Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Big Blue and More Stories Presented by Wonderful Storyteller, Edmund Hickey!

Legend tells of a big blue horse that came to save us, to help us be free from harm... They called him Big Blue... He was no ordinary horse, having special powers that no other horse had ever been given... Do you want to hear the story?

Let me start my story by telling you my name is Big Blue, a name given to me by a small Hu-man boy (Edmund). 
I was born and raised across an ocean of water. I lived in a world of forest, where cold and snow was such a big part of my earliest memories. It was such a shock being born with four legs and being able to understand two-legged creatures. 
I grew up fast, understanding that I was quite different than other four-legged animals. I could mimic almost anything making sounds including two-legged creatures. Both my mother and father were silent in most of my early memories. I remember going to the village and learning what it was like to be a Hu-man. I even went beside open windows in warmer times to hear what, why, and how Hu-mans talked...
One day while carrying a small wagon of supplies with my father already working on the steep side of the mountain, we stopped. Looking at my father hauling logs down towards the road there was a loud roar and above my father, logs came crashing down on top of him. I started to panic and took off toward him. I didn’t get far before two Hu-mans pulled my reins and I came to a stop, but not before dragging them and the wagon close to my father. I was seven months old in Hu-man’s years when I began to understand the emotion called sadness...
Until my father died, I had no idea what he or anything else really meant to me. When I was two months old, I was sensing something very different about myself. Only when a boy of 17 Hu-man years and a girl of 14 came into the stable, talking did I realize I could understand them. They put a harness on me and attached a small wagon behind me, and I took them to a place called school. It was on those trips that my understanding of Hu-mans started. By overhearing what the boy and girl learned each day, I began to understand where my place in this world would be.
~~~




Big Blue


By Edmund Hickey

Edmund Hickey shares with readers that he never intended to write books... He was merely telling stories to his children as they grew up... What a wonderful thing happened for his readers' benefit. His children enjoyed them so much that they convinced him to share them! How cool is that?!!

Now everybody knows that I love cats, but, especially since I've moved into a log cabin, I've grown closer to our wild animals...raccoon, 'possum, deer are regular visitors onto my thirteen acre land... But Hickey put his imagination to work when he told his children about animals. Big Blue is the first story he shares. Two others follow but there is always an underlying theme that these special animals have the skills to understand human talk and they have a desire to help keep them from harm. And...each of these animals have an internal feeling that something is pulling them toward a specific place...

It didn't take Big Blue long to see how some men would treat other humans and animals. In the ship bringing him to America, his mother and many men and animals who died were just pushed off into the ocean...Blue felt like just doing the same to those men, but he knew that if he did, he would become just like those people!

When they landed, they were immediately taken to a market where everybody on the ship would be sold. Here the exciting part starts as Blue moves close to and listens to a family talking about buying a horse...and the children see in his eyes that he understands them!

The family all turned to me and stared, not talking, just looking at me as I moved closer to them. My first feeling seeing this Hu-man family was my desperate need to feel a part of this family. I felt so lonely not having anything good in my life, and with both my father and then my mother gone, I really felt so alone. 
As night was approaching, I moved toward some Hu-mans talking and already I knew that I was being sold to a Hu-man that was leading a wagon train west. I stepped back with great disappointment in not being with that family. Near dark, I could see the boy and girl across the way looking at me.
I trotted over to them and got close and bent down and just stared. The boy turned toward his sister and said to her: “I told you so.”
Both came closer and the girl spoke out saying: “You can understand us?” 
Slowly, I moved my head up and down which meant “yes” to Hu-mans. Here was my chance to talk to Hu-mans, something I had not done before. I knew part of my loneliness was never having a chance to talk. The boy’s name was Tyger and the girl was named Bird. The boy looked at his sister and I could tell he did not believe it was possible that a horse could understand as much as I seemed to. I said my first words and in doing so, I felt a lightness in my body. I trusted them with my life and continued talking...
~~~

And then Big Blue's great adventure began! Would he settle down with the family he had first met and become a member of their family just like a horse named Ed once did? Oh no! The story is set in the old west, so plan on spending time reading about when the white people were coming west and taking land to homestead... and capturing or killing animals that they found abundant...You'll even meet the queen of the wild horses for whom Big Blue feels a special relationship! I'd love to tell you more about this special horse, but now I want to introduce you to the next special animal...

It seemed like a long time ago when
 I was just a pup when I last sat
 among  Indians. The eldest of the
 tribe  came close to look at me,
 not saying
 anything, just looking. He moved to
 the center and spoke to his people, 
telling them,
 “The Spirits have brought 
us a wolf. A wolf who is very special, 
who has no boundaries in helping
Indians and Blue Coats."
~~~
I sit here in the mountain pass watching Indians hunt, which I have done all of my young life. Looking back, I know that I am quite different than any wolf I have ever known. Thinking back, it is still very hard to think about my birth I was born the largest of the litter, which turned out to be the way I survived. My sight, my hearing and how well I could smell were quite different than any other wolf. I was born with a soul according to the Indians and explorers. As a very young pup, I was always fighting for my life. Living in a pack, I had nobody defending me. Because of my unique scent and strange behavior, I was quickly cast out...

Wolf had spent some time with an Indian tribe when he was younger but had set off on his own, feeling a need to travel to where he was being pulled...The first white man he met was when he came upon a great battle where the Blue Coats and Indians had fought. It was horrible to see and he realized how much he would need to fear and be careful around humans...

He noticed, though, that one man was still alive and he pulled him back into a safer place. Almost immediately the man, who was a doctor, realized that Wolf seem to understand him. The man knew he needed help or he would die and asked Wolf if he could find him water. Wolf went back to the battle scene and pulled two canteens from the horses and returned! Wolf learned much from the doctor, including how he could care for himself using his hands to mend his body...

The third story was both fun and exciting as we meet Light and Shadow. Light looked like a regular rabbit we've all seen but he was paranormal! He had visions of things which were going to happen! While Shadow was huge and could even climb a tree to escape his hunters! It was Shadow who figured out a plan to keep them out of danger! They hopped on a wagon heading West! The wagon had been in a train but a wheel had broken and had to be repaired, so the family were alone for a night and would leave early in the morning to catch up with the train. That was when Light and Shadow would get into the wagon and hide...Of course, there was a young girl who had realized Light was special and then was introduced to Shadow! Her parents at first thought they were ordinary pets...
“Shadow, you’re right, something in my rabbit-human soul has been added. I needed that emotion humans call happiness. I could see why humans like it so much. Makes you feel good inside. Something I had not felt good about in a long time. Okay, Shadow, you’re going to be the smart one and of course I will be the cleverest of all the rabbits in the world. So, what’s the plan?” 
I told Light how we were going to hitch a ride with the wagon that had broken down. This was the first step of being able to travel like humans, which did not give us time to do much of anything because we had to move fast before the sun rose or the wagon would leave without us.
~~~

I don't know about you but I have come to expect more errors in ebooks than in print books and there are many small ones in Big Blue so be warned. However, the stories are extraordinary and totally compelling...I am quite ready to move on to the next book, hoping that the special animals will one day meet and go on to work together for a series! How about it StoryTeller Hickey? 

These stories were first told to young children, so I'm guessing that those at six and above would enjoy them, with parents reading, but young children readers will certainly find the book quite enjoyable... And, yes, I was just as enamored as a child--don't mind admitting it! Anybody who enjoys historical novels will find this a refreshing, unique perspective of that time in American history...


GABixlerReviews




Edmund Hickey does not see himself as an author but rather as a story teller in the ancient tradition of story tellers of the past who handed down their tales by word of mouth, orally.





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sigal Adler Writes Children's Book With Important Theme in Today's World - The Carrot Race!



The owner of the nursery, by the name of Mr. Scope, 
Was an older well-dressed goose, who often smelled of soap.
He was holding some carrot seeds in two small packets, 
These are for a contest," he said to the rabbits."
Who's the finest gardener? That's what I want to test," 
The one who grows the biggest carrot I say is the best.
The winner will run the nursery–that's my prize to you, 
"While I travel round the world, my dream come true.



The Carrot Race
By Sigal Adler

The two main characters, who happen to be rabbits named Ruth and Mark, both worked at a nursery, taking loving care of the plants. They had become friends.

Above the green valley a warm sun was shining, 
Two rabbits who met there were cheerful and smiling.
They were going to work, butterflies were everywhere
 Welcoming a new day, spring was in the air.
 "Good morning," said Rose,
Who had glasses on her nose. 
"Good morning," answered Mark, 
Whose shining fur was dark.
The two worked together, at the nursery over there,
 Giving all the plants and flowers tender loving care.
The rabbit who wanted to be boss most was Rose, 
She and Mark soon became bitter foes.
~~~
Their boss was interested in going on a long vacation and wanted to promote one of them. To select that employee, he set up a competition to see who could grow the best carrot. The winner would become the new boss. A personal note--too often bosses take an easy way out so that they do not have to make hard decisions...after all, who really knows whether the best rabbit is selected based upon a contest???

Finally! A Children's Book that speaks out against competition--of placing individuals against each other in order to win!

I believe we are creating a world geared toward selfish belief in yourself--providing a feeling that you must compete and win to be successful. This just isn't so!

Adler uses poetic rhyming verse to tell her tale and quickly points out the result of being pitted against each other. Rose wanted to be promoted and she forgot about the fact that her competitor was a friend!

Both worked very hard to care for their carrot, but Ruth was always comparing hers, making comments to Mark about surely winning... Did she?

I was delighted with this story. With colorful bright animals and a simple race to grow a carrot, the author easily points out the problem when competition comes into play, especially between or among friends.

The author successfully teaches an extremely important lesson to be learned by children and some adults alike. I recommend the book highly for your consideration.


GABixlerReviews





Sigal Adler is an Israeli children's author with a refreshing, rhythmic writing style. The combination of catchy rhymes spiced with humor and an ethical message appeals to the hearts of children.

Originally published in Hebrew, Sigal’s books quickly became best-sellers in Israel. She has recently begun translating her work into
English so as to reach and delight a new audience.

We hope you have an enjoyable reading experience! 
www.sigaladlerbooks.com




Monday, September 28, 2015

The Bugville Critters Go To Camp! By Robert Stanek... And Buster is Not Thrilled About it!



"Tomorrow" says Dad as he helps Buster get ready for bed, "you'll be going to camp."

"Camp?" Buster asks, a little worried. "Already?"

"It's going to be fun, you'll see" says Dad. "You're going to make new friends and have fun like a young bug should."





"Will it be scary?" Buster asks, pulling the covers up close.

"Now Buster," says Mom as she kisses him goodnight, "You just settle down. You have nothing to worry about." But Buster wasn't so sure...

~~~



The Bugville Critters
Go to Camp

By Robert Stanek

Buster may have had dreams the night before he would be traveling to camp, but he was still worried when he woke up and they all piled into the car to drive there.

He asked his father whether he had gone to camp when he was young and he assured him that he had. Then his mother told him that she had as well and that those days were some of the best she'd ever had.

You could almost hear Buster thinking, Yeah, right!


When they arrived at the camp, they could hear singing! Buster's mother told everybody to hurry so they could get registered... But Buster still held back... He even asked if he had to stay at Camp for this year! He sure didn't get the 
answer he wanted!  I found somebody else that felt like Buster and she stopped by to tell you how she feels...



There were already many other bugs playing and singing, but the lines to sign up were long.  Then he saw another bug about his age, who was looking just as worried as him... He couldn't figure out why all the parents were smiling and taking pictures and enjoying themselves! At least there is somebody else who is not happy, he thought. Maybe they could be friends.

Soon he was saying goodbye to his parents and being escorted to his cabin where five other bugs already had been assigned. He took the last vacant bunk... He wondered if he'd be able to sleep here... He was still very worried...

Before he could even really get to know his roommates, they were all called out to play "meet-and-greet" games and would be playing against groups that were assigned to different cabins... and then there would be singing...



Was Buster going to be okay at Camp? If you want to find out more about going to camp, do check this book out!  Now I've never gone to camp, so I learned a lot about what they might do there. I admit though that I'm like Buster and am worried about being there all by myself without anybody I know. Will you be there? Maybe we could be friends? Do check out this book and tell me what you think about going! And, you know, I really do like to sing...




Enjoy this full-color delightful story with beautifully created bug characters, including Buster's entire family! Your children will be delighted to meet them and there is a whole series starring Buster, so be sure to check out what else is available... Highly recommended!


GABixlerReviews


Robert Stanek is the bestselling author of more than 150 books, read by more than 7.5 million people. Writing as William Stanek and Robert Stanek, he has over 50 #1 bestsellers to his credit and his books have been translated into 27 languages and counting. As a partially disabled veteran and father of a child with disabilities, he is a strong supporter of related causes and charities. In the military, he served as an intelligence analyst working with the NSA. His military career took him to multiple combat zones and duty stations in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. His distinguished service earned him many commendations, including the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross.
During the early days of his writing career, Robert Stanek founded several organization to help other writers, including Writer's Gallery. Robert is also the founder of GoIndie, ReadIndies, and FreeToday, which have been helping indie writers since 2007.
Robert Stanek is author of the #1 Bestselling ELVES OF THE REACHES, an epic fantasy series, currently comprising eight books, which has been translated into twelve languages.
Robert Stanek is also author of the #1 Bestselling MAGIC LANDS, a young adult series comprising two books and counting, which has been translated into seven languages.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling POCKET CONSULTANTS, a computer technology series comprising 35 books and counting, which have been translated into 21 languages.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling BUGVILLE CRITTERS, a children's series comprising 28 books and counting.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling BUGVILLE LEARNING, an educational series comprising 31 books and counting.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling BUGVILLE JR, a children's series comprising 26 books and counting.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE, a mystery / thriller novel for adults.
Robert is also author of the #1 Bestselling STORMJAMMERS, an autobiographical account of his two combat tours in Iraq.
In his fiction writing, Robert transports readers to many imagined worlds. Robert's early fiction work has many influences, including JRR Tolkien, C S Lewis, Anne McCaffrey, H G Wells, and Ray Bradbury.
Robert's books have been written about and recommended by the YA librarian staff at VOYA, Publisher's Weekly, Parenting Magazine, the Journal of Electronic Defense, The Children's Bookshelf, Children's Writer, Popular Series Fiction for Middle School and Teen Readers, and other fine publications and periodicals.
In his long, writing career, Robert's books have been distributed and published by Simon and Schuster, Random House, Macmillan, Pearson, Microsoft, O'Reilly, Hachette and others. Dubbed "A Face Behind the Future" in 1996 by The Olympian, Robert's been helping to shape the future of the written word for over two decades. Robert's 150th book was published in 2013.
Please visit www.robert-stanek.com to find links to stay in touch with Robert. Join Robert Stanek and over 100,000 fans on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertStanekAuthor and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/robertstanek.

Oh, I almost forgot...Buster sent a special message in case he doesn't see you before Halloween!




Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chosen Commander in Chief by Judith M. Galloway - A Timely book to read!

Inauguration Day

Mr. President, Mr. Chief Justice, fellow Americans,
I stand before you today with humility and pride - humility in the wake of those who have gone before me and pride in being an American.

Since its founding our country has been engulfed in turmoil and uncertainty. As your president it
Hestia
is my preeminent duty to nurture the spirit of the country. This is a role which comes naturally to women. Throughout history women have been seen as "keepers of the flame." In Ancient Greece the goddess Hestia was the keeper of the sacred fire of hearth and home. She was the most influential and widely revered of the Greek goddesses. The living flame of Hestia was tended constantly and never allowed to die out.

What has become of the American spirit; is it still burning? Or have the values of our founders vanished in the wilderness of our forefathers? Has the flame of the American spirit somehow been melded to the myriad networks of the inner working of a computer? What has happened to the old truths of the heart? Does anyone even ask anymore: what is truth?
Truth is not relative, it is absolute. Truth is eternal and immutable like the figure of a woman on a Grecian urn--forever pure, forever beautiful, and forever loved. As Nobel Prize winner, William Faulkner said, "Truth covers all things that toch the heart: love and honor, pity and pride, courage and sacrifice."

Our tragedy today is not that we face the loss of material things but that we face the loss of our spirit. Let this be a new beginning for our nation. Let us rekindle the eternal truths of the heart...



Chosen Commander in Chief

By Judith M. Galloway


Will Americans ever select a woman as Commander in Chief? I like to think so, but will be pleasantly surprised if it happens in my lifetime... Galloway, however, presents a novel that moves along so easily and smoothly that readers might indeed think it is possible...but, of course, it's fiction...

Or is it? The main thrust of her story is to reveal one major issue--there are women in the United States that are qualified to become President. If I may be so bold to say that it is quite plausible that the author, herself, could be that qualified woman... or, more specifically, the female main character of her novel...LOL... Especially if you believe that the military experience provides the proper background. I admit that I'm not convinced of that, but that is just my own personal opinion, of course, and doesn't play a part in my review of the book.

I want to early on point out that the tone of this book is not the normal novel readers find. To me, it read more as a documentary or perhaps even an autobiography albeit starting in the adult years of the individual. The author notes that many of the "events are drawn from the author's personal experiences while serving as an officer in the United States Air Force."

The story begins in 1975 and includes some references to actual events during the time period covered. These are all footnoted and provided with full reference material at the end.

One issue with the book, therefore, is that it lacks much drama as normally expected in fiction. Specifically, it is merely the life story of a married couple--both serving in the military and/or in the government and spending much time apart due to that service--and the decisions they face, such as putting off having children, mainly due to their career choices. Issues such as sexual harassment or empowerment for women was a key responsibility for Ryland, in which she succeeded, although there were no real surprises or detailed incidents of any of these important issues. On the other hand, would this type of couple, who have successfully dedicated their lives to military service to the country be ideal for moving into the White House? Personally, I'm not quite sure, but reading the novel could sway readers in that direction.

The main character has moved through the military to the rank of Brigadier General. Her husband, in the meantime, has left military service, studies to become a lawyer, and then is elected as a Senator. He is killed in an accident, which allows the opportunity for Rachel Ryland to be named to fulfill her husband's term of office. 

Theoretically, it is through this move that Rachel Ryland enters politics, and is later seen and nominated for President...by the Republican Party. Frankly, I wasn't convinced until the epilogue when I read the inauguration speech. To me it was the first real emotional disclosure of the values and opinions of the character Rachel Ryland. 

Do we elect presidents based upon professional background and expertise? If so, is a military service background and some late-day political experience the proper mix for the leader in chief of our country? The book's back cover includes several questions, different from the ones I've just included. To me that says, that the book is sufficiently provocative to really cause readers to evaluate what it takes to become president. On the other hand, it is my opinion that the book did not adequately respond to the questions posed on that back cover, except in establishing professional credentials of the individual.

I would like to have seen more of the interpersonal challenges faced by the main character doing her various positions and seen her actually get into difficult situations that were not controlled by an immediate superior as the hierarchy of the military mandates--or at least be able to evaluate how the character handled herself and her personal emotions in light of such challenges. The President has to deal with a Congress that does not see the presidency as being their supreme boss. We all know this. Any woman selected will have to "play the game of politics" and have the savvy and perseverance and personal strength to handle such direct confrontations. There was insufficient evidence in this novel for me to see that the character would be successful. I was disappointed. if there had been more effort to develop the characters, the issues, and actual relevant experiences, this could have been a very powerful novel--with another 100 pages or so...

For those individuals who are looking forward to a female president and are actively working in that direction, the novel is an excellent way to brainstorm exactly what is needed to get that woman into the public eye and what it takes to "curry favor" and support from our citizens.



GABixlerReviews







JUDITH GALLOWAY is a retired Air Force officer. Prior to her retirement from active duty she served as education and training officer at various levels of command including a special assignment to the United States Air Force Academy. Medically retired in 1981, she continued her military service as a civilian management analyst and contract administrator for the United States Navy.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sharing Latest Poetry from Paul M. Kramer - The Saboteur



THE SABOTEUR
(From Paul's Upcoming Book)


Help me remain humble
Not over impressed with myself
Let me never forget
I am no better than anyone else
Cleanse me of my faults
Forgive any wickedness I may possess
Relieve me of my sorrow
Bring me out of my distress
Help me shed childhood guilt
Show me the way to inner peace
Untie the knots of my discretions
Allow my anxieties to cease
Constant battles I am fighting
Enemies I have just one
My abuser torments me daily
There is no place for me to run
I am searching for solutions
I confess I cannot deny
The saboteur, the enemy
Both of them am I


Paul M. Kramer


Paul M. Kramer
Award-Winning Children's Book Author

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Syvlie Nathan Shares Young Woman's Self-Discovery in Breaking the Walls

Violently Happy

From inside the quiet safety of the coffee shop, the two women watched the crowded entrance to Dirty Franks. “I can’t believe how busy they are on a Monday night!” Eve put her cappuccino down on the table and gingerly sat down, trying not to spill the steaming liquid. 
Bridget wasn’t as cautious and her own drink sloshed about violently getting the table wet. “You look down. I mean, I know we just met and all but you seemed peppier yesterday.” 
Laughing Eve said, “I can’t imagine anyone looks peppy compared to you.” 
“Ha yeah. I get that a lot. I’m ‘violently happy’ as that old Bjork song goes. But you are totally changing the subject.”
Eve blurted, “Maddie kissed me.” And then shocked that she had actually said it aloud; she clapped her hands over her own mouth.
“No way. Explain!” Bridget demanded. 
Slowly at first, but then with increasing steam; Eve spilled the story. It felt good to have someone to talk; someone to share this crazy happening with. Yet, guilt encompassed her again… it was silly. It was private? “I shouldn’t have said anything…”
“Why not? It’s not like it’s a secret. Everyone in the bar saw, right?"
 “Yes…” shock. Does that make sense?” 
Bridget sighed wistfully and blew the steam from her coffee. “I’ve heard that.” 
Eve frowned “Now what do you mean?” 
Bridget sat up straight as if Eve had interrupted her daydreaming. “Nothing. People talk but I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything. Everyone wants her, of course. Guys, girls, I mean she’s hot, right? You think she’s sexy?” 
Of course. Silly to think she was the only one to feel that way when she saw Maddie. When she was slinging drinks she really owned the bar. It was her stage and all eyes on her. “So… she’s popular…” probably had a million girlfriends. Eve couldn’t believe she had let it mean something for even a second. How na├»ve and foolish could she be?
~~~



Breaking the Walls


By Sylvie Nathan

Finding yourself, and what your life will become, is hard. Many may choose a career goal for the future, but it is living life, and all that it entails, that is the hard part... 
Robin Sharma: The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal. Take long walks in the woods.

I quickly bonded with Eve, our main character as she began her own road to self-discovery. Because she turned to appropriate books to gain knowledge and encouragement... Of course, if her brother hadn't left his books there when he moved, we don't know whether she would have read them--but we can surmise that the author did...LOL!She introduced Robin Sharma, who I'm choosing to spotlight a little as one of her mentors, but she spends time getting into a number of solid reference books, which she shares with readers... She had discovered one of the problems of reading, however. You spend a lot of time alone...

Of course, she had thought when they--Eve and her little brother, Michael--decided to move to the big city, that she would have his company. That was true, but soon he had moved on to his career goals and had enrolled in business school, which was far enough away that he'd have to move out... And two years had passed. Bad...especially since she had been the one who had dreamed of moving!

After Michael had left, she started reading his motivational books... 

Tim Ferriss: “What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

Eve knew she was going to have to initiate her own actions, having gained no real friends, even at work, since she'd moved!

Straightening her spine, Eve closed her eyes and groped around in the box until she pulled out a book at random. “Unlimited Power” by Tony Robbins. Okay Tony, she thought as she flipped through the pages, tell me what to do. 
Her fingers came to rest at: “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” 
Eve frowned at the page. Invisible. That’s exactly how she felt: invisible in her own life. She was drifting unnoticed through the days; invisible to the happy crowds laughing and walking arm and arm down the street. What sort of goal should she set to become visible? Surely “become visible” was too nebulous and redundant a goal. You can’t use a word within its own definition. Perhaps “become less shy”? No… still too hard to quantify. Eve chewed on her thumb and thought.
What was the worst thing in her life right now? Annoyed, she slammed the book down and looked around her. “This!” she said aloud. The words sounded loud and awkward in the silent apartment. “Why I am I here, alone in this-- this box when I had all these plans?

So Eve set out to fulfill her plans! Right then, forgetting to even put down Tony's book, she took off and headed for the nearest social setting, a bar which she soon learned was called, "Dirty Frank's."

It was only 11 a.m. so there weren't too many people, still she hesitantly opened the door and went in...

And there she met Bridget...  

“Excuse me?” she called out to the bartender, desperately trying to wipe liquid off the cover. The bartender was at the back of the room, leaning over the bar and talking animatedly to the group in the booth by the jukebox. Eve tried again but her soft voice wasn’t getting anywhere. 
Suddenly, hands wrapped around her book. “Hey. I’ve got cocktail napkins,” said a chirpy voice. Eve turned to see a petite woman with a bright smile and a fun asymmetrical haircut. “Thank you” Eve murmured as together they mopped down the back cover and then the bar top. 
“Hey! No problem. It’s hard to start something new.” “How… how did you know?”
“I’m Bridget by the way,” “Eve” Bridget extended her hand and they shook. Wetly. Bridget started laughing. “Well, you are obviously new here or you would never put anything down without checking  first. This place is infamous for its wet tables. Everyone at the hospital calls it ‘Dirty Franks’.” 
“Oh” Eve said, pulling a face.
~~~

And then came the fateful night when Eve decided to invite Michael to meet with her and Bridget, who, when she had met Eve and learned that Michael was her brother, had admitted that she had a crush on Michael... Eve was thinking she was matchmaking; she learned, instead, that Bridget had once been involved with Maddie, the bartender. It wouldn't have been so bad if Bridget had told Eve, when she'd admitted that Maddie had kissed her. Now she was shocked, quickly apologized to her brother, and ran out of the bar...

Becoming friends is hard and Bridget had helped her with that... Could Eve accept what had happened and move on? Even then, was Eve interested in a relationship that involved public dating? I think the story presents a wonderful opportunity for young girls who are exploring their sexuality to check out many of the issues of becoming involved in a lesbian relationship. Especially when there are adult men who proved they can be just as rude, crude and arrogant as young bullies in grade school are!

Spending time developing Eve's insecurities as an invisible person first, I believe, is an important part of this book. Eve had to learn and develop her own self-esteem and acceptance before she would be able to deal with the many issues of becoming involved in a more intimate relationship. Nathan presents a sensitive, openly candid exploration of our insecurities, in all phases of our lives, and encourages motivational information through quotes from many different authors, appropriate to the issue the young girl, Eve, is facing. It is well-done and well-researched and I applaud the author for a book that is appropriate for teens on through to adults! After all we all have our own fears and need to learn how to break down our walls... don't we?

For young girls facing similar decisions as Eve, I call this a must-read...But no matter what, it's highly recommended.


GABixlerReviews





Visit my Website: www.sylvienathan.com

Sylvie Nathan was born in Toronto, Canada. Sylvie lives in Seaforth, Ontario with her wife, their child and two cats (George and Darya). Sylvie is an author of lesbian romance and thrillers. In her free time, she likes to meditate, read, draw, clean the house and go on trips with her family.







Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Guest Blogger Adolph Caso Contributes, "The Climate and Global Warming Alternatives"




The Climate
And Global Warming Alternatives

By Adolph Caso




The President has gained support from the Pope on how to deal with and resolve the threats posed by Global Warming.

As people--world-wide (meaning, those managing pollution, according to the two leaders), we need to reduce reliance on the present energy resources and replace them with alternatives ones such as wind and solar, because the latter have no contaminants, and are pollution-free. In addition, they do not impact on the climate as to affect it negatively.

Solar panels and wind turbines, therefore, are championed by the President and the Pope. For this reason, the panels and turbines are being foisted on the market as alternative solutions to avoid the predicted impending crisis produced by world-wide, man-made, energy-craze industrial, agricultural, and social complexes which, abusively, use coal (fossil fuels), oil, methane, and nuclear. They produce energy, but at the expense of clean air.
The dire assumption is that, if not checked, Global Warming will bring death to large segments of the world’s population. More specifically, it will reduce if not eliminate the people living in third world countries, with a vehemence never seen before in the history of mankind. In addition, when Florida becomes flooded, even the wealthy will suffer the consequences. Global Warming spares no one, much as volcanoes or hurricanes.
In the eyes of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) the villains behind this nightmarish scenario are not necessarily earthquakes, tectonic plates shifting, meteorites, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, arid deserts, forest fires, unwitting management of sequoia underbrush, or advancing or receding glaciers--these, supposedly, will not bring an end to the earth, and will have limited impacts on the climate. But, though these activities are all beyond the reach or control of human beings, un-abated, man-made pollutions wantonly injected into the earth’s atmosphere will insure a most reprehensible end to all living things.

  1. Will solar and wind, as recommended by the two leaders, allow us to reverse the trend and save us and world around us?
  2. Or, will the two resources place our world on a faster track to dooms day?

How did we get to this precipice in the first place? No one seems to know for sure.

Making choices based on available resources

Wood: My family grew up in a rural small town where food came from small, privately-owned, under-producing farms. We used discarded wood very sparingly in the coldest of winter nights: Not because we had any idea about Global Warming; but, because, whatever wood we could scrounge, we used it for very basic cooking. We did not have alternative energy sources, such as petroleum, natural gas, kerosene, or electricity, and never even thought about the issue because we didn’t even know it existed. This all changed in 1947, when my mother and I joined my siblings, who were living in a Boston suburb.
In the basement of my sister’s house were two bins full of coal. As soon as one became empty, Joe, our cousin—first generation American, the coal man, would bring his truck to re-fill the bin. The soot on his face made him un-recognizable, except for evening time. He would come to play cards with my father and uncle--his face as clean as the top of his bald head was shiny.
“How can you stand it?” my uncle asked. He had seen the soot on his nephew’s face on a regular basis.
“Not for much longer,” Joe answered in a voice full of pessimism. He had already heard about the health hazards associated with coal, and the availability of heating oil. On the other hand, he knew he’d be losing his job.
My sisters, though, were concerned about the soot in the basement, which crept into the house. No matter how hard they tried to remove it, the soot kept on being present.
“We have to change to oil,” my sister demanded; and, typically, my brother-in-law quickly obeyed.

Oil: The following year, the bins disappeared and were replaced with a five-hundred gallon oil tank. Before I knew it, the boiler was replaced and the house was heated with an abundant supply of heating oil. No more soot: but, no more Joe delivering coal.
Unknowingly, I became a direct beneficiary from the change. I used the space for body-building (lifting bundled bricks and stones), and honed in on wood-working skills.

We continued using oil for many years, my sisters, especially, happy with the results relating to housekeeping and health. Our only regret, however, was that Joe died, most likely from pneumoconiosis.

 

Methane Gas: Our third decision to change energy source came many years later. With methane gas in abundance, and with competitive prices, we decided to get rid of the oil tank, and replace it with a single gas line into the house. In its place, we built an office with appropriate shelves (but without books). On the single desk, we placed a desktop computer—the world of free and immediate information was at our finger tips. Books were no more our main source of information, and the house was completely free of residues. To be sure, we kept the chimney clear so the fumes from the gas expelled without obstruction into the atmosphere.

During this time, the abundance of these three sources of energy—coal, oil, and methane—brought about a second revolution in the industrial world. Processing coal from mines became more profitable than ever; and, with the advent of drilling-machines, oil also became available throughout the world. Combined with new methods of mass production, food came into the market in abundance. People, who had never afforded pasta or rice, let alone fresh food sources from other nations, were now able to offset starvation. Many, in fact many who, a generation earlier struggled to stay alive, were now enjoying regenerative ways of living. However, this amelioration did not come without cost both to our earth and its world.

 

Earth’s volcanoes: The earth itself is not cooperating in maintaining a world environment in keeping with the evolving needs of its human race. Consider volcanic actions alone (notwithstanding hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, forest fires, etc.):

In one eruption, Mt. St. Helens more than infused the environment world-wide with toxicity; it also devastated the landscape for miles and miles, having destroyed trees, animals, and dwellings. While the forest has crept back, human activity is not responding as well.

In the Philippines, Mt. Pinatubo emitted un-measurable amounts of toxicity into the atmosphere, as well as having destroyed surrounding natural and man-made habitats. The large American military base is still closed while the ozone layer is alive and well.

Mauna Hualalai, together with related volcanoes, continues to threaten the very existence of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Continuously spilling toxicity, there is a chance that either the Hawaiian Islands will disappear, or that larger ones will arise.

Avachinsky-Koryaksky, in Russia, though seemingly silent now, examples of its destruction onto the landscape can still be seen today. No one knows its impact to the Ozone layer.

Although the resilient yellow broom flower seems to be challenging the very core of Mt. Vesuvius, in Italy, the casualties it produced in Pompeii in 79 AD will be insignificant compared to the number of residents that might be killed in the surrounding areas should Vesuvius erupt again.

 

Earth’s Hurricanes: Hurricanes have been around long before humans began to populate the earth. They are responsible overall for more death and destruction than any other natural disaster, their impact being so immense. Though the new European inhabitants saw their first hurricane around 1625, these weather realities have not subsided in time. They simply come and go. And only their devastations remain the memories of the survivors. Talk to any survivor of Katrina with its double whammies: first its waters ran over the entire region; secondly its waters reverted back in the form of a tsunami. What was left standing with the first advance was completely destroyed with the second wave. This was a phenomenon never seen before. It transcended any human action, be of the EPA, the President, the Governor or petty local politicians. Many of those that survived were left standing—still praying.  

 

Scarring the earth: Mining destroys the environment. Mining for coal and drilling for oil, likewise, bring about other kinds of disasters. However, the use of energy (to meet the needs of additional millions of mouths to feed and bodies to keep warm) also contributes to the deterioration of the climate. The claim is not that it doesn’t; the answer is that it does!

The challenge, therefore, rests in the need to keep millions of people from starving to death, and not, at the same time, to restrict the number of births as is presently taking place.

 

Population control: Communist China limited women to bear one child, and accorded to them any method or means to abort additional children. In view that China’s population has increased beyond a billion people is proof that Mao’s restrictions have not worked out.

In the Western countries, like Europe and America--thanks to all kinds of contraception, including harvesting abortion with federal and state financial support, population growth diminished, due mainly to programs as euthanasia, abortion-on-demand, sterilization, and others. Indeed, the specific population levels of those nations have decreased. Yet, the overall populations of each of those nations have increased by large percentages, thanks to the influx of millions and millions of refugees, complemented by the largest numbers of legal and illegal immigrants. The result is that for too many people, the world has neither ameliorated their daily lives, nor improved their peaceful existence. In 2015, refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and Central America, are pouring into Europe and America like never before. These movements are the results of man-made activities, especially political. At the same time, genocides of Christians go unabated and unchallenged.

 

Have industrial human activities brought about a point of no return? Man-made emissions into the environment are real, and not just because the weather is always unstable.

 

President Obama in Alaska: While in Alaska to un-name McKinley, President Obama stated that, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here; it is happening now.” These are the words of Mr. Obama confirming the apocalypse. What are his solutions or alternatives--in view of the fact that life has to go on despite the onslaught of killings by terrorists, by soldiers, or by civilian murderers, or because of the onslaught by drainage into healthy river waters of all kinds of toxic waste?

 

Nuclear energy: The fourth source of energy, of course, is nuclear. The country (that has excelled in harnessing it) is France, albeit she being the only industrial nation whose economy is well and successfully entrenched on the nuclear source. The problem is that France also has a nuclear arsenal with many warheads; if deployed, France (or any other more or less powerful nation) can completely destroy our world. Because of these fatal potentials, many nations have been loath to also harness nuclear sources for peaceful use. And it is doubtful that America would pursue this route, or that the Vatican itself would be supportive—human life being so precious!

 

Wind and solar energy: The fifth and sixth sources are wind and solar energy--the two sources with which President Obama and the Pope hope to replace the traditional source of coal, oil, methane, and nuclear, in order to reclaim proper and viable climate controls on behalf of the world so that the human race and other species may continue to prosper.

Can either solar or wind power the blast furnaces that make steel possible? The irony is that mankind has made great strides in its civilization when the above sources were available in abundance. The same civilization fared badly when it depended on wind; and, solar is too new to predict. In view of the physical space it requires—whether on roofs with their impermanent layers of shingles or wood, or on vast landscapes subjugated to soil-water covering panels, solar may not necessarily be the answer to our dilemma.

 

Holland’s windmills: Wind energy is perhaps the oldest source next to wood. Holland, among other nations, made great use of wind through its effective windmills, used mainly to draw water for irrigation and to power millstones to process all types of grain. In America, these mills were powered by running water. In Holland--necessarily because of its flat terrain, the mills were powered by the wind. As of the beginning of the 20th century, those windmills have all but disappeared. One or two remain as tourist attraction.

Ironically, those windmills have been replaced by gigantic mechanical wind-driven turbines to generate electricity, which continues to be available from coal, oil, methane, and water dams.

 

Wind-driven turbines: In my mother’s village, electricity was introduced in 1946. Around 1990, three turbines were erected on one of the nearby hills. On being asked on the efficacy, efficiency, productivity, and profitability of the towers--in other words: have the towers earned the costs of purchase and installations? As of that day, the answer was, no—neither then, nor in the foreseeable future.

There was a move to install similar towers in the Cape Cod Bay. Aesthetics was one of the reasons the idea was rejected. People were also concerned with the traffic of birds. But, think of it: how to build something as massive as that, with big units whirring noisy propellers, and with all kinds of connecting cables abounding on a moving landscape fraught with unpredictable waves, snow, and hurricanes? While supporters who wanted to implement the plan had no problems in wanting to create a landscape of anti-nature proportions, those same individuals badgered various land-mining and de-foresting activities in which, thankfully, the environment has and is properly re-claiming itself in due time.

 

Fields upon fields of solar panels: As for the ubiquitous solar panels--either on walls or on roofs of houses and buildings, or on fields packed with reflecting light (as far and wide as the eye can see), little can be said on their investment returns to the investors. But, it seems, there are many benefits accruing to politicians and to manufactures.

As for the home owners receiving all kinds of sales pitches from the government and industry, they have to consider the meager benefits in rendering cold water into semi-hot water for either personal use or for heating houses. Nevertheless, because of the awareness to reduce the emissions into the environment, private individuals seem to be exploring ways to harness the potentials of solar heat.

 

Their main challenge, however, is twofold:

 

1.     How to handle the amount of storage space needed for large amounts of water to be stored for general use such as irrigation.

2.     How to preserve water to be heated and kept hot over extended periods of time for personal use.

 

The cistern—potentials: Re-discovering and implementing the Roman system of the cistern through which rain water is collected and directed from high to low ground may not be a bad idea considering the extensive road networks with their unconnected drain systems. Rather than just collect rain water in separate independent mosquito generating, high maintenance drains, whose rain water seeps into the ground—it would make more sense to connect them to a lower ground man-made reservoir for all kinds of usage, at various levels. Consider the useless, mosquito-infested drains on residential streets alone. They store rain water for no good reason other than to create its own pollution: if they were replaced by open or closed viaducts, a more stable and bountiful supply of water could be used to enhance agriculture and to combat those devastating forest fires.

 

Question:

1.    In view of the fact that summer and winter weather conditions are determined by the climate, would my sister change to solar energy?

Answer: No!

2.     Erecting wind turbines in one’s back yard seem to meet EPA standards under most situations: Look around our neighborhoods: they are all over the place! We can even hear them. Would my sister change to wind energy?

Answer: No!

 

Final question: How and where can we replace the water tank--just in case the industry reveals a practical and feasible alternative? First solution: turn the coal bin space (the office with the desktop computer) into an appropriate water tank storage area—a commodity of great value at all times. Thanks to Internet Cloud-like applications, replacing the desktop computer with laptops or pads poses no problem. As it stands, replacing coal, oil, methane, and nuclear energies with wind and solar, on the other hand, will most likely doom the world, and not necessarily its earth.

If scientists cannot agree on the premises of Global Warming, every responsible human being (inclusive of politicians and other zealots) needs to act on one’s preservation, survival, and well-being, by reducing excessive use of any energy source that negatively impacts on the environment.

 

Conclusion: There is no doubt that the traditional energy sources have led to an increase in population growth in the last 70 years; there is also no doubt that the proposed alternatives will lead to drastic  decreases in population growth.

 

Many scientists believe Global Warming is a threat to all living things on earth. Data bolstering their scientific method which allowed them to draw that conclusion, however, in many cases has been reported as fraudulent in some cases. For the scientists holding the opposite view, their data has not yet been seriously challenged.

 

There seems to be little doubt that in the future, the earth will become part of our sun, or cast off somewhere in the universe to become part of who knows what other heavenly body.

 

Presently, our hope is that the prayers of the Pope will enhance the wisdom of our President in resolving the issues surrounding Global Warming.


~~~



 Adolph Caso is a Regular Contributor to
Book Readers Heaven