Friday, September 30, 2016

Adolph Caso Presents Latest Book - A Novel, Amalfi Re-Visited

It's 11:10 PM on September 28, 2016. At 11:00 PM I closed the book, Amalfi Re-Visited by Adolph Caso, in shock, breathless. I can't get past it; I am in awe. Will I be able to go to sleep after that last chapter? Not for a long time... I could not stop myself from coming to write this first paragraph of my response to Adolfo's book... I'm chilled, coming out of the shock, considering, even, the magnificence of the ending and, yet, of its incongruity? Yes, I think I must say that as I marvel at how the author has played us...

Just like life has played us all...

We go through our life, living, loving, dreaming, working... Sometimes, though, there are those who purposely work to do evil and we are angered, agitated, wanting to rid the world of it all...

And then, Adolph Caso writes a book that places us squarely into our true reality... I'm choking up with the emotions, the feelings, again, of awe as I consider the masterpiece he has given the world...

And yet, I know that many will not read it as I have. There are many that will even stop reading the book, not knowing what awaits...never knowing...the ending...

How shall I share my thoughts and reactions without telling the entire story? How can I not want to talk to somebody, even right now as I write, to see if others will have reacted as I have. Tears making it hard to type, rolling down my face, lights blurring as I try to ensure my fingers are on the right keys...

Because I must write a disclaimer at this point. This book was dedicated to me by Adolfo, my friend... Can I convince anybody that my response to the book had nothing to do with that relationship? I include it now just to ensure that I've acted in good faith by pointing out that my name appears on one of the early introductory pages... All I would say is, begin, again to read my response to the story above... I will begin again, tomorrow, to share as I routinely do with all of you... Good night...*

Amalfi Re-Visited

By Adolph Adolfo Caso

So there I was on my first trip to Italy, to Amalfi, which is apparently a luxury vacation spot these days, but the first chapter is dedicated to Amalfi's history. However, it is the cultural history and the people living there today which is the book's setting.

With an intriguing start, I realized that the book was a thriller, but as I read it was soon apparent that it was also romantic suspense which merged together into an alternative history novel that, well, totally soon caught my attention, especially toward the end.

The beginning seemed somewhat stilted. The location is the Pentagon where a General Miller has called a secret meeting. It seems at first that the General is unprepared and readers wonder about the character; however, it is soon apparent that the issue is that he really doesn't know anything about what has happened, yet has been assigned the responsibility to investigate. 
"There is no bonafide source for the information other than the fact we believe a high ranking member of the terrorists in the Middle East has been found dead--not due to any drone attack or to a specific shooting, or even to his death from poisoning. He is dead as a result, we have surmised, of a rare attack on a specific individual without any prior cancer of any type--of his vocal chords, which brought about a sudden and excruciating death. I cannot tell you the name, nor the age of this individual, not whether he was wittingly or unwittingly exposed to this new chemical attack, or whether this is limited to this specific man singly or with collective ramifications. Worse, we know nothing other than to admit only to speculations which may turn out to be unfounded... "Coincidental to that is the following, which is based on two separate incidences--one recorded from one of our orbiting satellites, the other from a military intelligent unit surveying the Naples area. Both reported two brief, supposedly random radio transmissions with no further intelligence..."
He has a team to which specific assignments are made to various locations, one of whom is Jody Villa as a special agent. It is Jody who becomes the main character as she acts on her special assignment. Here, too, Jody appears somewhat clumsy in her initial investigations. She must also keep everything secret from anybody, including her mother, with whom she will be traveling incognito to Italy, and has clearly never been in a position where she's had to make up her own cover story,which turns out to be a research project for her thesis, which is really even unbelievable to herself, the readers, and those she interviewed, LOL. Nevertheless, she fumbles those initial activities and narrows down a potential candidate with the educational training and experience to have created a method by which "something" can ride on top of transmissions....

The ruse of a little research work on her degree is combined with some vacation time spent with her mother as she travels to Italy for a conference, related to her professorial position. And since, of course, there is always free time and a desire to see everything when traveling, readers are privy to all types of special events and visits to cultural sites throughout the rest of the book. This was really an enjoyable part of the book as we learn what is available in Amalfi. 

"One other piece of trivia: do you mind?"
"Please do ahead." Jody got to understand how much Michael like to delve into the significance of things.
"Being you are staying at Castellammare di Stabbia," he commented with special emphasis on pronouncing the port city, "few people know that the popular Neapolitan song, Funiculi, Funiculi, was first sung to the public at Castellammare di Stabbia. You know, every famous tenor, from Caruso to Gigli, to Pavarotti and Bocelli--they all sing it. The song is part of a universal repertoire..."

And who, by the way, is showing Jody most of the sights as her mother attends the conference? Why it is Michael, the main character (and suspect) of possibly being the man who had been murdering people through this strange new method...

And with whom Jody is falling in love--and he, her...

Actually, Jody's mother, Julie, also became involved with the team captain with whom she was working!

On hearing her name called, Professor Villa stood up, raised one arm; and, with a large smile, she thanked the Captain. On seeing her, he turned his head to the right to avoid being heard. But to no avail. "Maronna!" (Madonna) he exclaimed, barely audible, causing many to snicker in wonderment...

It was Mount Vesuvius that had brought both Julie Villa and Michael to the conference as they planned to try to prevent future major damage if another eruption occurred. Michael had invented a new apparatus that was to be used to register
and transmit any tremors that occurred...and it was through that device that Jody started interacting with Michael with her open declaration "I would love to see it..." And that, was all it took. Soon Michael was sharing much with Jody, but she was also reporting back her intel to Washington... She was falling for Michael, but also had made a commitment as an agent... How was it going to work out, especially if he was guilty?!

Readers who have read Adolph Caso before will see his thoughts on various world-wide issues, woven into the story, especially once in Italy. As I've mentioned before, in addition to God, his family and friends, Adolfo has a special love for his adopted country, America, and his homeland, Italy. His strong patriotic feelings and concern for those he loves comes through clearly in this merge of a political drama together with the very human need to love and be loved. This is another of those books about which I would love to share more, and perhaps I will spotlight sections in further blog articles. 

The impact of this book for me was unbelievable. It is suspenseful as we follow the investigation to discover who is killing terrorists, it is wonderful to tour parts of Italy through the joy and reactions of the main characters, yet it is a magnificent look at today's world and what we must do on any given day to protect those we love. I sat, in awe, as I closed this book... and I recommend it to you as a must-read...


Having survived World War II, Adolph Caso completed only first grade in 1947, he joined his family in Boston. Eleven-years-old, speaking a limited Neapolitan dialect, he was placed in the sixth grade. Thereafter he received his high school diploma, his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University, his graduate degree from Harvard University, and various military diplomas from courses leading to promotions up to the rank of General. He has written more than 40 books and developed 12 interactive cultural courses available online. Among others, he is the author of Water and Life (poems and photos in English and Italian), We the People: Formative Documents of America's Democracy, The Straw Obelisk (post anti-World War II novel). To America and Around the World--The Logs of Columbus and Magellan, Dante in the 20th Century (anthology on Dante), God, and Evolution or Evolvement (rejection of Darwinism), Centennial Special (history of Branden Books), Kaso English to Italian Phonemic Dictionary, Bilingual Two-Language Assessment Battery of Test (English, Spanish, Franch, Italian, Portuguese, Vietnames, Russian, and Chinese) and co-author with Captain Charles Francis of, The Tuskegee Airmen--The Men Who Changed a Nation. Though almost 83, this Octo is bound to stop working 30 minutes after he will have died.

*I debated whether to include this after I reread it the next day. However, since I've always tried to share my honest feelings about what I've read, I decided to include it here only on my blog.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Taste of Amalfi Re-Visited by Adolph Caso Review Coming Soon...

Around 1300 AD, the Maritime Republic of Amalfi was one of the more powerful, and first democratic governments in Europe. Its ships sailed the Mediterranean Sea, to and from the nations of North Africa and the Middle East to the south, and from Portugal to France and both sides of Italy to the north, and beyond the waters of Turkey. Its merchants imported silk and spices from the East and exported its own home-made paper. Flavio Biondo perfected the compass, and Amalfi instituted The Amalfitan Papers, a code-book on how to govern on national and international waters. With the ballot box, sailors chose their captains, and citizens chose their Presidents. Suddenly, Amalfi was destroyed by high rising tsunami waters that caused the mountain to collapse onto the city, destroying it and killing most of its people.
In the 21st Century, having regained some prominence, Amalfi was to be re-visited by a similar event--this time, man-made.

Closing her face toward Jody's ear, she said to her daughter's astonishment: "You know how much I love music. I went to see Guido Cantelli direct Verdi's Requiem Mass at Boston Symphony. It was magnificent. I shall never forget it. Also, I shall never forget that soon after, Guido, with his whole orchestra crash-landed near the airport of Milan. I guess what I am trying to say is that things should not happen as accidents. These things are worse when they are man-made. I don't feel at east going to Europe at this time. There are terrorists all over the place. Too often, they are among us and we only know that even as Migrants, they're not even vetted.
"Oh, Mom, not to worry: Airport security is pretty effective."
After chit-chatting with their counterparts at the table, mother and daughter walked around saying hello almost nonstop. Professor Villa was that popular, and in demand.
"People have great expectations of you. I am sure you will not disappoint them." Jody said.
"Mom," she then added with a twinkle in her eyes. "Tomorrow is our last day--here, I mean, in Washington! Why don't we go to the National Gallery? There are many masterpieces from Italy. Although I would like to see the Jesus of Dali.
I would also like to see the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ--Saints and Sinners."

"My, my, Jody: You're talking about some big names, like Caravaggio, especially. You know he was a master painter and a farabutto at the same time."
"Mom, enough already with these Italian words. 'Farabutto!' What does it mean?"

At The National Gallery of Art, mother and daughter shows mutual admiration for Dali's Jesus dramatically suspended from wooden beams of the cross--In their view, Jesus commanded all their attention notwithstanding Dali's artistic ability to move the viewers as he did. Jody was really taken back by the artist's virtuosity. Now so with Caravaggio's Jesus.
In The Taking of Christ, Jody was struck by the artist rendition of the Christ on the cross. There he was, waiting to die, and being the only one with the light clearly shining on his face...

Those who have come to know Adolfo through his writing, know that, in addition to family, he has great love for his adopted country, America, and for his homeland, Italy. And for the Arts... The novel combines portions from all of these, so much so, that I wanted to share some of the specifics that I, too, found appealing... The full Requiem was can decide how much time you have to spend with this musical masterpiece...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Come Meet Becca the Bat! Visiting Book Readers Heaven With Her New Hat!

 Yes, it's me! I thought since I'm going to tell you about a bat with a hat that I would show you mine! Especially in the winter, I wear it all the time, but, mostly, I wear it like a night cap to keep my head warm in my somewhat wind-blown cabin...

Do you wear a hat? What kind?

You do like mine, don't you? Oh, don't mind Charlie...he's not happy to be modeling my cap for you, but, then, he's got a lot more fur (hair) to keep him warm!

Anyway, today, Tim Zak is sharing his story about a bat with a hat. No, it's not like mine, it's much prettier, but probably not as warm... 

The Bat Who Lost Her Hat

By Tim Zak

I imagine that Becca the Bat must have one day saw somebody wearing a hat, perhaps for the Easter Parade! And she loved the "look" and wanted to get a hat too... She went shopping and found that special hat. It fit just right, even staying on when she flew upside down!
Becca had found her hat and loved it so much that she wore it so that all her friends could see it!

Becca is a cute little bat,
who loved wearing her pink hat.
Becca would fly when it was dark
She loved to go down to the park.

Her friends were hanging in a tree,

She took her hat for them to see.

Tim Zak has created a delightful, fun pre-school nursery rhyme series that is bound to attract the attention of young children. Each book uses a small animal that can be used as introductions to the child. In addition each has something that teaches through the actions of that character. For instance, when Becca woke up one morning, she didn't have her hat on like she always did!

She immediately started the Blame Game, first blaming her brother and then all her friends as she flew around trying to find who had taken it. She knew that everybody else had said they loved her hat, so she had automatically assumed that somebody had stolen it!

What do you think happened when she later found her hat at home?!!

As you can see how the cover and the two page samples, the pages are beautifully created with the words directly on the page of the picture, which I personally, prefer. I viewed the ebook on both Kindle Fire and on the computer screen in full-color and recommend if you have the Fire, you choose that format. The colors are brilliant and true to life and the character, Becca, is center of the page so that she will soon be immediately recognized by children.

These are wonderful books to start your child toward reading enjoyment. I'll be sharing a couple more from this wonderful author soon.  Highly recommended!


Tim Zak was born in Jersey City, N.J. as a flower child of the 1960's. He is a former student of the Institute of Children's Literature of West Redding, CT. He studied literature and creative arts in college, and spent time as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Tim is now a full time expert children's book author, allowing his passion for writing to speak to children in his content rich adventure books.

He currently has turned his love for writing children's books about animal stories to the Amazon platform. Many of the bedtime stories and baby animals that he has developed for children over the past 30 years are jumping from the pages of his kids books and springing to life in this fun digital format. Tim plans on bringing all his fun and lovable nursery rhymes to Amazon where he thinks he has finally found the perfect home for all his fans to enjoy.

Tim began writing his children's books to share with his daughter. She is now grown and an integral part of the writing process, providing the names for all those cute baby animals is his fun adventures.

Tim currently lives in sunny Florida where he has plans on writing more best selling children's books this year!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

William Rubin Presents A Chris Ravello Medical Thriller - Forbidden Birth!

A few key cuts and he had what he had
been searching for in the palm of
 his hand. He pulled it out and examined
 its symmetry, its beauty, its potential.
For some time now, he had decided who lived and who died--and who would be born again. He had built up this state-of=the-art lab from nothing over the last six and a half years. His clientele now included the wealthiest, most powerful people in the world. He produced high-priced miracles for them and they, in turn, unwittingly funded all he had worked so hard to create. After years of tolling in secrecy, the time had come to reveal himself. The world would learn of his intelligence and power. The world would learn to fear and respect. The Giver, the moniker he had chosen for himself.
He looked up from the mangled corpse that lay before him and turned his attention to the flat screen monitor a few feet away. It was an NBC special report that he didn't want to miss. New York State Governor Gregory Spatick was answering questions from a well-dressed reporter who sat across from him.
"Governor, you've allocated a great deal of time, money, and manpower to your pet project, the Division of Medical Crimes. To date they have not solved a single crime. Aren't you concerned the federal government will withhold funding, shutting the unit, if the DMC continues to fail?"
Spatick uncrossed his legs, shifted in his chair, and tentatively re-crossed his legs. "Janet, we have wonderful news to report for the DMC. Doctor Chris Ravello has just been appointed the lead detective for the Division of Medical Crimes. As you know, his division is our response to the explosive growth of medical associated crimes in recent years. Illegal sales of drugs over the internet; synthetic street drugs; unusual murders where medical expertise is helpful; and crimes involving physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or any other areas of medicine. All such crimes in New York State now fall under the jurisdiction of the newly created Division of Medical Crimes. Detective Ravello is our new lead investigator and the FBI will also offer assistance whenever we feel their expertise would aid in solving such crimes."
"Governor, it's unheard of for an NYPD officer to become a detective after only two months on the job. With such limited experience what qualifies Detective Ravello to now become the DMC's lead investigator?" the blong said with a furrowing of her brow.
"Chris Ravello is the only physician-detective in the NYPD history. Doctor Ravello brings experience, knowledge and a unique perspective to the fight against medical crimes in New York. I wholeheartedly believe the DMC will flourish under Detective Ravello."
Hands still and folded in front of him, the Giversmiled to himself as the television droned on. Not only had the dead woman in front of him given him exactly what he needed, she was his perfect calling card. Her appearance would jolt Ravello. Indeed, it would disturb him to his core...
"They have no clue who or what they are dealing with. And they never will."

Forbidden Birth
A Chris Ravello Medical Thriller

By William Rubin

First, a warning: This is an extremely dark and graphic novel. Second. it is an amazing merge of crimes surrounding medical atrocities, with a main character that has medical credentials that are used to consider both the crime, as well as the potential individuals who could or would possibly have done the crime...

What do I mean by medical atrocities? Well, there is a serial killer operating in New York City. While he has been involved in these actions for quite some time, he sees the appointment of the head of a new Division of Medical Crimes, who is the first medical doctor who has also gone through the Police Academy, as a challenge. His feelings of omniscience have led him from his primary goals and resulted in a desire for a game of cat-and-mouse... Let's see this obviously inadequate doctor-cum-police investigator fumble through some sort of investigation with which he will ultimately be unsuccessful... And he'll be gone!

And believe me, when The Giver starts the game, it is difficult to keep up! Especially since Ravello has just been appointed and, indeed, has little experience in police investigation. And the author has not made it easy for his main character! He's taken him from a lucrative practice and a happy family into a relocation of his family into a location that is quite a letdown from their previous home. He is also fighting an illness that threatens his job and about which he did not share when he applied for the job! Not exactly a good start...

But what he has is the desire to succeed, based upon the loss of his mother through a devastating, senseless murder. He can no longer function as a doctor--he needs to get out there and stop those individuals who do harm! There was no way though that he could have realized that his first assignment would prove to be one of the biggest and most explosive cases that could ever come to New York!

How fitting that these degenerates
and their offspring would be used,
raised up, to transform all whose
lives would follow from theirs.
These patients would accomplish
so much more dead at his hands
than they ever would have alive,
roaming the earth without purpose.
The Giver used the very body on which he'd been working as the first placed for a quick find. The lower part of the woman's body had been mutilated. It is quickly seen by the reader how Ravello's medical expertise was going to greatly help in the investigation. Not only did he consider the disposed body differently, he was able to work closely with the ME about what could be found.

The main thing was that, though mutilated, there was evidence of surgically removed parts of the body and sometimes a fetus... The body count quickly started to rise. 

The young fetus lay before him, still trapped for the moment inside Erika's uterus. With that baby, and the countless ones before it and those who would follow, he would achieve greatness for himself and the entire human race.

The Giver sang arias in Italian while he worked, as he was wont to do during moments of triumph such as these. He tore through Erika's uterus while matching

his voice to soprano Caroline Whisnant's... He removed the small fetus and its placenta. It was safe now. Safe with him and his grant plans--the same could not be said for Rakel Ingi...A sick, demented smile curled across The Giver's face as he stared at the spot where Rakel's body disappeared from view. A momentary and unexpected sadness came over him as he reflected on her. She was so pretty and so young to have died, but she would rest easy knowing her sacrifice helped advance the future of the entire human race. Erika's harvest had been a fruitful one. Thanks to her young baby, The Giver's plans were ahead of schedule. "Another Victory was almost at hand. 

The Queen song, "Another One Bites The Dust," danced in his head as a smile returned to The Giver's face and all thoughts of sadness or sympathy for the girl disappeared. A warm feeling of supreme confidence and satisfaction swept over him. Blood rushed to his penis and roused it from its slumber. What a glorious morning it was!

The Giver looked up from the newspaper
and turned his thoughts to his foe.
"Ravello is a worthy adversary, he's kept
me on my toes, but he's no match for my
preternatural powers...
"I alone will decide who in this fair city,
in this wonderful nation of ours, lives
and dies. I alone will decide who will be
reborn--and no one can stop me."

I thought the egomaniac psychopath created by Rubin deserved a"bravo." Not for the character but for the author who created him. For surely, this one individual was brilliant and was well advanced of others who had turned to criminal actions to serve their own personal, crazed, goals... There is no way you will not hate the actions he does, but realize his success in keeping his activities so secret that nobody was aware of him, until he decided to share with the doctor-investigator Chris Ravello...

Yes, I have purposely not shared much about the investigation, rather on the criminal who keeps readers hoping he'll be stopped! Other than to say that Ravello is a character that I look forward to learning more about. Then, too, his team characters are an interesting backup to the new lead investigator. All in all, this promises to be an exciting series with a leader who, I hope, doesn't have to face such a scary, dark psychopath the next time around... But with the range of issues that fall into his bailiwick, it could prove to be a long-standing set of books that will rock the medical thriller genre! Rubin has given us a knowledgeable team leader that will soon be recognized by readers who follow medical mysteries and thrillers! Kudos to the author! If you can get past the dark, graphic pictures, then do check out a new author that I highly recommend!


William Rubin is a practicing physician who enjoys weaving tales of medical/scientific intrigue. Writing for him is equal parts catharsis, creativity, and escape from the rigors of a busy medical practice and the joys and challenges of raising a family. The works of James Patterson, Michael Crichton, and Patricia Cornwell inspired Dr. Rubin to create the Christopher Ravello Series. Challenges and tragedies in Dr. Rubin’s life, particularly the untimely death of his mother, provided some of the underlying drama, conflict, and turmoil for the series’ lead character. When he isn't busy practicing medicine or crafting his next medical thriller, Dr. Rubin enjoys time with his family and friends, running, playing piano, and travel. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Patrick Kelly Presents A Joe Robbins Financial Thriller - Hill Country Siren

I loved Sophie Tyler (Played by Stevie Nicks) long before she hired me. She was a hometown hero, a musician who grew up in Austin and made the big time. Sophie got her start in the mid-seventies working live venues with a band called the Texas Strangers. She worked the southwest circuit until she got her break as a solo artist in the early eighties.
In high school I couldn't afford the ticket for a live performance, but I bought her albums and played them over and over, studying the covers and the liner notes, mesmerized by her voice. I would put her album on the record player in my upstairs bedroom and climb onto the roof to look at the stars. 

When an incident affects me profoundly enough to invade my dreams, I write about it. The setting down of words on paper helps me think through the events, the role I played, the gains and losses, and the lessons learned, if any. I've been writing this story for weeks now, typing away in solitude, earbuds in, listening to Sophie's music. 

Though my journey began with a simple investigation it eventually meandered, step by avoidable step, onto a path both replete with wonders and laden with perils. To the wonders I contributed nothing but as for the perils...I don't know. Perhaps you should be the judge.

Hill Country Siren:
A Joe Robbins Financial Thriller

By Patrick Kelly

I have two confessions about this book. First, I didn't see how the issue of finances could be a thriller. I was waaaay wrong! Two, I totally missed the first clue the author gave readers... Wow, did that make the story that much more exciting! This is a novel you can sit back and enjoy, even though it does have exciting moments... Here's Why...

Joe Robbins, a freelance CFO, who has been asked to conduct a financial investigation of a possible scam for Sophia Tyler, a major music star, had been Joe's teen idol for years. His special love for her had stayed in a part of his heart for years and, so, when he's called upon to work with her, well, he finds himself acting just like the shy, star-struck boy he was when he fell in love with her... Such Fun to see him in action--or lack of it because he's just staring at her, not listening to the conversation, etc... You know what I mean, what's two plus two? Ahhh, Five?!! The guy can hardly stand still so that he doesn't go to touch and see if she's real and really right there talking to him, LOL!

" believe someone has scammed Sophie Tyler," I said, my voice rough, dry, and to my ears at least, a tad giddy. I sipped coffee, hoping the liquid would allow my next words to emerge normally. Ever since Rico mentioned the gig to me I'd had trouble relaxing, my blood pressure elevated...
"I thought we'd bring you on as part of my security team," said Adrian. "You could help out with security at the festival and look into this investment at the same time. That would camouflage yor investigation. I suggested the idea to Sophie. She loved it."
My pulse jumped. "You already talked to her about me?" The words about me came out wrong, almost a squeak...
Meet Sophie Tyler?
I would have done the job for free.

 Tyler. You're going to meet Sophie
Tyler?" Chandler's voice climbed
into a shriek with her second
mention of the name.
"Actually, it looks like I'll be working
with her."
...Who's Sophie Tyler? Callie asked.
"You dummy," said Chandler. "She's
the most famous rock star to ever
come from Austin."
Chandler sang a couple lines from
one of Sophie Tyler;s tunes. She
monitored the celebrity scene
closely, whereas Callie, only ten
was more into sports...
Joe's friend from the local Homicide unit, Rico Carrillo, had recommended Joe to Adrian Williams, the Security lead for Sophie Tyler. And, because she wanted the
investigation to be kept quiet, Joe was going to work on the regular security team... Joe was going to meet Sophie Tyler and be near her! Well, you know what happened, without my telling you, right? 

But, thankfully, when he was not right there with her, he was able to become the professional financial officer that he was. And, of course, Sophie had an entire staff entourage surrounding her that would be the first to check out! 

And there was one other perk to the job. Joe's daughter, Chandler, was a great fan and he was winning points to get to see his daughter more and to hopefully provide a chance to meet Sophie...

Joe was not happy with Rose, his ex-wife being remarried. He missed all of them, but at least was able to often spend time with his children. His short-term romances seemed to be just that...short-term, and he had just broken off his latest. Good thing, because nothing could have stopped what happened with least that's my opinion, reading what was written! LOL!

The financial activities were like a puzzle that Joe was solving and turned out to be quite fascinating. Before I started reading, I'd had a flashback when I spent a year of my life in a bookkeeping activity following the trail of capital money, spent by multiple staff, creating a new accounting system and losing my personal secretary to handle the job, after which I documented we were short over a million dollars--and got it! But, no way was that fun for me. Here Joe Robbins makes it seem like a mystery to be solved and just like on TV, he had to follow the money...

But what he found was that, in addition to the possible $2M scam for a new movie, it was clear that there were other times that appeared to also have been some kind of money manipulation... 

Some of the really exciting activities came while Joe was assisting in the security events at the concerts! With at least one murder that almost stopped the show from going on...

When Sophie walked onstage the crowd greeted her with whoops and whistles and applause. I stared at her for long seconds, the noise around me subsiding. She wore jeans and a light pink top, her hair combed straight and parted in the middle. The cheering continued as she bowed and waves. When the noise subsided she stepped to the microphone to thank the crowd and then quickly turned serious.
"A terrible thing happened two nights ago...My close friend Bryan Slater was murdered." Her voice cracked as she shared the news. A loud gasp came from the audience. I wanted to help but could think of nothing to do. She carried on.
"No matter how hard we try to make the world a better place, bad things still happen. One of the saddest parts of life is saying goodbye to the ones we love. The band talked about canceling today, but honestly, we knew that Bryan would want us to play. He was a we will go on with the show."

As you can probably tell, I loved this book...Merging a financial thriller within the world of music where large sums of money come in and go out was a brilliant decision. Notice I've said very little about the potential financial scams... What happened when Joe started following the money resulted in pieces of information being found almost continuously, but completely embedded into the overall activities that it would give too much away to talk about anything found. Still, though I understood what was being found...I would never have guessed the ending! You know what that means! Bravo to the author for providing a story that kept me guessing almost to the very end!

I highly recommend you check this one out!


Patrick Kelly conducted extensive research for the financial thriller genre by working as Chief Financial Officer for six different companies. Patrick lives and works in Austin, Texas.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Have a Good Day - Enjoy the Words of Kahlil Gibran...and More...

The Little Things

Kahlil Gibran

Oftentimes I have seen Him bending down to touch the
blades of grass. And in my heart I have heard Him say:
"Little green things, you shall be with me in my kingdom,
even as the oaks of Besan, and the cedars of Lebanon."

He loved all things of loveliness, the shy face of children,
and the myrrh and frankincense from the south.
He loved a pomegranate or a cup of wine given Him in
in kindness; it mattered not whether it was offered by a
stranger in the inn or by a rich host.
And He loved the almond blossoms. I have seen Him
gathering them into His hands and covering His face 
with the petals, as  though He would embrace with His
love all the trees in the world.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Christine Benedict Brings Spooky Debut of Anonymous - Waaaay Cool!

It was the only house they could afford, but Debra Hamilton could not help thinking that the big old building, in such bad condition that it was black-listed, was...well...spooky! They had gone immediately to work since they only had enough money to stay in their motel room for a month. Things did move quickly with Greg and her both tackling the decrepit building...

It was only when Greg wasn't there that she was more conscious of the noises. Sure, she knew that it was a creaky old house and the weather and outdoor birds and animals would add to what she was hearing... Still, she had to be sure...

She had to be sure that she was not like her mother. The very disturbing reality was that her mother heard things--things that weren't there. With paranoid schizophrenic and manic-depression, both which could be hereditary, Debra was always on edge, wondering and worrying whether she was following in her mother's footsteps.

But when she followed a cat, and found many others in the barn, she gasped, seeing that one was hanging from the barn rafters. She knew it was real. And worse, it was already too late to help it...


By Christine Benedict

Back by the well she pumped water. This won't be bad, she thought. Otto isn't so different from any other pet; we'll be friends in no time. As she filled the bucket, she caught sight of the three hundred twenty pound toddler--what he was up to. He'd managed to get himself hung up against the tree where Greg had tied him... She didn't want to touch him. She didn't want him to touch her. Debra got directly behind him, apprehensive, back far enough to reach his hide. She patted his hind quarter to prod him...He wouldn't budge...
Debra swished the towel at Otto's face, trying to lessen the bugs, and snapped it accidentally in his eye. Otto jerked suddenly spooked. Debra hadn't meant to spook him but she had spooked him and she couldn't take it back. He kicked up his hoofs, bucking like a wild horse, his tree=truth=neck jerking the rope nonstop...
He stood still for a moment, suddenly aware he was free--free to chase Debra..She was already running, knowing full well that she'd been training him for this all summer. She ran on uneven ground, her flip-flops slapping her heels, weeds, waist-high, blackberry barbs stinging her bare arms and legs. She looped around a tree and ran behind the barn, dodging Otto, not like a matador would, but more like the clown sent in afterwards. A clumsy silly no one clown.On this side of the barn, she saw something odd set way back in the field, an old swing set. The image shifted through heat waves like a mirage, abandoned here for who knows how long. Debra widened her strides, but suddenly stumbled, her foot caught in a tangle of vines. She felt her knees buckle. She felt his horn graze her calf. But somehow she didn't fall, somehow she was able to keep her balance and fun. Otto was breathing heavily, she could hear him over her own sinking breaths. It was so hot, so damn hot. This is how we would die, she thought as she ran. He could gore her to death, and they would find her body there. He chased her to the swing set where she climbed up on a rusty teeter-totter seat, and boosted herself up to the center bar that connected the two A-frame poles...

Debra was just getting used to the place when Greg decided to buy Otto. He thought it would be no big deal for Debra to take care of him while he worked, but there was no way around it, she was scared of him and as he grew larger and larger, Debra was more and more frightened. Still, it was on a very hot day that she saw the bugs swarming Otto's face and had pity on the animal. She accidentally flicked the cloth and he became enraged until he had broken away and began chasing her. She had flashbacks of other times when she thought she was going to die and decided, this time it was for real. But she caught sight of an old swing off in the woods, climbed it and called for help...

The thing was, though, that when Debra was telling Greg what happened, he stopped her and claimed there was no swing set on their property... Indeed, they could not find it! Though, later, Debra did find some of the rusted parts of what had once been there of a swing set... That's when I knew Debra...and I...had both entered The Twilight Zone! Because what was happening in that old house was...truly least at the time it was happening...

I felt sorry for Debra with her fear of possible psychiatry problems. But I was already convinced that what was happening was outside of her mind...I was ready to agree that these paranormal activities were real... Spoooooky!

And then there was the groundhog she had to kill with a hoe...that wasn't there when they looked for it...

But that wasn't enough to keep readers on edge...

Debra had made friends with Julie, a close neighbor who, as they got to know each other, shared, learning more as friends do. Finally, Julie told her about receiving anonymous letters, which her husband had discovered and was accusing her of playing around whenever she left the house!

And then Midnight, the only feral cat Debra had been able to become close to disappeared...

Debra and Julie were trying to deal with their respective problems and would have a girls' night out at a local lounge... Julie thought maybe the man who was sending the messages might be there and she would politely ask him to stop contacting her. But of course, two beautiful women only received unwanted advances and when Julie was swatted on her butt. she used her left hook to knock him out and they ran! LOL I loved it...

But things got even more serious when somebody was identified as the possible stalker... Julie's husband had left, screaming that he'd kill him... And that night, the suspect was murdered...

And then it was Debra who became the victim...

Suddenly Debra was in her twelve-year old self, sitting in church, wearing her then favorite yellow dress decorated with white flowers...Mrs. O'Shell was playing, Sweet Hour of Prayer on the church organ. This church had given her refuge...Her mother was coming down the aisle now, young and beautiful, her hair dark and flowing. She scooted in next to Debra, beaming with something that looked like love. She touched Debra's brown, her fingers smoothing a worry line. "Pray Debra. Pray real hard..."
The singing stopped. Her mom disappeared. The pew disappeared. Someone was carrying her out of the church. She smelled that sweet honey smell. 
She awoke, disoriented, wrapped in the afghan in the back seat of her car, her rifle next to her. The car doors locked. How did she get here?

One Last Hint...

Benedict has given us a memorable novel that takes us into that unknown world where, sometimes, miracles just might be happening... Or else, you really are in the Twilight Zone! You decide! Highly recommended!


Anonymous is a finalist for the 2015 First Horizon Award 
A Finalist for the 2015 Indie Book Awards – First Novel (over 80,000 words)
A Finalist for the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award Short List
And The US Review of Books posted Anonymous as First Runner-up in E-Book Fiction 

Christine studied creative writing at Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University. Her short stories have been finalists for Perigee Publication for the Arts and The Fish Short Story Prize.