Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Searching for Gatsby by Niki Danforth Provides Fascinating Literary Mystery

The beat-up sedan brakes quickly on the winding back road, its headlights beaming on a wooden sign, Willowbrook Natural Lands Trust Hiking Trails. A shrill canine yawn lets loose from the back seat as the vehicle turns into the small gravel parking area. It rolls to a stop in the corner farthest from the road. Another yawn squeaks from the back seat, and the old man reaches behind him to scratch the sleepy Jack Russell terrier nestled on a pile of sweaters. “Good girl.” His voice is gruff, but kind. He shakes his head as if getting rid of the cobwebs, blinks several times, and massages his eye lids. “Peach, wait here.” Clicking open the trunk, the wiry man steps out of the old Honda Accord. A car speeds by and he almost ducks down. “Get with it, old man,” he chides himself. “It’s just folks heading home.” He stretches his stiff limbs and rubs his gray-whiskered face while scanning the vegetation surrounding the lot.
Glancing at the road, he assesses whether the brush will block the view of his car to the few vehicles passing by. He slams shut the driver’s door as if deciding that it does. Another car drives by, and this time he ignores it. A slight breeze blows through and the man shivers, reminded that fall is on its way. He peers inside at the disorderly back seat. Several cardboard boxes and paper bags of books surround the sweaters that serve as Peach’s bed. The man reaches for an olive-colored jacket and a felt fedora tossed among the clutter. As he puts them on, the dog’s big dark eyes stare at him adoringly. Then he pushes open the lid of the car’s trunk, removes a small black canvas pack, and drops it on the ground. He searches the bag and pulls out lightweight black gloves and a small beat-up paperback missing its cover. He slips it into the back of his black jeans, the skinny volume peeking out above the top edge of the pocket. 
The man clips a leash to the collar of his terrier. “Okay, girl. You’re my cover.” Peach jumps out of the car, and the old guy bumps the door shut with his hip as he puts the gloves into his jacket pocket. Tossing the light pack over his shoulder, he’s good to go. The little man and the little dog leave the parking area and stroll down the road masquerading as any other neighbor out for an evening walk. 

Many have heard of either the book or the movie, The Great Gatsby, but Niki Danforth has added an interesting little known fact that creates an intensely unique and long-standing mystery that has yet to be solved as the book begins... Specifically, that a cheap version was published as an Armed Services edition... and it was to the success of that book being sent to those in the service that the book began to win its acclaim... Plus used to create that mystery we'll be reading...

This was my first book for Danforth and I was impressed. Her work is tight, flowing easily and presents the reader with a sit-back-and-relax enjoyment that will be pleasantly inviting for true mystery fans..

On a personal note, I was attracted immediately to the main character, who is in her fifties, having faced an empty home with her children gone and a divorce, she decides to become a private investigator, earns a black belt in Akido, and has her younger PI mentor falling for her... 

It's great to see an older role model for women and Ronnie Lake is a delight as we get to know and admire her. As soon as I finished this book, I went out to pick up Book 1, Stunner!

There's one more central character, Warrior, who needs to be introduced early. He was a war dog who served with Ronnie's son and when he was killed, Ronnie made sure that Warrior was going to have a good home now...and you can be sure that Warrior also helps to protect his new mistress... In this book, he hosts a temporary friend in need of a home after his master was murdered... Peaches and Warrior both add greatly to the enjoyment as well as the basic story line...

While this is a complex story with various subplots that add significantly, the first villain, who is quickly killed, is a lovable older man who was a rare book expert working in a bookstore...he had acted as a thief to get into a home where Ronnie was attending a party... while he picked up an expensive necklace, probably more for cover, his search was in the owner's library. He quickly came across a First Edition of The Great Gatsby, which was very valuable. He sighed, thinking he'd loved to own it, but slid it back into its place, pulling out his part of the Service Edition of the same book and then placing it back into his pocket... He went on searching... He was murdered as he left...

At the same party, the owner's wife was talking to Ronnie about taking a job for her--she needed to know whether he was having an affair...

And that woman was also at the party where she and the owner had public words and the woman left early... Whether the woman was having an affair with the owner, we do know that she is the boss of Casey, the rare book expert who was also a thief...

We have entered into the profit-making side of rare books, the business...and the danger that goes along with the desire by many who are rich to own valuable, known books. But we also find that there are many book lovers who go to far lengths just to get to touch and read the more valuable copy of a book they've read many times...

The result is intriguing as Win her PI mentor and Ronnie are hired, with Ronnie being the lead investigator, to find the now missing First Edition of The Great Gatsby... Yes, the copy that Casey had pulled out and also replaced, was also later stolen!

This mystery is more following the clues than presenting the reader with the need to solve the mystery. That in no way detracts from the pleasure book lovers will have in entering into the perhaps new side, at least for me, of the rare book world... If you love books talking about books--if you aren't you won't know what I mean--well, I think you will love this one just as much as I did! Highly recommended...


To join Niki Danforth's mailing list for updates and specials, visit her website at to sign up.

Niki Danforth, daughter of a Cold War covert intelligence officer, has the "thriller/adventure" gene in her DNA. After a career as a successful TV/video producer and director in New York, this empty-nester is picking up her first love of suspenseful mystery books and recreating herself as an author in the genre. Danforth lives in the New Jersey countryside with her husband and two drama-queen dogs. She is hard at work writing her next book. 

You can also follow Danforth on Facebook at "Niki Danforth Author" where she loves to review her favorite books, movies and TV shows.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Staci Stallings Waits 20 Years to Share One of Her Best!

Finally on the plane, Jenna slipped the headphones over her ears and closed her eyes. She had never been a big fan of flying. That was why she and Jeff had gone to Colorado on their honeymoon. He had tried so hard to talk her into going to the Bahamas, but she wouldn’t budge—no flying, no way. The grudging compromise had been Colorado. However, she recalled with a smile, it wouldn’t have mattered where they were as they hadn’t seen much of anything for the week other than the inside of the cottage where they had stayed and each other. The opening strains of St. Elmo’s Fire poured over her like rain, and she settled in for the three-hour flight...
“Flight 259 to Newark, now boarding at Gate G-12.” Jenna gathered her things up once again, fighting the exhaustion with everything in her. One more flight and she would be in New Jersey—far, far away from Texas. If she could just get there, surely everything would be better. She glanced out the window once again, and apprehension rose in her. The cold January rain outside zigged and zagged down the windows in crazy patterns. This was something she hadn’t counted on. Flying was bad enough, but flying in the rain was worse. Thank goodness it wasn’t snow. Her courage was harder to gather up than her luggage. It was all she could do to keep her eyes from wandering back to that window—back to the dismal gray scene outside. “God, just get me to Newark…”
“Here.” With no further thought, Jenna jumped to her feet and yanked her purse up from the floor. “You can have my seat.” “Oh, no, we couldn’t.” The young man shook his head even as his eyes pleaded with her not to rescind the offer. “No, no, I insist.” She smiled kindly. “You two should sit together.” “Are you sure you don’t mind?” the young woman asked, her eyes spilling gratefulness everywhere. “No, of course not.” Jenna moved out into the aisle so they could slip in front of her. “We really appreciate this,” the young man said. “It’s her first time to fly...”
“Is this seat taken?” The man who sat by the window with his arm around the child looked up, and pools of clear blue gazed out from under the tumble of disheveled blond hair. “What? Oh. Uh. No. No.” Jenna wasted no time getting into the seat. She pushed her purse under the seat ahead of them. The flight attendant requested that seatbelts and tray tables be readied for take-off. But as Jenna reached for hers, there was an un-Godly scream from right next to her. Instinctively she put her hand out to sooth the child. “Shhh, it’s okay, sweetheart,” she said without thinking. Suddenly she stopped and looked up in embarrassment. He was staring at her over the child’s head. Nothing moved. All she could see were the incredible blue eyes gazing right through her soul.

You might say Jenna was running away from home when she left for New Jersey, without even letting her friend know she was coming... She and her mother had still another fight and Jenna was angry enough to go ahead with her plans...

Even then she began to have "issues" getting a plane and moving on...It 's hard not to think of this story as a "God incident" while there were hundreds of other people who died in the crash of Flight 259. Still, it seemed like fate had a hand in ensuring that Jenna and Scott met on that flight... She had missed her first flight, had to change planes on an alternative flight and then willingly gave up her seat on 259 so that a honeymooning couple could sit together... She found the only seat available and sat down to meet Scott and his son... Scott later admits that it was love at first sight, but Jenna had gone through much just a short time ago and, initially, knew only that she was attracted to him, but that his little son gained the majority of her attention...

And then something hit the plane after they'd been flying for some time... But it had been time enough that, when, the plane was going down, all Jenna could think about was saving the little boy, Lane, and after she had passed him on to another rescuer, she once again went back to try to save Scott...

There was nothing that could have stopped her...Never again would she only watch in horror as loved ones were taken from her...This time, she was able to at least try to save both of her new friends...

And she did...

This is such a wonderful story of two strangers, who soon both loved a little boy who wanted nothing more than to be with those he loved...

This was Stallings first try at Christian contemporary romance and I believe, as do many other readers who could not forget the story, that it was meant to be told, to be shared... This is a book that once I started reading, I didn't want to stop, although finally, turning out the lights at 3 a.m. only to get up the next day to finish it. It's a page-turner, but a lovely story forces the need to move forward to see what happens...

Jenna had lost three beloved family members in a car accident. Since then she had been living with her mother who had grown dependent on her, wanting her to share her life, while at the same time, Jenna was 29, had never been that close to her mother who was, difficult, to say the least. And she knew it was time to try to move on. It would not happen while her mother was determined to dominate both of their lives...

Of the hundreds on Flight 259, less than 10 were saved. Scott and Lane would not have lived if it had not been for Jenna. Scott had been knocked out and also trapped but he was awake enough to seek Jenna's help to save his son... 

There is a delightful story of another survivor. But he had been on the bridge into which the plane had dropped... he had seen the plane coming and rammed his foot on the gas to clear the bridge before his car, too, would fall into the water... But once out of his car, the first thing he felt he had to do was jump into the river and swim out to find survivors. He had taken Lane out of Jenna's arms, thinking to give her more strength... When he saw her turn around to go back... Well, his life was changed from that moment...

The response to this story is emotion-packed. There is no way that readers do not begin to live through the lives of these three survivors as they come to heal after the accident, and get to know each other even more... The only sign of God is through Jenna's anger as she tries to understand the loss of her family...and then to come close to possibly losing the "potential" of a future as she struggled, dealing with her feelings of betrayal to the ones she had first committed her life to... 

When something goes wrong in our lives, many times we cry out in not being able to understand. Sometimes we become angry, even with God... But I have learned, as this story confirms, when one plan dissolves, perhaps one we chose for ourselves, if we open ourselves, there might just be another plan that He has faithfully arranged for those who seek him...

This is a wonderful story to read right now, as we watch and see the many lives being saved as nature has attacked those living in Texas this time... Sometimes disasters happen and there is no way to understand...But if we allow Him to be part of our lives, there is sure to be another path to travel... For some of you, this will be a must-read... I loved it and was energized and renewed watching God in action, even during a disaster...
Highly recommended...


The Heartwarming Story of Gus The Goose by Wayne Watson!

He was such a little thing when Wayne found and picked him up, taking him home after determining there was no way to know where he had come from. 

His family, even his wife knew he needed to stay there with them. They named his Gus the Goose...This is his story... in lovely poetic form...

There happens every now and then
A time so special, a time that when
We get to share our life with someone new
A time to spend some time each day
To share with each along life's way
With memories made to last your whole life through.

Well settle back and settle down
And gather one and all around
To listen to this story I've to share
It's 'bout a goose that came our way
A gosling orphaned nature's way
When fragrant flowers filled the warm spring air...

This story's 'bout a goose named Gus
Who came our way to share with us
Some very special times in our life
I guess it was by accident
That to our home this goose was sent
Our hearts he's won, myself, our boys, my wife.

What a heartwarming, lovely story for young and old! In just 70 pages, the author, Wayne Watson, shares a personal and family story when a little gosling joins the family.

Using the poetic form, together with home pictures, this is a perfect tale to read or provide for your young children, to allow them to see that many animals, considered wild, could also be friends, and even become part of the family. I admit, other than have geese living on a farm, I had never thought of a gosling/goose as a pet... I did discover that many do become long-term companions and included a story about Sloop the Goose below, who is now 25 years old!

The children were so excited and, of course, wanted to keep him. But Wayne knew up front that it would only be until he was able to fly and find others of his flock... Until then, Gus the Goose came to "It's all right Gus!" and soon knew that he could be happy and safe with those who had adopted him.

Having the pictures of Gus with the family and as he grew was an important part of the book and I appreciated the effort to provide those to match the words that shared the story. 

This is a wonderful family-oriented book that deserves to be shared. It not only provides information about the little gosling, but it will provide by example the kind of family that takes in a pet and provides more than just food and shelter... The kind of family each of us must be to animals taken into our care. A loving family...

And there's another important lesson to be learned...if it is best to give up that pet for a better life, then we must be willing to do just that...When Gus saw fellow geese, he was ready to leave his adopted family to fly with a new family because, you see, the geese need Gus to help them survive and live well as well...

I enjoyed so much the fun of learning about living with a gosling and watching him grow... If you are an animal lover of any age, I highly recommend you check this precious true story out!


Wayne Watson grew up in a country town south of Boston, MA, surrounded by woods, brooks, cow pastures, corn fields, swamps, and a pond--all which were home to numerous wildlife such as raccoons, possums, foxes, woodchucks, skunks, pheasants, geese, ducks, snakes, turtles, frogs, and fish. He spent much of his summer exploring these surroundings with friends, watching and catching all the various wildlife therein. Many wild animals soon became family pets—at least for a little while, except for, Gus the Goose.
Wayne continues to enjoy the great outdoors and all the activities it has to offer. He plans on retiring in the near future and to build a log cabin somewhere in the northern New England woods, where he can continue to be surrounded by nature and all that it has to offer, and, to continue writing books in natures’ peaceful surroundings.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Enter into The World of Magic...If You Dare... The Spirit Mage by Layton Green!

Come, turn Merlin's Magic low as background sounds coming from another universe...

A typical 19th Century depiction of Merlin by his cave at Tintagel

New York City. Valjean Blackwood checked his watch once again. A twitch of the wrist that had become an obsession over the last few days, ever since his younger brothers had traveled through a one-way portal to the citadel of a feared necromancer named Zedock. Will and Caleb were trapped in a dark fantasy version of Earth— and Val had no idea how to help them. 
According to Salomon, an old man with silver eyes who might be a crackpot and who might be a two-thousand year old wizard of immense power, time passed at a different rate in Zedock’s world. Presently, a ratio of sixty days in the other world for every one on Earth. Which meant, if the time differential held, that his brothers had been trapped on Urfe for months. At best, they had found a way to escape but were stranded. And at worst . . . 
Val, too, had visited the other world. When he and his brothers had found Zedock’s fortress at the end of their journey, they were forced to pole through a swamp full of undead creatures reaching mindlessly out of the water, horrific creations of the necromancer. So Val didn’t want to think about the worst. Reeling from lack of sleep, shaking with rage and impotence, he stared at the sprawl of Manhattan outside the fiftieth-floor window of his law office and thought about how impossible it seemed that there was another dimension, or world, or universe out there from which Val had narrowly escaped. A world of manticores and cave fiends, magic swords and potions, spirit mages and necromancers. Wizard-monks who could shatter walls with their fists, a city of colored spires so beautiful it had taken his breath away. 
His eyes slipped to the staff hidden behind his desk. Five feet of fortified oak topped by a crescent moon of azantite, a milky-white stone so thin and strong a professional jeweler said it shouldn’t exist. A staff Val’s father had left for him before he died. A wizard’s staff. 
Someone knocked on the door. Val blinked away his exhaustion. “Come in.” With hooded eyes, Val watched Mari Winslow step through the door in red-rimmed glasses and a grey pantsuit that clung to her svelte figure. A half-American, half-Swedish brunette, Mari was only five years older than Val’s thirty-one but already head of the powerful Compensation Committee. She was also Val’s mentor, and was probably checking in to see why he hadn’t left his office for two days straight. Just what I need, he thought...
“What is it, Mari?” he said wearily. 
“How’s the Myrddinus research coming?” Val stilled. The Myrddinus was a secret society dedicated to the exploration of magical phenomena, and his only hope of reaching his brothers. 
Val’s godfather, Charlie Zalinski— the man who had told Val and his brothers about Urfe, before he was turned into a zombie by Zedock— had claimed to be a member of the Myrddinus, along with Val’s father. Despite his best efforts, neither Val nor his junior associate had turned up anything about the Myrddinus other than what Val already knew, which was that Myrddin might refer to a Welsh historical figure who may or may not have inspired the Arthurian legend of Merlin. 
“Fine,” Val said, wondering how Mari knew what he was researching. Her mouth curled into a smirk. 
“Myrddinus. A strange name for a research project...”
Val willed his thoughts away when he reached his building. He took the elevator to the fifty-fifth floor and strode down the deserted hallway to Mari’s office. She was sitting behind a pile of documents stacked neatly on her desk, looking fresh and alert. When Val walked in, her eyes latched on to his staff like a cobra mesmerized by a snake charmer. “Nice walking stick,” she said. “Bad knees?”
Val sat across from her, deciding not to mince words. He rarely did. “If you knew who I was, why’d you wait so long to approach me?”
 “Your father’s instructions. He asked us to hold off until you exhibited an interest in finding us.” 
Val balled his fists to control his anger, reminding himself she wasn’t aware of his brothers’ plight. Or was she? 
“Obviously, your father didn’t tell you very much. You don’t know anything about us, do you?”
“How many of you are there?” She shrugged. “In North America? A few handfuls.” She rose to throw a red leather jacket over slacks and a form-fitting black sweater. “Let’s take a walk.” 
“To the home of the Myrddinus in New York City, of course. I think you’d be an asset to the organization, and we have something you might be interested in.” 
Val folded his arms. “Stop being coy, Mari. 
What is it?” 
“Your father left something for you.”

My review of the first book was meant to establish the basic storyline and an overview of the first trip to an alternative universe where, specifically, they were still located in New Orleans on earth, but in an entirely different universe. A universe which was inhabited by all things magic! I'll be sharing about those this time!

The three brothers had made it home but were too late to save their godfather and when they confronted the necromancer, a major exodus--dead man rising--from cemeteries occurred! Zedoc had called up his entry into his own world and only two brothers, plus a friend, had been able to follow him... Now Van was back in New Work, trying to find out how to get to his brothers... His godfather had mentioned the Myrddinus society and he'd been trying to find information on the group... Only to have his boss come right out and ask him about his research! Soon Van was entering into the domain of that very society!

In the meantime, the two brothers, plus Yasmina, a close friend of Caleb, had been successful in killing Zedoc, but the portal had been destroyed! They were now in search of New Victoria (New Orleans) with no way back home...and the magical guardians of Zedoc's castle were now coming for them... First a knight in full shining armor...but was there anything inside?! 

Escaping, they made it to a boat and moved forward into a swamp... All the bugs, sounds, and terror of the swamp was bad enough but soon they were surrounded by a being much like a goblin... One picked up Will and held him on the side like a football, taking his sword, and moving on to find the camp and the others...Interestingly, somehow Will had picked up some bit of his wizardry and was able to understand their language... This certainly was going to help, especially later on!

Back in New York, Van had accepted that his boss was going to be able to help him get to his brothers and traveled to a strange place where those who followed Merlin met... There was a portal there and, though Van tried to go alone, Mari ran and followed land in a place nobody would willingly go... the slums in New Victoria, where the Wizards placed everybody who did not have sufficient magic to become one of the Congregation... Van grabbed Mari and, apologizing, quickly moved to leave behind what were thieves, murderers, and other types of beings who had no other place... 

Mari never made it out...

Captured as slaves to be sold, the goblins moved on to reach the far mines where anybody they discovered would be put to work in the deep mines far below the surface...but even on that trip, dangerous beings tried to take their lives, like giant spiders who came silently, wrapped their prize and scurried back to the central web where those captured would serve as meals whenever a spider got hungry, eating them alive as needed...

There are lots more magical monsters to see, but I thought I'd share one of our heroines...she was also a slave in the mines, and Will was able to understand her words...she was crying for help and indicated she would help save whoever helped her... I loved the introduction of this character who had also been stolen from her home, which was a very hot location even deeper than the mines! So maybe the place there is called...Hell... and we now know the back story...?

Van, Will and Caleb have some form of magical abilities and each had weapons left by their father...but none of them had ever learned about their full capabilities... Van and Will are learning to use their weapons...Caleb is a man of peace that tries to follow his moral compass, but still participates to save those in danger.

Most of the time I prefer reading books rather than movies to get the full story; however, these books are made to be seen as well as read! The magical scenes are fantastic, the creatures from the alternative planet are uniquely designed so readers will stop to think through what these alternative planet beings might look like... and we even find that some who we thought had been killed in the first book, have fought their way back home! Would love to see these books in movie form!

The adventures of the Three Brothers, together with those friendlies who team up with them as they fight for freedom and escape are edge-of-your-seat excitement as trial after trial is brought forth and won...

Only problem...this book is not available until September 15th~
My advice, if you haven't already read the first, hold onto it and get the second book...I guarantee you will want to begin and continue through both books together if at all possible... But wouldn't you know it, Green gives us another cliff-hanger as the second book ends! I have only one comment: Layton Green, Write Faster!

Fantasy, SciFi, and horror Thriller fans should all check this series out... Both books have been fantastic and I'm already looking forward to the next in series. Highly recommended. In the meantime, I'll be reading Written in Blood, coming in November! You really need to check out Author Layton Green if you have not read any of his books yet! He's on my favorite author list now!


Adolph Caso Shares Latest Poetry - Siren of the Sea - Placement...

By Adolph  Caso
(Dedicated to Marianne)

Having hung
The heavy silver statue
Of a beautiful mermaid
At an appropriate spot--
The wide over-hanging roof
Of my house--
I stood watching
Its diving forward positions,
From one side or another according
As directed by the wind.
Friends and relatives--
Watching through the kitchen window
Or in full daylight outside the house,
Were mesmerized
In viewing the flowing elegance
Of that Siren.
I was not convinced
On its stability in that location.

In looking for another more secure spot,
I saw this abandoned hook
At the extreme corner of the wide eaves
Under which,
Scattered rose-branches
Danced aimlessly--
Suspended in space.

With difficulty, due to degenerative pain
Of octogenarians—a real octo,
I lifted the heavy statue from its present position,
And diligently placed its line
Into the hook under the corner eave--
By myself
Precariously off balance.

With an awkward effort
And between one groan after another,
I managed to lift the mermaid to the right position.
Finally, seeing it floating as if in free fall,
I directed her head slanted forward to the ground.
As if diving,
She came to a complete stop.

What a sight!
Her silver color shined forth
As if the light
From the morning sun
Were destined
To give life
To her body,

Seeing the Siren
Precariously swinging to the wind,
I sought help to give stability
To the unstable hook-up
(I know my physical limitations).

Having eaten a pound
Of their grandmother’s pasta,
Together with more than twelve meatballs,
I enjoined Rudy and Douglas--
Robust young men,
And without hesitation,
Succeeded in attaching the line,
Properly secured to the hook.
The siren gently turned with the wind.
While below, the rose branches
To the rhythm of their own music.

The morning after, to my amazement,
One of the rose branches
Found its way between the arms of the Siren
With leaves right in front of her face:
Her eyes stared into the leaves   
While its nose sought
The aroma
To emanate from a rose bud about to bloom.
Two entities:
One inanimate,
The other organic,
In a most unlikely symbiosis--
Possible only
If I were projecting my own face
Into a statue made from metal.

In a few days,
The symbiosis realized itself:
Directly in front of the Siren’s face,
A small red rose opened its red petals
To my real joy.
It was a sight to behold!
The Siren had come alive:.
The symbiosis fulfilling itself!  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

An Opinion Piece by Guy Graybill, Author of Bravo, Claims "This Pedestal is a Sham!"


   IS A SHAM!                                   
© Guy Graybill
Formerly Published
in Bloomsberg News

Clearly, the glamour world is without shame and People magazine reveals that
fact to the nth degree. 
In fact, I think that People magazine happens to be the world’s dumbest publication.  My evidence?  People magazine’s pathetic, yearly naming of  the world’s most beautiful woman  or the world’s sexiest man!  Under the guise of legitimate journalism, they have informed their gullible readers that they will be the lucky readers who will be first to learn the identity of the year’s most beautiful woman or sexiest man.  People’s entire project raises a host of perplexing questions for which the editorial staff members need to provide some pithy answers.

One’s first query might be:  Who says?  Who judges the judges? How many people, and of what position in the journalistic world, are those people who are involved in the selections? What training and qualifications have they acquired?  What qualifies People magazine to act as arbiter for selecting a single, unique male or female for annual worldwide honors?

Why have the selections come, almost exclusively, from the entertainment world?  Why are there no selections from business, politics, academics, art, labor or stay-at-home-parent categories?

Why are the choices so blatantly devoid of sexy men or beautiful women from the world’s teeming populations of Asia, Africa, Latin America or Oceania?  Those two annual issues are patently xenophobic and shockingly racist!  How do we know that there is not a truly beautiful woman or sexy man in some Indonesian city or Japanese prefecture or Himalayan village?  How can the editors of People sleep nights, knowing that somewhere there might be some truly qualified beauty or hunk who has been overlooked in this inane, twice-a-year rush to create an eye-catching magazine cover?  

Another thought:  If Brad Pitt was the world’s sexiest man in 1995 and, again, in the year 2000, why wasn’t Brad the sexiest man for those intervening years?  And since this year’s selection of Julia Roberts as the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman,” (issue of 5/1/17) matched People magazine’s choices in 1991, 2000, 2005 and 2010, why hasn’t Julia been their choice in all the intervening years?

There’s that other annoying thought:  Certain things disqualify people from competing in certain competitions.  I say that anyone who competes in a ‘sexy’ or ‘beauty’ competition should automatically be denied consideration if they work in a known glamour industry where they likely have a stable of make-up artists, stunt doubles and publicity agents!  Do you recall?  People even had Jennifer Aniston featured in a recent year.  Goodness!  My impression is that Ms. Aniston must keep a bevy of publicity agents busy placing her portrait on countless magazine covers and feeding the tabloids titillating details of that one old romance that she couldn’t seem to let die quietly.  To give such glamour hounds consideration for the cover under discussion is skewing the competition against all the world’s natural beauties or natural hunks.

One might also suggest that such an international contest should have a panel of judges with international credentials and who come from a true variety of lands.  

I say that there appears to be but one overriding criterion for being eligible for the honor of being chosen as the “most beautiful” or “sexiest” whatever for placement on the cover of People.   That lone eligibility requirement is that the designee’s portrait on their cover will help sell copies of their journalistic rag.

So long as People  runs this twice-annual phony feature with absolutely no fairness… and no substance, they are placing their publicity-loving winners on a sham pedestal.

In the chaos we are experiencing related to accusations of "fake news" and whether we can trust the media... I wanted to share this excellent opinion piece by Guy Graybill...

Have we routinely accepted material from various sources without consideration of the substance, the truthfulness, the validity of accuracy? Sure, we know there are news and magazines designed purely to "speculate" and if we have some reason to want to read those, they are available...

Yet Graybill brings up some certainly valid points on just ONE particular subject... Can we assume that this magazine could or would also publish similar questionable articles?

Perhaps more than ever before, we can no longer look at the media as "entertainment" that has valid reasons for sharing their material...

Even more, how can we consider basic newspapers and news reporting when the cry of "fake news" continues to point toward long-standing news media that we have followed for years... 

Just as Guy's opinion piece questions just who is the sexiest, or most beautiful individual, we have been forced to face reality that many will continually lie, even on important and current happenings in our world...

Personally, when Julia Robert's notice came out, and she didn't even know it had been published, I began to question...There is no doubt Julia is a beautiful woman...but... reread Guy's questions and I have to agree with him...

Just as Adam Levine responded to his selection... it is today very important that we stop accepting tweets as valid news...take caution with who and what is published for both entertainment, news and other issues coming to us in all forms of media, including the Internet... By the way, that goes for Blogs as well, in my opinion... Check out writers of blog information just like all other sources...

Comments welcome!