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!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finding Flipper Frank by Patrick M. Garry Shares Memorable Drama of Three Strangers... Just Out!

"I'm sorry, are you a friend of my uncle's?"
"Are you joking? Of course I am. We met at the Oakdale Easter dinner. Oh, but maybe I was introduced to you under the name by which my more familiar acquaintances address me: Izzy, Izzy Dunleavey. Does that refresh your memory?
Walt had never know his last name, but there was only Izzy. He was the aristocrat of Oakdale. Though Izzy had not been a companion or card-playing partner of his uncle, Walt recognized him every time he saw him. Not a day went by that Izzy Dunleavy did not wear a tie. He might wear only a vest  without the suit jacket. But he was never without a tie...

~~~



Walter, this Isadore Dunleavy," the authoritative sounding voice announced. 
Walt had fallen asleep on the couch, and his mind was still foggy when he answered the telephone. He thought it would be the funeral home people' He had spent all evening making funeral and burial plans with them. But he had no idea who Isadore Dunleavey was. 
After waiting a few seconds for Walt to speak, the voice continued, though a bit more impatient in its tone. 
"You are Henry Honerman's nephew, aren't you? Have I been given the correct number?
 Yes, yes I am."
"I have proposition to discuss with you. I understand you're leaving soon for Baltimore?
..."I do hope I'm not being premature in my call, but I heard that you're leaving for Baltimore, and I'd like to visit my old home in Crawfish Bay, Marland. It's not far from Baltimore, and I'd like to arrange passage with you."
"Well, actually, Mr. Dunleavey..."
"Please, call me Izzy. as long as we'll be traveling companions, we might as well dispense with formalities...
                                                                                                  ~~~


Walt could see, in Moira's eyes, that she was trying to treat the trip as some momentous event, just as his uncle had treated it. But her effort only made Walt blush. Going to a baseball game seemed like such a trivial adolescent endeavor--and he was embarrassed that she might be thinking him superficial enough to take such an endeavor seriously."Well, it's kind of up in the air right now."
"Oh?" Moira said, her head tilting in a quizzical  posture. "Is it because of the long drive? Are you looking for somebody to travel with? she asked..."Because if you're looking looking for someone to ride with you, I'd sure like to go. I live in Baltimore and I'm ready to go home. So I could keep you company. And, of course, I'd share the expenses..."
~~

Finding Flipper Frank
By Patrick M. Garry


I have come to really look forward to novels that includes groups of strangers going on trips. Maybe because I'd like to try it!  Having read quite a few by now, I've realized, no matter the content, my emotions are always immediately involved and holding throughout the entire book. 

In this latest book just out by Patrick Garry, author of Saving Faith which I also very much enjoyed and other novels, I began smiling and crying early as Walt Honerman, who had just lost his last relative, his favorite uncle and friend, opens the book. He had been in a rest home for the last period of his life and Walt had faithfully come to visit and had become close with all the other residents.

At his funeral and afterward, Walt began to receive comments about how much his being involved there had meant to all of the residents. But he was really shocked that his uncle had talked so much about him and their early life and even that he'd been trying to get Walt to go to a ball game where they thought Cal Ripken would be making a new record... Walt really had never planned to go on the trip--he had just shared the dream with his uncle as he had grown worse. But now that he had two requests for rides--actually, he was a little concerned about spending a lot of time with Izzy--but he acknowledged to himself that he wouldn't mind getting to know Moira better. And so, Walt decided to just go ahead since he already had vacation scheduled...

Izzy was known to have some problems with memory, but Walt didn't know exactly what the issue was. What he did know and what he found out even more when Izzy climbed into his two-door car was that there were probably going to be problems. For instance, the residents of the rest home had made baked goods for them to eat while they traveled. but they had to go into the small back seat with Izzy who quickly complained. Moira quickly became the peacemaker and took all of the packages and placed them all around her feet. 

But when Moira then  wanted to open the window, she got the complaint that Izzy couldn't breathe with so much wind... Of course, she wasn't too happy when they finally negotiated for her to have the window down about an inch... And so the trip began... Waltz and Moira began to share more and more, especially Walt who had a secret past that had prevented him from approaching her in the way he really wanted to...But Moira got him passed those thoughts...LOL




One of the interesting stories Izzy had told anybody who would listen was that he had once owned a famous resort there in Crawfish Bay, Maryland and even had Danny Caron there when he was just starting out and started humming "Guiness and Gumbo...." Later they met a woman who whom he'd told the same story, and had come to the Bay because she'd been offered a job!

The trip to Maryland was fun to read and we learn more about the characters. But when they reach The Bay and started looking for his old partner, they not only quickly learned quite a different story, but that Izzy was wanted for stealing money from his partner! He was immediately put in jail! One more thing I'll share is that his partner finally went to see him in jail and they made up, even though the charges couldn't automatically be dropped. Now's the time to ensure you have kleenex handy... cause you're going to need them big-time. I'll not go further but the way I've added to the story does give hints if you have background knowledge...
.
Patrick Garry has such a wonderful story telling voice. He takes subjects that are important issues in many of our own lives, then he imagines the things that might have happened to those lives which would affect what type of individual they will become... And somehow, when you hear the story you can even picture, as I did, what those people would be like to see, hear and embrace as another human with whom we might possibly be friends. Of course, Walter and Moira would have been the main characters, but Izzy?

You wouldn't have had a story if Izzy had not been the third individual in this human triangle. I would have liked to meet Izzy and be that woman with whom he spent a few hours with that one night... As I find myself having memory lapses and can remember the very first one, when I was still working and in a meeting, my mind went blank. I was scared that time, but since then, you just become sad...sad that human bodies begin to deteriorate and sometimes we don't even realize it. Izzy didn't, but once in a while he would stop in the middle of a sentence and just stare, maybe deciding to go to sleep or just to cover that he had no idea what he had been talking about... It is important for younger people to realize what may happen and to be prepared to be ready to help such individuals. Izzy forgot that one night... Don't let a friend of yours not have help if and when that might happen.

Thank you Patrick, for this funny, heartwarming yet heartbreaking story. Not only is it a memorable drama of the human condition, but one that will strike different ways to the many readers you will undoubtedly have for this wonderful book! Highly recommended!


GABixlerReviews



Patrick Garry is a law professor with a Ph.D. in Constitutional History. He has written twelve books in the areas of law, history, politics and religion. Those books have received numerous awards and have been featured in hundreds of media interviews, academic conferences, and book reviews. His general audience books have alone been the subject of dozens of radio and television news programs.

In addition to his works of nonfiction, he has also published eight highly acclaimed books of fiction. Garry’s novels have not only been reviewed by scores of professional book reviewers, but they have also been given twenty-one different literary awards.

As his writings have grown in prominence and popularity, Garry has become a frequently invited speaker nationwide. He has been invited to speak at 120 law schools and universities across the country, and many of those on more than one occasion. He has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has appeared on more than 80 television and radio programs. These media interviews focus not only on his books, but also on his social commentary, which has appeared in numerous newspapers and internet news sites.

Professor Garry was recently asked to discuss and analyze the arguments presented in the case of Wood v. Moss. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this case on March 26, 2014. The podcast, in which Professor Garry provides commentary on those arguments, can be accessed at Wood v. Moss – Post-Argument SCOTUScast.

I took a little license and added music that is not in the book, but the star started in the same location... Also, stars of Love Story and Odd Couple were who came to mind as I read the characters...Hope you remember those stories as I do!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler - Heavy on Corruption and Governmental Criminals, Low on Actual Medical Info...Still A Great Thriller...

When we remember something, what is exactly happening in the brain? It is  which likely that a set of nerve cells connected to each other in a complex way across wide region in the brain becomes activated. As this set of cells fires synchronously or perhaps rhythmically we then consciously perceive the memory.That memory is likely first stored as that particular network of cells is activated by the then current set of sensory and memory stimuli. A new breakthrough study finally is able to prove this hypothesis in the living brain.--http://extremelongevity.net/


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/how-memory-works.html

The medical hypothesis explored in this thriller is not now possible, although apparently is being extensively explored. If you'd like to know more, I found a lengthy video by NOVA
which is provided to the right... However, this thriller takes a overview approach and thus my review doesn't reflect too much of the approach presented...

Dead Wrong
By Allen Wyler

I was disturbed by the medical hypothesis presented and the rationale presented to and by the government for proceeding with a DARPA grant (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the implication of deep pockets with little monitoring, unless somebody's attention had been caught. It is a fear that many Americans have when questioning governmental spending. There is also reference to the ability by many to claim something as "classified" thus allowing the infamous, "It's a matter of national security..." statement to overrule everything else. Let's just say that the Patriot's Act of 2001 has presented unlimited fodder for thriller writers! It's Just My Personal Opinion, of course, but I hope that thrillers like this result in more and more people becoming aware of such concerns, because sometimes Mark Twain thoughts should be remembered...
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because" Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; 

Trent shook his head. "My son?"
"That's my  understanding."
Trent Baker sighed. "I don't know
what to tell you, officer." He shook
his head again. "We don't have
children."
~~~
Bobbie Baker jolted wide awake from a warm, floating sleep, heart pounding, skin prickling, a vague hollowness in her gut warning of something...wrong. What? Someone in the hourse? She listened to a jet roar  overhead on its approach into Seattle-Tacoma International. From the living room an  announcer hawked malt shop love sons from the wonderful fifties...No other sounds.
"Oh, shit!" Jordan? The bottom dropped out of her stomach.
Shit, shit, shit. She'd intended to rest her eyes only for a moment. 
"Jordan? Louder this time. Pushing away the twisted sheets and blanket with her strong arm she glanced around the bedroom. Jordan's toys...where were they?
"Jordan!" ...Other than Jordan's missing toys, the bedroom looked exactly as it had before she nodded off. Yet, something wasn't right. Ah shit. The accordion-style kiddy gate wasn't there...
"911, what's your emergency?" "Help, please help me. My baby boy--someone's kidnapped my baby boy!
                                                                     ~~~
This man," Cunningham said with a nod at the
screen, "describes murdering a prostitute. Okay,
so what? We've all seen videotaped confessions.
This one's different. Because in spite of vividly
describing his memory of the incident, he
wasn't there and he's not the murderer. He
doesn't know, and has never met, the person who
actually committed the crime. The man you see
on screen is, instead, a volunteer in a small study
code-named Operation Cuckoo's Nest. The
experiment is designed to test the feasibility of
transferring memories from one person to another
by transplanting small homogenates of the brain.
As fantastic as this may sound, the experiment
you just witnessed proves that memory transfer
can be done..."
~~~

Tom McCarty, a neurosurgeon and Sarah are your lead characters. They are pulled into a medical-related situation through two patients that have reported similar issues--they have displayed memories that, upon checking, have not been related to the patient. One woman believes her son has been kidnapped and when told there are no children in the family immediately goes into deep depression and confusion. The other patient remembers killing a prostitute!

Let me quickly point out that Tom and Sarah have "noticed" each other at the hospital but neither have been able to act on their attraction... However, when Tom is in trouble, he decides to contact her...and she's his professional companion and personal friend from then on...

In essence, the whole issue is when governmental security officials burst into McCarty's office, ready to arrest him, but first demanding that the DARPA files he has stolen are turned over...

Tom McCarty has absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but after the two continue to intimidate him, he decides he needs to get out to find help... The only way he can think of is to climb through the ceiling into another area. When one of them discovers him gone, and calls his superior, he is told to climb up and start following him!

But by accident, his partner shoots him, thinking it was the doctor.

Of course, that agent quickly decides to blame McCarty for shooting his partner and in the fracas Tom's assistant is also shot...

Tom makes it out of the ceiling area and into a small room in which he can hide until he has time to think... He has no idea as to what is supposedly to have been stolen. But little by little, he begins to remember that he'd requested the patient files on the two patients that Sarah had consulted with him on. Which he never received...

In the meantime, Colonel Clyde Cunningham is meeting in the Pentagon with members of CIA brass, showing the video of a man confessing to the murder of a hooker, with the goal of receiving approval to proceed.

Most of the book covers the gathering of information about what Tom is being accused of, who is behind it, and the actual chase which takes place with the Hospital Security, the local police and the government security agents trying to find and/or keep hold of Tom. He certainly proves to have used his past experience in intelligence in his activities. But he still would have been caught if Sarah had not provided needed outside support and her eyes in getting the escape planned.

I would personally have preferred a little more of the personal side of what was happening with the two patients who were implanted with false memories, still there are enough thrills to keep readers happy. Medical enthusiasts should definitely check it out!


GABixlerReviews


Allen R. Wyler is a neurosurgeon and author. He practiced neurosurgery at the University of Washington, University of Tennessee, and finally at Swedish Hospital in Seattle before leaving practice to become Medical Director for Northstar Neuroscience in 2002. He has written several books and articles on the subject of epilepsy as well as published multiple novels]. He retired from Northstar in 2008 to spend more time writing fiction.






Saturday, July 26, 2014

Patriot's Point by Douglas Boren - Renew Your Faith in Those Who Love America...

Trey took careful aim at the British Dragoon as the mass of
cavalry bore down upon them. When his target was just less
than ten yards distant, he fired, noting with brief satisfaction
that the horseman jerked back in his saddle as a crimson
fountain of blood erupted from the center of his chest...
Trey himself was nearly killed but for a lucky stumble that
tripped him as he ran. As he lay in the tall grass, the British
failed to see him as they methodically cut down the rebel forces.
Most of the Americans were laying down their arms, offering
surrender. Indeed, commander Colonel Buford raised a white
flag, which the British refused. They continued with their
butchery, even stabbing the wounded where they lay,
regardless of their surrender...
~~~
The Battle of Waxhaws (also known as the Waxhaws or Waxhaw Massacre, and Buford's Massacre) took place during the American Revolutionary War on May 29, 1780, near Lancaster, South Carolina, between a Continental Army force led by Abraham Buford and a mainly Loyalist force led by Banastre Tarleton. Buford refused an initial demand to surrender, but when his men were attacked by Tarleton's cavalry, many of them threw down their arms to surrender. Accounts differ on significant details. Buford apparently then attempted to surrender, but his surrender was either rejected or not received (Tarleton possibly having been incapacitated at that time). Tarleton's men continued killing the continental soldiers, including men who were not resisting.
Little quarter was given to the Patriots. Of the 400 or so Continentals, 113 were killed with sabres, 150 so badly injured they could not be moved, and only 53 prisoners taken by the British and Loyalists. "Tarleton's quarter" thereafter became a common expression for refusing to take prisoners, and in some subsequent battles in the Carolinas few of the defeated were taken alive by either side.--Wikipedia


Patriot's Point


By Douglas Boren


Lieutenant Snow added, "It's more than that, really. The rattlesnake is found nowhere in the world except
in America. It has sharp eyes and may therefore be esteemed the emblem of vigilance. Furthermore,
the snake never begins an attack, nor, once engaged ever surrenders; it is therefore the emblem of
magnanimity and courage. It never wounds 'till it has generously given notice, even to its enemies,
and cautioned them against the danger of treading on it. And finally there are the rattles. There are thirteen
the exact number of the colonies. They are distinct and independent and yet united together. One singly
cannot produce a sound, but thirteen together is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living. Gentlemen,
this represents the fact that they would rather die than surrender."
~~~


There is no doubt in my mind, based upon my somewhat limited experience in reading American historical novels, that Doug Boren has a unique expertise in researching, studying, and creating stories that ring not only with authenticity but reveal his own patriotic love for his country. He doesn't hedge on the brutality of those who are involved with wars, but he also includes the very emotional and sexual tension of those families who are caught and either wait at home alone or sometimes go with their husbands into war zones...

"This is why I'm here. To gather as many men
as I possibly can to enlist in the militia in
order to stop Cornwallis before he ever leaves
South Carolina. My counterparts are doing the
same, traveling the land, raising hope and
raising armies. Together we can defeat the
Redcoats.
~~~
Trey Alexander is just one of the Alexander family which Boren has been writing about for years. I think Trey might be one of my favorites characters in the books I've read. Trey had been at the Waxhaw Massacre and barely escaped with the few others by, when the opportunity arose, running-- he ran fast and without stopping--he needed to run to get back to his family... On his way out, he came across a wounded patriot, Jody, who he immediately stopped to help with his wound as well as leaving the terrible place behind...

In Patriot's Point, Boren starts with an actual blood battle with the British - I included a brief paragraph to document what occurred. When Trey and Jody reached Trey's home, they had every intention not to fight anymore. They had seen the unbelievable murders by British soldiers, rather than accepting surrender. It was too much to consider going back. Jody stayed there with them until he was able to move into The Fox and Hound, which was already holding many patriots... But they soon got word that General Nathaniel Rutledge, who they previously had known was on his way to see them.
He had already known they'd been at Waxhaw, so while
he was out recruiting, he had a specific request for Trey and Jody...To guide volunteers into the discipline and work needed for the military service... They would both be given the Colonel rank. They would move to the western frontier of North Carolina to an abandoned mission at Pinecliff, which was even now being updated for their use. He told them that Melanie and the kids could go with them, that they would be out of harm's way... On those terms, they didn't see why they should refuse...








Of course, even the best plans may not actually come about. By the time Trey and his group arrived at the Mission, Now called Patriot's Point, with those who had also volunteered that day, they discovered that no others had joined the troops who were already assigned there. They did discovere that they knew the commanding officer--happy to share command with a good friend with whom they grew up. 

As they continued to work on the mission to make it a fortress, a three-some from the backwoods people came to volunteer. Unfortunately they were the only ones, but their contribution alone was well worth a whole group of officers. With their skill in hunting and tracking, they were sent out to scout out where and who was in relation to the Point. It was not good.

The majority of the book, therefore, is what takes place as less than 200 men attempt to stop or slow down Cornwallis' movement toward where Washington was located.  Before that was to even begin Cornwallis was leading an army of 5000 soldiers toward the Point! He had been commanded to take the Point because of the high volume of weapons and big guns that were located there.

As the time grew close, a representative from the British came and offered a chance for all civilians to leave. All chose to leave except Trey's family and Jody's new wife, who he had met when she worked at an Inn and had a wonderful back story, which brought forth one of the heartwarming side-stories provided!

And to best give you the flavor of the patriot characters and what happened thereafter, I offer the flag that flew on the Point and what Cornwallis first saw of his enemy...

Most of you know from reading my blog that I am not somebody who supports wars, especially for wars sake. But I have to say that if I ever met soldiers like Colonel Tarleton who headed the Waxhall Massacre, I have no doubt, I would have been involved in some way to protect America from the British...

This book makes you proud to be American. That's the best recommendation I can make...




GABixlerReviews





Douglas Boren has lived a full and exciting life. A retired Physician Assistant, he has lived from Alaska to Florida, from New York to New Mexico, and many places in between. An avid Master scuba diver, he divides his time between the Caribbean and his home in North Carolina. He has always had a profound fondness for history, believing that rather than just a series of dates and events, it is a living record of real people, much like ourselves, how they live, and their impact on those around them and their role in the unfolding story of life.