Passport to Nowhere – Samuel Blessing, Author

October 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm (Uncategorized)



Passport to Nowhere – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

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.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

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The Exile Element – John L. Betcher, Author

October 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm (Uncategorized)



The Exiled Element – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds

Inside a classified underground laboratory twenty-five miles northeast of Cairo, three white-coated Egyptian scientists labored over a small pile of aluminum casting on the table before them. They were building a model airplane. But it wasn’t just any airplane…it was Aurora. They had manufactured the parts in 1/30th scale with the highest possible precision based on digitized plans provided to the engineers by the United States of America. Well…the plans were definitely of U.S. origin, but perhaps the word ‘provided’ wasn’t entirely accurate. An operative of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GIS) – Egypt’s version of the CIA – had procured the plans from the Americans. A certain U. S. Senator with an immense assortment of scandalous baggage had facilitated the delivery. After acquiring the Top Secret information, GIS had sought out these three scientists – considered Egypt’s finest minds in aeronautical engineering. What was their opinion? Could they turn these technical drawings and specifications into a tangible product – into the fastest air-breathing plane on the planet?

Beth Becker is retired from the CIA but still works part-time doing CIA decryption work from her home in Red Wing, Minnesota. When she is summoned to their McLean, Virginia headquarters she is assuming it’s another decryption project. That turns out to be not quite the case. She will soon be on her way to the U. S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt to make contact with a woman she knew from past years while serving at the embassy. Apparently the woman known as Rasha is now in a computer programming position with her own government and has run across information regarding an assassination that will be taking place in the U.S., target unknown.

Beth’s husband ‘Beck’ has been asked by the Red Wing Deputy Sheriff Gunner to help out in a security job protecting an unknown Senator that will be coming into town. Seems that there have been other attempts on the Senator in the past so security has been beefed up and Gunner would like Beck’s ex military help. The security goes well in the beginning but becomes a failed assignment when the Senator is assassinated while leaving the Red Wing Hotel where he had just given a speech. To find his killer, Beck engages the help of his long time friend Mr. Red Feather, AKA Bull.

Unknown to Beth and Beck, their assignments are about to collide and become one. The key to their jobs are non-other than the U.S.’s Top Secret plane Aurora. And when Beth comes up missing, Beck sees the Embassy as doing very little to find her, making it his and Bull’s job to take on the task themselves.

I can’t get enough of the “Beck” Suspense/Thriller Series! The Exiled Element is the 4th in the series and I’ve read them all. They just keep getting better and better with the stories of espionage, the CIA and a couple, along with their friends, who refuse to let the U.S. down. John L. Betcher has truly become one of my favorite authors.

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

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