Finally Got My Computer!

Thanks so Much for Sticking With Me when I was having problems with layouts, using computers with less power! I have a new AZUZU, which I'd never heard of before...but I'm lovin' the capability to create my reviews faster...

And thanks to the 9,891 Hits from all over the world and Internet in August! No new countries but so glad to have you all back. Just put a book up on my JMPO Adult Blog that had some criminals from Russia...Oh My! But it was a good book, though a little naughty...

Going to read Carole Roman's Cultural books for children to visit France soon to spotlight one of the countries that checks out BRH once in awhile...Look for it soon!

Enjoy learning about the great books that I've been fortunate to read in August! On to September...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beneath the Rose Provides Exciting Debut Thriller Set in Canada and Bosnia...

 Meanwhile on the same morning in a second floor apartment over a bookstore on the eastern fringes of Westmount a middle-aged man was still asleep, having only reached that state a few hours earlier. About the time Laurie Magill arrived at work the man once known as Simon Reston, now called Peter Oulton, would wake still exhausted to face another day of declining fortune and increasing anxiety. Even now healing sleep eluded him. If his body was at rest his mind was not. Had it been able to focus on that chance encounter a few days ago, the recall her if only a moment, it might have brought welcome respite. Instead, in the middle of the night, his mind had replayed the nightmare that allowed no escape from a darker past...
I see the big knife first, gleaming, already glistening with somebody's blood. So much blood. Then the head: the mayor's. It's trying to talk, but no words come out. Then all eight of them without heads but somehow chanting: "Guilty, guilty, guilty!"...
Peter lurched upright, his whole body shaking, shedding sweat like a winter coat. He swung his feet over the side of the bed, to steady himself on the cold floor, then lowered his head into his hands, and took deep breaths to reduce the panic and slow his heart rate. "It's okay," he whispered to himself,  "I'm okay. That was long ago. The Butcher's in prison. And I'm safe here. Just relax..." When his hands stopped shaking, Peter reached for the pill bottle...
~~~


Beneath the Rose:
A Tale of Terror and Love

By David A. Charters


Simon Reston knew even the day it happened that he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. He still had nightmares of it happening and even though he followed orders and certainly knew they were in no position to take a different role than they had, he had still been damned... Even his coworker with him that day had wanted to take some action and couldn't deal with seeing what they had seen. He later committed suicide...

It didn't matter how many years had gone by, everything was as clear as it had been that day. The difference was that his life had completely changed. They had arranged for his name to be changed and now he owned and operated a small bookstore in Montreal. At least at present but his funds were quickly running out and he had no source of money to salvage the present, little on the future.

Peter Oulton had still been Major Reston when he'd had to appear before The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. He had filed an official report but they wanted him to explain in his own words what they had seen. It was the trial for who he knew as The Butcher...

He had been sent in 1993 to collect witness statements, serving as a UN Military Observer. Word of a massacre had already gotten out and they walked right in as it started...

...They'd rounded up the whole town, perhaps a hundred in all and arranged them in a semi-circle...The mayor and a few others were picked out to first sit... The leader, whose real name is Mohammed Khan, but known only as The Butcher owing to his gruesome reputation for excessive brutality, grabbed the mayor and forced him onto his knees with his head on the bench. "Use an axe," I whispered "Make it quick," for his sake. And mine...Instead, out of a boot sheath Khan pulled a big knife, heavy serrated black, the kind used for gutting fish. He raised it up and, for a moment, he looked straight at our position, as if he knew we were there, watching. He grinned, taunting us...
~~~

When he left, the entire town's population was gone... 

But it was as if somebody had to pay for allowing it to happen...and Major Reston was who was chosen.  It was sad, but I can see it happening, that people felt he should have ignored orders and gone in to try to save those people...2 men Against at least 20!

Now, in 2010, The Butcher had been let go and then reportedly killed???

As if it wasn't bad enough to have The Butcher undoubtedly coming after him, there is an organization that is supported by a secret foundation, with the blessing from its leader, who is happy to antagonize both Canada and the U.S. to work with The Butcher in his plans!

I especially enjoyed the scenes when The Butcher was supposedly doing his job!


At the same time, a freedom of information request had been submitted to the National Security Adviser's office... on Operation Slingshot...

"We can't go public with this stuff! It's NATO and Five Eyes Only, you know that."
"Of course we can't, and they know that too. This is just a little game of chicken. They hope we will blink first...
"Still...why now? And how?" 

Unfortunately an over-zealous new employee without brains had provided info on his own... And when he also finds a typed manuscript written by one of the members of the team and former wife of Peter, he passes that on as well! Major Reston, Peter, had never even known it had been written, now he was looking at Beneath the Rose: My Life of Loving, Lying, and Spying, by Abigail Sinclair-Reston. And it was the woman to whom he was now attracted that had given it to him...



Second Cup Coffee Shop
Something in her look told Peter she didn't buy his answer. He nudged a chocolate chip cookie toward her as his mind scrambled for a way to change the subject. "So, what gets you through the winter, apart from hanging around bookstores picking up strange men?"
Laurie laughed gently. "You're not strange, Peter, and I'm not picking you up. But speaking of strange...did that nefarious past of yours ever catch up with you?"
Peter almost gagged on his cocoa. "My what?"



I was gratified to read the author's early activities regarding writing this book. Fortunately, he realized that, being an academic writer does not qualify an individual to write fiction. I've had several books that, in my opinion, flopped because of their inability to move out of the teaching mode... However, this professor of Military History, who also now teaches and writes about terrorism and intelligence activities took the time to evolve into a solid storyteller. This book endorses his acquisition of those new skills... This is a complex,  yet extremely sensitive look at the life of one man who has been greatly hurt by his life roles. It didn't take me long to think about a personality and looks met my image of who Peter Oulton is. As with Mark Harmon's role in NCIS, Peter is a strong intelligent aggressive professional, while his past loss of loved ones, has softened a small part of his heart that surfaces as he stares off...remembering...

Peter has the opportunity to meet someone who just might be able to breakdown the walls around his heart.  Only thing is...yep, she works for the Centre for Accountable Government and in fact is a major partner and live-in lover of the Director...At least until a new female lawyer enters the picture! 

I thoroughly enjoyed the breadth of scope for the novel that takes readers into the past overseas, and then back to Canada into a more urban environment that has just as many criminals, only wearing white collars instead of carrying knives...Yikes!

As usual, I normally hone in on a particular character to watch. Major Reston, AKA, Peter Oulton, as the back cover says, is a "haunted, wanted, hunted man..." I'm certainly glad that his potential lady love turned out to become his ally! That's what I would have done! LOL
Loved it!


GABixlerReviews






David A. Carters is Professor of Military History at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He teaches, researches and writes about terrorism and intelligence activities. He lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.




Sunday, September 14, 2014

BRH Regular Contributor Adolph Caso Shares Presentation on Nine-Eleven...


Nine-Eleven and World War II Veterans

By Adolph Caso



Lest we forget, we are meeting on September 11.

As veterans of World War II, you took part in the most unusual war—unusual because up to World War II, battles were fought to conquer and to subjugate. Ours, on the other hand, was to defeat and to liberate. It was also a war to free and to empower, the otherwise defeated people, with the freedom to act without political or religious constraints.

Having defeated Germany, Japan and Italy, none of which became colonies of America, and not one of the citizens of those countries became a slave of America, or indentured to America. There were no mass killings; there were no persecutions; there was no revenge on either their military or on their civilians.

In fact, America introduced all kinds of programs that guaranteed a renewed prosperity unequaled in the entire history of mankind. Thus, the concept and the execution of World War II were turned upside down—thanks to America’s enlightened leaders, and, to the intelligent prowess of the American soldiers. How did we do it?

Logo used on aid delivered to European countri...
Having assured there would be no retribution toward those nations, America introduced the Marshall Plan. It did two things:
It stabilized each nation’s economy by infusing new capital to rehabilitate their economies.
It kept a large number of American soldiers, who, while securing each nation’s political and social stability--those same soldiers lived off of the local economy, thus ensuring demand for that nation’s products.

Thousands of American soldiers bought Volkswagens’, Mercedes, and Porsches, let alone Grundig, Telefunken, and Leica.

Can you imagine what this built-in demand meant for those old German companies and the new start-ups? Now, in 2014, many of those companies have become competitors to our own companies to the point that they dominate in the world of commerce.

Who can deny the dominance of the Japanese products? Who can deny the dominance of German products? Who can deny the power behind those countries’ Gross National Product? And credit for this success belongs to you—the Veterans that made it possible.

No one can deny the unmatched American achievement on behalf of nations, which needed to be defeated. Otherwise, if Americans had not had the will to defeat them, we as Americans--with all of our traditional political and social constitutional idealism—would have been subdued and turned either into slaves or wantonly executed. The images of the 1940s are appearing just as vivid as they are repugnant in 2014.

Notwithstanding personal party affiliations, after Italy, Germany, and Japan declared war on the United States, our government quickly began to round up American-born Italians, together with Germans and Japanese, and placed them in concentration camps.

That not one of those individuals was deliberately abused, maimed or killed seems to be true. That Americans of Italian, German and Japanese ethnicity were deprived of their due process is also true. What is important to note is that the federal policy was not due to President Roosevelt party affiliation. The policy, right or wrong, was due to a policy aimed at keeping all Americans safe.

In view of 9/11, in view of the Iraq wars, in view of Iran, in view of Isis, in view of the beheadings—a time of great vulnerability is present in America as a whole because our government invited and allowed into our heartland thousands upon thousands of illegal immigrants with the tacit promise of permanence with benefits. These individuals are here. And, unlike our soldier who took the wrong turn into Mexico where he remains in jail, or, myself having to stop to show my credentials at the border before I can be let into Canada, none--of those thousands now in our communities--was screened for either documents, diseases, hidden arms, political orientation, country of origin, or terror-related activities.

Was this policy devised and executed by a political party to help that party? Or, was it devised, right or wrong, to benefit our Nation?

After this huge infiltration of all kinds of people wanting to do us harm, all of these unscreened individuals have been given standing and due process at levels higher than you and I could ever enjoy.

God forbid that there might be one minor wrong detail in the investigation of the Boston Marathon terrorist, and all hell breaks loose on due process. But because a Mosque has religious affiliations, scrutiny of membership is hard to come by. For sure, our precautions are exaggerated on the side of a hidden enemy enjoying the protection of our wonderful neighborhoods. Talk about creating an environment for a nation’s suicide potential!

Question: These un-identified people were asked to come into the United States at the urging of our government. Having been invited to enter legally, how can they now be classified as illegal?

Think of this situation: American citizens of German ethnicity went to fight on behalf of the Third Reich. That inglorious service, on behalf of a government with programs to exterminate blocks of human beings, makes my soul shudder. To learn that some Americans are repeating that abomination in the Middle East has to leave us pondering about our future.

In the fifties, I was a Signal Corps officer stationed in Europe, often dealing with psychological warfare policies. Would we broadcast false information to the enemy, or, would we be restrained from doing so due to ethical considerations? Without compunction, we broadcast false information, just as the enemy did! In 2010, America revealed its war plans to its enemy--information such on troop deployment, dates of pending battle action, engagement time, cease fire dates and/or troop withdrawal.  In defeating Iraq, America did not tell anyone its battle plans; in losing Iraq, America told the world its entire battle plan.

Iraq gassed thousands of its people; in the Globe today, Syria is reported to be deploying the same gas—as we sit here. During the Iraq War, Scud missiles were randomly launched into Israel—I still remember the panic on the faces of Israelites running for cover. Yet, only two weeks ago, in the same Globe, I read a repudiation of the war as illegal on the claim that Iraq neither possessed weapons of mass destruction nor the means of delivering such weapons.


            Did not my eyes see those missiles dropping?
            Did not my ears hear those children crying?

Nevertheless, when we think of President Roosevelt in relation to World War II, we are reminded of two accomplishments:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933. Lietuvi┼│: Fra...He saved the world from the likes of Hitler. You and I would be speaking German, if that were even made possible by an intruding American Nazi Regime.
Roosevelt established America as a humane world power through the likes of Veterans such as you. Just think of how many people have been saved from starvation alone, let alone from extermination and terrorist attack as we witnessed and commemorate this very day of Nine-Eleven.






Adolph Caso, Publisher, Editor, Author, Poet and Friend Routinely Contributes to Book Readers Heaven.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

What a Brilliant Concept for a Series! Debut--Patchwork Man by D. B. Martin...




This tunic was made out of various patches of animal fur and would be much like Native and Early Americans might have worn, as well as in other places across the world... But have you ever thought about how each of us is made up via the patchwork happenings of our lives? When  I read the blurb, I immediately thought that this would be good! What it actually is was a perfect psychological thriller that will hold you throughout the story, but will also crawl into your mind about all those secrets that you, too, carry--about your past, about your own inner life, and most importantly, who you really are when you say "this is me..."

Lawrence Juste is a Patchwork Man... You wouldn't know it if you met him in his regular habitat... Do we always have to face our pasts? I don't think so, thankfully... But Lawrence not only had to face it--he had to go back into a past he thought he'd never know again...

I had to finally and irrevocably grow up and leave the past I'd thought I'd left behind with my childhood fears. I allowed the insidious creeping dark of the past into full view and there, with only the shadows for company, I took a long look at the man Kenny had become--and the child he'd grown out of.
He was a strange mix, that man--pieces together from a ragbag of life--the feelings I'd avoided and the outward trappings I'd adopted. Maybe we're all patchworks, slowing adding to the pattern, piece by piece--some frayed, some neatly sewn, some brightly colored and some dull and faded from overuse. I'd shied away from the unraveling edges of part of my patchwork--the tattered sense of loss and failure in childhood--and focused only on the pristine right-angled squares; the years of control and success being the man I wanted to be Lawrence Juste, QC. But those symmetrical squares, nevertheless, bordered the rough and ragged. One day, without further sutures, they would become unstitched and lost, and the needlework had already been unraveling for decades.
~~~

Patchwork Man
By D. B. Martin

Kenny had many reasons to want to escape his past, especially, when he and several other siblings were taken away from their home and were never brought back... Maybe it could have worked out if his brother had been different. While Kenny was somewhat shy, Win had been set to win---at anything he'd tried. Even forcing Kenny to join his gang, which would have been bad enough, except Win's instructions had not been followed and Kenny had endured an initiation that was far beyond what anybody else had! It was only afterward--after he'd been selected by the biggest bully in town to play a sort of joke on Win. Kenny had decided to do it after the guy had ensure his punishment was given first...

It was fascinating to me that Kenny chose to go into the law profession, especially since he had to have a sponsor to pay for it...and served his time as "companion" to a judge to get it...
His mentor and...more...

Lawrence Juste had changed his name, became a successful law officer and a QC who was being consider for a higher court position...

Then his wife was killed in an accident...

From my reading, I decided that his wife was really trying to help. After all, if she hadn't been killed, what followed would not have happened...

probably...

But that wasn't how Lawrence saw it, and as you see what she had done, you may decide to go along with Lawrence... That's OK, because personally, I think he needed to face his worse fears, more so than anybody else in my opinion... Perhaps, however, he would have preferred never knowing...what he discovered...

"Weren't me. Weren't there. Didn't do it." He folded his arms across his chest and very defiance in his small bony face and East Long twang made me want to slap him. It was our first defense case conference--a fact-finding mission, with him offering no facts. I forced the irritation down beneath a smoothly reasoned response. My clerk glanced at me nervously. I would rather not have brought him with me. He was a standing joke and I understood now why my partners in Chambers--Francis, Jeremy and Heather--had passed him on to me with such alacrity. He was pathetically keen to please, but pathetic. He needed toughening up. Less of the clerk, more of the bastard. Perhaps I should encourage him to cut his teeth on this, depending on the likelihood of controversy. It was only a kid involved, so surely, he could hold his own against a child, and perhaps relieve me of some of the more tedious aspects of the case. For now, though, I had to get the little tyke to break and actually tell me something--anything.
"You were caught red-handed by the police, so you can hardly claim you weren't there. I have it here." My clerk obediently passed the statement to me, all fingers and thumbs, and I wafted it light in front of the child's mutinous faced. I thought of the stolen video that had been found in his rucksack--a ridiculous concoction based around a street gange who'd discovered they had supernatural powers that allowed them to slip between parallel universes. Slipping the chains, it was called. "Or maybe you want me to believe you were universe-jumping and it was your alter ego there beating the living daylights out of Mrs. Harris?" I knew the sarcasm was inappropriate but I had better things to do than waste my time on a vicious little thug --things like ordering the wreath for Margaret's coffin and choosing the hymns for the service, or seeing what progress the plod had made in tracking down the driver of the hit and run. A[art from which, this was the very last situation I wanted to be confronting again. Margaret had been right about one thing though, and she'd made the point very clearly with all her own good works. Altruism was for putting on a show when a show was needed...
"That's crap really. No-one can jump universes. You're jarring me man. Don't yer know nuthin?  And I weren't there anyway.

And then his social worker spoke up, trying to get Danny, her client, to understand that Mr. Juste was very high up in the courts...and could help him...

Right there, sitting beside them, was one of the reasons he was even willing to talk to his little thug... Not only was she really trying to expedite the process...she...was...beautiful... Their peek-a-boo interest in each other was so obvious that Danny even picked up on it and started teasing them... But that was much further along before Danny was even willing to start talking to him at all!

Now, if everything was going along routinely, Lawrence might have begun to consider how he could break through the boy's shields...he might have even begun to see that there was
something about the case he was caught in that was very similar! Instead, the social worker was working too hard to try to get him to take the case...and let something slip...

I didn't mean you were alike, but he's only a kid and you are a figure of authority that's actually trying to help him, not shut him down. He's already had a touch life and he's barely ten... He's used to being part of a group so I guess that's why he joined the gang... Haven't you ever felt lonely or lost? She paused whilst I battled remembered vulnerabilities, unprepared for her final shot. "Your wife said you'd understand when I told her Danny's story. She said you'd appreciate what this meant for him.
The shock of the statement battled with outrage at her gall in making it. Neither she, nor the boy were invited into my private life, whatever Margaret might have thought...It made me angry with the plump brown Madonna who'd prompted it.
"My wife's not here anymore, so she's somewhat irrelevant, whatever she may have said..."
I set the case notes aside for the rest of the week, reluctant to stir the hornet's nest again. Margaret's maneuvering felt like betrayal as surely as being left in the children's home had felt forty years ago

But that was only the beginning! Remember the old program..."This is Your Life..." Imagine if you were soon to be up for a higher court judge position, your wife has just been killed in an accident. You are finding daily things what she has been doing to dig into his past life, meet with those people, and, worse, with the one man who had haunted him throughout his childhood... It had started when Win, his older brother had come to see him. Win had been in jail, convicted of a case that had been setup almost identically to that of this young boy, Danny... It had been Lawrence (Kenny) who had helped convict him for the actual death, just like Danny was being accused...

When your whole world is being torn apart, what you have built up say, during the last 20 years, doesn't really mean a thing...but why was it happening and who was doing this? I hope I haven't given too much away. Just about everything I've shared is provided one way or another in the early part of the book. Believe me, what I've shared is merely the first layer... A layer of a life that had been eliminated both formally via a legal change of name, and by action of total separation from a family who had long ago moved him out of its center and never once came back to find him...

Why did his wife accumulate information on all the garbage that had destroyed Kenny?

While this is definitely a thriller unlike any other, there is also a heartwarming story evolving through all the hidden secrets that are being revealed, now coming back to haunt him...or to destroy his present and future life unlike anything could. Would he ever have the courage to stand up and say, yeah, that was me...but now look at what I'm doing with my life!?!

Whew! Nothing prepares you to face a book of your life based upon all the horrors, lies, and secrets that were kept in order for you to one day walk away and go to college... Highly recommended!


GABixlerReviews


About the author:

I people watch. I always have.

Whatever I’m doing and whoever I’m with, a little part of me is watching and secretly wondering - what did that mean? Why did they do that? What might happen next? It was inevitable I would eventually put all those observations together into stories; but what happened next, and why, is never quite what you expect – as in real life, of course...

Born in leafy Surrey, I moved to the forests and shores of Hampshire as a child and I’m now people-watching amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford and its surrounding countryside. And I still have much, much more to put into words …