One Rainy Summer – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
Quietly, I dragged a chair over the soft beige carpet, took my seat, and pulled aside the curtain. Granny stood at the bottom of the ladder with a man a full head taller, and the two of them headed for the woods on the side of the house. He held her hand, pulled her along after him, and focused a flashlight on the wooded trail that led to the canal. Granny, don’t you know you’re too old to be sneaking out windows and climbing ladders? What in the world’s going on? Granny was a grown woman. Why was she sneaking around with this mystery man? What was going on? Why was my honest, respectful, Bible-reading granny slipping out her bedroom window in the middle of the night like some teenager breaking curfew? I was determined to find out, so I jumped back into my bed and grabbed the heavy volume of Walden. No time to waste. Something was going on, and I knew this book and Granny’s journals held the answer. I made up my mind that this was one puzzle I’d stick with and solve.
After her father’s death, Hope and her mother went to live with her Granny in the beautiful Sunshine State of Florida. She loved it. Her best friend Matthew lived next door and the two of them spent hours in the woods, swamp and along the canals and lake. So when she spotted Granny sneaking out one night she knew it would be her job, with Matthew’s help, to find out the secrets that Granny had been keeping. Her first clue was found inside her Granny’s volume of Walden where she had hidden a picture of herself and a handsome man from earlier years and written notations within the margins of the pages. Her biggest clue came when she and Matthew were out searching for the man Granny had slipped out with. After finding him she discovered him to be the same man in the picture hidden in the book. So, who is he and why must they slip around to see each other. Who are they hiding from?
Hope ends up opening up more doors than she ever expected when she learns the true identity of Granny’s special friend Sandy. She also finds that the person Granny is apparently hiding Sandy from is Hope’s own mother. Now she has to find out why.
One Rainy Summer is a book of true love and God’s way of making everything turn out just the way it was supposed to. If you don’t believe in ‘things happening for a reason’ this book just might make you believe. The trust in God that Hope, Matthew, Granny and Sandy have for bringing happiness and love to everyone is written in a beautiful way. And as the story unfolded I couldn’t help but feel the love of the characters as well as the love God bestowed on each of them. A truly beautiful book.
B. J. Robinson makes her home in the Sunshine State, Florida, where she lives with her husband and pets. She’s blessed with children and grandchildren, and Jesus is her best friend. Visit BJ Robinson at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com and check out her available books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, and Christianbooks.com.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.
Dead Man Haunt – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
Twila and I see ghosts. We talk to ghosts. We actually hunt ghosts and enjoy the heck out of our quests. We love to prowl old buildings and graveyards, day and night, study the history of them, and occasionally chat with the long-passed occupants of both the buildings and graves. Yet out of the dozens of gone-by souls we chat with, very few ever keep our attention past that one and only conversation. Patrick, however, a ghost I met recently, had intrigued us into this upcoming adventure, the adventure Jack was so adamantly opposed to. I’d met Patrick when I joined a few local ghost hunters to investigate the historic, scheduled-for-demolition Springs Hotel in the tiny West Texas town of Mineral Springs. He stepped out of the shower in the men’s dressing room, six foot of blond nakedness, dribbles of water crawling down his tanned muscles, a white towel draped around his neck. No doubt in my mind he was a ghost, yet what a gorgeous ghost. Patrick winked at me – he could see me every bit as well as I could him. Then he disappointed me greatly when he faded back into his own dimension. I didn’t even get a chance to see if he’d show up in a photograph, because I was too rapt to remember the digital camera hanging around my neck.
Alice is a writer by occupation and resides in a lakeside cabin in Six Gun, Texas along with several cats and a dog and a mixture of ghosts who would rather stay as they are than to go into the light to the other side. Her closest neighbor Granny and her aunt Twila both indulge in Alice’s taste for the spirit side of life, or should I say death. Oh yeah, I can’t leave out the 4 legged ghost hunters, Trucker the dog and Miss Molly the cat who accompany the 3 on all of their ghost hunting trips. And I almost forgot Jack, Alice’s ex-husband who is a New Orleans detective who seems to be drug into all of Alice, Twila and Granny’s tangles with the ghosts as well as the non-ghosts. Jack just happens to be a non-believer but he can see the ghosts. Go figure.
I can’t get enough of this author. In Dead Man Haunt I enjoyed a real laugh when Alice and team are accosted by a skunk and end up taking a tomato juice bath. I laughed when Patrick would appear at the most inopportune times, sporting nothing but his birthday suit, which seemed to be his preferred mode of dress, or should I say undress. I laughed when the ghost Mary Ann, who had been cut in half, appeared scaring the pants off Delroy the ‘commando.’ But laughter isn’t all T. M. Simmons puts into the Dead Man series. I stayed in total suspense until the end trying to guess who killed Mary Ann and why. I strained my mind trying to come up with the reason for Patrick, as well as several other ghosts, still being on this side and not the other where they can find peace. And then the characters started coming together making the puzzle into a picture. But the ending still ended up being nothing that I had suspected.
I seem to be reading this series backwards starting with Dead Man Hand, book #1, which was just as good as Dead Man Haunt, book #2, I can’t wait to read book #1 Dead Man Talking. I’ve also read T. M. Simmons Paranormal Suspense Winter Prey, enjoying it immensely. As I said, I can’t get enough of this author. And did I tell you that T. M. Simmons actually lives in a haunted house in East Texas which she shares with hubby, a variety of pets and of course her paranormal residents.
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‘My illicit love affair began with a jar of homemade pickles. The whole thing started the same day Uncle Faucett got arrested for indecent exposure. I’d gotten up before daylight to fix breakfast for Bob. Then like he did every day, Uncle Faucett pecked on my front door and, like I did every day, I opened it. “Damn fool chickens ain’t layin,” he muttered. “Where’s the damn fool chickens?” He leaned on two canes. His black-rimmed spectacles, like two magnifying glasses, made his gray eyes look too big for his body. “We sold them last Thursday,” I said. “Remember? Daddy took them off.” “Oh, I forgot,” he mumbled and shuffled away. I knew he would go stand on the edge of our lane and catch a ride into town with some local farmer. He had done that each morning since he had lost his license, the unfortunate results of an accident involving a cattle trailer. Every morning he asked about the chickens and every morning I told him Daddy had sold them on Thursday, because even though it had happened when I was a girl and Daddy was now long gone, I remembered clearly that my father had sold the last of our chickens on a Thursday.’
This was the day that Raspberry Cupcake McQuade and her twin sister Cookie Thompson found themselves visiting the local police station and coming face to face with Sheriff Daniel Ransom. Apparently Uncle Faucett had run across a box, took his clothes off and was walking around town wearing just the box. This also became the beginning of changes to come in the lives of Cupcake, Cookie and Sheriff Ransom.
Cupcake and Cookie both have their own problems. Cupcake is married to Bob ‘Pork Chop’ McQuade who has papered their trailer with tin foil in the attempt to keep the government and aliens from being able to penetrate their home with their spy technology. He is so paranoid that the government is abducting their own people that he has joined a militia and is storing arms to defend himself. So, when he comes up missing, was he abducted by aliens or his own government? Cookie is the total opposite of her sister Cupcake. She is pushing 500 lbs. and becomes depressed when any form of bad news comes her way. Then we have Sheriff Ranson who became sheriff after his wife was hit by a drunk driver. He wanted to do his part to prevent this from happening to anyone else. And of course there is Uncle Faucett who is approaching 94 and seems to be losing his memory as well as some of his facilities.
After reading the first page of this book I knew it was going to be good. What I didn’t know was that it was going to be more than good, it was going to be great! With names like Cupcake and Cookie, I found humor, but that wasn’t all. This book is filled with love, compassion, heartaches, and sorrow. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book that makes me feel so many emotions at the same time. And when you put all of these together you have Looking for Pork Chop McQuade in the form of a book that I didn’t want to put down.
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(…and will not but I’m going to comment because I write erotic fiction as well)
How many of my fellow authors, readers and industry professionals have seen the news that Publisher’s Weekly named EL James the Publishing Person of The Year?
Author Alison Flood explains in her article in The Guardian:
“…Publishers Weekly said that James had exerted a comparable influence. “Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways –among other things, the money it’s brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category…”
My apologies, but I’m not seeing it. That is the whole thing about turning erotic fiction into a hot category.
Now some readers may ask how I can comment on this if I have never read the e-book? Perhaps I can’t. All I know is I have no interest in reading it and wouldn’t have an opinion on it either way if it wasn’t for PW stating that this work has a great impact on the genre of erotic fiction as a whole.
Perhaps I’m missing something. My sales are decent but I’ve not seen them improve by leaps and bounds But then again that’s me. Perhaps some of my fellow erotic authors have? Feel free to comment. So far, the only comments I’ve seen are people stating how much they hate the book and it’s obvious all other erotic fiction is just as bad, or how they love the book and it’s obvious all other erotic fiction doesn’t compare.
If Fifty Shades has turned erotic fiction into a hot property, why are we not seeing more articles about other authors besides EL James? Why are we not seeing more interviews or comments about various erotic fiction authors and their works? Why are we not hearing from readers? Or for that matter mainstream publishers or movie producers?
It upsets me that I’m lumped in the same category as Ms. James. I’d like to believe my fellow authors feel the same. I am a damn excellent author. This is what I do, what I love. Pretentious? Perhaps. But what would you think if I said, “I don’t feel I’m a good enough author?” Would you still want to read my work? I do not like my work being called porn. I do not write porn. My stories have character development, plot, world-building and everything else that makes a novel. Yes the sex is there but so are the other building blocks of a good story.
I can honestly say that everything I have written has come from my own mind and imagination, with a bit of life and dreams thrown in for good measure. It is not re-constituted fan-fiction. I don’t care how many changes were made. The work is not hers. I have fan-fiction written for the manga Fake by Sanami Matoh. That is hers and I would never even dream of using that work and calling it my own.
My one wish is that Publisher’s Weekly, Random House, readers and all the others who embraced this work would realize that Fifty Shades is NOT the be all, end all of erotic fiction. There are those of us who bust our collective asses to bring the best work we can to our readers. We do this because we love what we do and we’re damn good at what we do.
A commenter asked on one of the articles, what difference does it make who is the Publishing Person of the Year? Perhaps none to the commenter but it does to me and I feel safe to say my fellow authors. A second commenter provided the perfect response that Ms. James was rewarded for profit and not for writing a good story, or any one of the reasons that Ms. Kellogg listed in her article. It makes a damn big difference to us authors.
So where are you? Publisher’s Weekly? Random House? Universal Pictures? We’re here and we’re waiting for you. No, our work isn’t lacking, no it isn’t poorly written just because we didn’t sell millions of copies. Ms. James was lucky, that’s all there was too it. You should know by now that success such as hers is the luck of the draw. That doesn’t mean the rest of us are poor authors. We are NOT!
If I think of other things I wish to say, I’ll do a part two and if my fellow writers wish to add more, feel free. Right now, I’m just here waiting and writing. I’m sure my fellow authors are waiting with me…
I’m looking for fellow authors and readers who have their own blogs and accept posts from their fellow authors and readers. I want to re-post my latest concerning Publisher’s Weekly choice. So if you have a blog and you would like to re-post feel free, or drop me a line and I’ll email you the .doc version. I want as many people as possible to see it. I believe it’s important. Just give credit where credit is due. Thanks!
Rachel Deahl~ Publisher’s Weekly, Nov 30, 2012:
Alison Flood~ The Guardian, December 3, 2012
Carolyn Kellogg~ LA Times, November 30, 2012
Christopher Young~ NY Daily News, November 30, 2012
While driving you’d pass many cow pastures, large corn fields, and farms to the left and the right of you, as you drove slowly to avoid the most worn down areas of the road. The further you progress, the more trees and beautiful wild flowers take over the landscape… Looking left you see a sliver of the lake, a big blue lake. There are campgrounds and a small bait and tackle shop situated right next to it… Continue on your slow drive down the hill and through all the curves, you pass children of the generation walking on the side of the road… The young boys are shirtless and some are white as white can be, while others have what were called “farmer’s tans.” This is where their arms and faces are tanned, but their chests and backs aren’t as they always wore t-shirts during the day… The aroma of fresh cut green grass and giant pine trees lingers in the background, while the special odor of the seaweed which gets pushed up on the shore makes me smile… This is when you see it off to the right… you can’t miss the boulders which line the front of it which proudly proclaims to everyone that “The Krons” reside here.
Philip had the kind of grandparent/grandchild relationship that every kid would love to be able to brag about. Actually his Gramps and Nana (Kron) were his mother’s grandparents making them his ‘great’ grandparents. No matter, he love spending as much time as possible at their lake house in Wisconsin. Gramps bought the lake property before he and Nana had their first child. They envisioned it as a place to bring the family throughout the generations and that’s exactly what they did. This two bedroom cottage housed parents, children and grand children for many years and the one thing it did, or should I say those in residence did, was create memories.
Over the years memories were passed on from one generation to another and by the time they reached Phil’s young ears they may have grown and may not be quite true but who was to say they were or weren’t. For instance, one of the cottage owners went by the initials of AC instead of his name. He was from Chicago and in the ‘produce’ business. When probation came he was there to help out by opening what was known as a ‘speakeasy’ with a bar and gambling in the back. It wasn’t too long afterwards that AC disappeared back to Chicago, never to return. That was around the same time Al Capone was locked away. Was AC the famous Al Copone? If not, how did a ‘produce’ man acquire alcohol, gambling equipment and some pretty mean looking guards for the ‘speakeasy?’ Then there was the story about Nana needing some type of container to carry her food to and from the pier. One of the residences, a Mr. Tupper, came up with the perfect container including a fitting top. Or how about the time one of the kids was hit by a baseball, which hurt like heck. A man from a nearby cottage brought out a ball, threw it as hard as he could and hit the kid square in the chest. Billy, expecting it to hurt was shocked when it didn’t. He picked it up and found it to be soft and light. When asked what it was called the man explained it didn’t have a name just yet. Billy suggested the name ‘Non-Expanding Recreational Foam’ ball or NERF for short.
Are these truths or fictions? Who cares. They are the stories that made a young boy’s life better. These stories, along with those telling them, helped to shape not just Phil but all of the family into what they were and are today. Reading Legends of the Lake kept me in a frame of a ‘wishing world.’ I wish I could have lived and experienced the history of some of these family members and also wish I could be one to help carry beautiful memories on into the next generation. I loved the feelings of love, peace, family, togetherness, and true life that Phil experienced while growing up. Don’t get me wrong, there were bad times too but the teachings of Gramps and Nana made those times a lot easier to live through. You have to read this one or you’re missing out on some wonderful emotional feelings.
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My parents are leaving in an hour for a visit and my little sister always sleeps late during vacations, I couldn’t wait anymore for them to leave. I looked at the spirits surrounding me and said. ‘Let’s talk’ I said, then closed my room’s door. ‘My name is Hassan what’s yours?’ They replied in turns. ‘Mine is Joseph.’ ‘Rodriquez, call me Rod’ Rod gave a wink. ‘Steven Chow.’ ‘Markus Reed, at your service.’ Mark took a bow and pointed at the female ghost to follow. ‘Nice to meet you Hassan, my name is Emma’, she smiled and waved. ‘Sorry for scaring you’ Emma said. ‘It’s ok’ I replied, then my eyes went to the one next in line. ‘Jack.’ ‘Mason.’ The last one to be introduced was a woman I had first seen behind the glass window, the one who had watched me sleeping when I was admitted. She looked different, they all looked military, and she was the only one who didn’t fit in the picture. And for some reason, she looked very familiar to me. ‘Sara.’ My eyes started to widen. ‘I am your mother dear.’
All through his life Hassan has felt there was always someone watching him. Now and then he would even see a quick movement out of the corner of his eye. It wasn’t until he came to the rescue of a woman and child being beaten by husband only to have the husband bring him near death that he realized his images were real. At least as real as ghosts can be. They had always looked after him but couldn’t communicate, until Hassan came up with an idea. Sign language. That would give he and the ghosts a way of communicating without actually speaking. But Hassan’s ghosts were not only his guardian angels, they became his teachers. Through them he was able to lead a 2nd life that would prove most valuable in years to come.
Adam, also known as Shark, was a Navy Seal that had been held prisoner for years. His capturers were of the worse type. Torture was used more as an entertainment than to acquire information they might need and since Adam’s strong hold was his hands, their first form of torture was to remove his arms leaving him with no method of self-defense. They may have destroyed his body but they never destroyed his mind, soul and determination to live. So, after 13 years of torture, Shark meets Hassan and the battle begins.
Psychs is a book that brings out the strength of mind over body in its desire to live, both through Hassan and Shark. The stories of both that lead up to their story together is one that may sound impossible but with the author’s ability to write, you can see, feel and picture each line as it happens. This is a very well written book and an extremely interesting story. I can actually see this one being made into a movie with someone like Bruce Willis being Hassan. Now I’m impatiently waiting on the next book in the series ‘The Remnant.’
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‘When I was very young the only transportation was street cars. There were o buses, elevated systems, or cars. Henry Ford was still working on his Model T. As for airplanes, I believe the Wright Brothers invented their first model in 1914. Also the only form of home entertainment was the Victrola. I remember that after my parents saved enough to buy a Victrola, every couple of weeks my brothers purchased new recordings and played them while dancing around the living room. As for radios, it was many years later when the first crystal set was invented. It wasn’t until around 1946 when my daughter Morgan was seven, and Phyllice was around two, that radios became very popular. We bought a very good radio set, encased in a lovely big mahogany cabinet, and after that we listened to many good programs. Don’t ask me why everyone clustered around that radio cabinet staring at it as thought there was something to see, but that’s what everyone did back then.’
Rose Schwartz was born November 18, 1909. She was the youngest of ten children born to her fun-loving Latvian immigrant family. She later became Rosetta after one of her sisters decided Rose just wasn’t classy enough so when she registered her for school she told them her name was Rosetta and that’s what she was known as from then on. Rosetta married All Shifrin in the 1930s and later Max Lachman. She passed on in 2006 just a few months short of her 97th birthday. In 1988 her daughter Morgan was able to convince her to write her memoirs so the rest of the world could share a laugh from the life of this beautifully, happy woman.
Rosetta lived through both WWI and WWI and gives us a few stories about the hard times created by war. She tells of the time she sold Al’s extra shoes only to find out that shoes were being rationed just a few weeks later. There were the blackouts that were mandatory in hopes that if the enemy flew over they wouldn’t be able to see Chicago in the dark. She tells us about her move to Florida and later to California where many of her brothers and sisters also ended up moving to. Her stories are all warm hearted yet cheerful. Whenever there was a problem, she looked at the bright side not the dark and always found humor in even the worse circumstances. She was truly a woman that anyone would love to know and call their friend.
At the end of Rosetta’s writings her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews all expressed their own feelings about this lovely lady. They added to the warmth by giving their memories of the woman that was never negative, always loving and always forgave whatever one might have done wrong. This is a very uplifting story about a very special woman. I personally wish I could have asked the question ‘Can We Come In and Laugh, Too?’
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Because he wielded so much clout, the teachers in Gilmore’s department loved him. Even the new people, who were at the bottom of the totem pole, looked up to him. Mac even respected him until one day in his second year when one of Mac’s football players, Miko Magala, kept wandering by Mac’s room two or three days a week during fourth period.
“Hey Miko,” Mac finally asked him one day, “Where the hell are you supposed to be?” “Ah, coach, do I have to tell you? Can’t I just hang out here and learn some extra science from you?” Mad knew the kid was not Phi Beta Kappa, but he was a hard worker on the football field and was earning a C grade from Mac in his second period biology class. Miko could also be a smart-ass but Mac nipped that in the bud the first time they met. “Miko, you must have a fourth period class. Where is it?” “Ah, I don’t want to get into trouble, coach.” “Look, if an assistant principal sees you wondering around you will get into trouble, and I don’t want to see you get kicked off the team or worse, get kicked out of school. Where are you supposed to be?” “English, with Mr. Gavore.”
Seems that the beloved Mr. Gavore had a plan that would keep his classes up on the scales and rid himself of some of the problem students at the same time. In the case of Miko, Mr. Gavore would have him check in with him every day, he would then mark him present and have him go to the library or wherever as long it wasn’t in his class making a disturbance. Mac, who hadn’t been at Knoward long enough to accept this as the truth found it too bizarre so he took this information to his fellow teacher Frank Bottoms who confirmed it to be the truth.
Knoward High School, or ‘Nowhere High School’ as most of the teachers came to calling it, was one of those schools that seemed to attract most of the problem kids as well as the problem teachers. If you couldn’t make it in other schools you were sent to ‘Nowhere’ and if you were a teacher that simply couldn’t make it in the normal schools, you too were sent to ‘Nowhere.’ The teachers were just as bad as the students and in some cases worse and two of the worse teachers just happened to be Lizbeth and Sandy. Actually Lizbeth was probably the worse because she was able to lead Sandy around to do all of her ‘evil’ work. If she found a teacher she didn’t like, heaven help them. She would find a way to get rid of them before their 2 year tenure and her best tool was having Sandy spread rumors that the teachers had no defense against. Also, Lizbeth was known for providing ‘extra-curricular activities’ that would assure her control over the students.
Mac stepped into Lizbeth’s trap but was able to pull himself out before the door sprung causing her to hate him more than anyone else. It all boiled down to the fact that she couldn’t control him. But that didn’t stop her from going after a new teacher Mac had befriended and done his best to protect. And with Lizbeth, if downright meanness didn’t work a little kindness with meanness to follow did. So these were her means to remove Quentin from ‘Nowhere’ High.
As I read Passport to Nowhere I could see the beginning of a reality show for TV. Now it would have to be on the HBO channel due to language and some of the descriptive wording but still one that would be quite interesting. The Author Samuel Blessing is a retired school teacher and I really hope that these stories are all coming from his imagination and not real life experiences. Although, with the lack of discipline within the school systems today, I can see each event unfolding just as he has described it and it scares the heck out of me as a reader, parent and grandparent. So just to be on the safe side of education, I suggest you read Passport to Nowhere and draw your own opinion as to whether this book is fact or fiction. I’m calling it ‘fiction’… I think.
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