Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Warren Adler's Heart of Gold... I Hated It...I Loved It! An Amazing Provocative Story!

The Black Madonna
of Częstochowa
, Poland
“She wanted me to recommend a smart Jewish lawyer,” Linda said. “So I recommended you.” Linda had been going on about her trip to Poland to visit her aunt and how she had met this girl in a place called Jasna Gora, then later traveled with her on the Chopin Express to Vienna where they both caught the plane back to the States. 
“People who say that are usually Jewish or anti-Semites.” I told her. “Not all Semites are Jews,” she snapped. It was, I will admit, a very confusing distinction. 
Her name was Linda Czerwinski and she had the straight, turned-up nose, high cheekbones and the smooth, creamy skin of your average Polish girl under thirty. She was a nurse at Mount Sinai hospital where I had met her when I had to take a deposition from one of her patients. In her white uniform, especially those white stockings that clung to well-turned calves, she made my libido dance the dervish and I asked her out. 
On our first date she invited me into her apartment. “I’ve asked you here so that I may perpetuate the legend of the Polish woman.” 
“What legend is that?” I asked. She had already begun to unbelt, unbutton and unzip me. By the time an hour was over I had the legend fully committed to my memory, complete with visual images, verbal communications and footnotes. 
“We have to do everything and be better at it than most,” she told me in dead earnest. “Not like you Jewish boys whose mothers tell you how wonderful you are every time you move a muscle. Our men have to get their reassurance with this,” She patted me there. It was a unique piece of wisdom and I promised to remember it, especially if she provided me with periodic reminders, which she did with great enthusiasm. Often, because she knew how it moved me and how the usual pantyhose destroyed my reveries about what went on above the hem of that white uniform, she would wear white stockings fastened to a garter belt, a sight to make every Polish boy a patriot. Recalling the image made my heartbeat bang against my ribs and brought about other changes in my anatomy. I felt myself getting very anticipatory. When Linda slipped on the staircase at the hospital, I really put myself out to get her a good settlement. We got $35,500, which was pretty fine since the only clinical sign of injury was a black-and-blue mark on her right tush cheek, which I personally cured with gentle loving care. She hated the neck brace that I made her wear in public for four weeks, but she liked the diathermy, which she claimed made her sexy.
Since that was her normal state, it was impossible to confirm. Notwithstanding our relationship, I still took my third. Business is business. “I hope I’m not recommending a headache,” Linda mused aloud. 
“Why a headache?” There was a long pause at her end of the line. “She made some remarks that I don’t think you would take kindly. You know what I mean. About your people.” 
“So what else is new?”
“Don’t let it prejudice your willingness to help her.” 
“You know me well enough to know that I never let hate, bigotry or prejudice interfere with the normal pursuits of my practice. Besides, some of my best friends are Polack shiksas,” I snickered volubly, then lowered my voice. “Does she wear white stockings and a garter belt?” I didn’t get the reaction I expected. Just simple avoidance. My antenna sprouted into the ether. Something was awry. “I wanted to help her out. She’s staying with me at the moment.” 
“Did she have a misstep?” I asked hopefully. “Nothing like that. It’s something very big. She hasn’t told me. But she did say it involved a great deal of money.”
“And because any good Polack believes that all Jews care about is money, my name came to mind.” 
There was a belligerent edge to the remark. I often get touchy on that subject. Besides, there was something in Linda’s attitude that was sending strange signals. Maybe she had acquired another guy on the trip, someone that desperately needed her ministrations. “Maybe we should forget it, Miltie?”
“Lets not. It might ruin my people’s reputation.” She might have understood, but I wasn’t sure. I was being snarky and I think it floated over her gorgeous head. 
“Her name is Karla Smith.” 
“What happened to the tongue twister?” 
“Her father changed his name legally when he came to this country. She’s from Montana.” 
“Montana? There must be a Polish joke about that.” I was trying to get her back on the banter track, thinking that I might have misinterpreted my earlier conclusion. 
“This is not a joke Miltie,” Linda said, showing rare attitude. “With her father gone, she’s thinking about not going back home. Not until this other matter is settled.” 
“The money matter,” I prompted. “It’s all very mysterious. But I do believe her when she says it’s very big and very important. She’s that kind of person. The kind of person that would rather not say than tell a lie.” 
“Like me.” 
“Not like you Miltie. Not anything like you.” 
“There’s another ethnic slur in there somewhere,” I said. “On the one hand you tell me that she’s as right as rain and on the other you say she’s a Jew-baiting Polack.” 
“I didn’t say that. I said that she had made some remarks that indicate… well, that indicate...” 
“That she hates hebes.” 
“Nothing is black and white, Miltie. That’s not God’s design.” 
God’s design? It sounded ominous. “Where did you say you met her?” “Jasna Gora.” 
“Sounds like a rock group.” 
“It’s near Czestochowa.” 
“Gesundheit.” When she didn’t laugh, I knew that something had changed. Yet she knew she owed me some explanation and I waited to see what form it would take. Aside from her delicious sexuality, she was a deeply sensitive girl, totally without real guile...
“It’s the great spiritual center of Poland, the religious heart of the country. There is a monastery there and the famous painting of The Black Madonna, which has miraculous powers. I was there.” 
This was no tourist’s explanation. She was clearly enthralled. Apparently my sweet little Polack shiksa had found religion. 
“You can’t believe the spiritual force of it, Miltie,” she lowered her voice. “It’s changed my life. I’m not the same person, Miltie.”

Heart of Gold

By Warren Adler

I abhor slurs or stereotyping of race, religion and other common groups that are ridiculed at a minimum, or worse...This novel is being read at a time when we are seeing threats and actual acts of hatred toward our Jewish communities...and others... Reading the beginning of this book, my personal ire was high from reading headlines such as the following...
Leaping to West Coast: 29 Bomb Threats Against Jewish Targets Across U.S. in Fifth Wave
Where does the hate come from? It's one of the reasons I love reading books like this one where confrontation is made!

When Milton Gold meets a new client, Karla Smith, a Polish immigrant, he knows two things--he was surprised that he was instantly attracted to her... and second, that she hated Jews. 

So why seek out a Jewish lawyer?

I loved the character Milton Gold and his evolution through the book from a shady, shyster lawyer...to...well, I'll just say a quite different person. His sense of humor in dealing with those who tried direct or indirect references to his being Jewish, adds a splendid, cleverly played diversion of what was to come...

Karla Smith, whose name came from a legal change when her father had come to America, had learned her hatred and prejudice at the feet of her father, as he told her story after story of being take to Auschwitz, describing the camp in detail and what he was assigned to do. He also told her about the various people there in prison, including the Jewish, Polish and Germans, describing each of their roles there. 

One of the demands of Karla's father was that she attend and become an active Catholic. At the same time her father became more and more withdrawn from the world. But as he grew ill, he became worse in explaining what she was to do and where she should go after his death...She was to go back... She was to find her inheritance...

The only thing, Karla felt there was so much more about what her father was telling her. It seemed to be more a quest, than to find money for her future. But she had no idea what he had been trying to explain to her...

What she did know was that when she went back, she was to have hired a Jewish lawyer to help, and she would be looking for gold coins... suitcases full of them... Estimated value $100 Million...

Milton had just been ousted by his partner in an apartment manager scam, so he was ripe for accepting Smith as a client, even though it was hate she showed toward him and, I felt, annoyance, that she didn't know why her father had demanded she hire a Jewish lawyer...

Then Gold started the game...of giving back what he saw he'd be getting...

“Can I see you today?” Her insistence was compelling. It was then that I remembered what Linda had said. Instantly Smith’s image was embellished with a riding crop poised in pudgy fingers over a beefy palm and a swastika adorning the upper arm of a brown coat.
“I’m not sure,” I said, deliberately dangling the uncertainty just to make her as uncomfortable as her advance notices made me. 
“Maybe a quick lunch?” she asked. 
I felt the pressure of her determination. Not frantic, just intense. Her suggestion triggered a sense of mischief. 
“Why not?”
“Just tell me where. I’m a stranger to New York.” 
I cleared my throat to mask a chuckle I could barely control. “Moishe’s.” It was a Jewish delicatessen on Third and 20th. She repeated the name, giving it a totally wrong inflection. This time I laughed out loud. She ignored me. 
“What time?”
“Let’s say one.” It was after twelve. Wherever she was, she would have to hustle. I said goodbye and hung up feeling good about my little joke...
God, I loved this city, especially in the fall. Always in that season I forgave her her cranky moods and bouts of meanness, forgave her her tough old indifferent hide. She was the perennial whore with the heart of soft putty, indiscriminate as hell in the choice of those she took to her bed. Yet she took them all on with equal passion and enthusiasm. No prejudice in that big baby. Hell, you couldn’t blame her for getting fed up once in a while. Even the impending threat of bankruptcy and all the mismanagement corruption and crime in play felt like the Big Apple was simply going through a bad hangover which was sure to disappear as time went on. That’s the way Wise Willy put it. 
Moishe’s displayed a rather large Star of David on its street pane. Through it, I could see the high counter and below the display cases stocked with the savory items that were the staple of every Jewish delicatessen in the world. In the rear was the sitting part of the restaurant, a hodge-podge of mismatched tables and chairs, offering a near-perfect reflection of its customers. There were overweight Jewish merchants and manufacturers, three-piece suiters like myself from the nearby law offices and brokerages, scruffy old ladies and bent old men, secretaries advertising themselves in trendy designer clothes bought at discount, some Orientals returning the culinary compliment to their Jewish brothers and a smattering of blacks looking as comfortable as they might be at a Harlem food emporium. Hanging over this odd collection of human jetsam was the ubiquitous smell of garlic. 
A fat little man, Moishe himself, led me to a table for two adorned with a pile of sour pickles on a bed of sauerkraut in a brown plastic dish. Facing the window, I munched on a pickle and waited, watching for her through the Star’s inverted triangle. I knew it was her by the way she moved, carrying with her this air of single-minded, unstoppable purpose, like a racehorse with blinders crossing the finish line. How dare she look like that? I thought. A glob of pickle stuck in my throat and I had to cough it into my fist. Something hard inside of me was heating up. A sour backwash of anger bubbled into the back of my throat. This was no unattractive lady, and it only irritated me further to find myself assessing her objectively. She was on the delicate side, with dark curly hair clipped short and close to the head like a boy, although she wasn’t masculine in any way. In tight corduroy beige jeans and a brown turtleneck, her tight curvy figure moved with liquid grace as she came forward, growing cautious as she got closer, slowing as she approached the entrance. There she stood for a moment, nostrils flaring as she soaked in the peculiar odors, eyes squinting as she surveyed the unfamiliar conglomeration. She was, of course, equally out of place. 
A number of people turned to look at her. Maybe it was the way my face mooned up at her. Or maybe it was Linda’s description, but she picked me out quickly and came toward me. 
“Milton Gold?” she asked. 
When I nodded, she slid into the seat opposite me, smiled tentatively and met my gaze with total confidence. Close up, I could see flecks of yellow in her large brown eyes. Her nose arched gently to wide nostrils, below which her lips peaked in a cupid’s bow. A good tan covered her olive skin and made it two or three shades darker. Of course, she definitely did not look like the cliched image of the Polack Nazi Jew-baiter that I had conjured up in my mind as a result of my conversation with Linda. The surprise only fed my anger. “I hope this place meets with your approval,” I muttered. 
“Good as any,” she replied, unhitching her pocketbook from her shoulder and putting it on the table. Then she looked around again, making a more careful inspection of the surroundings. I half expected — and probably wanted — her to sniff her contempt. She didn’t. I decided it was because she felt superior to it, out of it, an uninvolved visitor. This conclusion did not do wonders for my disposition. Before we could get on with the obligatory small talk for openers, a henna-haired middle-aged waitress slapped two grease-stained menus on the black plastic table. She picked hers up, glanced at it with indifference, shrugged, and then put it down again. The waitress, typically impatient and intimidating, stood over us, pencil poised over her order book. “They make a helluva kosher corned beef sandwich,” I said, with a mischievous accent on the “kosher.” “The real thing.” I felt the urge to twist the knife. 
“I’ll have a roast beef on white with mayonnaise and a glass of milk,” she said. I wondered if this was her way of getting even. 
“You’re not serious? This is a Jewish delicatessen.” My remark obviously puzzled her. I exchanged confused glances with the waitress. 
“Sure about the white, hon?” the waitress asked. When the Smith girl nodded, she lifted her pencil and pointed to the window. “This is Kosher Bosher baby. Milk’s only for the Goyim.” She snickered. “But we can do you coffee, iced tea, all kind of soda...” “What she means is that they don’t mix meat and milk,” I interrupted. “An ancient tribal hangover from bygone days.” I looked up at the waitress. 
“She’s from Montana.” 
“That explains it,” the waitress said, “you look like iced tea.” 
“Fine,” she nodded, either ignoring or not understanding the little greenhorn by-play. I ordered a corned beef sandwich and a diet cream soda and the waitress padded away on her thick rubber soles. When she had gone, Karla Smith folded her hands on the edge of the table and we looked each other over. I felt certain that I was as much of a shock to her as she was to me. I noted that she wore a tiny silver cross high on her neck, just under the turtleneck fold. “Linda told me what you did for her,” she said slowly. 
For her, to her, or with her, I wondered. A flickering sexual impulse crossed my consciousness. “Everything, I hope.” I winked lasciviously. It made absolutely no impression. “We had…” I cleared my throat, mostly to add a little drama to my verbal missile, “… a brief involvement.” 
“She didn’t say,” she responded with no-nonsense assurance. I wasn’t certain, but since I apparently was spoiling for a fight, I thought it sounded a little like contempt. “Well we did,” I snapped. 
“It’s still none of my business,” she said calmly.
“It’s important.” I couldn’t think of why. Maybe it implied a certain level of acceptance in the world of Polack shiksas? 
“Not to me.” Here I was trying to get her riled and she was doing it to me without effort. 
“I’m seeing you only on her say-so, despite…” I paused, mostly to recover my perspective. I was only partially successful. 
A brief frown creased her forehead. Suddenly, I couldn’t get it out. “Despite what?” she pressed. 
“Never mind,” I said. I opened my palms. “Your smart Jewish lawyer.”

Soon Milton and Karla were preparing for a trip overseas, interestingly with Milton fronting the money??? By this time I had settled into accepting the prejudicial banter, believing that it was definitely required in the story being developed...But where was Adler going, I wondered...

Then it quickly became apparent that others knew--maybe it leaked when Karla had her father's documents translated, or maybe there had always been those who were watching, waiting... because, before long, Milton had been able to identify at least three different groups that were trying to get to Karla...and one had already attacked Linda, trying to find out information and she was recuperating in the hospital as they left the United States...

And the treasure hunt thrills begin! Karla had already made one trip to verify that there really was gold where she'd been told. But getting it out was the real problem. Still Karla kept her plans and thoughts about all that was happening close to her, refusing to even share with her lawyer, yet determined to have him involved.

The attacks and close encounters occurring in America were just the beginning as contact was initially made with the Polish Government to negotiate a settlement. Some were quite courteous and anxious to work with Karla, while others simply looked and acted like the thugs that they were...and the danger increased the longer they moved ahead with their efforts to get the gold...

The darkness of humankind who seek retribution, gold, or power that money brings were everywhere... and soon, Karla was hearing stories--stories about her father! Would Karla and Milton live through it all? 

What I will tell you is that Milton loved Karla enough by the time it happened, to kill a man who was torturing her trying to make her give up the location of the gold... But readers will wait to know how Karla feels about him, even though they'd begun an intimate relationship fairly early in their trip...

While Milton is an open book, Karla is an enigma, frustrating Milton on a daily basis. Still, he struggles with his feelings for her, knowing he really knows nothing about her... Then he finds out that what he knows is not the truth...

Adler keeps readers guessing, holding their breath, and turning pages quickly, with his psychological suspenseful, intriguing story that is edgy, and unpredictable. I, too, was falling deeper and deeper into the storyline, hoping against hope that there was still time to have the book end like I wanted it to! OMG! What an outstanding story that pits country against countries, criminals against other criminals, while one ignoble but loving daughter and one shrewd Jewish lawyer walks (or sometimes runs) through each escapade, determined to follow the path that is being carved for them as each new individual and group shows their determination to obtain that gold!

A powerful ending that I was totally satisfied with...and that's when I knew I really, really loved this latest book by best-selling author Warren Adler!


Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. Random Hearts (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), The Sunset Gang (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), Private Lies, Funny Boys, Madeline’s Miracles, Trans-Siberian Express and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler’s mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.warrenadler.com.

Major SOP Change at Book Readers Heaven...and If The Talk Can Spotlight Cher, So Can I!

Just out of high school and in my first job...I loved this song!

Never Saw This Before! You? Loved Tina too!

Want More - Watch The Talk at 2 PM Today for entire Hour!

Standard Operating Procedure Change!

For many years now, I've been posting one article each day. For the last week or so, I've changed that...posting as I complete each review or article... This is a major change because readers will not necessarily know when I've finished a review and posted!

On the other hand, by keeping to a schedule of one post a day, I sometimes had to hold books that I'd already read for several days...I think I've caught up now and posted reviews for all books I've read and will continue to do so...

Effect for you, the Reader of Book Readers Heaven? More reviews faster... with one requirement...

The easiest way in the future to ensure you haven't missed any postings is to enter Book Readers Heaven, the Magazine! There you will see everything posted in list form and you can scroll down to the point where you last read and start reading until you are caught up--or just select the particular article you'd like to read! 

You will note this month that there is an entire book, Culture vs. Copyright, now available under the Author's Authoright License approval... Authors you might want to read my review first...For me, the book is a potential future publishing issue and I thought you might be interested in at least scanning the topics...

Also you might have missed Kenneth Eade's latest Paladine book, Traffick Stop! Wow...what a series! It's on Human Trafficking, an issue I am very concerned about...you learn about it and read a great thriller at the same time...

Another non-fiction this month is by Gilbert Wesley Purdy, with Elitism and the Election Of Donald Trump. I believe it is an important book...it does start with the election; however, the scope of the book is far broader... I'm in the midst of putting together questions for a discussion with the author, so do check out my review before then and watch for when it is up! You can also see a first posting of part of one of his poems in his latest poetry book... 

I loved Dude...a picture book on non-verbal communication for kids... And I've got to mention Steven Manchester's latest, Ashes, about two brothers who are traveling across the country to bury the ashes of their abusive, hated father... Murder Mysteries, including 3 teen mysteries which includes foreign language lessons, poetry, music, and so much more! Catch up Now! Here's the exact location, so click over and bookmark it and hurry back!

Or...More Cher?

See Ya at 2 PM in front of the TV!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Uvi Poznansky Spotlights David and Goliath Story: Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath

Uvi Poznansky is not a new author to me, but she is one I would like to have had time to enjoy more of her books than I've had the opportunity. This book is quite different and is intended to support the story of David...and Goliath. It appears to be a complete, or, if not, an extensive collection of art through the ages as created by those who were inspired by the Biblical story of a young hero, David, who chose to fight the giant Goliath and, with God's promise, killed him.

This is a continuation of the novels by Poznansky, The David Chronicles. 

What a wonderful way to complement this trilogy! If you are familiar with the story, moving through a "gallery" of different versions of the same story creates an extraordinary event for the individual who chooses this fantastic book... Needless to say that you will see the works of all the great artists from the past... I appreciated the choice to include "detail" shots to emphasize different parts of the original work. For instance, in the Bernini sculpture below, the author chose to hone in on the arm and the slingshot, while you can see that from the angle of the sculpture, you would have to move around the statue to see the detail of that small part of the whole... Only a talented writer and artist could have created this, it seems... emphasizing the story itself, as an important part of what was important to highlight on the complementary art work... I was impress. 

I, for instance, became intrigued by the different perspectives of the story that were included in the finished works. Take, for instance, Goliath. Some artists portrayed him as a true giant, looking over the countryside, while others showed him as a man, perhaps, taller than any of his fellow soldiers, but, still not a giant... What was the message that each of the artists chose in deciding what Goliath must have looked like?

Even more importantly, David! Some portrayed him as a mere child, while others showed someone nearly a man. Was it to emphasize that David was the embodiment of God's strength inside of the boy-man? Did each artist portray David at an age and size that seemed most believable to he, himself? 

Bernini's portrayal of David as he got ready to throw his sling, is of a young strong man... While Rembrandt chose to emphasize the giant over the young boy. For me, I found Rembrandt's work more credible, simply because of the story as I learned it as a child...

But no matter what, readers will discover a unique display of creativity as you might never see anywhere else--the ability to compare the same characters of one of the great historical stories of all time, and witness how each artist chose to share the story in picture form! I found it not only a learning experience, but one that is memorable and exciting to revisit and ponder. 

Hopefully, art students will find this collection among all the books out there. For me, I'd recommend it as a must-read to them... Also Religion scholars would also find it a valuable, compiled collection that in easy format provides a wealth of comparative analysis of the artists' works as well as the perspective of the historical tale that most impressed each artist. I certainly appreciated this opportunity and highly recommend it for your consideration...



Uvi Poznansky is a bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Her romance boxed set, A Touch of Passion, is the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards.

Education and work:
Uvi earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel and practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking a major part in the large-scale project, called Home for the Soldier.

Having moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children, Uvi received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There, she guided teams in a variety of design projects and earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

She worked first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices.) All the while, she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.

Books and Genres:
Her two series won great acclaim. Still Life with Memories is a family saga series with touches of romance. It includes Apart From Love, My Own Voice, The White Piano, The Music of Us, and Dancing with Air. The David Chronicles is a historical fiction series. It includes Rise to Power, A Peek at Bathsheba, and The Edge of Revolt.

Her poetry book, Home, is in tribute to her father. Her collection of dark tales, Twisted, and her Historical Fiction book, A Favorite Son, are both new age, biblically inspired books. In addition, Uvi wrote and illustrated two children books, Jess and Wiggle and Now I Am Paper. For each one of these books, she created an animation video (find them on YouTube and on her Goodreads page.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Latest Paladine Novel Reveals Realities of Human Trafficking in Traffick Stop by Kenneth Eade

 “You may choose to look the other way 
but you can never say again that you did not know.” 
―  William Wilberforce

Porto Heli
From his little sailboat in the port he could see the horseshoe-shaped harbor of Porto Heli, a summer resort area packed with revelers and partiers, and more easily accessible to him than the party island of Mykonos.  It was about a 30-minute cruise.  His island was dark, quiet – like Robert was.  The sidewalks rolled up at 10 p.m.  Night life was practically non-existent.  
As he sat on the deck and looked out across the sea, he was drawn to the twinkling lights of Porto Heli like a fly to a porch light.  The lapping of the water against the little boats as they bobbed up and down, the sound that used to soothe him to sleep so many nights in the cabin of the bow of his boat, the Lana, now grated on his nerves like fingernails dragging against a chalkboard.  
Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore.  He started the motor of the Lana, cast off the mooring lines, and, just like that fly, headed straight for the light. It was a short ride that divided the two worlds; the one of the people by day and the other of the people by night.  The day people worked, played, laughed and ate, and then they slept, resting to start the cycle all over again.  
The night people, on the other hand, lived only for thrills, and their object was to have as much fun and pleasure as they could before the sun rose.  As he neared the harbor, he could hear the sounds of partying in the bars and began to ache with impatience – like a dog salivating for a bone.  He threw the fenders over the side, cut the motor and pulled alongside a concrete pier and a man came out, tossed him the mooring ropes and he quickly looped them over the cleats.  He locked up the boat, hopped off and handed the man a fifty euro bill. “I’ll probably be a few hours.” The man slipped the bill into his pocket and smiled a checkerboard smile of half a mouthful of stained teeth.  Robert had made his own price because it was late and the money would probably not be accounted for. “No problem.”
“Make sure nothing happens to my boat and there’ll be another fifty in it for you.” The man smiled again and nodded. Robert followed the sounds of the action like the pack of rats followed the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  His will was no longer his own; he had given it up to the beast, and it was the beast who would be calling the shots tonight.  It didn’t take long to find the best party.  He followed the pulsating beat of electronic music to Nikki Beach Resort.  As he came nearer, he could see what was a seaside patio for sun bathers by day had turned into a dance floor at night, illuminated by sparkling fountains of fire, casting flickering shadows against the dancers, most of them female. 
As Robert approached, he saw the bouncer, a big man with no neck, rustling a man out of the club.  The guy he was handling was well dressed, but he was obviously drunk, so the bouncer had the right to evict him.  But he didn’t stop after he had “bounced” the man.  He went a step further – a step too far.  He pushed him out onto the sidewalk, and the man fell.  The man struggled to get up, and, when he did, the bouncer kicked him down.  
This wasn’t Robert’s battle, so he decided to play it cool.  Unfortunately, however, the bouncer wasn’t content to end the drama with one kick.  Robert observed, quietly, while the bouncer continued to rough up the drunken man, pushing him around and slapping him down.  
Some people, of certain strength, take pleasure in pushing around others with none. The bouncer was probably a bully when he was a kid.  Now, he was a grown-up bully, and one with authority. “Hey, man, you kicked him out.  Why don’t you just let him go?” 
The bouncer looked up at Robert as if he had thrown down a gauntlet.  He had tasted blood and here was another fight.  
“You want a piece of this?”
 “No, man.  I’m just saying this guy’s had enough.” 
The big-necked man grabbed Robert by the collar and came nose to nose with him. Robert could feel his hot, bad breath against his face. “You will take your hands off me and do it now.” 
“Or what, big man?  You gonna beat me up?” The beef-neck began to laugh, tightening his grip.  Like a snake, Robert struck, pushing him back, then slamming him in the nose with a loud crack.  “Nobody touches me.” 
The man’s hand instinctively went to his nose, and then he looked at his bloody palms with anger.  He sized Robert up, hurt now only in his pride.  By that time, another bouncer had joined him.  They looked like two lion statues, the kind rich people put to mark the entrance of their driveways.  
The beast had been awakened in Robert, who stared them down with cold, shark-like eyes.  “Now let’s try this again.  I don’t want any trouble.  I’d like to have a drink, maybe meet some girls and try to get laid tonight.  
Or I can beat the living shit out of both of you.  I’ll get an equal amount of a different kind of satisfaction out of either activity.  It’s your move.”

Traffick Stop:
Paladine Political Thriller Series

By Kenneth Eade

I have great empathy for Robert Garcia, the main character of the Paladine Series... He, like others, who have been affected by PTSD have discovered that their mental stability have been permanently damaged and that, at times, the beast appears... 

Garcia called that part of him that could no longer be satisfied in retirement, fishing, the beast... Eade begins the book with what happens when this occurs... 
Sacrifice, charity, and concern for others has always been a characteristic of the human spirit.  But there is a wild, hungry, thirsty, selfish creature that lurks deep within the libido of each of us.  That id some of us ignore, others deny, and still others put a mask on it or lock it away so even they cannot release it.  But when the balance is tipped to its side, it can break any bonds that have tied it down, and we are powerless to stop it.  The result can be exhilarating, intoxicating, mind-blowing, or it can be deadly. 
Garcia had been restless for quite a while so that, one night, when the music reached him from a resort bar within close range, Robert took the bait and went looking...mainly for some company, noise, and hopefully meeting a willing woman... But...when he saw the club's bouncer's taking his fun from beating up a drunk being kicked out of the club, Garcia spoke up for the man receiving unnecessary violence... That's one of the things that has brought me to love this character... Yes, he's been mentally and emotionally damaged, but when the thirst comes he must quench, he always still has his moral code that aims it toward a deserving bad guy, of course!
Am I really seeing what this vid represents...?

By the way, he does go into the club and meets Joelle, who returns to the boat to spend the night with him... That's when Robert first met a woman who was under control as a sex slave and was guarded at all times except when she was "hired"  out for a short time period... Robert learns that night that she was soon to be sent to Syria to continue in another place, with the same restrictions... that they had control of her passport and that they threatened her with the lives of her family if she didn't follow their rules.

Robert tried to tell himself that it was not his business, that he couldn't do anything to save her, even though he pictured in his mind a plan to do just that...

And so when his old employer tracked him down through a friend who knew where he was, and Robert learned the story of why he was being asked to take another job... An American citizen was now in the hands of ISIS, serving as a sex slave...

“Then he told me an interesting story.  One of Williamson’s employees was a software engineer by the name of Rahbi Moghadam.  Rahbi had a daughter – Rasha.  When she was 19, she took a trip to Turkey to celebrate her graduation from junior college and her old man paid for it.  “What he didn’t know was that Rasha had been convinced by an ISIS recruiter to come to Syria to give humanitarian aid to civil war victims.” Robert nodded.  “My guess is that she disappeared?” 
“That’s right, malaka.  Her father spent a lot of time and money tracking her down, and the trail ended in Syria.  Rasha had been forced into a jihadi marriage to six ISIS fighters.  Her only purpose in life for an entire year was to be raped repeatedly by those jihadist assholes.”

Garcia realized he was ready... But first he checked out the new leader of that group and only then was he willing to meet to discuss what was needed...

This is another part of this series that Eade does exceptionally well... The planning, execution, and extraction plans for Garcia are brilliant in their creation... unless, of course, the author has decided to create a situation where Robert must use ingenuity and, this time, luck, to get him out of danger!

Which brings up another character that I also love. Those reading the series will remember the Russian warrior who Garcia met and vacationed with in the last book! In this book he shows up to save Garcia! Yes, we get to enjoy Garcia and Lyosha as they meet once again in Syria. When Garcia tells Lyosha why he is there...to deal with human traffickers, and hopefully free the women, which includes Russian women, before they were sold in auction... Lyosha immediately volunteers his Russian Warriors...
Eade points out two issues that I was thankful to see (1) that the organization for whom he was working also financially supported trying to ensure help for the secondary victims of terrorism, the peace-loving and innocent Muslims living in the States who were blamed for the acts of extremists... and (2) that today's warriors, no matter what country they are from, will work together to rid our lives of extremists and criminals everywhere... if only for a short time when political ploys do not stop them!

Wow, I loved this book! Let's us hope that the discussions and appeals to congress that are now happening in America, actually "take care of business" like Paladine does! Thank you, Kenneth Eade, for providing us with hope that Paladine's work will be accomplished as effectively as if Paladine were leading the fight!

This is not just another thriller...it is more...Eade's political thrillers are taking us directly into the underbelly of the world and, even in fiction, showing us what is happening, and, in my mind, scaring you enough to become involved in whatever way you can...starting with ensuring you and your children take necessary measures to protect your family members. This is reality fiction, which happens to be an excellent, look at a major money-making activity that is increasing at unimaginable rates. Read this book to enjoy the hero, Paladine...but also to become even more aware of what human trafficking is doing to this world! Kudos to Kenneth Eade for tackling this major problem! I consider this a must-read, for anybody who cares about the victims... primarily women and children... who need help!


Described by critics as "one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene," author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, "An Involuntary Spy." Eade, an award-winning, best-selling Top 100 thriller author, has been described by his peers as "one of the up-and-coming legal thriller writers of this generation." He is the 2015 winner of Best Legal Thriller from Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2016 winner of a bronze medal in the category of Fiction, Mystery and Murder from the Reader's Favorite International Book Awards. His latest novel, "Paladine" is currently a quarter-finalist in Publisher's Weekly's BookLife Prize for Fiction. Eade has authored three fiction series: The "Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series", the "Involuntary Spy Espionage Series" and the "Paladine Anti-Terrorism Series." He has written sixteen novels which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. 

"I've been writing all my life, but began publishing my work out of a passion for the environment. My wife, Valentina, is a professional photographer, who worked for two years on an environmental exhibition called, "Bee Cause I Care" which was exhibited by the Prince Albert II Foundation and is now touring cities in France to bring awareness to the importance of pollinators and the dangers facing them. I penned a few articles on the subject for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and turned my research into my first book, "Bless the Bees." That passion continued with the publication of my novel, "An Involuntary Spy," which is an action thriller that also points to the dangers of genetically engineered food. Then I began publishing the "Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series," which, in part, is based on actual experiences during my long career in law.

Kenneth Eade Shares Essay Overview of Research on Latest Paladine Novel, Traffick Stop, on Human Trafficking!

Review Coming Next...
Hi! You may have seen this symbol on my Facebook timeline recently... Here's why...

Expect to see your Facebook feed taken over by red Xs tomorrow. Members of Congress, celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, and others will change their profile photo for the End It Movement's "Shine A Light On Slavery" Day.

The day, which raises awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking, has taken place for the last five years. Two years ago, Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, introduced official legislation to address the issue with the End Modern Slavery Initiative ActHe cited a chilling statistic: "More than 27 million people, many of them women and children, suffer under forced labor and sexual servitude in over 165 countries around the world, including our own,” According to Corker, that figure is higher than at any other time in the world's history. 

Last week, the End Modern Slavery hearing was held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and included a moving testimony from Kutcher, himself an anti-trafficking activist...Read the rest...


By Happenstance, I just finished reading Kenneth Eade's latest book which will be out soon... I asked him to share about the research he'd done, including stats, as the background to his brilliant thriller.  Human Trafficking is something that sickens me, as it should everybody! Eade's book made it so real that I wanted readers to see the background before reading my review (Comng next.) Eade creates thrillers that force you to face reality...it's not pretty...but it's something all should be constantly aware of!

The crisis of human trafficking has existed long before ISIS.  The United Nations reports that, as of 2012, there were 2.4 million victims of trafficking at any given moment in time as part of a $32 billion industry in which over 80% of victims are being exploited as human slaves, and two out of three victims are women.  Each year, an estimated 800,000 women and girls are trafficked across international borders, and additional numbers are trafficked within their own countries. 

Many such victims remain unseen, as sex traffickers often operate out of a variety of private and public locations, such as massage parlors, spas and strip clubs. Although kidnapping, rape, prostitution and physical abuse is illegal in nearly every country, local governments and police forces may participate in sex trafficking rings, which are very lucrative for the organized crime elements that operate them. The demand for human trafficking makes it an easy element for financing terrorism.  ISIS needs money to finance its terrorism operations, house operatives, wage its guerrilla wars against the governments within the territories in which it operates, and provide social services to the residents of its conquered territories.  Drug and human trafficking provide lucrative financial opportunities for the finance of such operations.  

“Human trafficking serves three main purposes for terrorist organizations: generating revenue, providing fighting power and vanquishing the enemy…Trafficking and smuggling are part of the business of terrorism, and constitute one activity in the product mix of terrorist groups.  Terrorists smuggle drugs, arms and people.”  And this is not limited to ISIS.  There are documented cases of other terrorist groups, such as Boko Haram, LTTE, the PKK and the Ansar al-Islam terrorist network, engaged in such trafficking activities. As ISIS terrorizes populations in Syria and Northern Iraq, it has kidnapped many young women and children, and sold them through the use of social media in the Middle East as sex slaves and for forced labor.  They have even codified it as law, so that it is legal to buy, sell and trade sex slaves.  Since sex slaves are either Shiite or non-Muslims (non-believers), they are officially considered not human, and are kept like cattle. The Islamic State has kidnapped thousands of Yazidi women whom they have sold at auction as slaves or given to their soldiers as part of their compensation.

ISIS promises each of its soldiers a job, a house, a wife (sometimes more than one as polygamy is legal), and a family.  For Muslim men, this is very attractive, as premarital sex is not allowed and marriage can be expensive. Because of this, most men don’t get married until their thirties.

Jihadist recruiters are active in most western countries.  Jihadist recruiters for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Nusra use social media to connect with potential jihadists for financing and soldiering right here in the United States.  What is alarming is that most of the recruits are young people, many of them teenagers.  There are documented cases of teenage girls being lured through social media by the “fantasy” of providing humanitarian aid in Syria who end up as sex slaves for ISIS soldiers.  But many of the human slavery victims are also “kafir,” non-Muslim women, such as Yazidis and even westerners, who are in demand because of their fair skin and hair.

“With the influence of ISIS spreading throughout western Iraq, systematic sexual violence is increasingly used as a tool of terror, coercion and control. Multiple sources report ISIS’s demand for forced marriages, coerced child sex and various forms of sex trafficking. Furthermore, as ISIS seeks to recruit girls and women online, some political analysts warn that ISIS is creating a human trafficking pipeline streaming females from the West into Syria for forced marriage to militant groups. It is important to note that most media favors reporting on sex trafficking, kidnappings, forced marriages and sexual assaults. As these egregious violations of human dignity continue, forced child begging, organ trafficking and the continuation of migrant labor exploitation are often overlooked.” Human trafficking was a problem long before the rise of ISIS, but its exploitation by terrorist groups has grown to endemic proportions.  Local governments and law enforcement agencies must be taken to task to confront this problem instead of being a part of it. 


Coming in April...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dream State - Book One of The Sleeping Detective Series - by Charles R. Hinckley

August (Gus) Chase dreamed dreams just like we all do, sometimes enjoying dreams of somebody women who meant a lot to him... but something changed about five years ago...

The dreams started about five years ago, around the time I turned thirty. I was walking home early one Sunday morning after a previous evening while chasing a pretty girl named Sarah, playing a flirty cat and mouse game, tring to get her to come home with me. I failed in my attempt, and in the process had way too much to drink. I got sloppy drunk, maybe a bit obnoxious, and she ended the game. With time on my hands and little money for a cab, I began to walk the fifty-something blocks back to my apartment.
It was freezing. Anemic snowflakes fluttered through the air around me. After a while the snow grew heavier, stopped melting, and began a rapid accumulation. The light sputtering transformed into a white curtain and obscured visibility beyond a half block in any direction. The wind began to pick up and swirling blasts hit me in the face, numbing my cheeks and nose. I grabbed a newspaper from a nearby trash bin and held it over my head. I looked down to protect my fact from the biting wind, and watched one foot methodically plod in front of the other.
That was when I saw the blood. There was a large drop of it on my shoe, then another on my knee. Putting a finger to my nose, it returned covered in thin red liquid. I collected snow from the ground and put it on my nose. My legs felt heavy. I was no longer capable of walking properly, and dragged my feet across the sidewalk as I fought the pull of gravity. Wooziness enveloped me, but I trudged on.
After what seemed like hours, I finally made it home. I unlocked the door, staggered into the building and fell to the floor. Fighting to get back to my feet, I grabbed the stair railing and tried to pull myself up, but hadn't the strength. I slumped back down, my dead thumping onto the linoleum floor, and everything went black.
That's when I had the first of many special dreams, the specifics of which are not important now. What I didn't realize at the time is that the snippets of information I was acquiring through this Dream State would later enable me to save lives.
This life-saving dream data came to me in short black and white images, similar to a video clip or micro movie, that I eventually learned I could play back in my head and try to comprehend, but only if I could wake up immediately. If I didn't wake up right after the dream, the information slowly dissolved from memorable pictures into a mist of crumbling gray dots.
I didn't choose for this to happen to me. I didn't believe in ESP, precognition, mind melding, kinetic energy transference, time travel, or anything else you can cram into that mystical category. I was just an ordinary guy.
Pablo Carrillo, the man I'd identified as the driver of the car, didn't realize his life was in danger. Nor did he think the gringo who knocked on his door that afternoon was anyone worth mentioned to his wife, Phyllis. It wasn't until the gringo started hanging around the corner deli near his apartment that he began to take the situation serious...

Dream State:
The Sleeping Detective Series
An August Chase Novel

By Charles R. Hinckley

The Paranormal - If you can think it, it could be true... Gus Chase hadn't a clue why, when he was around 30, he suddenly began to foresee into the future in his dreams... But he dreamed of only one thing--he could see when somebody was going to die...

Gus worked in a packing job...getting things ready to move in or out for his company...a boring job, that had never really been his chosen line of work. On the other hand, even if he now had this "thing" happening to him, how could it be anything but trouble for him? The first dream had been about a man who Gus had seen killed in a car accident. He had tried to warn the man, but Gus was, naturally, seen as some kind of a nut or a con man!

For one, Gus just didn't have the touch of our famous ghost whisperer who quietly explained that the person she was talking to was being haunted... But, of course, Gus was placed in a much more urgent position--he was trying to save somebody's life! Let's just say, he really wasn't good at telling somebody to listen to him to prevent their death... After all, he can't control his visions, nor can he tell when this "death" would be happening... What do you think? Would you listen to Gus if he was telling you that you'd be gone in the near future?

Yes, there is an underlying humor to this book that cannot be denied, even when the emergency is very real! But Gus does get better... I'd say by meeting a new friend in a local bar to whom he begins to share and talk about what his daily life had become... Mill was a genius who'd developed a high-tech company, with a money-hungry wife who was now bleeding him dry in a divorce... Mill seemed to be relieved to have found a friend and little by little began to lend his business acumen to his new friend and planning became part of what was going on...Gus was willing to consider becoming a private investigator, who happened to use his sleeping precognition to help...

His second dream was harder to take as he sees a young woman running into a dark alleyway with somebody chasing her, then brutally killing her... This dream really got to him as he tried to find the girl and prevent her death, only to fail... It was her sister who found out he'd been originally involved and contacted him to see if he could help her discover what happened, since the police were getting no where...

Without realizing an evolution, readers begin to see that Gus's dreams are slowly becoming connected...and it is only through investigation and some underhanded hacking and break-ins that a criminal case begins to be revealed...

The storyline was intriguing, even with the bumbling detective who was learning on the job... And, really, I did not see that a mystery was being solved. Gus is an interesting character and should improve if the series continues. However, one character which, fortunately, was not introduced until later in the book, the cop, was, for want of a better description, overdone... While it led to a climatic ending to the story, I was disappointed that the author chose to create a bad, violent cop... His actions didn't fit the feeling that was being created around Gus, who was trying to save people... The same results could have occurred by a good cop, albeit, less violent... He didn't fit with the other characters, at least in my opinion, and left a bad taste as the book was ending...

I don't think I will recommend this, even though I'd rank it a four for overall storyline, but do check it out further by reading other reviews... The series has potential, but this debut may not be the best one to explore...


Charles R. Hinckley is an author, audiobook producer, playwright and fine artist. His short stories and articles have been published by several online magazines and News America Syndicate. His plays have been produced regionally. As a producer-voice actor, Charles has several titles available through Audible and Amazon.