Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kenneth Eade Produces Another Must-Read in Absolute Intolerance...

Brent Marks sat with his clients, James Fredericks and Ronald Bennett, in the second row of the gallery waiting for their case to be called, and his thoughts ran wild with boredom. He also couldn’t help but feel a little intimidated: not because he was sitting between two gay men (which some guys might be a little uncomfortable with), but because they were dressed so much better than he was. And neither of them seemed to have the budding spare tire around the middle that Brent had been wrestling with at the gym for the past three years. It was embarrassing. People might think that Brent was the shabby client who had come to court with his two good-looking lawyers, instead of the other way around...
Brent could never understand how a man could be attracted to another, but he did know one thing: his two clients had good taste and they were always in good shape. He made a mental note to consider asking one of his gay friends to go shopping with him next time instead of his girlfriend, Angela. She seemed to always be nicely dressed, but FBI agents like her were not known for their men’s fashion sense. Maybe I could find a gay trainer at the gym to help me shed these extra pounds? 
It was the hallowed ground of the federal court at 312 N. Spring Street, an old art deco building which contained some of the smartest men and women on the bench. The interior of the courtroom was all marble and dark wood. Brent and his clients sat on wooden benches that looked more like church pews than seats...
This was just the type of case that appealed to him: blazing a trail for civil rights; lighting a torch for tolerance. In his early days as a lawyer, he wasn’t as fortunate, taking every case that he could just to keep the office doors open. But now, with over 25 years of practice under his slightly bulging belt, he could concentrate on the cases that really meant something: civil rights, consumer rights, governmental abuses… cases that were more than about just paying the bills.

Absolute Intolerance:
A Brent Marks Legal Thriller

By Kenneth Eade

There are many things in life that present issues that confront their beliefs. In this case, two gay men have just been married, according to the law. Yet they are being harassed. They had just left the courtroom with their lawyer when a certain Joshua Banks came up:
As Brent and his clients trudged away, before he could even have the chance to console them, Joshua Banks, a bible-thumping, homophobic, religious fanatic, blocked their path. Brent had had run-ins with Banks several times, to the point where he had been forced to obtain a restraining order against him because of death threats. But he was mainly a zealot and a windbag who was always preaching to anyone who would listen, and a lot of people who wouldn’t.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure!” Banks proclaimed, lifting his finger in front of them as if he was giving a sermon. “Step aside, Mr. Banks. Do I have to get another restraining order against you?” “Men committed acts with other men, and received in themselves due penalty for their perversion!” “Who is this guy?” “He’s just a nut job, James. I’ve dealt with him before.”
Banks stepped out of the way and the three proceeded down the escalator to the lobby of the courthouse. “He’s a religious fanatic. Part of the group opposing gay marriage.” As they descended, they could hear the echoes of Banks yelling verses from the Bible. “These dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings!” “He’s really harmless. Just ignore him.” “Sounds like he’s got a screw loose,” said Jim. Brent nodded. “More than one screw, I think.” The bellowing began to fade from their ears as they descended. “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, not thieves, nor the greedy or drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God!” “I guess it’s official, Jim. We’re both going to hell.” “At least we’ll be there together.”

My first Brent Marks thriller was Involuntary Spy. It was about an important issue that also interested me and I enjoyed it greatly and recommended it as a must-read...

Absolute Intolerance is also about an important issue. It is not an enjoyable book. I recommend it as a must-read as well...

Eades is hitting readers where they hurt--he does not allow prejudice, beliefs, corrupt activities, etc., to go unnoticed. He attacks them, hoping to teach. If not, to force us to face reality...

A long time ago, I had to make my own decisions about what I would do when I faced prejudice. I adopted "Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged."

And while Brent Marks acknowledged he didn't understand a physical attraction for another man, that did not mean that he was not willing to work with them, to help them if he could. Most of us take that position. However, Joshua Banks, what we would call today, a religious fanatic, took active opposition toward anybody who deserved to be judged--as he read and understood God's direction to be. So not only did he confront Marks' gay clients verbally, he also threw a window through the front window of their new home...

And soon they were murdered--horribly, with great hate and rage toward the bodies of these two happily-in-love men...

Marks had lost his clients, but was then shocked when Joshua Banks was accused of the murder and requested that Brent act as his lawyer! He didn't know what to do, but the first thing he did was call the Bar Association and sought guidance as to whether there would be a conflict of interest since he had once served as counsel for the victims...

Knowing that everybody deserved representation, Brent decided to take on Banks as a client, knowing that it was going to be extremely difficult, given Banks' constant rambling... And the police were quite sure they had the right man. Banks had harassed the gay men, he had admitted to the hate crime that he'd broken their window. He even indicated that he would want them dead. But was he guilty of murder? Brent didn't think so...

There was only one way to defend this client. Marks would have to solve the case... 

Acceptance of homosexuality has been a long-time problem for some Christians. In my mind, Jesus brought us God's love and ask that we love others. Was Banks arrested and put on trial because he was a fanatic, or because those involved were also prejudiced against homosexuality. If not why would they do everything to stop Brent from providing a solid defense of the man? Did they believe that all hate-mongers are criminals and should be punished? Or perhaps they had no emotional ties to anybody and simply worked to close the case without any concern for the individuals at all...

Is the author indicting the legal system? A religious faith for producing such fanatics? For the ending brings Brent Marks to a turning point decision. Could he continue as a defense counsel, knowing what had happened in this trial?

The author forces us to look within and ask--would we seek to destroy all those who hate others and speak out against them? Are those who believe differently than us automatically worthy to be murdered, destroyed? This book has an ending that is unsatisfactory...yet to tell the story that he intended, it must be recognized as a superb novel... Kenneth Eade's has much to tell the world. He is not a fanatic that shoves his thoughts down your throat. He merely creates a what-if story and lets each of us see what happens... What would you do if somebody told you our jury system is flawed? A totally infuriating story that must be read...


Described by critics as "one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene," author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, "An Involuntary Spy." Eade, an up-and-coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as "One of our strongest thriller writers on the scene and the fact that he draws his stories from the contemporary philosophical landscape is very much to his credit." He is often compared to John Grisham, whom many regard as the master of the legal thriller.

Said Eade of the comparisons, "Readers compare me in style to John Grisham and, there are some similarities, because John also likes to craft a story around real topics and we are both lawyers. However, all of my novels are rooted in reality, not fantasy. I use fictional characters and situations to express factual and conceptual issues. Some use the term 'faction' to describe this style, and it is present in all my fictional works." 

Eade has written ten novels, which are now in the process of being translated into six languages. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, and offers a free Kindle book to all those who sign up at his web site, 


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Whole Cat and Caboodle Starring Elvis... by Sofie Ryan

He had been roaming around town for quite some time until they met. Sarah saw him first; but he knew immediately, even though she wasn't keen on the idea. Sarah had just been adopted. And he began to follow her, knowing, just knowing, that she would soon love him and take care of him and they would make a happy home together... His name, Elvis...

Elvis Preferred Cats...and Sarah...You Know...

The Whole Cat and Caboodle:
First in A Second Chance Mystery Series

By Sofie Ryan

I'd had Elvis for about four months. As far as I could find out, the cat had spent several weeks on his own, scrounging around downtown North Harbor. The town sits on the midcoast of Maine. "Where the past 250 years North Harbor stretches from the Swift Hills in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the south. It was settled by Alexander Swift in the late 1760s. It's full of beautiful, historic buildings, award-winning restaurants and quirky little shops. Where else could you buy a blueberry muffin, a rare book and fishing gear all on the same street?
The town's population is about thirteen thousand, but that more than triples in the summer with tourists and summer residents. It grew by one black cat one evening in late May.

Elvis just appeared at the Black Bear.  Sam, who owns the pub, and his pickup band, the Hairy Bananas--long story on the name--were doing their Elvis Presley medley when Sam noticed a black cat sitting just inside the front door. He swore the cat stayed put through the entire set and left only when they launched into their version of the Stones' Satisfaction.
The cat was back the next morning, in the narrow alley beside the shop, watching Sam as he took a pile of cardboard boxes to the recycling bin. "Hey, Elvis. Want some breakfast?" Sam had asked after tossing the last flattened box in the bin. To his surprise, the cat walked up to his and meowed a long yes. He showed up at the pub about every third day for the next couple of weeks. The cat clearly wasn't wild-he didn't run from people--but no one seemed to know who Elvis (the name had stuck) belonged to. The scar on his nose wasn't new; neither were a couple of others on his black, hidden by his fur. Then someone remembered a guy in a van who had stayed two nights at the campgrounds up on Mount Batten. He'd had a cat with him. It was black. Or black and white. Or possibly gray. But it definitely had a scar on its nose. Or it was missing an ear. Or maybe part of a tail...
Elvis was sitting in the middle of my desk when I opened the door to my office. The cat, not the King of Rock and Roll, although the cat had an air of entitlement about him sometimes, as though he thought he was royalty...
"How did you get in here?" I asked.
His ears twitched but he didn't look at me. His eyes were fixed on the vintage Wonder Woman lunch box in my hand. I was having an early lunch, and Elvis seemed to want one as well...

If you don't know by now, my personal slogan is "Books--Cats--Life is Sweet." So add one more thing--a mystery--and I'm in Heaven!

It's been awhile since I read one, but I'm gearing up to be reading some non-fiction, so I figured you and me both needed a little fix to keep us going. It was sooooo fun to meet Elvis...I've read the author under a different name, but this new series and its star is extraordinary...

I don't think I've ever read a more "in tune" cat-owner relationship. Ryan writes and talks as if Elvis can understand every word, so that when Elvis responds in sound or's directly in response. Ok, cats can't understand human language. But it sure is fun imagining it! My cats sometimes know key words and make nonverbal communication hoping I'll understand, which a lot of times I do... That's why I just love Elvis... He even appreciates his music! LOL

A little about the mystery... and the characters. Elvis' Mom is the owner of a second-chance store and she meets the victim when he brings a silver tea set in to her shop one day...but then, comes back and buys it right back. Obviously Sarah is curious about him...

Sarah's grandmother is on her honeymoon in this first book, but her three best friends, who love Sarah like their own, sometime help in the shop or meet with her in other ways...One of those friends is presently involved with the man who brought in the silver tea set... And, one day when he is invited to lunch at Maddie's home, she finds him outside, sitting at the table, dead... 

Of course, Maddie is accused of the murder--he was poisoned! And since everybody except the police believe she is innocent, they start their own investigation, soon deciding they are just like Charlie's Angels...except in their 70s...

Sarah tries hard to prevent their getting involved, but fails. She, at least, decides she'll try to keep them out of trouble...but gets pulled in just as much!

An interesting little twist is that Sarah's one time best friend, is now the lead investigator, which makes for limited conversation to say the least... On the other hand, Sarah's "first kiss" participant is in town and Nick is quite pleased that she's back.

The mystery is a good one, not easily solved so will keep you interested. I, for one, enjoyed the cat-human dialogue and the new older investigators' activities as the primary enjoyment of the book... Let's just say there's a lot going on and much to help turn the pages quickly and with enthusiasm.  And, really, with Elvis as the primary focus, you'll have no choice but love it as I did! Highly recommended!

I hope Elvis finds a cute little cat who also loves Elvis! What do you say?!!! Besides, our Elvis is thinking about getting up his own show...


Are you a "cat person"?

Very much so. I love cats. I like their independent spirit. I don't have one because my husband is extremely allergic to them. (If he dies first I'm getting a cat. People laugh when I say that because they think I'm kidding.) Even though I don't have a cat myself, I do have "cat friends"--cats in my neighborhood that I spend time with so I can get my kitty fix. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

To Protect and Serve - An Outstanding Story From The Courage Series- Personal Favorite!

“Okay, God, I’m ready. Show me the first small step,” she prayed, and for the first time in a forever of prayers, she felt like Someone had actually heard. 
“You’re awful quiet,” Eve said as she and Jeff sat by the big bay windows of the restaurant. Then she smiled. “Not that you’re ever very loud.” 
The words running through Jeff’s head pulled thoughtfulness to his face. “I was just thinking about what the guy said in the sermon today— you know, about how if Friday had been the end, then the cross would be a symbol of tragedy instead of the symbol of hope.” His fingers went up and drifted across the metal cross at his
chest. “We always want it to be Sunday, don’t we? We don’t want to go through the Fridays of life, but the resurrection of Sunday would mean nothing without the tragedy of Friday.”
“I don’t think I’d ever thought about it like that either,” Eve said softly. “I kind of feel like I’m at Saturday now— waiting, not knowing what’s coming next. Sometimes I think what’s coming will be Sunday, and sometimes I’m afraid it’s going to be another Friday.” 
Jeff nodded. “I’ve been at Saturday so long, I’m not sure I’d even recognize Sunday anymore.” He held up the cross. “Mom gave me this.”
“At the academy,” Eve said, and Jeff nodded. “I take it she wasn’t thrilled about the fire department thing.” “No. She didn’t understand. She thought I had a death wish.” He shrugged. “Maybe I did.”
...Courage was holding out a hand and trusting that she would take it. Faith was believing that Sunday would follow Saturday as Saturday had followed Friday— if only you held onto the hope long enough...

To Protect and Serve
The Courage Series

By Staci Stallings 

I had a "God Incident" this weekend...You know, the type of happening that seems to be coincidental, yet proves to be so very much more? When I opened To Protect and Serve, I had no idea that it was going to include a time setting which included Easter Weekend. When I started reading parts such as the above excerpt, I actually had chills.. How wonderful to have a Christian Novel that included the Easter miracle set into our contemporary lives!

Finding myself stopping to consider the concept of having "Fridays" to go through--as we all do--yet recognizing that we have been promised a "Sunday" that has already proven to come for us for thousands of years, certainly takes us directly to the heart of the weekend that Jesus had not only died for us...but Arose!

This is the first novel in the Courage Series and I had never read the author before. Needless to say it was a very pleasant surprise, as well as a spiritual and inspiring story for me...

It's a love story. The novel has that element, but moves on into presenting an exciting, yet heartbreaking picture of those who serve our country through fire protection--To save others' lives, they will risk their own... all without any explicit sexual content! What a lovely break for this reader.

Strong, with a strength he had gained and a strength he would have to find in himself to do this job, his voice came. A solemn vow to all those his life would touch. “… I promise to protect and serve to the best of my ability. I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.” A moment of silence for them all to breathe, one more moment affording a final opportunity to turn back. But like the image of those steps, he knew he never would. If someone needed him, Jeff Taylor, now standing at the door to his destiny, was ready and willing to help.

Jeff Taylor had been shy and unable to deal with interacting with women until he met and fell in love with Lisa on a night when both had been the lonely single at a bar's table. While Jeff had a background that we later learn about that helped to lead to his personal and professional choices, Lisa Matheson had long ago chosen to become a professional business woman and head her own company. But not only did she have issues with delegation, she found that she still have to deal when they were clients who found her not only beautiful, but assumed that she would do anything to please that client...

The looks Tucker was giving her sent chills— and not the good kind— up Lisa’s spine Tuesday afternoon as she sat across the table for lunch with him and his grandfather...
“We’re almost there,” Tucker said as his voice darkened. He pulled off the freeway and stopped at an intersection. “Just chill. Okay?” But she knew all too well where chilling was going to get her. With no more than a half-second of thought, she reached for the door handle, clicked it, and swung it open as the light turned green ahead of them. “What are you doing?” he practically screamed. “What I should’ve done when you showed up.” One hand clicked her seat belt as her first heel hit the pavement. Horns behind them blared to life. Her body out, she slammed the door and stumbled from the middle of the road across three lanes to the other side as the cars played pinball with her path. “Cripes! How do I let myself get into these messes?” Beep. Honk. Beep. And she made it safely to the other side of the street. 
“Great. Now what?” She looked around to get her bearings, and then she realized that Tucker might actually have the audacity to come try to find her.  That thought jerked her steps down the street. “I truly hate guys,” she said into the night air. “I really and truly do. They are nothing but egomaniacal, selfish, inconsiderate jerks, and if I never see another one again, it will be too soon.”

Readers enjoy seeing the camaraderie and friendship developed among firemen and watch as they handle daily emergencies, such as when Jeff talks a young boy from jumping off a bridge...and much more.

While Lisa has a difficult time trying to deal with all of the work she has and the problems necessary to build up a small business.

While the two begin to slowly meet and share quiet times talking and learning about each other,  Lisa soon learns that there is danger for danger when one of his best friends dies from being caught in a fire...

The major attribute that comes through Stallings book is...reality...Readers are fully aware of both internal and external thoughts of confusion, anger, joy, and love...and, when asked to participate, with God as a primary character there in those emotions... The dialogue between each of the couple and the God to whom each shares, is very personal and provocative... Is God helping to bring the two together? Or should they move on, reverting back into their lonely, separate lives. 

Is it worth so much pain and fear to have a love so great that losing it would affect your whole life?

“Lisa?” He stepped over the hose as she flew the last three steps into his arms. Holding her, the strength in his arms flowed into her spirit as the world around them dropped away. All she wanted to do was hold him...she pulled him closer to her as a stream of tears slid down her face. You have this moment and only this moment. What you do with it is your choice. 
A moment or a hundred thousand. Whatever God gave them, she would stand right at Jeff Taylor’s side. Then in the moment when God called one of them home, she would look back with no regrets for she would have spent all the time from that moment to this loving with complete trust. And that was the only measure of love that ever truly mattered.

Stallings has given readers much more than a sermon...she has opened the lives of two people, who could be you or somebody you know. She has given each God's spirit so that even when there were Fridays in their lives, there was that promise, that realization that Sunday comes...and His Spirit lives with us each day, Fridays, especially...

This is a personal favorite for 2016...a glorious expression of God's Love... A must-read for many! If only every teenager today could read that it's not necessary to rush into marriage and all it entails... So check it out for yourself or as a gift...


A stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci's stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That's what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Aolfo Caso Presents Dolore - Remembering... Why Easter!

(On Suffering)
His mouth
semi-wide and tense
opened and closed
with each blow
of the hammer
they pierced
his hands
on the cross
What pain, or sorrow
was felt
his eyes
did not show
though wrinkles
surrounding the cavities
and drew light
with each blow.
Adolph Caso

Observations in Poetry and Pictures

Wasn't the sun shining so brightly this morning?
As God often does, an old song began in my mind...
Yes, I was thinking about Easter 
Yet it was the sorrow, the pain He bore for us
that will allow us Sunshine Tomorrow...and always...
And when I looked, I was led to this poem that 
I had not read since 2006 when I first read it!
Certainly this is how we celebrate Easter
and all of our mornings forever...
For Jesus died for us! And Arose!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Your Poet Is...Thomas Kemp Sharing One of His Latest Wonderful Poems!

So many of us just know,
We are just time travelers.
Her feet had carried her more steps,
then she had thought possible today.
The Sun’s warmth above her all the way,
She resides composed on a park bench of blue and gray
Minutes go by and she does not move,
except her eyes scan left and right.
Minutes go by,
an orange Monarch Butterfly bounces its wing on her left hand,
acting as if it wanted to stay, hopefully to live for just one more day.
Minutes go by,
Time is transient like the migration of Madam Butterfly.
Sunshine starts to wain in the western sky,
Mother nature will always have her manner of doing and saying,
It’s time to get up and go toward home,
But if she does both must go,
Madam Monarch looking for Milkweed plants, 
And she for her own special friend…
Just let a few more minutes’ slip from the warm sky.
Sitting perfectly still.
A bumble bee lands on her right grass stained knee.
Life is this way,
Minutes with a bumble bee
So little time for Madam Butterfly and me.

Thomas Kemp/poet/03/03/2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking for a Bedtime Story for Your Little One...Try Gingerbread Girl by Illana Barran

Take one story, add a tune. Sing it fast or hum it softly... This is what I imagine that Illana Barran does as she sings her bedtime story, The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl: A Lullaby... I did learn that another writer had a similar story, but believe me, this has sufficient original material and a gentler story, to recommend your consideration...

Because this particular gingerbread girl had heard stories--everybody liked gingerbread, but she had her own plan for her life this time...every time she had been made, she was always a treat rather than a friend...

Sooo, this time things were going to be different!

Once the oven beeped, they went to take a peek, and the little Gingerbread Girl sat up with a squeak!
She ran across the floor and out the door, and said...
"No, no! No More! I don't want to be eaten anymore!"

And as soon as she was outside, she began to sing! And skipped along with just one word!

La La La          La La La
La La La La        La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La
La La La La La
La La La La
La La La
La La

But now she was out in the world and whenever anybody saw her, they tried to get her to come to them, tempting them with cocoa and a chat. Do you know what she said?

"No no, spin spin, 
as fast as I can twirl!
You can't catch me; 
I'm the Gingerbread Girl!

Will she have to run forever?!

"I've run from a husband;
I've run from a wife,
and I can surely run
from you too, Mister Butcher.
Yes, I can!
And I can surely run from you too,
Mister Butcher. Yes, I can!"

LaLa  LaLaLa  LaLa...
I thought the art work was a good match to the story line...The gingerbread girl looks like one that might be baked and appears throughout the book just the same, with only slight variations in her shape. This 40-page story will keep children interested...until they are drowsy...  La La!

All of the other characters are sketched, I believe, perhaps freehand. It made an impression on me as being the perfect setting for our little Girl that must keeping running away so she won't be eaten... Also, using baking implements like a roller pin, are clever touches in the art work, especially when they lead to great-looking goodies at the end! Kudos to the author who also illustrated her book!

I especially liked the ending for Gingerbread girl... But then it was somewhat ironic to have several recipes provided in the back of the book! LOL It's ok to save the Gingerbread Girl, but when you bake gingerbread, make only muffins or scones so your kids can enjoy them!

There are parts of the book that are repetitive, such as would be for a chorus in a song. And another part repeats all of the previous words, but adds the latest character from whom she escapes...much like you would have with the Song, On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

With just one reading, I found that I began to feel the rhythm of the poetic words and could easily see how the reader could create a tune for the words that the child would become used to... and with the length of the story, it could start out fast and then slow down as the child began to show signs of sleepiness, making it in to a very unique lullaby!

And just like this simple song, children can learn much from the Gingerbread Girl...First, that you can do something about things and can be proud of those accomplishments... She, of course,also determined to be safe and chose to run away when in danger...but, mainly, this book is just a catchy little story that is fun to enjoy and add a little tune to sing the words...or just have your child sing la, la, la, as the story is read! Be creative...that's what this book most allows!

By the way, a charming added touch is that on the back cover is a review of the book by Aaron Liebskind who is 9 years old! He admits that even after his little sister falls asleep, he wants to hear the rest of the story because it is so enjoyable! Kid-Approved! Cool, right?

I enjoyed the unique aspects of this book--the story itself, the art work, and the encouragement to add music...Plus the bonus of recipes will please many mothers! Highly recommended...



Illana Barran is an author and illustrator. She was inspired to write this classic story adaption while singing stories to her young daughter. Thus, born The Survival of the Gingerbread Girl which is not only a bedtime, story but a lullaby - when sung, can calmly help a child go to sleep at nap time or bedtime or just a soothing remedy for a crying child. Illana is also an artist and has taught beginning painting classes to young students. In addition, she enjoys photography and cooking.