October Brought New Visitors!

Good Morning! Visitors from Slovenia were welcome new visitors to Book Readers Heaven last month! So happy to continue to have individuals from different countries visit. Thanks so much for the 9805 visitors to my two blogs!

I think my new computer is responding to all my needs, but now the weather becomes a problem. With heavy rains or snow, there are times I can't get a signal...and I lose days... but at least I was able to confirm that it is weather rather than my old computer that was causing some of the problems...LOL

I'm already backlogged into next year! I have stopped accepting new requests except from a few regulars so I can try to catch up... Remember if you haven't seen your review, I appreciate being reminded and try to fit it in quickly. There really is no way to do first-come, first serve anymore. As I mentioned earlier, I've turned to selection of books by length to try to get as many books a week as possible...Sorry, no blog tours for the rest of the year...

I am now wading through leaves when going in and out. With acres of trees surrounding my cabin, there is no way to keep leaves cleared. Even the rain conspires to keep them heavy and slippery... I'm dreading a bad winter given the early cold that's already here...If you see less of me, you'll understand Please?!!

Will travel to Australia, a continuous visitor, to learn more soon! Watch your health as we move into colder weather, at least where I am! LOL Take care...always! Best, Glenda

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks to Writers, Readers of Book Readers Heaven...and One Writer in Particular...May You Think of Him Today Too!

Thanks to all of you who have visited Book Readers Heaven this year... Both writers and readers have made my life complete and emotionally full...through books and sharing... Thanks to Charles Anderson, Lee Harmon and others who have been willing to stand up to my sometimes deep questions on their books and respond honestly and openly... There have been so many who have shared their issues and goals through their wonderful books. But, I think this book was probably the one most deeply felt...in a strange, but, for me, quite reasonable response since I had experienced job burnout, humiliation and anger during my last years of employment...

When I read this man's story, I wrote my review.  If you haven't read it, please click over and do so...

Since I haven't been able to get over my anger for how I was treated by officials at the place where I worked, I reacted on behalf of this writer. Why wasn't there anger in his book?!

He wrote back to me after he read my review...

Hi Glenda,

Wow, Wow, Wow, Your review left me speechless with tears running down my cheeks. You brought back memories that vacated my brain years ago.  To answer your question of where is the hate, I have to say the “no response” it is a learned response.  I observed my father’s face each time Mr. Sampson brought him moonshine.   Dad “Smiled” and vacated the premise.  Any show of emotions would have cost him his life. When approached by Mr. Lust, he expected me to smile and respond, “How can I please you today.   Any other response could have cost me my life.   This was early in my pre-teen and teenage years before I became a Catholic. 

The only one I could fight back was other young blacks who bullied me.  I could with  them express my anger and frustration with immunity.  This was a daily practice until Sister Bird intervened.  When I dug, the three-foot ditch around the football field, it was the first time I felt punished for expressing my anger.  Sister Wisdom put the dressing on the cake when she told me that if I ever lost my two front teeth, I would never play the trumpet again.  Then my Catholic faith taught me that the act of holding on to anger, hurts and frustration was a self-inflicted wound.  It would destroy me from within.  My fight with Fred in the ninth grade was my last physical fight until I encountered Herodias in 1964. 

I became so angry with her that I ran to catch her.  I thank God that she was able to get into her apartment before I caught her.  I was so angry that I temporary lost my sanity.  Had I caught her, you would not be reading this blog.  She would be wearing a halo or fanning red-hot flames and I would probably still be in Fort Leavenworth or dead.  Remember, she was eight month pregnant. Had I caught her, she and her baby would have been seriously hurt or dead.  I was so angry that I had lost touch with reality and had to learn from eight strange women who observed the incident to tell me what occurred.   Remember, I am a school-trained infantryman trained to take the enemy out.  By the time, I had an encounter with Bathsheba; my faith had matured to the point that I put the incident in the hand of God.  Satan’s influence was so strong that is subverted justice. 

Again, at a tender age, I promised mom that I would never hurt a woman.  My sense of righteousness became my Achilles hill.  I am still angry at many things in life but I try to emulate Mother Theresa practice to turn my anger into “something beautiful for God”. 

Daily I pray St. Ignatius Loyola’s’ prayer:  “Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my understanding, and my will.  All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will.  Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me.  Give me these Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.  Amen.”

I believe that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I hope my book will begin a national conversation about race and self-determination and independence.  My life is proof that adversity can be overcome and you can achieve any dream you dare to dream.  

Recently, I got a new email from James and asked if I could share:

On Friday, 10/24/14 Jolande entered the Harrison Terrace Nursing home located at 1924 Wellesley Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46219. Her doctor told me that her memory loss is regressive and she will never recover. It has deteriorated too far. She requires a memory unit with lever 2 treatment and protection. Harrison Terrace has a fine staff to keep her comfortable and nutritionally balanced. She has gained ten pounds since she enter Options Health Facility on 10/11/14 and her skin tone has improved. Keep us in your prayer. If you are in the area, you can visit at any time.

This represents a permanent change for my life. I wrote an ending for my book that brings closure to the"Black Dad-White Dad" Chapters 13, “I Met an Angle" and 14, “Marriage Made In Heaven",. I will be revising my book and the attachment will be inserted to become the closing paragraphs for the last chapter.

I visit Jolande daily, talk, and sing to her. This is like waking up from a bad dream but I know that I am not dreaming. I never dreamed that our marriage so perfect in my eyes, would end like this but I am sure that God has another purpose of which I am not yet privileged to know. I need to be patient and wait.

James Womack
Author "Black Dad-White Dad"

James, you have opened your heart to those who've read your book...Now we open our hearts to you and Jolande... My Mom died peacefully in her sleep, but she always feared that something would happen and she would be a burden to me since she'd been living with me. We never know how to face what comes in and to our lives. More importantly there is always the hidden question of Why... We never know the answer... But I know this Jolande and you are:

Know that you have allowed us to walk in your shoes...now we can share your heart as the love of your life faces the unknown... 

I thank you for sharing your burden with me and allowing me to share with others. My Readers, stop just a minute this Thanksgiving and whisper and send your thoughts to Jolande and James and know that we've walked in their shoes and into their hearts this day...

May we all say thanks to those around us and those far away - Thanks to James from me for allowing me to bear his anger and then showing me to let it gooooo...

May your Thanksgiving and upcoming holidays be filled with their meaning...to love one another, as we are able... to walk...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Renaissance of Aspirin by Glenn Parris - First Medical Thriller Featuring Fibromyalgia! Finally!

"You know what Fibro is? It's the Devil's favorite torture. Hurts like hell, but doesn't leave a trace of evidence. Not a mark..."
--Dr. Jack Wheaton

March 12, 2010
Boston, Massachusetts
FaM DaS Study Phase II subject #328: account of protocol deviation

They made an unlikely pair that first day in the waiting room--a plump, middle-aged southern divorcee and a skinny, sixty-year-old African American hotel worker from Roxbury, Massachusetts. They huddled over a Sudoku booklet like two schoolgirls: subjects 328 and 329, respectively. Going over the details of the process and recounting their late autumn introduction into the clinical research project, they crafted their plan.
The induction chaos had settled down to an organized crowd of mostly women with something in common to talk about: pain and misery. That's when Helen and Annie had found one another and clicked right off the bat. Their attention had refocused on a distinguished figure passing them in the aisle between chairs. One of the principal investigating physicians had made her way to the front of the room. The attractive woman looked serious and bore the smooth contoured face of one who didn't laugh enough...
Dr. Thomas was young, younger than any of the other PIs, but her voice carried the same self-assured confidence. She asserted  a commanding presence. "Those candidates assigned odd numbers to my left, those with even-numbered cards to my right...
When the randomization process was over, Helen and Annie found themselves headed toward different rooms and down different paths. Helen was in the active arm while Annie was in the control arm. Neither they nor the study investigators knew who got what, as all participants were blinded to placebo versus active drug. That had been three months ago. But this time, before they split, the twosome sat side by, conspiring to beat the system.
"Now you can't tell anyone that you'd already known how the real drug would work when you get it, okay, Annie?" Helen Holcolm looked furtively from side to side as she whispered to the woman seated beside her...

Annie waved back, hopped into her solid American car, and made for the parkway to Roxbury. She merged onto the I-90 and felt a funny little flush followed by a shiver...The sensation of an army of ants crawling on her scalp began building, and the image of the I-90 melted into a swirl of colors as she drove. That was the last thing Annie saw. The traffic reporters described  the accident as one of the most horrific in years...

The Renaissance of Aspirin
By Glenn Parris

The important part for me was that once I had read the statement about Fibromalgia that started the book, I learned two things: the pain my sister has gone through for so many years is far beyond my earlier comprehension, and, there is yet no cure for Fibromalgia. Dr. Parris is the first author that has used fibro as part of a novel. A shout-out to him for doing so! May it bring about interest to medical researchers in the field so that this silent torture of so many women and men, which leaves no trace of evidence, may someday end...

Dr. Jack Wheaton, a second-year medicine resident, came into the story by virtue of his position while Dr. Thomas, as a brilliant, young research investigator was part of a drug trial study being conducted... 

The most important issue is that she has realized and created a safe, inexpensive agent as opposed to the drug now formally being tested after years of research. Now, unfortunately, we all know where this is going to go, right?

Fortunately, one official got involved and relocated Anita Thomas, complete with a new background, and she becomes part of Wheaton's team. But he's soon concerned since her expertise seems beyond what it should be for her position...

And then Helen Holcomb showed up there as a patient! Seeing Dr. Thomas, she immediately called out excitedly, explaining where and how she had met her... Once Jack got over the shock, they grew closer and worked as a team... But then, Anita learned of Annie's death...and then Helen soon dies thereafter...

Dr. Thomas had come under watch because she had become involved with a small group of students doing research. All of them innocent, but eager to complete the project they were doing and Dr. Thomas had agreed to help...

Thanks to those watching, the team members had begun to die off...in ways that looked like accidents, of course...

Readers soon know who and why this is happening, but that doesn't detract from the suspense, especially as something new keeps coming up.

Hamilton Medical Center dealt with the problem [of overcrowding] the way most hospitals in that setting did: it allowed fellows and senior residents to moonlight for an hourly fee as long as they weren't on ward duty that months. This arrangement augmented the complement of four medical teams composed of two interns and a senior resident, two of which were on short call and two on long call.
This particular night the ER resident had burned through the two teams on call, the house esident who was to take the overflow in such situations, the three moonlighters, and even the three attending physicians on call. The cycle came back around to Jack's team for an eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth admission.
Triskaidekaphobia--the irrational fear of the number thirteen. Jack never believed in it before, always thought it was silly. But July 23 changed all of that.
Helen Holcomb showed up in the ER at 2:00 am, the thirteenth admission. The admitting resident assigned her to blue team directly without first assessing her. She was seizing when she rolled into the main hall by emergency medical services.
"Sam, come on. Give us a break, will you? We've already taken twelve hits. Now this train wreck as number thirteen? Are you serious? Where's the workup? Where's the prep and assessment? Scan her, tap her, stabilize her, contact the family, hell, hold her over till morning for God's sake," Jack pleaded...
Jack decided to do it himself and assign it to Al when the sun came up. Jac talked one of the EMTs, Karen Gleason, into helping him start an IV.
Mrs. Holcomb's right arm was thrashing around. She was conscious but not responding to verbal cues. Jack selected her left arm to start the the IV...

And one of the things was that while Jack and Anita had been called to work on Helen Holcomb when she was brought back to the hospital as an emergency patient, was that Jack had been infected with her blood as a technician had been trying to help and stabbed him instead of the patient, with the needle full of the patient's blood!  After that, he had demanded that Anita tell him what had been given to the trial members of that research program she'd been involved in! Whew!

While Anita shared with Jack, I found it ironic that Jack estimated there were probably a few hundred thousand individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and was quickly corrected to two million... Then proceeding on with the medical costs, she pointed out there are four or five times as many fibromyalgia patients alone as rheumatoid arthritis, not to mention those treated for chronic fatigue and other closely related diseases... In other words,  major drugs needed by millions on a continuous basis!

The tension increases as Jack Wheaton and Anita Thomas try to respond to the deaths that have already happened and to Jack's wound filled with infected blood of some sort... But there's also a little fun and romance coming up, so that by the end we have a quite satisfactory conclusion... Especially with the Afterword, where Dr. Parris claims, at least in his opinion, that the pharmaceutical industry is working to improve the world's health and together with the medical community using the best people and other resources to eliminate even more in the future. It might not be soon enough for my dear sister, Dee, but her daughter, who also has been diagnosed with it--I pray that relief is in the near future!

At the same time, Parris assures readers that we'll see more of the same characters in the future! Great, because I really did enjoy them, especially Khandi Barr... who protects Jack from being discovered by criminals in a very intriguing manner! LOL... Enjoy!


As a board certified rheumatologist, Glenn Parris has practiced medicine in the northeast Atlanta suburbs for over 20 years. He has been writing for nearly as long. Originally from New York City, Parris migrated south to escape the cold and snow, but fell in love with the southern charms of Georgia and Carla, his wife of 22 years. He now writes cross-genre in medical mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. The Renaissance of Aspirin is his debut novel.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Frankie Y. Bailey Presents The Red Queen Dies! Loved It!

Take one mystery writer working on a police procedural story. Add lots of fairy tale characters, music and plays. Set it 5 years in the future...

And you've got a fascinating kickoff to what I believe will be a must-read series...

I think this novel might have more clues and twists than I've noticed before, or maybe just because once a variety of potential pieces of information was from fairy tales and the history of Albany, readers are never quite sure what will lead to solving the crime... The merge of the original stories of fairy tales, not those being recreated on TV, was fun and, for me, added a dimension to the investigation that was unique and timeless...

The Red Queen Dies

By Frankie Y. Bailey

McCabe pulled herself to the top of the fence and paused to look down into the alley. She jumped and landed on the other side, one foot slipping in dog shit. The man she was chasing darted a glance behind him and kept running.
In a half squat, McCabe drew her weapon and fired. Her bola wrapped around the man's legs. He sprawled forward, entangled in the cords, crashing into moldering cardboard boxes and other garbage.
McCabe ran toward him. He twisted onto his side, trying to sit up and free himself.
"Get these ropes off me, bitch!"
"Stay down," she said, training the weapon, now set to stun, on the perp's scrawny torso. "Roll over on your belly."
He looked up at her face, then at the gun. Either he was convinced she would use it or deterred by the minicam that was attached to the weapon and was recording their encounter. He sagged back to the ground and rolled over.
She stepped to the side, about to order him to raise his arm behind his back so that she could slip on the first handcuff.
"You got him!" Mike Baxter said, running up. He was sweating, cheeks flushed, eyes bright with excitement. "That was great."
"Cuff him," McCabe said, trying not to let Baxter see that she was breathing hard.
She was thirty-four to Baxter's twenty-nine, and, yes, she had outrun him. But she should be in better shape than this. Today's air-quality reading was no excuse...

Set just five years into the future, there were still a number of significant changes in this police procedure... for instance, the gun firing a bolo! What a great idea! And, if something else is needed, then a stunner is used...and, even more importantly, a minicam is recording it all. Just these three changes will have gone far in improving activities on both the part of the criminals and police--don't you think? Kudos to the author for such ideas which, if you think about it, could be implemented fairly easily...

And for creating a gutsy female cop that is both willing to take risks, but detail-oriented in finding what is needed to solve cases...

McCabe has been assigned to murders, so closely resembling each other, that they fear it is a serial killer's work. But when the third dies, an older woman, a former actress, the MO is similar but not the victims. While an FBI agent had been assigned to profile the individual, McCabe was quick to argue and win points on her own perceptions... Which leads me to my selection of a former cop on Person of Interest, one of my favorite shows! I was sooooo sorry to see Taraji Henson leave the show...just as it was getting interesting...LOL

But if you know what kind of cop Taraji was, you'll have a beginning picture of McCabe...

The first two victims were young, and, initially, had no connection to each other that they could find. And when the actress is killed, that's when the case really took off, albeit much more complicated! 
McCabe looked at the camera-eye view of the crime scene. "This vic looks a lot older than the other two. Maybe this isn't our guy's work."
Sullivan said, "That's not what I meant. Look at her face." He panned in, giving them a close-up of the dead woman's face. "Recognize her?"
McCabe leaned forward "She looks like...that can't be who I think it is."
"Unless she has a clone," Sullivan said. "I think we have a match."
Behind them, Dole said."Wanna share it with me? Who do you think she is?"
"She looks a whole lot like Vivian Jessup," McCabe said.
"In the now-deceased flesh," Sullivan said.
"Vivian who?" Dole asked.
"Jessup. She's an actress." McCabe said, "She won a Tony last year. I think it was her second or third."
"See the pendant around her neck?" Sullivan zoomed in.
Dole said, "What is that? A rabbit wearing a jacket? Standing on its hind legs?"
"The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland," McCabe said. "That was Jessup's first role as a child actress."
"She played a rabbit" Dole said.
McCabe smiled. "No, sir, sorry. She played Alice. In a novie musical. Then later, as an adult, she played the Red Queen, one of the other characters on Broadway.
"That's what they call her," Sullivan said. "The Red Queen. Not just because of that role but because of the red hair. That hair's one of her trademarks."
"It could be her." McCabe said. "She was here in July. She was interviewed about a play that she's writing, set here in Albany. She was working with one of the theatre profs at UAlbany on some kind of lab for students..."

Jessup was somewhat of a fanatic fan for Alice in Wonderland and one of the things she'd been involved with was trying to purchase an extremely rare book that she had once owned... 

But while that was something they had to followup on, Jessup had been in Albany because she was hoping to complete a play about John Wilkes Booth on stage while Abraham Lincoln was there as well... 

And then there was the location of where Jessup was found:
Sullivan rapped the screen. "The road down to this ramp was put in last spring. Compliments to Ted Thornton. He wanted a convenient boat ramp on the Albany side of the bridge. He paid, and the city approved...
McCabe nodded. "Okay. So you're the killer and you're driving around with a body in your car and you see a side road--"
"No problem about the dog park being nearby," Sullivan said. "Nobody llikely to be down there walking their dog at night. No hikers following the 'yellow brick road' through the woods and over the old bridge. And probably no cops hanging around the facilities."
"The yellow brick road," McCabe said, her head coming up.
"The bricks...When they were building the old turnpike road, the bricks they used had a yellow hue--"
"I know about that. When I was a kid, a teacher told us that albany once had its own yellow brick road and that a portion of it was still visible...If the victim is Vivian Jessup=="
"Wrong movie. She was in Alice."
"I know that. But both Alice and The Wizard of Oz were stories about little girls who..."

The potential connection to another fairy tale was natural to think of...but so was the idea of "money" which is often the cause of murder... And Ted Thornton was throwing around money in the area where Jessup was left... Thornton quickly became a "person of interest" but proved to be quite willing to help in any way, so he quickly became involved as the questions, and information, continued to pile up...

Two other clues were that flowers were left at the first two sites and all of the women were first given a shot of phenol...

Soames said, "Me personally, I've got this thing about obsessions. When a vic has one, I always wonder if it had something to do with getting him or her dead."
McCabe glanced up. "Me, too. But, in this case, we've got two other victims who have nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland or the theatre...
Baxter had his mouth open when she turned to him. "Damn," he said.
"What?" Soames said.
"We didn't look for that," McCabe said. "With the first two victis, we didn't look for whether they had performed in a middle school pageant or..."

The scope of the investigation was becoming more tedious and time consuming and soon the pressure was on... In the meantime, one particular blogger was almost completely involved with criticizing the police and McCabe in particular. And her background was sure to open up soon...

McCabe was living and breathing this case and placing a load of guilt on herself as well.  So when she turned to "Harlem Nocturne," I thought maybe she was going to pull a "Mike Hammer" thinking hat on...LOL Serious, I was totally into this new character and can't wait to meet her in future novels...

McCabe's father was a retired newsman and started to get involved when the research got back into earlier decades and soon even seeing what was happening in Albany at a given time period was a possible link to this case...

I wonder now as I write this review just how many readers truly appreciate the research involved in pulling potential storylines together. I was impressed, even if the author has the professional credential to support this, very literary murder mystery...
This was a close but not quite sure ending for me. I was about 80% sure but it was more on intuition rather than a true and factual decision.  Guess that's why I love to read 'em but, with a good writer, rarely solve them with complete confidence.  I loved this one, so do check it out!
"Who Me? I'm not in the
story, but, you know curious
cats...and, of course, this
Cheshire Cat is one,
so I'm just here to learn
about this new book!

Hardback provided for review

Frankie Y. Bailey is an associate professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University of Albany/SUNY. She is the author of mysteries as well as nonfiction titles that explore the intersections of crime, history, and popular culture. A Macavity Award winner who has been nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha Awards, Ms. Bailey is active in several writers' organizations and has served as vice president of Mystery Writers of America and as president of Sisters in Crime.