Dead Air – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
“Bomb, Bomb! Ohmigod. We’d just gotten a bomb threat. My thoughts
scurried through my head like a manic squirrel as I tried to deal with
the reality of the threat. Was it a joke? Was it serious? And if there
was really a bomb, where was it? Would there be time to evacuate the
station? Should I dial 911 or alert the switchboard first? Or the
station manager? Was there some procedure I was supposed to follow? I
looked over at Vera Mae, and now her eyes were ballooning, her mouth
open, frozen in horror like the subject of one of those Edvard Munch
paintings. I thought about my mother and my friends and the fact that I
was way too young to be blasted to kingdom come. And then an explosion
rocked WYME and suddenly I didn’t have to think anymore.’
Maggie left her Manhattan practice as a psychologist to take a spot as a
radio psychologist in Cypress Grove, Florida. Her show consists mainly
of call-ins with an occasional guest speaker. Maggie’s upcoming guest,
the famous Guru Sanjay Gingii, has become the talk of the town. Guru
Sanjay is highly respected by his followers and the anticipation of
Cypress Grove being honored with his presence has starting bring the
crazies out of the woodworks. And one of these crazies makes a call to
station with a bomb threat.
After the air has been cleared and the station employees are allowed
back inside the building, Maggie holds her interview with Sanjay. But
later when Sanjay turns up dead, the police go straight to Maggie
looking for her roommate Lark. It then becomes Maggie along with the
help of her mother Lola to clear Lark and find the real killer, of which
there are many suspects to choose from.. ex-wife, ex-girlfriends,
ex-partners, ex-friends and on and on.
Mary Kennedy has given her readers humor with a touch of murder in her
book Dead Air. As I met each character/suspect I assured myself
that I had this story “figured out.” I knew who murdered Sanjay. Then
the next character came into play and proved me wrong making me believe
that this character must be the murderer. This went on throughout the
book. Dead Air is a book that will truly hold you in suspense
until the end.
By Brian L. Porter
When your body starts to tingle, your hands feel numb, your mouth can longer verbalize what you want to say and the pain is so excruciating that you can hardly breathe, you are now and forever a victim of PURPLE DEATH! A DEATH SO HORRIFIC THAT ONLY AUTHOR BRIAN PORTER CAN RELATE THE EXPERIENCES OF THE VICTIMS AND ALLOW THE READER TO EXPERIENCE THE DEATHS FIRST HAND.
First, you need to hear the facts and understand the events of each crime and learn the reasons why the police in two towns were more than frustrated and baffled as to why these murders were committed and how the poison, or Purple Death, was administered to each victim.
Purple Death is a poison that comes from a plant. The poison is called aconite and it paralyzes its victims without impairing their mind. How horrific that the person inflicted with his poison knows what is happening to them, feels unbearable pain and goes through a painful death without being able to ring for help or cry out in pain.
Detective Inspector Sean Connor his assistant Sergeant Lucy Clay, Dr. Catherine Nickels, and a team of investigators from Richmond-on-Thames and Birmingham, have to sort through many unanswered questions, clues that lead to suspects only to find themselves back at square one and a mysterious girl named the Chocolate Woman who seems to be at the center of these murders, but no one is really sure what part she played in carrying out these horrific murders.
As Detective Inspector Connor digs deeper into the past of each of the victims he comes face to face with an unsolved murder from thirty years before and maybe a connection to what is happening in the present. The latest victims appear to have no apparent connection to each other and yet this poison has poisoned each. With the body count rising, Connor teams up with the police force in Birmingham hoping to solve the murders faster using all of the combined resources.
Purple death is derived from a plant that will render your body useless but keep your mind and brain alert and aware of what is happening to you. Author Brian L. Porter describes the victim’s journey from beginning to end in such a graphic manner that you can visualize the scene in your head and feel the agony and pain the victim is enduring each and every second until their lives are extinguished.
I am Purple Death you see
I come from a plant that will kill you not me
As I begin to work my way through your body you know
Your respiratory system will begin to slow
Your mouth and lips will tingle and your lungs will burn
Your body and mind will writhe with every turn
My reasons for choosing these victims I will not divulge to you
But, beware there are more and one might be you too.
Thirty years ago a tragic murder went unpunished and more
Those that were involved will reap the benefits of what I have in store
When the past comes to haunt those in the present only author Brian L. Porter can create a plot so devious so creative that it will keep you on edge from beginning until end.
William Prentice was a private investigator that uncovered information about one man who he suspected was cheating on his wife. His partner, Andrew Forbes told the police that it involved a case of adultery involving a woman in Braintree County. With each passing day the woman involved and the man whether rightly or wrongly accused of cheating on his wife, things got worse and Prentice was killed. His murderer caught and released and a second the same.
But, according to one man justice was not served the woman whose husband was killed became so deranged and upset that she sought the comfort of our killer in order to make things right. The killer, created a brand of justice so heinous and so horrific and enlisted the help of a woman we shall call the Chocolate Woman, to distribute his lethal dose of aconite, the poison called Purple Death, to the unsuspecting victim in a piece of chocolate or in other cases in a familiar drink.
Who is behind these gruesome murders and why you will not believe? Why is it that every time Connor and his team draw three steps closer and gain the name of a possible suspect the body count rises? Why is it that the killer always knows what is happening and never fails to get there first? Only the killer, the author and of course this reader knows and we will never divulge that information.
With a team of detectives, investigators, his assistant and several medical examiners are pressed for time and hope to close in on this deranged killer. When the one person that can help them is placed in a safe house and hopefully can help put this case to rest, will the killer know where to find the person and will Connor, Clay and his team get there in time?
Who will win the battle? The KILLER OR PURPLE DEATH! What does keep you on the edge of your seat until you turn the last page and read the last word? Let’s hope our author brings back this team of detectives for another murder.
I give this book FIVE CHOCOLATE HEARTS WITHOUT ACONITE IN THEM
FRAN LEWIS: REVIEWER AND AUTHOR OF THE BERTHA SERIES AND MEMORIES ARE PRECIOUS
Dead Game By Jennifer Chase,
Beth and Alex Frey both leave their jobs in Michigan on a sabbatical to travel around the United States for an undetermined time. They try to pretend that they left their jobs for the fun of adventure but the underlying reason was that Beth had been stalked by a mad man and Alex wanted to get her away from the threat.
Leaving their jobs and family behind does not eliminate their problems or fears. The stalker seems to be following them on their travels. How does he know where they are? Why does he think he has to pursue his harassment of Beth now that she is no longer involved with his case?
Each time the couple thinks the past is behind them and they get involved in their travels, something happens to shake their peace of mind.
As if they didn’t have enough to worry about, their best friends, Joyce and Kevin, seem to be bringing their own problems into the Frey’s life. There is also an underlying secret that Alex and Joyce share that could rock the foundation of his and Beth’s relationship.
The threats start escalating and where there were just innuendoes before, now the threats are getting physical and deadly. Putting the pieces together it finally dawns on Alex that the stalker is not who they were so sure it was. By the time he figures this out he knows that Beth is alone in a remote place with the stalker who he now knows intends to be a killer. Can he get to her in time?
About the Author
Bobbie Altschul has published short stories in the past but Gypsy Escape is her first published novel. She has traveled extensively in order to research the locations in the novel. As well as all of the travel to give her book credibility she was also involved with the Michigan Circuit Courts for over fifteen years and was herself harassed by a mad man as was Beth in Gypsy Escape.
After experiencing the 2004 Hurricanes in Florida, Bobbie and her husband, Hank, have been living and traveling in their motor home with their animals: a dog, a cat and a parrot.
Bobbie is presently preparing a second novel, Delusional, for publication as well as being in the midst of writing the second novel in the Gypsy series.
Bobbie has dedicated this novel to her beloved Jacques Cousteau, the inspiration for the Hootmaan character. We love you and miss you.
Gypsy queen: Adventure everywhere for traveling
By Peg McNichol
Holland Sentinel contributor
Posted Aug 18, 2009 @ 08:58 PM
Bobbie Altschul sees stories everywhere
she looks. No surprise, given the adventures she’s had
over the last decade traveling to 41 states in a recreational
But Altschul, 60, did more than have experiences. She kept
journals and sent lively notes to friends. Some of those
notes went into Altschul’s first book, “Gypsy Escape.” The
new novelist is hoping to convince area book shops to host
events where she can read, sign, and most importantly, sell
her first book.
“Gypsy” tells the story of a couple, Beth and Alex Frey, who
embark on their own RV adventure — but they are running
away from trouble: Beth’s dangerous stalker. Altschul
thought of the story 10 years ago. She worked
intermittently to craft the tale, struggling over dialogue.
“They can’t talk like me,” she said. But the Freys visited
many of the RV campgrounds the Altschuls did.
A voracious reader (at 14, she devoured “Gone with the
Wind”), Altschul tried her hand at writing decades ago,
when she wasn’t busy raising her three daughters.
“In high school, whenever there was a contest, I entered,”
she said, smiling and shaking her head.
In 1986, the Christian teen magazine “Alive!” published her
first short story. In 2001, she had a second short story
published in “True Love” magazine.
Her then-husband wasn’t impressed. The couple divorced.
She married second husband Hank Altschul nearly 20
years ago. He’s a former truck driver, and beams when he talks about his wife’s foray into the publishing world.
“She’s always on the computer,” said Hank Altschul, grinning. “I wake up and hear the ticking of her computer keys.”
She kept the novel under wraps at first, but let him read the final draft. He encouraged her to find a publisher, so
Bobbie mailed the manuscript out, again and again. Sometimes the rejection arrived within weeks; others took as
much as six months.
“Hank got more upset about it than I did,” Bobbie Altschul said. “He’s the one who said I should publish it myself.”
They paid “around $1,000,” Bobbie said, to AuthorHouse, an online publishing company. That basic package did not
include editing or marketing.
“All the typos are mine,” Bobbie said, laughing.
She has worked hard promoting “Gypsy Escape,” its sequel, and “Delusional,” which Bobbie Altschul wrote while
working on “Gypsy.”
The Altschuls understand business and printing. They co-owned Litho-Tech Printing in Holland, but sold it 10 years
ago. They’d planned on boating through the river systems to the Atlantic ocean, then to the inlet separating Port
Charlotte and Punta Gorda in Florida. They planned to live on the boat for about two years, buy a business and
eventually buy a home. Some plans didn’t work out.
The boat sold just days after they put it on the market. The Altschuls quickly bought a home and a shop specializing
in interior design and silk flowers.
In 2004, just after they’d expanded the shop inventory, along came three major storms: Hurricane Charley, which
destroyed their shop; then Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne.
The Altschuls bought a used Winnebago, sold their house and moved what furniture they wanted to keep to Bobbie’s
parents’ Florida home. In 2005, the couple hit the road with a talking Quaker parrot named Chickadee Charlie for
company and a red 2004 Saturn in tow. Along the way, they rescued a small dog, named Scuba; domesticated a feral
cat, which may be part bobcat, named Snorkel. The Altschuls visited 54 national monuments in 41 states. Bobbie
wrote her observations about each one.
“Every campground has its own personality. You meet a lot of interesting people at an RV campground,” she said. “I
wish we could have done this with the kids, when they were little.”
She jotted down some memories of her 15 years as a deputy Friend of the Court in three West Michigan counties,
Branch, Ottawa and Allegan. She saw the best and worst in human behavior while helping sort out divorce and
custody issues. From time to time, she’ll get a phone call or note from someone who wants to thank her. One
unhappy client, however, expressed his displeasure by stalking and threatening her. He landed in jail. Altschul said
some of her court experiences helped add authentic drama to “Gypsy” but the story is not based on any specific
people or situations.
“The character in the book is not that person. No. Some of the minor things have happened,” she said. “Obviously it’s
But every spot the Freys stop is a place the Altschuls visited.
For the next two or three weeks, the Altschuls will be camping in West Michigan, hoping to sell a few more books —
the Winnebago sports a poster-sized version of the “Gypsy” book cover. When they return to the road, taking turns at
the wheel, they’ll head west. Maybe Utah. Maybe Oklahoma. Bonnie Altschul can’t wait to write about wherever she
goes, weaving each location into her characters’ adventures.
“Gypsy Escape” is available in electronic, paperback and hardcover versions from Authorhouse, Amazon, Barnes and
Noble and other booksellers, or can be purchased directly from the Altschuls by e-mailing email@example.com or
by calling (941) 286-1203. Prices range from $3.95 to $13.70.
An excerpt from “Gypsy Escape” in which
Beth and her dog, Hootmaan, confront a stranger
The rustling in the trees sounded closer with each passing minute. Sweat broke out on
Beth’s brow as she rounded a bend that she thought was not too far from the
campground but was closer to the tree line. Her heart skipped several beats when from
around a huge tree a shadow emerged and a large deer leaped in front of her and
plunged into the river and began to swim across. Beth had to laugh out loud as she put
her hands on her knees and tried to catch her breath.
She had calmed herself, slipped (her gun) back into her waistband and her heart rate
was back to normal when she felt a huge rough hand on her shoulder. Hootmaan let
out a yelp as she spun around to be face to face with the largest man she had ever
seen. He was taller than Alex so he was over six feet tall. She looked into the
menacing grey eyes and the thick beard and seemed to be frozen in place. She had
forgotten for a moment that she had the gun behind her back and she spun around
and away from the hand that rested on her shoulder, her hand searching for the
Almost tripping on Hootmaan’s leash she brought the gun up and pointed it at the
man. “Back off,” she yelled.
‘Victor stepped into the elevator shaft and looked up. “This should make a good shot,” he said motioning to the video tech. The elevator light gleamed on his distinguished sweep of dark hair touched with gray. The cameraman, standing just outside the shaft for a better angle, pointed his camcorder up. Ellen moved closer and craned her neck.’
‘The Emperor Augustus hurtled down, crashing against the side of the shaft as he went. Victor, Susan, and Ellen vanished in the maelstrom of smashed plaster. There was a bone-jarring thud… then an awful silence.’
‘Victor’s crumpled upper body was partially hidden under the wreck of the cable car and chunks of plaster. One dead museum director.’
Lisa Donahue is the Senior Curator at Wigglesworth Hall. The museum is in the process of being moved to a new facility and with the death of Museum Director Victor Fitzgerald she now finds herself in complete charge of the move. But, what Lisa and police Sergeant Bruce McEwan want to know, ‘was the breaking of the cable used to lower the statue of Augustus through the elevator shaft an accident or murder?’
Lisa’s problems with the move are increased when a former boss Valerie Albrecht is hired to replace Victor. Valerie is a vicious woman who steps on anyone and everyone to make herself look good. She enjoys inflicting fear in her employees and is known by those who have dealt with her in the past, to make last minute changes to exhibits knowing it will be almost impossible to accomplished. And she is happiest when she can belittle those who failed her orders, especially if there is an audience present to hear her raving.
But Valerie isn’t the end of Lisa’s problems. Artifacts are starting to disappear and Lisa believes they are being taken by someone in-house. But who and how are they getting them out of the museum?
I’ve enjoyed following Lisa as she solves the mystery of Victor’s death and as she discovers the identity of the museum thief. The Fall of Augustus turned out to be a real page turner that I very much enjoyed.
And oh yeah, did I mention that Lisa is also faced with determining who has been taking bodies and attempting to turn them into mummies?
To Hell in a Handbasket – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
What will a wife do to protect her husband? In A Real Basket Case Claire sets out to prove that she didn’t sleep with her physical trainer and her husband didn’t kill him when he found him straddling her in bed. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to prove her and his innocence.
What will a mother do to protect her only daughter? In To Hell in a Handbasket Claire again refuses to let anything nor anyone stand in her way to prevent her daughter Judy from being , or worse… murdered.
Claire, Rodger and Judy Hanover are on a much needed ski vacation in Breckenridge, CO. Judy’s boyfriend, Nick Contino, his mother, father and sister Stephanie have joined them. What was supposed to be a relaxing couple of weeks went sour quickly when Stephanie has a skiing accident that takes her life. Was it really an accident? Claire believes not. And to prove her theory she tracks down the only person that actually saw what really happened. The information given to her by this young man not only puts herself into danger, it also makes Judy the killer’s next target.
I stayed on the edge of my seat as I followed Claire and Detective Owen Silverstone as they uncover the mystery of Stephanie’s death. As they uncover what really goes on behind closed doors in the Contino’s study. As they fit the puzzle pieces together after finding that the Russian mob is heavily involved with everything that has taken place, which includes a plan to kidnap Judy.
I loved Beth Groundwater’s style of writing when I read A Real Basket Case. After reading To Hell in a Handbasket I can have to say that “what I thought couldn’t get better did.” For a real mystery teaser, I recommend both books, in the order they were written… A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket.
Dispel The Mist – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘Her next dream was a nightmare. Tempe knew she was on the reservation, but it was different looking as familiar places often are in dreams. The buildings all seemed dilapidated and badly in need of repair through she couldn’t see them clearly because of a swirling grayish-yellow mist surrounded everything. Jagged black mountain peaks poked through the clouds. Though she was alone a feeling of menace was so prevalent, she could almost smell it.
Without warning, a large man who resembled Cruz Murphy stepped out of the fog. He held up a hand, palm out. “Stop. Danger ahead.”‘
Lilia Quintera is a Tulare County Supervisor who won her election due to her being a descendant of both Mexican and Native American. She was a big help in bringing a casino to the reservation, allowing jobs and a better life for those living on the reservation as well as the city. But when she is put into a position to support the proposal of a new hotel with a golf course and all the amenities that go with it, she refuses to conform to their plans without more research on it’s effect on the community. So when Lilia Quintera dies from what seems to be natural causes, Tempe Crabtree is brought in to help gather clues and evidence pending the autopsy.
Who would want Lilia dead? Her husband Wade, who is several years younger as well as a ladies man and may gain from her death through inheritance is a suspect. Her sister Connie, who’s daughter Suzy at the advice of Lilia, will be moving to a residential facility called Shadow Hills, Shadow Hills will house young ladies who are mentally challenged. Plus, feelings of jealousy for all of the decisions as to the welfare of Suzy might make Connie want to see Lilia dead, making her a suspect. There is Duane Whitney who lives in the neighborhood where Shadow Hill will open. He feels it will bring down the value of his property, so with Lilia publicly supporting the facility may make him want her dead, making him another suspect. And then there are the Native Americans who feel that Lilia should support the building of the Hotel, feeling it will bring more opportunities for the reservation. Many of them can be considered suspects.
Follow Tempe as she sorts through the facts and gossip, as she encounters the hostility of those on her on her list of suspects, as she sorts through the clues hidden in her own dreams and as she tries to understand the role that Hairy Man plays into it all . Is he real or just a fable?
I’ve enjoyed this book so much, with it’s mystery as well as history, that I find myself wanting to learn even more about the myths and fables of the American Indians.
Winds of Gold by Jessa Lee Scott (pseudonym) synopsis: Kyndra Bailey inherits Faircliffe Plantation and is caught in an intricate web of secrets and deception when her brother disappears and her uncle spends her inheritance. With the loss of Faircliffe looming, Kyndra is forced to ask for help from handsome and mysterious Tyler Andrews. From antebellum Richmond to the Santa Fe Trail, Kyndra and Tyler are entangled in danger, adventure, and passion as they search for Kyndra’s brother and a fortune in gold, silver, and jewels. Knowing that Tyler must return to Texas and Kyndra will return to her beloved Faircliffe, their love seems doomed from the start. Yet as the clues draw them ever deeper into the mystery of Beale’s Treasure, their passion cannot be denied. The treasure may be lost forever but will Kyndra and Tyler be lost to each other forever or is their love strong enough to keep them together? According to legend, Thomas Jefferson Beale and twenty-nine Virginians left Lynchburg, VA, in 1817 to hunt on the Western plains. They found gold and silver north of Santa Fe, and two loads were taken back to Virginia to be buried in Bedford County. Each shipment was to be hidden until all of the treasure was transported and could be divided among the men in the party. During his second trip to Lynchburg in 1822, Beale left a letter and three coded messages with Robert Morris, an innkeeper in Lynchburg, with instructions that Morris should read the papers and act accordingly if Beale didn’t return within ten years. When Beale failed to reappear, Morris and others subsequently attempted to break the codes. One message has been deciphered and it lists the contents of the buried treasure, which would be worth millions of dollars in today’s market. The second and third messages supposedly give the names of those in Beale’s party, and the precise location of the treasure in Bedford County, Virginia. These unbroken messages have stumped both experts and amateurs; even the most sophisticated computers have failed to produce the key. Much has been written about Beale’s Treasure. For more than a hundred years people from far and wide have descended upon Bedford County to search for a lost fortune of gold, silver and jewels. Believers can find ample evidence to support the story while skeptics can find discrepancies that convince them it is a hoax. There is a national organization of people who are working on those two coded messages.
Self Defense for Survival: The Road to Empowerment by Leslie Bowman Synopsis Women have all sorts of excuses for not learning to defend themselves. Among them are not having enough time, not being in good shape physically, having various medical conditions, not wanting to learn martial arts, and the worst of all-IT CAN’T HAPPEN TO ME. This book includes statistics that show how easily violence can and does happen and it also teaches awareness in order to prevent violence. Sometimes people become victims of violent acts no matter how careful or aware of potential danger they may be. In cases like this, self-defense survival strategies can save a life. The prevention strategies and self-defense survival techniques in this book are suitable for women and children of all ages. With education and awareness, you can increase your self-confidence and learn to prevent and avoid potential violence attacks.
Golden Conspiracy – Robert James Glider, Author
Golden Conspiracy – A Jacsen Kidd Mystery – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘After hearing our account of the gruesome events, the seamen aboard the Santa Ynez were convinced, along with their captain, that the devil’s minions had possessed the Solitario. Their captain decided the Solitario had to be destroyed at once, before the demons could escape to the Santa Ynez. We objected since the hold was filled with gold bound for Queen Isabella. But fear was on the face of every man – fear that this malady would transport them to hell if they dared touch the gold. They were convinced that the gold carried the evil. We could object no more, for fear of our own lives. So the captain ordered the crew to burn the Solitario. They kindled wood and pitch torches and threw them onto the Solitario, where the sails and rigging caught fire immediately. We watched as the Solitario burned quickly. We shall never forget the last screams of the damned. It was as if the demon’s own hand reached upward from the depths and grasped the flaming ship to thrust it into hell.’
The cargo of gold, mentioned above, had an estimated value of thirty million dollars in 1502 with it’s value being well over a billion today. Jac Kidd, who is a distant off-spring of the famous Captain Kidd, was determined to find the gold and learn what really happened during it fatal transport to Queen Isabella. So, when a gold cross dating back to the 1500′s is found on a beach in Hawaii, he and his best friend/partner Pericles Schmoond strike out to solve the puzzle of the missing gold.
In Golden Conspiracy, Glider takes you from Hawaii, the Caribbeans and on into South America as they follow the clues. But they aren’t alone in their quest. As they will soon find out, ex-KGB Garth Moska, who Kidd thought was killed when a ship he and Moska were on blew up off the coast of England, is right behind them.
When I first started reading Golden Conspiracy I had my doubts as to whether I would like it or not. But the more I read, the harder it was for me to put down. The turn of each page increased my desire to read the next. This was truly a very enjoyable book.