Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Want to be More Street Smart? Consider Study of Proverbs...

I sincerely believe God used Proverbs to restore my life, leading to the sale of my business to eBay in order to earn my master's and doctorate degrees in religious studies, allowing me to become a carrier of Christ's message of grace and wisdom. He has made me a better father to my four daughters and husband to my wife, Susan...

I liked the title of this book - the idea of considering Lessons from Proverbs in relation to present day life...

Mitch Kruse has an exceptional life story to share. While this is somewhat of a self-help by which the author has shared that personal story, it is also easy to apply the references and concurrent narrative as you think about your own life... I have found this the best way to deal with study guides rather than to review the book simply as written...

Indeed, this is a resource book that should be kept in your personal library for immediate access. Because of the chaos in today's world, however, I am choosing to dwell on the Chapter on Justice... By the way, you will find study videos on each of the points covered in the book, such as the following:

The thrust of the book, or subtitle, is to help readers understand how to navigate through conflict to community. The justice system itself is under scrutiny and I found this chapter helpful. I would recommend the book if only to help us live through each day when truth, lies, and lack of wisdom seem to be so prevalent and divisive.

Key points to resolution is to consider the person with whom you are in conflict. Then: Pray...Define the Conflict...Examine... Reflect...and...Determine. Many of you may realize this process is close to the scientific approach to any research and may already be routinely following the steps... But have we been praying before we start??? Whoa! Have we been neglecting that? I admit I have too, too often...

The simple fool is gullible. "A simple man
believes anything, but a prudent man
gives thought to his steps. 14:15.
Now none of us want to think of ourselves as fools, do we? Yet right there in Proverbs 1:7, we are confronted with the options... And we are told over and over in Proverbs to seek wisdom...knowledge...
Next we find out that there are different types of fools: The gullible fool and the stupid fool. 

The second stage in the progression toward a hardened heart is the stupid fool. He repeats his gullible behavior "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." 26:11 This fool repeats anger, strained family relationships, wickedness, deceit, slander, and shame. Unlike the gullible fool who learns from his mistakes and doesn't make them again, this fool's repetitive folly carries deeper consequences...

And then there is the stubborn fool, the scorning fool, and the Godless fool... Quite a number of options to see if we fit in anywhere...or maybe just sometimes, does that count? Well, the point is that this book is full of content that makes us attempt to understand... and hopefully gain knowledge...and wisdom...

At that point, readers begin to consider the key to unlocking wisdom, using the acronym WISE: Will, Intellect, Spirit, and Emotions. By considering the revelation in Proverbs of twelve words to the wise: righteousness, equity, justice, wise behavior, understanding, wise communication, prudence, discretion, wise counsel, discipline, knowledge, learning...and readers will proceed on to study each word, beginning with a chapter on righteousness...

Interesting to me was that the first section in that chapter was "Listening to Others." I have known all my life I was better at listening in a conversation/conflict than I was to extemporaneously respond. Many have found they start thinking about their response before they actually listened and that just leads to further the conflict. You know, though, as I grew older, I found I had grown hesitant to voice my own opinions but now that I am, that has, for the first time in my life, increased conflict...with comments like, "You've changed..." I mention this because each of us must know ourselves sufficiently to see what the real issue is we must address...

Somehow Proverbs 16:11 in the New American Bible started me thinking about this issue in my communication norm... A just balance and scales belong to the LORD; All the weights of the bag are His concern. Had I created my present situation since I had not applied equal balance in my listening and talking? Spotlighting "Be Impartial" seemed to expand my thoughts. When it comes to interpersonal conflict, do you tend to be one sided? Do you favor a particular kind of person or behavior over another? I found I had favored the listening role in relationships because it was easier to maintain equilibrium with the individual(s) and save myself from potential arguments... But God tells us that justice is of paramount value for our relationships: "To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." 21:3

I included this personal experience with the book to show that each of us will be reading and receiving knowledge that we will learn, for ourselves, and for our communication with others.  Or, through continued reading, reevaluate our communication choices.  May you read Street Smarts openly and honestly. In my opinion, you too will find advancement of your knowledge and wisdom. Highly recommended because of that...


MITCH KRUSE is known for his contribution to the collector car and real estate auction arenas. For seventeen years, he was owner, CEO, and auctioneer of the world's largest collector car sales organization. Kruse and his father developed the world's first auction park, home to the annual Auburn, Indiana, collector car auction that attracted three hundred thousand collectors each year. Mitch and his wife, Susan, live in Auburn, Indiana, just 15 minutes north of Fort Wayne, IN, on their family farm, first homesteaded by Kruse's great-great-great grandfather in 1854. They have four daughters.

D.J. WILLIAMS has been in the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector for twenty years. His writing credits include Restoration Road with Mitch Kruse, The Disillusioned, Waking Lazarus, and contributing writer for Holy Bible: Mosaic. Currently based in Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits by continuously developing new projects for television, film, and print.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Trust--Another Winner by Ronald H. Balson Out Today!

Ronald H. Balson won me as a fan with my reading of his books, Once We Were Brothers, Karolina's Twins, and now with The Trust.

Balson writes drama that is real, gritty, and provocative in its coverage of past or present world events affecting us all. This time we visit Northern Ireland, still dealing with "The Troubles" as it was called...

St. Michael's, a Five-Hundred-Year-Old Gothic church, sat perched on a hill beside a river named Six Mile Water. The car park was nearly full when I arrived and the moment I pulled in I saw Jane. She was standing alongside her car in a black jersey dress, having a smoke. When she saw me she flipped her cigarette, walked quickly over and threw her arms around me.
"So glad you're here, Liam." She slipped her hand in the crook of my elbows and led me toward the church. "Everyone will be so pleased to see you."
"Maybe not everyone."
"Anyone who's not will have to answer to Janie," she said forrcefully.
We walked into the vestibule where the congregants had quietly gathered around my uncle's casket waiting to follow him into the nave. My aunt Deirdre, a black veil covering her head, held her hand firmly on the casket. She would hold on as long as she could to the man she'd loved for so many years.
My arrival turned a few heads and some acknowledged me with a nod. We still off to the right, next to my uncle Robert, Janie's father. Normally, he was the jovial Taggart, with cherry cheeks, a generous paunch and a beer in his fist. Today he had dark circles under his eyes. He warmly shook my hand. "Welcome back, Liam. It's good to see you."
"Good to see you as well," I answered. "I just wish it weren't under these circumstances."
"As do we all."
I leaned my head sideways and whispered to Janie, "How did he die, Janie? What did you mean we'd talk about it?"
"He was killed, Liam. Murdered in cold blood."

Liam Taggart lived in the United States and worked as a private investigator. It was natural to assume that the phone ringing might be for a job--but he never would have guessed that it would be both bad news and a job! His cousin, Janie, was calling from Ireland about the death of their uncle. Fergis Taggart had died the night before... Fergis and Liam had been estranged for years and Liam's first reaction was not to go to the funeral. After all, Fergus had told him to leave his home on the day they had last talked...

But Janie had surprised him during the call when she said "The family needs you. Uncle Fergus needs you." Liam's puzzlement started at that very moment... How could Uncle Fergus even know if he was there or not? And he wasn't really sure that many of the rest of the family would want him there, especially after they had found out about him... After all, some would call him a traitor...

It was at the family gathering at Doogan's, that the division of family feelings began to come out...But Janie held to her promise and quickly stepped in by introducing Liam and explaining that she had been the one to call him and insisted he come. She then pointed out that Liam was a private investigator and that the family would be fools not to use his expertise to discover who had killed Fergus... Things settled down until the reading of the Will...

Liam had been named the sole Trustee of Fergus' property until such time as the person who had murdered Fergus had been discovered and prosecuted... The characters and readers both were flabbergasted! What the victim had done was essentially state that he knew somebody planned to murder him...and he'd made sure his estate was held until everything was cleared up... The police really were being put on the spot, as was the members of the family who might have thought they would inherit, especially Fergus' children...

Essentially, placing Liam as head of the Trust with full control, brought everybody's feelings about Liam back to the front. But Fergus had so arranged it that Liam would probably be forced to take the role, whether he wanted to or not...

A legal thriller like those that often come about when a large amount of money is at stake through  family inheritance (and, even, when it is a small amount, sometimes death brings out the worst in greedy people) is surely one of the options to pursue. But so was somebody coming back to seek revenge based upon actions by the Taggart Family during The Troubles!

What actually happens is that, while Liam is in the middle of things, he spends more time learning about the family and what has happened between and among them. One strange thing was that his beloved aunt who had cared for him when Liam had lived with Fergus early in his life, had never been officially married. She was possibly going to lose the right to stay in her home!  

The family drama is engaging, familiar, yet embarrassing, as fighting begins even before the family members leave the lawyer's office for the reading of the will! While the potential historical perspective chosen by most family members as the likely answer to the death of their Uncle was certainly intriguing given what had occurred those many years ago. but really seemed unlikely... But then, more relatives began to be murdered. Fear of which old family could be after them caused both the police and family to begin remembering who they had killed...and who might still seek revenge for those deaths they had caused...

And part of that investigation naturally took place at the local pubs, where Liam, even there was remembered for another reason... I thoroughly enjoyed his being asked to sing an old Irish song from the time of The Troubles.  

Just then the band finished a number and Janie grabbed my hand and pulled me up to the stage. "C'mon, Liam. I've heard that you sing a mean 'Roddy McCorley.' Get up there!"
I hesitated, "No, no Janey. Don't do this to me," But she was forceful "Who told you that? It was Deidre, wasn't it? Janie!"
The bartender ran up with a short of whiskey and handed it to me. "The stage is yours, Liam. We're waitin'." The fiddle player nodded to his companions who picked up their instruments. "Roddy McCorley, gents."
I hadn't done this in years. I downed the shot, looked at Janie and said, "I'll get you for this." She laughed and was joined by others in the bar who smiled and prodded me on. I took a deep breath, grabbed the mic, and started slowly.
"O-oh, we the fleet-foot host of men who come with faces wan..."
My weak beginning to the anthem brought police smiles and nods from the gathering at Conway's, but in for a dime, in for a dollar and I plowed ahead.
"From farmstead and from Fisher's cot, along the banks of Ban..."
Thank God for the band behind me setting the beat. The crowd started clapping and keeping time with their feet. I got a little louder. And a little bolder.
"They come with gengeance in their eyes, too late, too late are they,
For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today."
I started to hand the mic back to the guitar player, but the banjo picked up the tempo, a man ran out with another shot, and comeone shouted, "You can't quit now. On to the second verse. You're doing splendidly."
I shrugged, downed the shot and continued to embarass myself. While I sang and looked out over the crowd, most of whom had come here, to their local watering hold, to nurse a pint and enjoy a peaceful evening of music and neighborhood camaraderie, it occurred to me that these were my people, my Irish roots, my DNA. For the men and women, especially the older ones, the words to the traditional tunes came to their lips as natural as breathing. And when I got to the third line of the third verse, "For Antrim town, For Antrim town, he led them to the fray." many stood and belted the line boldly, raising their beer glasses in salute...

And there is the key to why Balson's books continue to be so popular, so real. This author takes us into the lives of characters, no matter where they are, and we feel like we become part of the lives of those characters, constantly considering how each one has been affected by the events happening in their lives...right now... as they face a future without loved ones that have been purposefully taken away from them. For in the midst, secrets always come out, supposedly hidden for a reason... I cried with Liam as he learned his father had been murdered... so many years ago... at that time, possibly, just because he was Catholic...

If you haven't read any of Balson's books, this is an intriguing book to begin! This and his other books I've read are highly recommended!


Ronald H. Balson is an attorney practicing with the firm of Stone, Pogrund and Korey in Chicago. The demands of his trial practice have taken him into courts across the United States and into international venues. An adjunct professor of business law at the University of Chicago for twenty-five years, Ron has also lectured on trial advocacy in federal trial bar courses. 

During the early 2000s Ron spent time in Warsaw and southern Poland in connection with a complex telecommunications lawsuit. While in Poland Ron was profoundly moved by the scars and memorials of World War II, which inspired him to write Once We Were Brothers, his first novel. Extensive travels to Israel and the Middle East provided the inspiration for Saving Sophie, his second novel. While on his Once We Were Brothers book tour, Ron met Fay Waldman, a survivor of multiple Nazi prison camps. Her remarkable story inspired and provided the backdrop for Ron's third novel, Karolina's Twins. The Trust is Ron's fourth.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ann Swann Presents Fantastic Romantic Suspense Stutter Creek! A Personal Favorite Selection!

She had finally fallen asleep. But even the sleep-aid hadn't been able to protect her from the dream. Every time she closed her eyes, the blackness came and swallowed her family. She was reminded of her grandmother and how the elderly woman had often suffered from bad dreams and what she'd referred to as "visits."
Beth had always thought the woman was a little off until her grandfather had passed away, that is. Then she had experienced such a clear vision of him standing at the end of her bed, waiting to say goodbye, that she had never doubted her Grandmother's stories again. When she had mentioned it to her Gran, the older woman had simply hugged her and with tears in her eyes, she'd said, "Your momma, she got visits, too."
Beth hand't really known how to respond to that. Her mom had died of toxemia shortly after Beth was born. When her Gran had passed several years later, Beth had awoken--apparently at the very moment of the elder woman's death from a stroke--to the old John Denver song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane." She awoke
hearing line that gave her an immediate image of her Gran standing out in the hall, luggage in hand, ready to go on a trip. She had a sad look on her sweet old face, as if she hated having to stop by so unexpectedly.
Beth never doubted that it was her Gran, stopping by just like her Granddad had done so many years before. Then, when the same song just happened to be playing on the car radio three days later on the way to the funeral... that had really convinced her that she had been "visited."

I loved this book! Romantic Suspense is among my favorite genres, but when you add a bit of the paranormal, it adds so much to the options that can be added... and Swann did this exceptionally well. After mentioning early in the book about the incidents that had happened to Beth, the main character, we do not see any further evidence of this phenomenon until Ann has arrived at Stutter Creek... I'm not going to share anything further, because this is so special that you will want to read it and respond to it first-hand... Without saying any more, I'll just add it was the perfect complement to making the story...fantastic! 

Beth's life had hit a new bottom and she was just beginning to deal with it... Beth's mother had died when she was born, and her father had raised her on his own--they were inseparable. But he had recently died while at the same time, her husband had left her for a younger woman. It was wonderful to see her daughter married soon thereafter, but when they decided to live in Italy, well, Beth had never felt lonelier... 

Facing that she was now having a hard time staying in her home, Beth suddenly decided to pack and head up to their cabin where she had so many wonderful memories with her father... And as a divorcee now, she couldn't help but remember her very first deep crush for Big John, a young man, who at 18, realized that he shouldn't be feeling like he did for the 14-year-old Beth and had joined the service...and then continued to work until he'd retired... Twenty years had gone by and he and Turk, a dog with whom he'd worked during the service and whose life he'd save when he was leaving a last battle, arrived at Stutter Creek, just before Beth showed up... Their reconnect is, well, truly sweet...and would have been the answer to her dreams if it had not been tied to...death...

The book opens when a young woman sees a small boy standing along the road... Amanda couldn't help but stop... The boy's father immediately drugged him he would have time for his fun with Amanda and then get rid of her... The serial killer was quite happy to have found his son and use him to attract his victims! And he was ready for the next one on his list...

Kurt head butted Sherylyn when she tried to grab the gearshift. Then he cranked up the volume on the radio and smiled when he heard the refrain of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain."
As Willie Nelson continued to wail. Sherylyn did her best to get rid of the wad of duct tape in her mouth, but Kurt went wild He loosened his grip on her chin. Sherylyn whooped air through her suddenly open mouth just as Kurt thrust his entire hand between her teeth. Her jaw was forced open with a craack, and he crushed the ball of tape down into her throat.
Completely panicked, Sherylyn whipper her head back and forth, but she could not dislodge the tape. His fist was iron...

Beth had seen the boy along the road as well, and had stopped immediately. He had disappeared... Beth at first thought it was an hallucination, caused by the stress she'd been experiencing, but she couldn't stop thinking about it and knew she would have to make sure the boy was really not out there somewhere...

Beth was not the type of victim the killer wanted--his picks were young blond girls, but Beth was causing problems and she would be taken care of...for his own protection...

This book is action-packed as the bodies start being found and another girl is taken... The suspense is developed as readers move from situation to situation, until the climatic merge of the various characters explodes into a frantic search and rescue, led mainly by Turk! It's tense, edgy, and yet the finding of an old love late in life is so tenderly presented, emotions will be going up and down as each event jerks us from either concern, fear, or loving moments... This one just had to be added as a personal favorite for me! And, by the ending, prepare for a wonderful smile of complete satisfaction...

This was my first time reading Ann Swann, but I found her writing provocative and flowing as she deftly moves us from scene to scene... I can certainly recommend this and for romantic suspense lovers, call it a must-read suggestion from me...


Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She still lives in West Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Florida Gothic...May Not Be What You Think... Mitzi Szereto Does...Unique...

(Turn the sound down low for background mood...)

Got to tell you right away, that Florida Gothic was not what I expected... As a long-time gothic fan, I was expecting something like Heathcliff, or other similar novels where people live in castles and there is romance, suspense and more...NOT! So, if that is what you're looking for, don't buy this...

On the other hand, Mitzi Szereto has written in a range of genres and I've always liked her writing, so I was willing to read on...Be prepared, this Gothic is from the Horror side of Gothic--and horror is what you're going to get! Starting with how the main character is...killed...

On a muggy Sunday evening, Ernesto Calixto Martinez is run over by an expensive black Hummer with the vanity license plate kngpdro. There are no calls to 9-1-1, no attempts to keep him from going into shock, no offers of comfort. There’s nothing but the SUV driver speeding away, leaving a broken old man to die in his own pee and shit on a dark Miami road by a smelly canal. 

Ernesto’s not yet fully dead when the alligator finds him. After making quick work of his left arm, it takes some chunks out of his already scrawny right leg. As he listens to the sound of sharp prehistoric teeth crunching tired old bone, he drifts in and out of consciousness, convinced he must be dreaming—hoping he must be dreaming. His brain feels like a waterlogged ball of cotton, but it’s not water but blood that’s misting his thoughts. Only after he dies does Ernesto appreciate the extent of the damage done to his body. His left arm has been torn off at the shoulder, leaving behind a bleeding gash festooned with ribbons of raw flesh and tendon, the alligator having slithered back into the murky canal to savor its tasty prize. As for his leg, its meat and muscle have been pulverized to a lumpy pulp by a primitive creature as efficient in killing as it is lying in wait for victims. Ernesto nearly vomits when he sees it. 

Except the dead can’t vomit...

Ernesto is not only a victim of a hit-and-run... a nearby alligator sees him and waddles over for an unexpected meal!

Gory death...gory afterlife... You know, something like the infamous scene everybody thinks of when they say "Thanks for the ride, lady..."

A dead man’s rage is like no other. Ernesto can feel it bubbling like boiled tar inside the dead shell of him until it spills from his lips in gluey strings of blood-blackened bile. He rages at the man who hit him; he rages at the drivers who ignored him; he rages at the people responsible for the creature that took what remained of his life away. That’s what happens when baby alligators are dumped in lakes and canals after their owners discover their “pets” won’t stay small forever. Usually you hear about it when the adult versions show up on a golf course and interrupt someone’s game. Then it’s reported as a funny news story—something to be chuckled over after the reports of drug busts, government corruption and murder are presented. An old Cubano’s gator-mangled body probably wouldn’t qualify as a funny news story.

I try not to enjoy revenge...but I've got to admit, this guy deserved to take it! So be prepared for a hunt like no other, as Ernesto finds hate, anger and a need for revenge keeps burning even after death...

He had plenty of time to think and, first, realized that he had died just as his daughter a hit-and-run... and the one who killed her had just got out of jail... He would be the first... He knew unfairness in this world was wide and sometimes it seemed to come from God. He was willing to take it from Him... But, not from his peers, those humans who chose to act in evil, drinking and driving, without taking responsibility for what they did! Indeed, was God allowing him to stay here for exactly what he had in mind? How would he know? But he continues on his search...

He lives alone as he finds his way through the world that holds evil, his only friends the bugs and maggots that now occupy his home and even his body... But he sits remembering his beloved Esperanza.

Ernesto decided to go outside. He wanted to see the moon, possibly for the last time. Its brightness lit up the closed Venetian blinds like the screen in a movie theater, reminding him of happier times. He and Esperanza enjoyed looking at the moon together. They would hold hands and he’d sing to her “Moon Over Miami” from the film, though he was no Don Ameche. Back when they were dating, they went to see the musical at a movie house in Matanzas, though by then it had been out for more than a decade. Ernesto wanted to relive those joyful moments, but the stark aloneness of his dead self staring up at the sky with his dead eyes couldn’t bring them back...

I admit that I am not a fan of this type of horror, but there is an underlying story that is intriguing even while horribly graphic... Just as the terrible horror is happening in Florida right now, and other catastrophes across the world, including Texas, we are pulled into the individual story that arises out of the world we live in. Ernesto lived after death for a length of time... and when the door knocked, he was ready...

Soooo, "thanks for the ride..." Mitzi! Your writing saved this book for me... I don't know how you do it...But, those who enjoy graphic horror, do check it out!


Mitzi Szereto ( is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction. She has her own blog Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto's Weblog, and a web TV channel Mitzi TV, which covers the "quirky" side of London. Her books include Oysters and Pearls: Collected StoriesRotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) and Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) - the cozy mystery/satire series co-written with celebrity author bear Teddy Tedaloo; Phantom: The Immortal (co-written with Ashley Lister); Love, Lust and Zombies; Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of RomanceThe Wilde Passions of Dorian GrayThrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and FirePride and Prejudice: Hidden LustsRed Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance;  Getting Even: Revenge StoriesDying For It: Tales of Sex and Death; In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; and Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Chair - His Chair

His first assessment was wrong. As he studied it longer, he realized its minimalism masked a complex beauty.
And its finish was...he didn't know. He'd never seen one like it before. Almost a translucent gold.
He stepped forward and rubbed his finger along its back. Again a tingling sensation ran through his fingers, lighter this time as if he'd stuck his fingers in an electrical socket with a minimal current flowing through it. But the feeling wasn't painful. It was almost warm and tinged with energy. An instant later he felt...refreshed. As if he'd just taken a twenty minute power nap.
He pulled his hand back and rubbed his thumb and fingers together, "Strange."

On Tuesday afternoon at five thirty, an elderly lady strode into Corin's antiques store as if she owned it and said, "The next two months of your life will be either heaven or hell."
...She looked at Corm as if observing a small child, "You've misunderstood. I am not asking you to buy the chair. I am giving it to you."
"Why would you do that?"
"You are to have it." She motioned again toward the door.
"I am?" Corin slid his hands into his jeans and eased toward the woman. "Who made that decision?"
She stared at him and gave a faint smile but she didn't answer...
"Where did it come from? Who made it?"
She stood. "I told you. A craftsman."
"His name?"
She kept speaking as if she hadn't heard him. "Who lived long ago."
"What was his name?"

Check out my Review of First Rubart Book Read!

After I had finished reading Rooms, my first book by James L. Rubart, I wrote that it was one of the best books I ever read. Although I can't remember the exact story now, since it was in 2009, I still remember the feelings, the emotions, the impressions from that book. Soon after I finished reading Rooms, I ordered The Chair...
It had sat on my bookshelf until this month, when I pulled it out, unbelievably exactly 8 years after I bought it...
God sends me the right books to read at the right time...Perhaps this is your time to read one or both of these books or others by this outstanding Christian fiction writer!

As I think of this book, I find myself picturing Jesus as he grew older, knowing what was coming in His life, realizing that, with His carpenter skills, He could leave a part of Him to actually live on after the Crucifixion. He would be leaving his Holy Spirit, but something tangible might be actually used to perform miracles in His absence... He built The Chair...

And when the chair was discovered, it was secretly taken into a woman's hands who would guard and protect it and allow it to be used by those in need, as guided by our Lord...The Chair was then handed down from mother to daughter through hundreds and thousands of years until it was brought into an antique store, owned by Corin Roscoe.

Corin...and readers...will wonder why The Chair was given to Corin. He was not a devoted believer nor, even after he'd begun to guess who built the chair, was he anxious to keep it...except, he did have one major issue as well as his own needs that could certainly benefit from healing. It is not my intent to share much about the story; readers need to experience it as it evolves and I don't want to take that away...  I will say that Corin had a unique and unusual story in his life that won't match many of what we may have experienced...

The key issue, for me, was to learn about events in his life and consider how I would have responded to a similar situation... Then, too, there are principles of trust, judging others, and being forced to deal with the actions of others when they do not support our own will or desires, Rubart brilliantly turns a flip-flop on our own emotional responses and forces us to realize facts that are surprisingly different when faced with the reality of what actually happens...

In today's world, The Chair, perhaps is even more important for us to read. We are being tossed and turned, not able to believe or trust was is being said even from our leaders. Certainly it is a time when we must realize that emotional responses from within us can be found to be wrong...and that, we must move away from our emotions, old friendships even, or from whom we may think are men of God (or not) and open our eyes to consider how each may really be... 

As a straight fictional story, it is a wonderful story with several surprise endings that keep you in suspense until the very end... I enjoyed more, for myself, the lessons to be learned--the realization that over and over, what we each may want is not in sync with God's guidance for our life. Rubart forces us to face reality and learn to trust, first, in Jesus... Even in the presence of The Chair...


James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He thinks he's still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they'll remember months after they finish one of his stories. 

He's the best-selling, Christy, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of eight novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at More at and on Facebook:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lalibela's Wise Man by Matshona Dhliwayo Uses Story Set in Historical Site to Present Wise Advice to All!

Discovering wisdom in a book is quite exhilarating when you discover it unexpectedly... Sure, the title gives a hint but this short book turned out to be so much more!

We meet the main character, Christian, just after his father has died and final arrangements made are announced for the estate... Christian received a small box and nothing else...

Now some of us may not expect an inheritance, given family circumstances, but Christian's father had been very rich...

And he knew that he was his father's favorite son, although he was the youngest. Not only did his brothers get the full inheritance, but they immediately kicked Christian out of their, now, home, and of the family business.

Christian had a little money saved, but not enough to go on without working... But where? And how should he continue in light of the seemingly hostile actions by his father. Finally, he was calm enough and opened the box...In it was just a note to go see the Old Monk in Lalibela...

For those of us who have never been there, I wanted a little more information... Note that there is no information about Lalibela in the book being reviewed...

Said to be the location of The Garden of Eden...

Christian really had no other choice, the last wish of his father to his favorite son was to go find an old monk in Lalibela, Ethiopia... There, he was able to find a taxi to take him to the foot of the mountain where the monastery was located but he was to walk to the top, which took about two hours...

When he arrived, a monk who he guessed to be about 60 welcomed him and he allowed him to read the note from his father... Christian was directed to proceed forward...

He would stay at the monastery for seven days... Though many might think that it was to be an intense spiritual retreat, instead, one day they went out hunting; another day he carried a spear, but when a lion came toward him, he dropped his weapon and ran away. Christian was an intelligent businessman but what was he to learn from these daily activities? Another day he felt embarrassed to stay behind and visit with the children. Although he enjoyed very much meeting Daniel, especially who spoke English, he was afraid to ask the Monk what it was he was to be learning... Actually, as it turned out, much of what was taught was related to not only personal, but also business success.

It was only on the day he was to leave that he spent time learning the old Monk's wisdom...and so much more. The method by which the author has placed Christian into situations without understanding brilliantly allowed both Christian and readers to discover the wisdom to be learned... And the conclusion was unbelievably exhilarating! 

This was a very satisfying book. Not only did I learn something new about a place, frankly, I had amazingly never heard of, Lalibela, but the wisdom of the monk was a welcome time of restoration much needed by many people... I was impressed enough to go out and pick up another, similar book by the author about the wisdom of Solomon... I highly recommend you consider this book for many reasons...

Ledet (Christmas) falls on December 29 Ethiopian calendar (January 7 Gregorian calendar). Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated after 43 days fasting known as Tsome Gahad (Advent), with a spectacular procession, which begins at 6 AM and lasts until 9 AM. After the mass service, people go home to break the fast with the meat of chicken or lamb or beef accompanied with injera and the traditional drinks (i.e. tella or tej). Ethiopian Christmas is colorfully celebrated in Lalibela at the rock hewn church of Bete Mariam (The House of St. Mary) by an overnight chanting and the early morning ecclesiastical dance and chanting by the deacons, priests and the cantors who all wear typical traditional cloth and climb on to the surrounding courtyard rock hill known as Mame Gara that encircle the church of St. Mary. The day marks both the birth of Jesus Christ and King Lalibela and it is why thousands of pilgrims make their pilgrimage to the site for this particular festival.


Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian based Philosopher, Entrepreneur, and author of books such as The Little Book of Inspiration, Creativity, The Book, 50 Lessons Every Wise Mother Teaches Her Son, 100 Lessons Every Great Man Wants You to Know, and Lalibela's Wise Man. He is also a regular contributor for the African Leadership Magazine.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Doug Anderson Shares Cool Poem - Now With Music...

Doug Anderson

Thanks so much to a Facebook friend and freelance writer for giving permission to share this fascinating poem...


I'm one of maybe
the final generation
of them.
I see this woman
sitting outside
that cafe
with the
New York Times
and, well,
something as simple
as the curve
of her neck
sets me off.
By the time
I've walked
a block
I've already
made love to her
in my head,
by the end
of the next block
I've married her.
Don't know
a thing about her.
Who knows,
she could be
her husband
with anti-freeze,
Nazi armbands.
But I've got this
little piece of radium
or something
down near
my amygdala
that flares up
in the slightest
I'm being
selected out
of our
not too successful
I mean,
still thinking
about her
I could step off
the curb
in front of that truck
now gearing up
to get out of town.