Thursday, June 28, 2018

Killer With Three Heads by J. L. Hill - Quite a Book!

He had started out in gangs and went on from there... when he defeated a gang, he would pull all that lived from that group, under his domain... His gangs were now here, there, and everywhere... By the same, I picked Eddie Murphy to play MOJO...he seem to fit for me...LOL

At the same time, he got friendly with a Mafia leader and they became close... MOJO had a special charisma with intelligence, drive, and a psychopathic personality, you might say... Although other Mafia leaders weren't necessarily pleased with a close tie to a gang leader...
His latest endeavors were with the blessings of the United State government--he had become a mercenary--hired to get rid of undesirables as defined by a special group who is responding to two corrupt congressmen...

Killer With Three Heads:
Killer Series Book 2


By J. L. Hill

This is one of the most frustratingly intriguing books I have ever read... First, it contains explicit violent and sex scenes that were well beyond what I would normally endure... I almost quit at a certain point, which happened to be a new part...and got more involved with the actual storyline... Finally, I came to think of it as a "man's book" a thriller that is almost a "James Bond" type, except... that MOJO is a criminal...

While MOJO is the central character throughout the novel, it is divided into chapters under a heading: Head of the Family, Head of the Business, and Head of the Government. 

And somebody under one of those heads has kidnapped MOJO's daughter!


"Bout time you got here. I was getting tired of sitting around this rat's nest waiting for you."
Sam is shocked back to sobriety by the voice in the dark. He thinks about going for the gun between the mattress and the headboard but waits to see if the voice belongs to who he thinks it does. "Morris Johnson?"
"Morris Johnson?" inquires the invisible voice. "That guy died years ago. You need to keep up with the times. I'm John Morrison. I am here because someone kidnapped a little girl and you are going to find them."
"First off, get that f...ing light out of my face." snarls Sam. He gives second thoughts to the gun. "And second, that is the worst alias I have ever heard."
I click off the flashlight and the room returns to the gloom of a broken life. In a moment, our eyes adjust to the streetlamp illumination. I'm leaning against the wall with the flashlight tucked in my belt. He has risen to his feet in a boxer stance. I laugh, he is well into his sixties and although he is tall and still muscular, a well-placed kick will break him in two. "I get that a lot these days. But you'd be surprised how many people don't question the obvious. Like those guys following you around all night."
"If you want me to help you find your daughter," Sam stammers, "You should have thought about that before you kidnapped my agents and got me kicked off the case."
"You're not listening. I said you are going to find the people who kidnapped my daughter. I'll find Maria, you can bet on that. And I didn't get you kicked off the case," I correct him. "They will never let you investigate the real crime. So I freed you, now you can go after them."
"I'm not doing anything until you release my agents."
"This... This is not a negotiation," I tell him with venom in my words. His eyes widen and he stiffens as I approach. "Your agent kidnapped my daughter. I kidnapped your agents. You get them back when you deliver him."
"Are you crazy?" Sam protests. "The FBI doesn't kidnap little girls."
~~~

Morris "MOJO" Johnson, AKA, John Morrison is a main character that gains sympathy by readers, as he discovers his daughter has been kidnapped... Only to murder people in every which way you can think of, including "skinning..." 

What he lacks in moral character is balanced out by the most exciting thriller scenes that I've seen for awhile. This includes all those gadgets and super-hero stunts that a James Bond will do...and then he takes it a step further and creates a new weapon that everybody wants, and especially the U.S. Government group with which he has acted as a mercenary...

The action makes you think that MOJO is actually the one with the three heads as he moves from place to place creating havoc...and sometimes personal relationships... One of those deals he worked out was for him to take the honeymoon with a former lover of his, just after she married another man...Wow! And then there are all of his other women who work along with him...as well as his wife... Does he love any of them? Can a serial killer love? Certainly he does his daughter! 

And, the whole story wraps up into a unique, quite extraordinary novel that caught my attention, despite the explicit violence and sex, and held me through to the end--not a surprising one, because by then you know what will be happening... But, dare I say, a very satisfying one, as he eliminated the bad guys, while holding on to his longer-term connections...still alive!

What's the best way for a psychopath to help society? Well, J. L. Hill's MOJO seems to be that vigilante that makes it happen in a thrilling, fast-paced story! It's a great book but only if you accept the explicit sex and violence... I keep my personal negative opinions out of my overall review... So... Check it out! You Decide!


GABixlerReviews



A native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, I spent my adolescence years in Fort Apache, the South Bronx 41st precinct during the 60’s. Raised on blues, soul, and rock and roll gave me the heart of a flower child. Educated by the turmoil of Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the
Sexual Revolution turned me into a gladiator. Realizing the precariousness of life gave me an adventurous outlook to try anything once, and if it did not kill me, maybe twice.
12 years of Catholic education and a couple of years in college spread between wild drug induce euphoric years, which did not kill me, gave me an unique moral compass that swings in any direction it wants. A scientific mind and a spirit that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough guides my writings. I enjoy traveling to new places and seeing what life has to offer.
I began writing short stories and poetry back in my early years. In my twenties I moved on to novels, but I fell out of love with the whole publishing industry. I worked in the financial industry as a processing clerk and later got a degree in computer programming, my other love. I have a successful career as a software engineer designing, developing and maintaining systems for the government and the private sector. I been programming for nearly forty years in various languages.
With the advantages provided by the expanding and growing self publishing business (print on demand over vanity publishing) and the explosion of social media/internet as a viable means of advertising I have returned to my first love, unleashing the characters in my head. Actually I never stopped writing, now that the kids are grown and my wife realizes that I have little other interest outside the bedroom, and I’m still a hopeless insomniac, I am free to pound out plots. Killer With A Heart is the first in a series for Bulletproof Morris ‘Mojo’ Johnson.
I enjoy writing crime stories and science fiction, with a slant on the dark side of life. Pegasus: A Journey To New Eden answers the question my wife asked me some years ago, “How do I feel about nuclear war?” I told her I was all for it as long as we find someplace else to live. My science fiction deals with the emotional effects of technology. Thirty years ago when a single computer filled an entire room and I was writing games on a monochrome screen I knew two things were certain. Computer games would be big and computers for all the good they can do would put a lot of people out of work.
Married with six kids, eleven grandchildren keeps me on the go.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Guest Blogger, Konrad Tademar, Spotlights the Poetry of Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky



111 years ago, Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky (Арсе́ний Алекса́ндрович Тарко́вский) was born in the city of Yelisavetgrad (present day: Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine) - he was the son of Aleksander Tarkowski, a Polish nobleman settled in Russia and a Russian dancer Maria Danilovna Rachkovskaya. His son was Andrei Tarkovsky - the famed Russian Film director of the Soviet Era who directed Andrei Rublev (1966) and Solaris (1972).
Arseny Tarkovsky was a Poet, by many accounts one of the greatest poets of the Russian language in the 20th century. His beloved son died before he did. His son used many of his father's poems in his films, in many places in the film Mirror (1975) and Nostalghia (1983) the whole narrative is written by Arseny.
In reading Andrei Tarkovsky's letters and scripts as well as his interviews, one gets the sense that his father was an enormous influence on him. He shaped his mind and soul into the spiritual force of unrepentant sentimentalism that his art would become. Rejecting that dry Western detachment and objectivity that have become the hallmark of modernity, his soul bled, and his heart beat like a war drum, and he passed on that blood and war into his son's heart and soul. In watching Andrei Tarkovsky's films, in reading his scripts, one finds oneself walking along an empty Russian path with Arseny Tarkovsky - and with the ghosts of all the Russias acrosss all the ages.
He died on May 27, 1989 - 29 months (about 2 and half years) after his son died (1932-1986) in self -imposed exile from the Soviet State they both detested with a passion only a poet and a film director can breathe. I fell in love with Andrei Tarkovsky's films in great part because I fell in love with Arseny Tarkovsky's poetry. He invaded my dreams, he entered into my soul.


And this I dreamt, and this I dream


And this I dreamt, and this I dream,
And some time this I will dream again,
And all will be repeated, all be re-embodied,
You will dream everything I have seen in dream.
To one side from ourselves, to one side from the world
Wave follows wave to break on the shore,
On each wave is a star, a person, a bird,
Dreams, reality, death - on wave after wave.
No need for a date: I was, I am, and I will be,
Life is a wonder of wonders, and to wonder
I dedicate myself, on my knees, like an orphan,
Alone - among mirrors - fenced in by reflections:
Cities and seas, iridescent, intensified.
A mother in tears takes a child on her lap.
***
I waited for you yesterday since morning

I waited for you yesterday since morning,
They guessed you wouldn't come,
Do you remember the weather? Like a holiday!
I went out without a coat.
Today came, and they fixed for us
A somehow specially dismal day,
It was very late, and it was raining,
The drops cascading down the chilly branches.
No word of comfort, tears undried…
***


Life, Life
I

I don't believe in omens or fear
Forebodings. I flee from neither slander
Nor from poison. Death does not exist.
Everyone's immortal. Everything is too.
No point in fearing death at seventeen,
Or seventy. 
There's only here and now, and light;
Neither death, nor darkness, exists.
We're all already on the seashore;
I'm one of those who'll be hauling in the nets
When a shoal of immortality swims by.
II


If you live in a house - the house will not fall.
I'll summon any of the centuries,
Then enter one and build a house in it.
That's why your children and your wives
Sit with me at one table, -
The same for ancestor and grandson:
The future is being accomplished now,
If I raise my hand a little,
All five beams of light will stay with you.
Each day I used my collar bones
For shoring up the past, as though with timber,
I measured time with geodetic chains
And marched across it, as though it were the Urals.
III


I tailored the age to fit me.
We walked to the south, raising dust above the steppe;
The tall weeds fumed; the grasshopper danced,
Touching its antenna to the horse-shoes - and it prophesied,
Threatening me with destruction, like a monk.
I strapped my fate to the saddle;
And even now, in these coming times,
I stand up in the stirrups like a child.
I'm satisfied with deathlessness,
For my blood to flow from age to age.
Yet for a corner whose warmth I could rely on
I'd willingly have given all my life,
Whenever her flying needle
Tugged me, like a thread, around the globe.
***
Arseny was 81 years old at the time of his death. During the Second World War he suffered a wound to his leg, the resulting infection and cure left him an amputee. The Soviets in the last days of their miserable existence awarded him a posthumous award, in much the same manner that they attempted to rehabilitate his son and claim him as one of their own. On his death bed, Andrei said "I was never Soviet, I was always Russian." The same can be said for Arseny - who was born in Russian Ukraine, and died in the Soviet Union, but like his son, he was never Soviet - he was Russian, a quintessentially Russian poet, borne of a Polish father and a Russian mother, in Ukraine - truly a great representative of the Slavic tribe. - KT



"Death does not exist" - Arseny Tarkovsky (1907-1989)



Monday, June 25, 2018

The In-Laws by G. X. Chen Just Out!

Spotlighting the beautiful artistry of the cover...by the author...
Ann blushed. Seth had come to the Christmas party because Betty's fiance', Peter Shi, was on call that night. A man in his late thirties, Seth had reddish-brown hair and a mildly freckled face. He was tall, athletic, and fit. Clad in a camel-hair sports jacket and a pair of dark green corduroy pants, he took Ann's hand when offered and gave it a good shake.
"Glad you could come," Ann had said conversationally because she knew Betty's brother was a doctor just like Peter. She was dressed modestly in a red sweater and a pair of blue jeans. Her black hair was cut at shoulder-length, and her eyes were smiling.
"As a psychiatrist, I can control my schedule better than Peter," Seth offered with a smile.
As if on cue, Betty had quickly excused herself and left Ann and Seth standing in the line for drinks. She had always wanted to introduce her older brother to her best friend at work, but Ann wouldn't hear it. She insisted that she would rather meet someone by choice than be fixed up by a friend. Knowing Ann would be a perfect match for Seth, who was also single, Betty had persuaded him to come to the party as soon as she knew Peter wouldn't be available.
"I've been wondering," Seth said amiably while looking at Ann with a pair of dark blue eyes, "what's the preferred method to employ when analyzing a murder case? Have you ever used the tools of psychology?"
Ann was a bit taken aback because she didn't expect Seth would know her endeavors outside the lab.
"My sister told me that you're an amateur detective," he added apologetically when he saw Ann's expression. In reality, Betty had been so taken by Ann that she had been gushing about how smart Ann was in front of her brother for quite some time.
"I'm not sure if we have a method," Ann replies honestly. "You see, my partner's a chemist, and I'm a biologist. The only thing we know and do well is gathering the evidence, which is one of the most important elements of solving a murder case."
"Of course," he concurred. "Gathering evidence and finding out the motive."
"Yes," Ann said, "But we often have a hard time finding things that can be admitted in court, even after we've figured out the motive. It's very frustrating because the outcome often hinges on the evidence. Without iron-clad evidence criminals can walk free."
...The next day, Seth called. After a few dates, Ann warmed to him, cautiously if not reluctantly at first, but his willingness to listen, his ability to hold an intelligent conversation and his easygoing manner soon won her over. It didn't hurt that he always tried to make her laugh. But when Jane asked if they had become an item, she denied it steadfastly...
~~~

The In-Laws:
Back Bay Investigations

By G. X. Chen

I've had the wonderful opportunity to read this series right from the beginning! Check out my reviews for each! An Intangible Affair, Death Comes to Lake Como, The Fatal Sin of Love and The Mystery of Moutai. But this one is the first time there was even a hint of a romantic relationship for Ann Lee,  one of the amateur investigators in Back Bay Investigations! Loved this addition of personal life for this wonderful character!

One of the reasons I enjoy the series is that, usually, there is a trip to China as part of the investigation--this time, to allow Feng Chen, Ann's partner, and his wife to take their child home for the first time, but to also talk to a major witness in the case they are working on.


I figured out the murder mystery, but must quickly say that it was primarily because of the extraordinary story the author wrote about a dysfunctional family based upon a tragic back story... The drama of this latest novel is tense and really heartbreaking since only jealousy prevented a loving family... A moral to the story that is intriguing and explicitly presented with the author capturing readers' attention and holding while she step-by-step allows her characters to act it out...

In many ways, this is a psychological suspense novel that places the closeness of the mother-son against the new person in the son's life. Interestingly, Emily, the mother encourages her son, Peter, to consider dating a specific girl, Betty, and they became involved and married... 

There are options to consider why the mother and daughter-in-law didn't get along and I enjoyed exploring whether or not the son would always support his mother... Then there is a potential love interest for Emily by a next-door neighbor who, actually, finds her after she had fallen down the stairs of her home. Only thing, though, was that a note had been found at the scene...

Ann gets involved via her best friend, Betty, who is Seth's sister... And Seth seeks Ann's investigative skills to help when Betty is arrested... Frankly, although I had figured out the murder mystery almost immediately, I still loved the clues and actual actions done by the killer that Ann discovered along the way...They are interesting and readers can use their own mystery solving skills to find those clues and fit them together...

Given the small number of characters within this mystery, Chen has played up the development of each characters so well that readers easily come to know each and sympathize with their role in the family dynamic. The setting also played a part in directing the story and, if you get involved as completely as I did, you will quickly see the minor problem areas that were caused by each family member against another. I couldn't help but compare it to family life in today's world. Many have become so entrenched in their own lives that special concern for communication with family members takes secondary importance to one's own concerns...A lesson to be learned if you happen to see yourself or other family members within this novel...

Chen's diversity in her novels is another factor why her book series is popular. While maintaining a few series characters, each book takes us on another adventurous, unique, hunt to solve a murder mystery. I'm enjoying the author's creative imagination to present fresh new scenarios...Kudos and keep them coming!


GABixlerReviews



G.X. Chen, author of the Back Bay Investigation mystery series and other novels, is a freelance writer and a graduate of Fudan University and University of New Mexico. She has taught literature at Fudan as well as the Shanghai Foreign Language Institute. A world traveler and an amateur photographer, she lives in the beautiful city of Boston with husband, Steve.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

H O W D A R E W E ! W R I T E







This book is about courage...Many entertainers have succeeded in the world of song, speaking directly to the spirits of men and women who see "words" as part of their lives. But writers, from one culture to the next, find that there are walls to be climbed to be an accepted, published author...

Sherry Quan Lee discussed the problem with many others and finally a publisher who suggested she write the book she wanted to read. After thinking about it, she instead suggested an anthology. How Dare We! Write, is the end result! It certainly is a must-reader for writers, as well as members from the various cultural backgrounds presented. But if you aspire to writing as a career or to express yourself fully, no matter your racial background. This book is for you too!

This non-fiction book is divided into six topic areas: Literary Gatekeepers (and other myths), The Tyranny of Grammar, Identity(ies), Personal Narratives, Rejection Not an Option, and Healing the Heart. These include 26 essays with multicultural backgrounds...All but White... No, this is not prejudice, it merely acknowledges that books for Caucasians are numerous and readily available. This is a first effort to bring personal accounts of the writing experience from those multicultural individuals who have wanted to write, but could find few books that would help them...begin...to start to tell their personal stories...
Writers Who Dare!


SHERRY QUAN LEE, editor of How Dare We! Write, author of Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir, Modern History Press, August 2014, How to Write a Suicide Note, Loving Healing Press 2008, and Chinese Blackbird, Asian American Renaissance, 2002, reprinted 2008 by Loving Healing Press, approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. She is a Distinguished Alumni of North Hennepin Community College. She is the former Program Associate for the Split Rock Arts Program summer workshops and the Online Mentoring for Writers Program at the University of Minnesota where she also earned her MFA in Creative Writing. Quan Lee is a community instructor at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and she facilitates community workshops at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN, and elsewhere. She was a first year, 1996, participant of Cave Canem, a writing retreat for Black poets.


How Dare We! Write
A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse

Edited by Sherry Quan Lee

Libraries inspire a sense o belonging for me. They feel like home. Since childhood, shelves of books never judged my tastes; checking the catalogue for current library holdings and figuring out the inter-library loan systems unlocked gates I never knew were sealed. Discovering a favorite place in the library to read through the pile of books I found also brought its own rewards. The library became my sanctuary, a place where I could determine my destiny. Despite the recognition that I was often the only woman of color exploring bookshelves of texts, and the feeling that university spaces were not meant for a Mexican-American like me, the Watson library felt safe...It was in college when I learned libraries were politicized spaces... from What Would Eden say?


I find trying to review an anthology is impossible...each of the essays has much to say...each of the writers dares to say their own words...I want to share about each writer...It moves from the academic environment into Grammar, for instance. Can you imagine being forced to use proper English grammar when you are sharing a dialect or a broken-english language as an immigrant? I've read many books by individuals from different races and their use of their natural phrasing and even spelling, to me, adds greatly to the authentic voice of the author and/or the characters in the books. I've even learned to read, Gullah, the Creole language they used...I worked at it sometimes, but I was so pleased I had the opportunity to do so...

Why should America be asking writers from different races, who are now here as citizens, to ignore their heritage. Four writers speak to this issue--allowing their own identities to survive! One of the things I learned is that Native American is actually incorrect. They were indigenous to the land long before it became America...That is correct...But is that really true if we don't even treat them as fellow Americans are treated?

Yesterday, I reviewed an African American author's book, The Dark Skinned Sister. She addressed the issue of, within the African American race, individuals discriminate based on the  shade of Black... Certainly then, I was attracted to the more personal stories of how, say, mixed race individuals find their own identities. The Editor of How Dare We!, speaks to her desire to become a creative writer. Immediately she noticed there were no books about her--a Chinese Black female who grew up passing for white in Minnesota... She dared to write herself into existence!

I must admit that I was somewhat distracted while reading this book, knowing that America is now in chaos, with hatred against races different than...white... How we got to this time is really sad... What is important now is that, just as the "Me-Too" movement has begun to speak out, so, too, is it the time for each of us to write our self into existence. No matter your race--this is an important book.  Now is the time to support men and women who are looking for acceptance and an identity that they can feel free...to...be...  Read this book as a beginning, perhaps, of daring to be...you... Highly Recommended.


GABixlerReviews





Giving Each Individual an Identify Is Important
To me...
Make it important to you...bring America
back together, neighbors loving neighbors
~~~



Dare to Listen! Dare to Read! Dare to Write!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Amanda Grihm Shares Story of The Dark Skinned Sister...





Cindy shot out the car, ran up to--and jumped in Grandma Mindy's arms. "Hi Gamma Mindy, I missed you." Grandma Mindy laughed and blushed while Cindy kissed he all over her face. "You look so pretty, Gamma Mindy."
"Oh, oh, this child, I say, Georgie, this one is becoming more beautiful each year. She's still just as light as a feather and her light skin is so pretty," Grandma Mindy said through a grin so big that it looked like her face should have hurt. She put Cindy down, kissed her on her forehead and straightened her clothes. Joseph got out the car slowly, walked up to her and kissed her on her cheek. "Hi Grandma Mindy, I am happy to be here this summer."
Grandma Mindy smiled broadly and said, "I am glad you could come, too. Oh, honey, try to do your chores before the sun comes out. You look like you done been in the sun. That ain't good for you, 'cuz you git'n a little dark." Grandma looked at me and picked Cindy up again. I was half way up the walk almost at the steps when I noticed a look of disdain on Grandma Mindy's face. I walked onto the porch and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek but she quickly turned and took a step back...
"Hi Grandma Mindy."
"Hello Mindy."
She had hurt my feelings again but this time they weren't hurt as bad as the other times. I was becoming immune to her insults. I closed my eyes and took a long deep, breath. She ain't even human, she is just like a glass figurine--one push and she'll fall over and break. I opened my eyes but she was still standing there looking at me with an intense look of disapproval.
In my mind I sized her up and could see m'self placing my hand on her shoulder and tipping her perfectly erect body over. I laughed at the thought of her glassy icy facade shattering as it hit the ground. I know it was a mean thought but that's what went through my mind. Grandma Mindy was my height or maybe a fraction of an inch taller and I felt like I could take her if it came to that...
~~~

In the midst of my reading an anthology, How Dare We! Write:
A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse, edited by Sherry Quan Lee, (look for my review) I received The Dark Skinned Sister, by Amanda Grihm. The premise of both books relates to those of different races who decide to write their stories... I stopped to read Amanda's book and found that considering both books at one time provided a greater depth, a growing sense of relationship--a kinship that could develop between and among women of all races that I, as a white woman, would also benefit...

Women hesitate to share their innermost stories... Such was the case with Mindy, who at 10 years, came to intimately know and learn about people who created barriers between who they were with little girls who happen to have dark skin... What was amazing, though, was that many times, the pain was inflicted by those within her own race...



And it especially hurts if it is from a family member. Mindy had been named after her grandmother. In fact, Mindy's grandmother was darker that she was... It was therefore especially hard to understand why her grandmother said such nasty things to Mindy...

Yes, Mindy had similar problems at school and as she grew older. She noticed that African Americans who had lighter skin were better accepted by other students. But her skin was the color it was...

Until, she tried to change it, first, by skin lightener...and then by using a cleanser to rub and rub her skin, hoping to lighten it. Instead, her skin was broken and her wounds began to bleed.

Mindy's grandfather had always been special for her and they would ride together and more... But he had a heart attack that summer and that happiness was taken away...

Depression soon arrived from having to deal with her pain--why was her dark skin causing so much turmoil in her life? What could she do about it?

Mindy was part of a single-parent family and her mother had to work hard to keep her two girls and son sheltered and fed. Soon her older brother was called on to help, but he soon realized that his own life was gone as he tried to fill the man's shoes for his family. As they grew older, it became worse before it got better...

This is an emotional, inspirational book about meeting adversity head on... I laughed and cried and certainly empathized with Mindy. I remember when I was about 10 also, I was at my grandmother's along with other family. An uncle looked at me and said "Hey Fatty..."  I ignored him and to my mother said, "Dale is talking to you." My response was that "No, he wasn't. That is not my name..." I walked off... 

Each of us must decide whether or not we will love ourself and others as God made us. I chose to accept the challenge, just like Mindy, when I was hurt and treated cruelly or unjustly. I urge those who have been treated this way, or that has children who are being bullied, to read this book. Highly recommended!




GABixlerReviews



Amanda Grihm was born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised in Cleveland, Ohio from the age of nine. In 1987 she moved to Atlanta, GA, where seven year later she met and married the man of her dreams, J. Emil Grihm. Amanda is an author and playwright.

Amanda writes about stranger-than-fiction events and stories. She communicates at several different levels - verbally, visually, physically and psychologically. She is a nurturing spirit and an extraordinary communicator. She writes from her heart and her mind’s eye about love, friendship and spirituality. She sees everything that she writes in her mind before her pen touches the paper. Amanda enjoys writing on that almost indistinguishable line between truth and fiction and fantasy and reality.

Amanda’s main focus has been on the coming-of-age stories about African American and Indigenous Indian girls becoming strong, independent women. Amanda and many members of her family have had psychic experiences. Consequently, many of her stories delve into the supernatural. Amanda believes that God has availed Himself to her and freed her from the bonds of man’s interpretation of His Word and her capabilities. Consequently, some of her stories are about her personal power and the power of God in her life.

Amanda is also a businessperson and former business owner who has always had a genuine desire to improve situations and a unique ability to solve problems. Her ultimate aim is to improve the experiences of employees and customers. As a result of her keen attention to detail, after a few weeks of starting her first job, she was promoted to efficiency expert at a major insurance firm.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Spotlighting Frankie Laine Via Guy Graybill's BRAVO!


Answer me, my readers, do you remember Frankie Lane? Did you like him! I've chosen him to spotlight from the book Bravo: The Case for Italian Musical Mastery... I've spotlighted several others from this book, so, if interested, search by the name of the book or the author, Guy Graybill.

Here's two of my favorites!








Back then, I was a fan of Paladin and other movies of the time, so western-themes songs attracted my attention, LOL. But let's learn more about him...
The Big Voice Out of Little Italy
Frankie Laine
The parents of Francesco Paolo LoVecchio were Italian and he was born in Chicago's "Little Italy" section in 1913. For years, before he became Frankie Laine, he struggled with poverty and lack of recognition as a singer. He confessed to sneaking into hotel rooms or with trying to buy food with mere pennies in his pocket. One of his first singing jobs paid $5 per week! However, once established, his success carried him through more than a half century of singing and recording, until the number of records sold surpassed one-hundred million and his album sales exceeded the century mark! He also appeared in more than a half-dozen films and sang title songs for a similar number of movies. Part of Frankie Laine's appeal was his rugged, booming voice and part had to be the variety of styles he sang (mostly rhythm and blues, popular and country). Frankie Laine classic renditions include "Ghost Riders in the Sky," "Mule Train," "That's My Desire," 



"That Lucky Old Sun, "Jezebel," and the theme from the television western, "Rawhide." In February of 2007, one more of the great, original group




of Italian-American crooners was stricken from the list, when he died of heart failure. A memorial mass was celebrated a week later. The man, whom the U.S. Congress had recognized as a national treasure, was 93...
~~~