Hey, BRH Hit New High in July!

Friends from all over the world continue to visit with a total of 9,576 Hits last month! Cool, right ?! I've had some really great books to share and hope you enjoyed learning about them. Of the 9,576 visits, 5,238 were from the U.S,, 629 from Russia, 154 from China, 518 from Germany, 667 from Ukraine, 118 from Canada, 691 from Turkey, 150 from U.K., 329 from France, 76 from Poland and 2 from Bangladesh and Ireland... I often wonder which books bring new hits...Turkey was up the most so I'll be doing "If you were me and lived in Turkey" in honor of their children soon using Carole Roman's Culture Around the World series!

Me? Got some clearances from the doctor, postponed dental cause I was to busy reading, LOL, but computer continued to be a problem...I've switched to my laptop and it takes twice as long to create my blog! I'll keep looking and hoping!

More and more books are coming in unsolicited...I don't mind but I can't guarantee I can read and review them...Better to write me at GABixlerReviews@aol.com... Because of continued number of requests, I'm sticking with giving priority for print books because of their being faster for me to review. I admit I'm being selective on e-books and will not be taking every one requested. No PDFs at all, especially until I get another desktop since I can't easily move my laptop now. I really wish I could say YES to all, but just can't fit in more than 5 books a week... I've resigned from Amazon Vine program because they've place a time limited for reviews--for books that's an extra time burden which prevents me from responding to requests directly to me... I will continue to post on Amazon, no matter what, however...

Anybody interested in my reviewing a particular book??? Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do!

I've already got some super books stacked up going into August! Prayers and kind thoughts to all those in the middle east that are caught in the political turmoil and fighting...May you find some measure of peace through this dreadful time,,,

Best wishes to all Book Readers Heaven Visitors!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Art of W. Jack Savage Comes to Us Through Imagination - A Collection of 60 of His Best Pieces!

The Art of W. Jack Savage

I don't get too many coffee-table books to review. But this artist is also an author and I've read most of his work...  So now, I get to say a little about his artistic achievements...

But... as you begin to study his artistic endeavors, you will realize that each work also tells a story. Some we may not read as well as others, but we can still appreciate all just for the joy we obtain by looking... For instance, I quickly picked out my favorite, included above. Almost immediately, it brought to mind one of my favorite hymns as well... 

My impressionist work amounts to what my mind
remembers and my level of talent can product. My
abstract creations represents probably the essential
marriage of what real talent I have and enough luck to
make more astute critics believe I actually have some:
talent and luck, that is... My drawings and the
advent of colored pens recalls in me the joy of one of
our St. Joseph Sisters saying... "put away your books
and take out your crayons."
The book contains 60 of what Jack considers his best...but he has about 200 pieces and there are about 100 pieces that had been published online and as covers to his books that do not appear in Imagination. They are full-color, many displayed one on one page...or two...

I have absolutely no skill regarding any form of art so, to acknowledge my ignorance, I have always said, "I know what I like..." LOL Sometimes not a satisfactory response even for me. Jack makes it even harder since he does impressionist, abstract, and what I would usually think of as still life, such as "Auntie's House" which undoubtedly was a memory from happy times with his family...

Jack has always seemed to me to be a humble man, so it was his wife that finally suggested that his art work was better than his writing... I don't necessarily agree with her, but I recognize that Jack's stories are not of today's contemporary style--more like Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas and Forever Odd. If you enjoyed those novels, you would enjoy reading Jack's books. I've included copies of the covers for his books, mostly to illustrate his art since he created the covers for each! 


I've added some of my favorites but not added any of the titles so that you can later use them to better study each of the pieces in the book.  Except one...the last one is titled "Swan." OK I have to admit that I smile widely each time I see this one. I've a personal collection of swan figurines and paintings and I guarantee that none of my pieces match this one in any way!*

Indeed, "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder..."


*Paintings included in review are not necessarily those in the final book published...

W.Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster, artist and educator. He is Vietnam Veteran and graduate of The University of Minnesota, Mankato and received his Master's Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. Jack has now added Imagination: The Art of W. Jack Savage to his collection of seven books: three novels, two short story collections and the autobiographical The High Sky of Winter's Shadows. To date, forty-five of Jack's short stories have been published in various online and print magazines. This includes all of them from his two short story collections, Bumping and Other Stories and The Petorik Thesis and Tales of the Global West. He has also designed the covers of his books using his original art work. Jack's art has been featured in numerous publications as well. As of this writing, one hundred and twenty of Jack's paintings and drawings have been published. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, California.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Where The Dead Walk - Paranormal Drama With Hidden Mystery by John Bowen...

Do you believe??? Have you watched any of the ghost buster type reality shows that are running now? Me, I enjoyed the movie Ghost Busters, more or less a spoof, as excellent fun, but have not watched any of the reality shows that have sprung up... Guess I take a light look at ghosts--but, hey, even Elmer Fudd believes... so you'd have to decide for yourself...

On the other hand, a book--a paranormal horror book--can be quite interesting to consider. Where the Dead Walk pulled me in...I didn't know where it was going when a female character was introduced who was a "cutter"...Yikes! There are really no clues until it all blasts you midway and the "real" investigation becomes addictive as readers try to figure out what is happening... Is it real? An attempt to revive a television program going down the tubes...Wait and see... There is surprise after surprise as the investigators go back to an early fire...of a Victorian house...

NOT Like the Fun Ghost Busters...

Where the Dead Walk is a paranormal investigation show. Recently, however, the activity is now under another producer and there has been discussion as to whether their show will make it into the second season. All they can do is proceed to create the programs until... The characters for the program are an interesting group although it doesn't seem to have any with paranormal expertise except Charles. Charles has some skills but admits that, just like everybody else on the crew, he knows the main purpose is to entertain. He has the perfect personality to be a favorite member on the show and enjoys his position. Still, there are questions as to how far a show can go and still get away with advertising that they produce the "real thing."

Kate calls forth one of the group , a short, neat looking, middle-aged man in a dark suit, "Charles? Can you sense anything here with us?"
The man nods, "I certainly can, Kate. There's a good deal of energy concentrated in this space. I'm certain at least one presence is..." He pauses, his face registering surprise, "Goodness me. Did anyone else feel the temperature drop?" There are vague mumbles of agreement. The man, Charles, looks around, as though trying to track something travelling among the cobwebbed rafters, "I feel very strongly there's some manner of unfinished business connected to..." He closes his eyes, cocks his head to one side as if hearing something the others cannot. "Ah..." he sighs decisively, "The spirit belongs to a woman, one burdened with a terrible anguish , a feeling of unforgivable betrayal. ‘How could he have?’ she thinks. ‘ How could he have-’" The man breaks off abruptly, startled by a loud crash. The camera spins around, wobbles uncertainly for a moment before pulling focus on the shattered remains of a vase on the floor. The attic erupts in a jumble of screams, swears, and frantic movement… The view lurches back up, captures everyone scrambling for the doorway...

So what if a crash on set might have been just caused by a member of the crew... It's been taped and looks pretty good as each of the ones on camera had reacted so strongly... Is this allowed or does it falsify the whole program? A debate would also go on and Kate Bennett, principal presenter has realized that there is a lot at stake for ensuring continuation of the program. What will she finally decide for this program... "Loud Crash" -- In or out?!

Sebastian watched it again, skipping past the show’s gothic opening sequence to the part where she appeared. Kate Bennett stood before an old mill, her lips moving but silent. The sound on the television had been muted. Sebastian had watched the DVD countless times since obtaining series one of 'Where the Dead Walk' and what Kate Bennett was saying wasn't important. His interest lay in what he could see. When she began to turn and gesture to the building behind her he hit pause. The image froze. The burn scar that snaked up her neck was clearly visible, and quite distinctive. Her shirt collar was open, exposing a v-shaped area of chest converging in just a hint of cleavage. The pale scar tissue crested the apex of her shoulder, kinked, and curled upwards to disappear beneath her ear. On first sight he had been almost sure, tantalizingly sure, it was identical to the one he remembered, sure enough to begin making plans, sure enough to take action...

A little background is needed on Kate at this time. She's
adopted but loved her new parents dearly. She was married and had a child... All of them are dead now, except her father, who dies during the book... Kate has some underlying feelings that loving her causes such losses. Her biological mother was killed in a fire many years ago, while she escaped with burns that scarred her neck. Did that tragedy start it all? Or was she already susceptible to hearing the voices of the dead...
Because as of the last program that had aired, Kate had been found...a man from her past was now a stalker in the present. And he was going to use her own program to pull her to him...

Sebastian Dahl had contacted the program producers for the show, Where the Dead Walk and asked to be considered for an upcoming investigation. He had built a wonderful new Victorian home, but he had not been able to stay in the house when he moved in. He had rented it several times just to ensure that it was happening to more than just him. They too had left almost immediately after moving in...

"I’ve just been on the phone to a chap named Sebastian Dahl, about a place he has on the south coast. Could be good." Henry's interest was immediately piqued. It was rare for Ray to get worked up about a location, but something about this one had clearly got his attention. It wasn’t that Ray was a curmudgeon , just that the majority of the locations they were approached with tended to fall into three predictable categories. Henry had dubbed them, historical, entrepreneurial and delusional...
 said Henry, "Actually, Ray was just about to tell me about a prospective location he's got. I get the impression it might be something special." Kate raised an eyebrow, "Really?" She drew the chair from behind her desk and sat down. She looked keen to take a break... "A bit special, hm?" she mused. Ray leant forward, very nearly smiled , "Okay. Here it is. We got a call this morning from a property developer, a ‘Sebastian 
Dahl’. Claire gave me the basics and I got back to him. This chap, Dahl, claims to have a house that’s stood empty for a decade because it’s haunted."

They decided to at least do a preliminary walk-through. Henry wasn't interested at all. Kate was. And wondered whether Henry could be jealous because Sebastian had paid quite a bit of attention to her... Kate and Henry had had a one-night fling but Henry was known to be a womanizer so Kate had kept it all light and fun. Henry, however, had begun to fall for Kate... and, yes, he didn't like this guy's attitude toward her! But she had finally won and got approval for the Dahl home...

Everything had gone well and they were ready to start. Kate, as usual, would lead off, followed by Charles... But then it happened...

Kate let out a cry, a low keening howl of pure anguish that made the hairs on the neck of every living soul in the room stand on end. It was the moan of something unimaginably lost and wounded, and it sliced through the room like a slow drawn razor, freezing everyone in place. The moan decayed to an eerie silence. 
All eyes fell upon Kate, to find her stock still, head bowed , face veiled in deep shadow. No one seemed to dare move; all were reduced to bewildered inaction . Henry recovered first and reached across the table for her hand, her name on his lips. His fingers were on the verge of making contact when she suddenly threw up her head. What he saw caused him to snatch back his hand quick sharp. The woman in Kate’s seat wasn’t Kate at all; someone else had taken her place. Or at least that was Henry’s first thought, but then he saw he was wrong. It was Kate – and yet it wasn’t. From behind Kate’s eyes stared a stranger. 

It was fun to watch what happened with the program staff... Henry was definitely ready to wrap up and leave with everybody following. Kate was amazed... this could be the first "real" paranormal activity for the program and nobody seemed to know how to handle it... But she did later admit, upon watching what had been taped, that she didn't remember anything that she was now watching...

But she was ready to go back in and continue... So was Sebastian Dahl who expressed his frustration that they had seemed not to even believe him when he'd said the house was haunted... Were they going to honor their contract or not?

Bottom line for Kate was that she believed someone was haunting the home.  Bottom line for  Sebastian Dahl--he had a great desire to have Kate help him turn the house into his long-term home... Bottom line for Henry--he was going to protect Kate whether she allowed him to or not and Sebastian Dahl was hiding something behind all that he was sharing...

And Sebastian proceeded with his plan by contacting Kate directly and asking her to meet him...

Even knowing that this is a paranormal book, there is still no way to foresee what was going to be discovered and happen as the climatic ending drew near. At one point, I even wondered if Kate was actually just coming to remembering what had happened to her when their house burned... In fact, I'm still not sure... Regardless, the investigation by Henry and those helping him to protect Kate constantly opened another door to revealing the past and how it was affecting the present. If you figure it out before the book finishes, let me know! 'Cause I sure didn't! Cool, right?!

This is definitely highly recommended if this sounds the least interesting to you. It keeps the suspense moving through and has a few curves to distract you down false paths. Even what goes on at the ending is pulled so tightly that you may not realize what's happening. This author needs to be watched... I'm wondering what he's going to bring us next time!


John Bowen lives in the UK. When not playing video-games, catching up on movies, going to the gym and enjoying time with his wife and children, he occasionally finds time to write...
'Liking' John's Facebook Author page will ensure you're first to hear news about his next book: https://www.facebook.com/JohnBowenWrites.
You can also find him at GoodReads. Why not send him a friend request there?

Monday, August 18, 2014

An Army of Noses! Dogs and Cats Unite to Solve Murder Mystery! Spunky Leads the Charge!

While the boys frolicked among the trees, Mom and I stuck
to the trail. Our here, Mom lets me run free, but I still stay
close. Today, her pace was brisk, and she seemed energized
by the beautiful weather. "Doesn't spring smell beautiful
girl? Everything's so crisp and fresh. Just look at those
beautiful crocuses. And what about that sky? It's such a
magnificent blue! As soon as the lilacs and honeysuckle
bloom, it will smell just like heaven."
Abruptly her steps slowed. "Oh, Spunky, what has John
gotten himself into? I sure hope he can explain all this,
but between you and me, I'm worried. A lot of cops in this
town aren't known for their liberal viewpoint. In fact,
I've met some who act like they enjoy the power of a badge
and a gun way too much...

Hi Everybody! It's been awhile since we first visited Book Readers Heaven, so first wanted to say that I'm so happy to be back to tell you about our latest adventure! If you haven't read the earlier book review of our series debut, check it out before you leave Blogger... An Army of Noses certainly kept me busy because Mom was worried about the man who had been arrested for the murder...he was in one of her groups and a friend...So I had to take the lead and help her--I think we had just about every single cat and dog in town on this case. But believe me it was worth it because the real killer got caught, of course...  The "nose" did it again! 
Oh, two of my mates are here with me! Bobby had us all scared during this investigation and had to be taken to the vets twice. Sweetie, his brother, was so concerned that they had to take extra time to ensure things were going well for him. You know how siblings are! We also wanted to let fans know that he is doing well after all the chaos and confusion! 

An Army of Noses:
A Spunky Murder Mystery

By Holly L. Lewitas

You may not be aware that Mom, played by the author, is a psychologist who does her counseling
After her last session, Mom
checked her cell phone and played
back Frank's message, "Hannah,
I got your message. I'll try and see
what I can learn about John's arrest
but I want to be very clear about one
thing--I'm not butting into another
cop's case. Call me when you're
done seeing patients, and I'll let
you know what I've learned."


electronically! Cool, right? Lots of time we even participate... Imagine, one of us might sit on Mom's lap and start talking or hold our paws up to the person. Almost always we are able to get their minds cleared and feeling a little bit better as they smile and talk to us. It works really well. I'm letting you know about that because her work has to take priority and it puts more on me sometimes, to solve the mystery. It was especially important this time because Mom didn't know the cop that had been assigned to the murder, so wasn't satisfied he would do the job as it needed to be done

Mom and I have a long relationship--much more than the others and we have establish a form of non-verbal communication plus, although she hasn't yet realized it, I can give her mental thoughts if I can get her settled enough--I call it in the zone-- to place ideas in her mind... You see, I knew who the real killer was almost right from the beginning...or, at least, I knew what he smelled like! I had found a bit of the shirt that he had worn!
Before Mom could comment, John raised a
hand. "I know, I know. It was a stupid choice.
I wanted him to like me, so I let myself be
manipulated into something I didn't want to
do. Believe me, I've learned my lesson! But
I learned it too late. I went with him to that
private club for gays...Turns out it's really
the private home of some rich dude...
I was disgusted. This time I did stand up for
myself, and I told Richard I wanted to leave.
...I didn't stick around to see what
Later, though, I also smelled the same scent in the office of a professor friend of Mom's so the entire campus and town became the possible locations to find this man. 

Mom had also made arrangements with another friend to have his firm represent John. They had soon been able to get him out on bail. For a short time... Then he was arrested again! To say that Mom was mad would be quite true, of course...
"Hannah, hush a minute. This isn't about being gay or
straight." Frank's tone became slow and firm. "This is about
"Hannah, two hours ago, Richard Keeley, the same guy who
took John to that club, was found murdered in his apartment.
It appears he was strangled to death. The evidenced suggests
that it may have3 occurred during a sexual encounter. John's
fingerprints are all over the place...

Fancy-Pants stuck his nose up a little
higher. "We prefer the term 'free
By this time, I have all my feline friends totally involved with what I was thinking, and I knew even with their help it wouldn't be enough. When I mentioned this, Fancy Pants my other friend here with me today, spoke up and told me about a couple of guys who lived in the campus library basement. I immediately asked if they were feral since sometimes these guys and me don't get along..

And before I knew it, I was meeting the Lion King. Let's just say it was a little bit tense when we first met...

Every cat respects boundaries--every cat, that is, except Lion King. He rules, and he walks wherever and whenever he wants. He can go anywhere, anytime, any day. No one messes with the King. He struts his stuff down the street as if he owns it--and none of the regulars ever questions that he does.
When he struts his stuff, the message is clear, "Get out of my way or I'll hurt you." Fancy dropped his voice. "But, I'll let you in on a secret. When I was living on the streets it was common knowledge among the regulars that if you paid the King the respect he was due, then he'd look out for you. He saved my young cojones on more than one occasion. He stays the King because all the cats respect him. If he's your friend, you're safe. He's like you, Spunk!"

So first I had to establish a relationship with the Lion King so that his army of critters would
help. We wanted to check out all the buildings on the campus, for one thing. But as we learned more and more, I knew we needed even more backup...wonder whether I can get the dogs and cats of the community to work together... And then I was surprised to even get help from a specialist in communication...Ollie! What a great help he was! 

Now of course I had a plan, but everybody keeps telling me to keep it all hush-hush for now, so maybe sometime in the future, if we meet, I'll be able to tell you all the gritty details how it all came together. Even Frank was there to help make the arrest!
Well, both Bobby and Fancy-Pants are making faces at me to get me to shut up...But, shucks, it isn't often I get to shine as a "hero" as I guess I did leading this Army of Noses..." But, it sure would make me proud for you to check out the book that tells you all about what happens! That way, I won't have to embarrass everybody when I tell the world how me and all my friends got together to chase down a murderer...with our noses!

Oh, yeah, one more thing... I'm supposed to let everybody know that this is BRH Recommended! And thanks so much for inviting all of us to Book Readers Heaven!

Have a great week! Spunky...

Holly Lewitas loves a good mystery and she loves animals. So she decided to combine the two and that is how the Spunky Murder Mystery series began. Holly lives with one dog and eighteen cats - all rescues.

Holly is a transplanted Yankee, now living in Alabama - living in the south means all 18 cats do not HAVE to live inside - which makes the dog very happy -and the cats are all quite content with their heated beds. Holly never met a cat yet who didn't like a box or a basket.