”

Slick withdrew a wad of cash from his right pocket and threw it on the floor. “That will get you started. Freddie will expect to see you at the club to confirm that answer. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I’ll be back to finish this if you don’t cooperate, and I mean soon.”

As soon as the man was gone, Jason was by Leigh’s side. “Leigh, talk to me, sweetheart.”

She was unconscious.

“Call 9-1-1!”

Destiny Rae Booze
Romantic Suspense Author

Altered Beginnings (Book 1 - Outer Banks Suspense Series) ~ Coming May 15, 2009!
Predetermined Endings (Book 2 - Outer Banks Suspense Series) ~ Coming in 2009!

Make-believe is more than a child's game!

Enjoy Part of LA Times Book Festival with Author Carol Mitchell

Carol Denise Mitchell is here shown with her latest book, Rovella Starr. She is also the author of What Happened To Suzy. You can do a search here on my blog to read my reviews for these great books!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

BookExpoAmerica - I'd Love to be There

This is a photo of my one and only BookExpo Show (in Chicago, 1999--10 years ago, Wow!)...I was thrilled when my publisher boss, Bettie Tucker, of Rainbow's End Christian Publishing, decided to go and asked me to participate! For a book lover, it is truly one of the highlights of my life--being surrounded by books, seeking and meeting people who are in the book publishing business and even having a chance to meet and get an autograph from TV star and author of Farewell to the Mockingbirds, James McEachin!

I came home from the trip with a trunk-load of books, posters, pens, badges and lots of other goodies, most of which I still have!

We had a very nice display and there I met Adolfo Caso, publisher of Branden Books, who has been my friend for many years!

If you are an author or small publisher, there are ways to join with others in attending this show. Believe me, if you can make it, you won't regret being there!

I just started following the Expo on Twitter @BookExpoAmerica. You can also check out their site by clicking on the title of this article!