Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review: Rogue Island - Crime Thriller at Its Best!

Crime Genre MosaicImage by rhondda.p via Flickr

Rogue Island

By Bruce DeSilva

A Forge Book

ISBN: 9780765327260

302 Pages

Agreeing to review the first novel for Associated Press’s Bruce DeSilva was a little daunting for this independent reviewer, but after learning that it had taken Ed McBain, who wrote the 87th Precinct novels and then Otto Penzler, the dean of NYC crime-novel editors to encourage him to finish his novel, and after getting over my initial excitement when I received it, I figured Bruce would expect me to do just what I always do—tell my readers how I honestly felt about his book!

Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva had an “old” flavor to me, one I immediately felt comfortable with—could I really see shades of Mike Hammer in Mulligan’s style of investigating and hear Robert B. Parker's Spenser’s witty dialogue as Mulligan quipped back his quick thoughts or was Mulligan and entirely new man I had to get to know and love? Which I did...

Or did I admire most his desire to find the truth amidst all of the corruption surrounding him, even while fighting a losing battle, as proven by his ending?

Of course, Ed McBain had been right! Bruce DeSilva’s novel is a thrilling addition to crime fiction, that reads as if Mulligan has been alive and well for many years! And I’m hoping that he will continue in future books as the tenacious investigative reporter who still believes in printing the true story, no matter what...

Take his “Dumb and Dumber” caricature story for the two arson investigators who were supposed to be working to solve an epidemic of major fires in Mount Hope, Rhode Island. There had already been nine arsons in three months with five dead. Mulligan was seeing his community, his friends, losing their homes or businesses and he knew, since Polecki and Roselli had paid their way upward and then were moved to get them away from dealing with the public, that these men were not going to find the firebug or whoever was responsible. So after outing their incompetence in headlines, Mulligan began his own investigation.

While Max Lomax would be on Mulligan’s back to write the “Dog Story,” Mulligan would whistle for Secretariat to come give him a ride, shrug at his failure to gallop to him, and then walk to his Ford Bronco. Then he'd take off to talk to his friend, the fire insurance investigator, to begin brainstorming what was really behind the fires. Even the local bookmaker was concerned enough that he formed a local group, the DiMaggios to prowl the streets with baseball bats, while he, himself, sat in his private room, in his shirt, tie and boxer shorts, taking bets. They called him Whoosh for a reason! Trading information with Whoosh while Mulligan placed a bet was just part of everyday life...

Just like his friends Whoosh and Rosie the fire chief, and Lomax, Gloria and Veronica, with whom Mulligan might be falling in love, DeSilva has created characters worthy of the gutsy and sometimes dangerous newspaper world of yesterday, while he laments the possible future for newspapers in today’s world. Though his book highlights this potential loss, Bruce DeSilva, in Rogue Island has provided readers with a dynamic invasive look into the power of crime and corruption and how far it pervades our society—and even how to use it to help make things better, under the circumstances...Right?

Frankly, I think this is one hell of a book! Highly recommended!

Book Received
From publisher

G. A. Bixler

Rogue Island  Pre-Order Available in October! Link with Bruce DeSilva at Facebook and read more, by clicking title of article...

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: I loved New Nancy Pickard Novel--The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Lightning strikes during the eruption of the G...Image via Wikipedia

The Scent of
The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel  Rain and

By Nancy Pickard

Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345471017
319 Pages

Award-winning Nancy Pickard certainly has provided readers with a beautifully written novel and a suspenseful mystery that keeps readers turning pages and working to solve the murder. Gee I hate it when I didn't even have a clue who it really was!

Actually, I love it when I can't figure out a mystery! While this book has much to love, much of what actually happens reveals the cruelty from some individuals who you even love to hate!

As a little girl of three, Jody Linder had loved to watch the storms, listen to the thunder go "Boom!" and see the lightning brighten the sky. But then on one particular stormy night, Jody's father was murdered and her mother disappeared. And now she feared those storms when they came...

Although Jody's life was a good one, living with her grandparents in Rose, Kansas, she never lost the need to know what happened to her mother. When small, she had heard that if her mother had disappeared, it might have been near The Rocks, a unique rock display that drew many people to see how erosion would change the faces to be found there. She had begun to pick up items lost there and she would bring them to one of her family members and suggest that it might have belonged to her mother.

She soon realized that none of them wanted her to do this--so she kept it her secret activity and now many years later, she had backpacks full of smelly items that she thought might someday be used as a clue to help find her mother...

Billy Crosby had worked for her grandfather but he was cruel to the animals and it was rumored that he also was cruel to his wife and son, especially when he drank. And that night during the storm, he was so drunk that he had passed out and had to be picked up and taken home. So when the murder occurred, the entire family automatically assumed that it had been Billy. He was convicted and put in jail.

Until 23 years later, when Jody is just about to begin a teaching job, Colin, Billy's son, is now a lawyer and had fought and won to have the old trial overturned and a new one held.

It was then that Colin and others in the town expressed the opinion that Billy had not been guilty, at least of the murder for which he had been convicted. Even the man with whom Jody had been intimately revealed he believed Billy innocent. Jody was crushed!

She had to know the truth, especially about where her mother might be! And she starts her own personal investigation that leads to... more death!

Meet the family, friends and enemies Jody found that were living next to each other in Rose, Kansas. It is a fantastic story, gripping of a subtle love interest that has lasted over 20 years amidst the agonizing fear, hate and anger for the killer who had never killed until he was convicted of one he did not do. Bittersweet, it will leave you to ponder the secrets carried by some, perhaps even by those who you have loved for years...

My opinion-- The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard is a must-read. With the literary mastery of writing along with a beautiful tantalizing story, you really don't want to miss this one!

Book Received
From Amazon Vine

G. A. Bixler

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review: Trackle for the Fall: Once Wicked Always Dead! Check Out Info/Review!

Peter BenchleyImage via Wikipedia

Once Wicked Always DeadOnce Wicked

   Always Dead

Back Cover Blurb

What happens when a family's darkest secrets put lives in jeopardy? How far would you go for love?

Molly Madison is unaware of the Sociopath who is on the loose, creating havoc with a sense of their own justice. Her life is shattered by the sudden death of her beloved parents and the revelation of her husband Phillip’s affair – with another man – Molly leaves the life of Country Clubs and the luxury of city life in Florida and heads west to Montana, resolved to run the family ranch, and to move on with her life. Her attraction to Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman, is instant, but before a romance can blossom, the ranch falls prey to sabotage by wealthy land developers determined to drive Molly out, and Clayton learns of a family secret and collides with the Sociopath that could put the ranch – and Molly’s life – in jeopardy.

A sharp mystery that swirls with family secrets, betrayal, love and loss, Once Wicked Always Dead is a strong debut from an author with literary blood in her veins.

By T. Marie Benchley

Author Bio

T. Marie Benchley is an author and student in life. With a family heritage of actors/writers including famed author Peter Benchley of "Jaws and The Deep", she was introduced to classic literature at an early age and remains a passionate reader. Although the only sharks on her pages are attorneys and the monsters in her plots are sociopaths, her primary desire is to entertain her readers.

Though formally educated in journalism and marketing and is also an avid traveler, finding inspiration for her novels by studying people and listening to their stories. Happily married with a son and daughter, she divides her time between Florida and Montana.

Once Wicked Always Dead
By T. Marie Benchley
M.M.W.E. Publishing House
ISBN: 9780984478712
325 Pages

They called her a sociopath, but she knew what she really was—she was a woman on a mission to eliminate all those individuals, usually men, who preyed on the innocent. And the first man to go was her stepfather! To do so, she was willing to assume the role of the “school girl” and dress and act out the role they wanted her to play, because they didn’t have the real thing right at the moment. Only this little girl was deadly for those who were wicked...

T. Marie Benchley has created quite a story! Normally, the serial killer takes the lead role; not so in Once Wicked Always Dead. In fact, that there is a killer loose is not the primary story, although, there is a later merge that is truly outstanding and unparalleled in my experience!

Molly Madison had just turned 45 when her world started to fall apart. On their way to visit, her parents had been killed in an accident. The relationship between her and her husband, Phillip had not been close for many years. He was always working and now was considering running for public office. After the shock of hearing about Molly’s parents, Phillip almost immediately realized that by selling their large ranch, he would have sufficient funds to begin his campaign.

Never knowing that her father had been thinking about leaving the ranch to his foreman, Clayton Leatherbe, who had become like a son to him, and knowing the Phillip would want the ranch sold, Molly was immediately caught in the pressure placed on her to sign the papers to sell the property.

And to further challenge Molly’s life, she was told face-to-face by her husband’s gay lover that he and Phillip were in love and she really had no place in his life anymore!

Only thing was that Phillip did not agree with his lover, even though they indeed had been involved. For Molly, it was just too much. She left Phillip and moved back into her parents’ home and began to take over the activities of her parents in running the ranch.

There were many there in Colorado who were interested in getting all or part of that large spread. Soon, trouble started, with fences being cut, fires started and a murder takes place when a car is set on fire. But the man who was in the car comes as a big surprise and Molly begins to wonder if there is anybody that can be trusted!

What a perfect blend of character creation and manipulation! Readers are continuously caught off guard as to what these characters choose to do. Molly is a strong forgiving woman who comes back into her real self as head of the ranch and finds her own romance along the way.

Benchley is a cousin of Peter Benchley of Jaws and The Deep. For me, however, T. Marie in Once Wicked Always Dead has written a romantic suspense thriller that will be broadly read and remembered, perhaps even more so than for Peter's novels. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and strongly recommend you seek out T. Marie Benchley’s debut book!

Book Received
From M.M.W.E Publishing House

G. A. Bixler

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review: CSI: Blood Quantum Picked Up a 10 From This Reader!

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Blood Quantum

Blood Quantum:

Crime Scene Investigation

By Jeff Mariotte

Pocket Star Books
ISBN: 9781439160787
310 Pages

Greg Sanders and Catherine Willows had been assigned to what seemed to be a routine death of an individual who had broken into a large estate in the first case assigned to the CSI Team in Blood Quantum by Jeff Mariotte. He had been killed by the head of security on the Cameron staff, when the man, who was obviously homeless, had somehow gotten in, but had reached into his pocket when he was told to stop. Drake McCann didn’t feel that he had a choice—he had shot him.

But it was found that the man who had entered the gate had the code to open the gate and that is what he had been reaching for in his pocket!

At the same time, Ray Langston and Nick Stokes met Jim Brass at the home of Robert Domingo, who now was dead, with the word Quantum, written on the wall above in what appeared to be blood. Everybody was at a loss for understanding what the word Quantum meant; however, since Domingo was tribal chairman on the Grey Rock Paiute Reservation, Ray knew a friend of his could help in determining what the word meant.

While Nick and Brass made their way to the Reservation to meet with the police there, Ray indeed discovered that Quantum referred to the rule by which individuals were determined to be Paiute for purposes of receiving funds from their various tribal activities. Recently, the Tribal Council had voted to increase the percentage by which that judgment would be made. Tension had developed, as some individuals who had lived their lives on the reservation were no longer recognized as being sufficiently blood Paiute. This meant that Domingo and others would be getting even richer. Especially since they were in the midst of approving plans for a casino!

Once the Paiutes knew about the murder of Domingo, Nick and Jim found themselves involved in a shootout and investigating, though they had no legal jurisdiction to do so.

As Greg and Catherine track down the identity of the homeless individual, they discover in the place where he had lived that there was sufficient DNA to identify him as the missing, presumed dead son of the Cameron family, as well as evidence that members in the family were slowly being poisoned!

Catherine as supervisor lends a different feeling to the CSI team. She is more prone to speak and act out quickly, putting herself on the line. Greg plays a major role in closing this case; frankly I enjoy him much more as an investigator than as the technician he formerly played. In any event, being the hero was an intriguing role for him.

Ray is totally different on the team than Grissom so he’s still making his place. I miss Grissom, but am enjoying Ray for his own contributions and background he brings to the team.

Once again, I’d say I enjoyed reading CSI even more than watching the TV program, especially, Blood Quantum by Jeff Mariotte! For readers, that means that this series could continue for as long as there are crimes to be solved! Forever?

This story picked up a full 10 from this reader!

Book Received
From SFReader

G. A. Bixler

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Gues Poet - Alvin Lloyd Alexander Horn - Beautiful, Right?

Sunset Out of My Window

Alone at sunset with Luther singing, “I thought about cha`”
I chase so many thoughts of you, my heart races
Sun redden pillow clouds, and a few stars start to shine through, framing your beauty
You got a halo
Staring out my window, sunset and you, reflect in my future
As God, and you are the sunrise of my life, and a first kiss,
my first taste of life, as my feet hit the ground
I wait for you
Smiles of thoughts of you ring on the hour and on and on
Knowing you will be here later just after the sun has hid
I have dinner ready
I have our humble abode fit for the royalty we are
I see you walk through the door
We slow dance, holding still
Earth Wind & Fire sings, “Be Ever Wonderful”
We share a human glass of intoxicating kisses
No longer alone
We make our own sunset

Alvin Lloyd Alexander Horn CR@2009

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: A James Becker Mystery Might Be First Book In Your New Favorite Series!

The Missing Element: A James Becker Mystery
The Missing Element:

A James Becker Mystery

By John L. Betcher

ISBN: 14515127162
288 Pages

There are various reasons why I may "love" a book--most times it's because it has made an overall impact! But there are sometimes specific things in the book that attracts me--that I applaud. Just because! That's what happened for me with the new novel by John L. Betcher

The Missing Element: A James Becker Mystery has a married couple somewhere in their 40's who have already had a full career and are semi-retired. Yes! Beck's thoughts regarding a receptionist, for instance, who continued to interrupt him to answer the phone and help that individual frankly endeared him immediately to this reader. I guess that means that the main character Beck and I think a lot alike! Ha!

What's more, this couple is obviously still very much in love and fun to know. They allow you to enter into their close, friendly and intimate relationship without ever involving that three-lettered word beginning with "S"! Yes!

Added to that is the dialogue exchanged between them and a third character by the name of Bull and you have a trio that are magically familiar. The author acknowledges that it is a Robert B. Parker style novel. For me, that was part of the attraction. However the characters are significantly different in so many ways that readers have an opportunity to feel the deja vu, while entering the home of and meeting new friends--James Becker and his wife Elizabeth. By the way, Bull, a Dakota Indian, covers James' back when needed... and the relationship with the local police was also fun to watch!

James Becker now has a law firm in childhood home Red Wing, Minnesota, while Katherine, a former CIA operative, is enjoying her retirement devoting her time to artistic endeavors. Because of Beck's former government activities, when the Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy asks for help, especially in support of a request from his wife, Beck is pulled into a missing person case.

Readers already know that someone had taken her--and that she had known one of them very well! But that individual made one mistake, he forced her to write a note, saying that she was leaving her husband, but there was also a hidden message if anybody would study it enough to find it!
What Beck thought would be a simple search and rescue soon turned out to really be a kidnapping, only no request for money was sent...the price was much more than that!

Sure this was a great mystery and it was complex and diverse enough to keep me totally interested while both Beck and his wife must get involved in order to stop what would have been a world-wide "information" disaster. So if mysteries are your interest, The Missing Element by John L. Betcher is excellent reading.

But if you are also a fan of the late Robert B. Parker and/or fun snappy dialogue, then I move this into the must-read category for you! For myself, you might have already realized that I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with James Becker, et. al., and look forward to meeting them again in their next mystery!

Book Received Via
Bostick Communications

Direct Purchase From Author
Click Title of This Review!

G. A. Bixler

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Bigfoot Stars in War Splatter Novel by Eric S. Brown - Next Movie!???

Bigfoot, as imagined by a Canadian artist.Image via Wikipedia
Bigfoot War

By Eric S. Brown

Coscom Entertainment
ISBN: 9781926712444
62 Pages

Eric S. Brown, according to his bio, has been called "The King of the Zombies;" however, since I had never read any of his work before, I would have to think that he might also now become King of the BigFoot!

Bigfoot WarBigfoot War is not for those who cannot appreciate a great slasher or splatter book or movie. Soooo, you are now warned...

The Prologue sets the stage for the entire novel. Jeff, Scott and their father are out hunting what they think is probably a grizzly which has killed one of their cows. Soon Jeff is hiding in a closet, both his father and Scott dead.

Nobody will believe Jeff's story that a bear had not been the killer...

Fifteen years later, Jeff Taylor returns to Babble Creek, North Carolina. He is there for only one reason--to kill the monster that had murdered his family!

But it was only coincidental that Jeff had returned at this particular time. For the sheriff had already been contacted by a lady who constantly complained about UFOs in her area. This time, however, upon investigating a man was found leaning on his truck horn, the driver's door had been pulled off, the driver's head crushed--but not because of an accident!

The humans in this book really are unimportant--the Bigfoot are the main characters and when Jeff starting hunting for the Bigfoot he knew was in the woods there, and then the Sheriff and her crew started hunting what they thought had to be a bear that had murdered the man in the truck, they all came together.

And they found that the monster they finally killed was indeed a Bigfoot.

What they didn't know was that the one killed was special, perhaps a leader of the family.

The Bigfoot family, that is... And now they were all on their way to the little town of Babble Creek, killing everyone in their path. And nothing was stopping them.

It could only be called a War! Bigfoot Style!

Soooo, her I am, living in a log cabin amidst my woods, and I've started to read from the beginning Introduction from the Author. "As a child, the one monster who haunted my nightmares the most was Bigfoot. I will never forget a book I read in kindergarten about a lone man trapped inside a mountain cabin..." Yikes! Then he says, "I set out to write a book that was not only frightening and fun, but also to give fans like me a tale that finally brought an entire tribe of sasquatches into play, and showed what such a pack of creatures could do if they entered the world of man."

I wouldn't want a steady diet of slasher/splatter books. You better believe I only read Bigfoot War by Eric S. Brown during the daylight hours and as far as I'm aware, the only monsters in my woods are `possum, coons and deer! My Bigfoot must be the friendly kind! But if you want to be frightened by the possibilities, and, yes, have a little fun imaging the potential, I highly recommend Bigfoot War!

Book Received From
Cyberwizard Productions

G. A. Bixler

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review: TV Show Becomes Novels - CSI: The Killing Jar! Which is Better?

HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 03:  The cast of "CS...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Killing Jar

By Donn Cortez

Pocket Star Books
ISBN: 9781439153703
345 Pages

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Killing Jar
Sure I've been a fan of CSI for years, else I probably wouldn't have noticed that there are now books out about the series! The Killing Jar by Donn Cortez took place during the 9th season; however, I either missed it...or...
There is quite a difference in seeing the TV show versus reading a novel! The main difference is the speed of the TV programs--everything is moving so fast that you never spend too much time on anything other than following the clues to solve the murder(s). But, in the novel, you can read at your own pace, and you can take your time and see if you perhaps can follow or solve the crime yourself! More like a whodunit novel!

But mostly I enjoyed the development of characters, reading their thoughts which of course is impossible on TV, and setting the stage more in the novels. Of course, I easily pictured the characters' faces in my mind, but I got to know them more in just one book than I would have on the screen. Also, seeing the words, you realize that you probably would have missed them if quickly said. For instance, would you know what a "tinkle tweaker" was if you just heard it during a conversation?

Grissom is supposed to be attending an entomological professional conference that happened to be scheduled in his own town; however, when Nick and Riley was at their crime scene and realized how the individual had been killed, Nick knew he had to at least notify Gil! For what looked to be a suicide, using a bag over his head, was actually death--by Millipedes! And the next death resulted in Dr. Robbins being seriously bit by a spider who attacked him when he opened a body for autopsy!

Catherine and Greg were handling another bizarre death when they discovered that their victim had died with his body filled with...wax! Following the "wax" clue got them involved with those making and dealing meth and then into discussions with artists and actors who created bullets made out of wax, proving it by shooting Greg!

Of course Grissom got involved with the investigation and also found that several of his acquaintances from the convention were curious to learn about what was happening, even when everybody knew that they would have to be considered as suspects, since the deaths which occurred had to have been planned by someone with exceptional knowledge of entomology...

All of us know that in CSI, the cases are always solved through the science, but these two were more unusual than some others I've seen. I thoroughly enjoyed the movement from TV into novels. The author has the opportunity to expand far beyond what is shown on TV and, for me, that was the main enjoyment I found in the novel.

How about you, I've always considered CSI top TV entertainment. But having the novels come out after I know all of the characters and practices, I found the novel even more enjoyable reading!

Book Received
From SFReader

G. A. Bixler

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"Have we traded the American Family for the American Dream?" Review of New Novel Coming Soon!

Pressed Pennies
Yolanda KingImage via Wikipedia

Author Steven Manchester's New Book Asks:

"Have we traded the American Family for the American Dream?"

Yolanda King (See her early comments below)

With the release of his new novel, Pressed Pennies, Massachusetts Author Steven Manchester reveals several issues that have become taboo in American society today; family values, youthful innocence and enduring love.

Compared most to the work of Nicholas Sparks, Pressed Pennies is a tale of connecting love stories, proving that the world really is a small place and that the trick is to cherish it by living each of its moments to the fullest. Amid the heart-warming romances and deceitful twists and turns, Pressed Pennies tackles the trying issues associated with living in a non-traditional family. In an era of divorce and single-parenthood, it is a story about raising children and peacefully co-existing; making it work with mutual respect and consideration. The book’s underlying theme is discovered in the evolution of the 80’s child. Though life begins as wholesome and innocent, technology quickly takes over. Suddenly, two parents must leave the home and go to work. Day care, fast food and a list of coveted luxuries replace long talks in porch swings, tree forts and family suppers -- an expensive price to pay.

Early Reviews:

“Steven Manchester has a gift for expressing through his writing the complicated and transcendent beauty of the human experience with poignant clarity.” – Yolanda King (eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King) Higher Ground

"Pressed Pennies is priceless! Steven Manchester has an obvious love of words and an amazing ability to use those words to create lasting images in the reader’s mind. His detail-oriented, richly drawn characters and descriptions make this story leap off the pages." - Joyce Handzo, In the Library Reviews

"Pressed Pennies is a tale of love and second chances and affirms that love can come at any stage of life if we are just open. This is a book that is sure to warm your heart."   - Roberta Austin, The Compulsive Reader

Pressed Pennies has been released by Luna Bella Press ( and can be purchased on and in bookstores nationwide.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Great News Received; Congrats to Ruby Moon-Houldson...Again!

Star TrekImage via Wikipedia
Hello Glenda, great news!!

More Than Angels 3 is the winner for the best "Audio Book Fiction" category of the National Indie Excellence Awards for 2010.

More Than Angels: Once Upon a Dream

The Mark of Cain was Finalist for "Visionary Fiction".

The Mark of Cain

Star Trek 40th Anniversary was Finalist for "Reference".

Celebrating Trek's 40th Anniversary - A Reference

Just wanted to share!!


If you all think that I'm proud of this young woman - You're Right! Kudos for Ruby!!!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai Reminds Reviewer of Early Koontz Novels!

The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai

The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai

By Jerome Peterson

Eloquent Books
ISBN: 9781608607976
300 Pages

I don't know what I expected when I agreed to read and review The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai by Jerome Peterson. Perhaps a ghost of someone who had died? Well, She was there. Or perhaps Andrew had gotten into bad company, had opened himself up to evil in some way? If he had, it was based upon love, not bad choices!

Seriously, this book is unique and weirdly fascinating! Have I mentioned in the past I like unique?!

Andrew Sharpai is a cook; he probably could be a top chef if it wasn't for his drinking habit. And, no, in case you are wondering, he is not haunted by pink elephant hallucinations!

Andrew had just completed his shift and was just tired enough that he didn't even removed his cook's clothes, but went to a bar with food stains and all. There he first saw LaRae DuFont, a famous dancer who immediately caught his attention because of her beauty. He caught her attention, because, as she said, it was refreshing to see somebody not afraid to be out in public, looking like his working self, no matter how bad that might be. They fell deeply in love and planned to marry.

A drunken driver killed LaRae before the wedding took place.

Andrew was devastated, left town and began to drink even more. And then he met a witch. Her name was Iris. Her lovely face had been scarred in several places by her Ex.

Iris was a Wiccan witch and was actively involved in her religion. Her daughter was named Lily and Andrew was drawn to these two "flower girls" But after they became involved, Andrew was attacked by something that he could not see... As he talked to Iris, he learned that her Ex was a follower of Satan and that he had come back and wanted to get back together with Iris and Lily. Iris placed a protection spell around them, and even decided to relocate, talking Andrew into going with her. She also admitted that she had formerly been of her husband's religion and he now wanted his daughter to be the same.

Andrew was interested in the paranormal and spirituality but had never been actually involved with any religion; however, LaRae had once told him the story of when Mary Magdalene had gone to the grave of Jesus, hoping to be near him, and had found him gone. LaRae had wanted Andrew to know that "not everything is as it seems." Now, LaRae came to him in dreams to remind him of the story. But other things came to him in his dreams also. As the dreams also came to Lily and to Iris. The evil spell that had been cast on them by Devon was strong. Finally, Iris admitted that it was too strong for her to defend against!

Peterson does an excellent coverage of Wicca and Iris is a beautifully created example of her religious activities. In fact, all three main characters are those with whom you immediately feel comfortable and want them to succeed in their efforts. Lily is an enchanting child, looking for love, sometimes from the wrong person, but quick to see Andrew as a friend. While the other human characters are also wonderful, I have to say that the three animal characters, Elijah Corbeau, Philip and Esther, stole many of the scenes for me, especially Elijah Corbeau! In fact, in my opinion, you've just got to meet `em!

Needless to say, I highly recommend Jerome Peterson's The Haunting of Andrew Sharpai! If you are a Dean Koontz fan, you just might find, like I did, a basic similarity especially with his earlier books in Peterson's novel. Be prepared for anything and you'll find it here!

Book Received
From Author

G. A. Bixler

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Review: A Letter From Heaven Reviewed by Spotlighted Bettie Corbin Tucker

A Letter From Heaven

A Letter from Heaven

Steve Butler
ISBN: 978-1-4343-4715-2 (sc)
34 pages

Steve Butler, the author of A Letter from Heaven, has presented the story in a way that will appeal to children; Jamie reads a letter from his sister Alexandra who is in heaven. It is a child talking to a child about her birth, death, love, and the miracle of roses. It provides comfort and satisfies the inquisitive minds of young readers without exposing them to too much too fast. Even the subject of the ashes in the ceramic jar, a difficult subject to bring up to young children, is handled with much skill. The ashes are addressed, but the emphasis is on the important part of Alexandra—that part of her who lives in heaven with God. The author also reinforces how much the living child is loved by his parents, grandparents…and his sibling in Heaven.

In reading this book, I found myself remembering a time in my life many years ago when I suffered multiple miscarriages. For some reason I always found it difficult to talk with my son and daughter, who were born years afterward, about their siblings, now living with God. Mostly, I would remind them that these babies are very much alive in Heaven, even though they did not take a breath on earth. I wish this book had been available to me at that time. I personally feel A Letter from Heaven is a wonderful and much-needed resource for helping parents and health professionals talk with children and explain the loss of a baby sibling who was born before them. It is an issue that has been very much neglected by the book industry.

I highly recommend this book and believe that it should be in libraries across the country.

Bettie Corbin Tucker
For IP Book Reviewers

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