Sunday, August 30, 2020

Earth Angel by Chris H. Stevenson

When I first saw the title, I immediately thought of an old song, Earth Angel. I found it interesting that the singer on the video I opened seemed to me to look like the main character, Daryl, who is known to look younger than she really is... You'll also see that there are two different beings on the cover and readers will find that a lot happens in the book even before they appear...

The cab pulled up and the driver rolled the window down. Daryl cornered the car and wondered why there was already a passenger in the back seat. She tilted down to talk to the driver but got a good look at the passenger. She flipped down a sun glass visor and recoiled in shock.
She saw a black-cloaked figure wearing a hood. The face was misshapen, gouged, wrinkled, and drawn tight like wet tissue over a lumpy gourd. It had one hand over its lap; the fingers looked like burnt twigs. She could not see inside the cloak, save for a neck that resembled that of a tortoise. A smell like rotten meat wafted from the inside of the car. 
Daryl stepped back, trying to reign in her shock and horror. She yelled, “Get the hell out here. We don’t need you anymore!”
 “What’s the matter? I told you I’m sorry, lady”

For instance, you'll read about a cab pulling up and the driver rolling the window down. Daryl cornered the car and wondered why there was already a passenger in the back seat. She tilted down to talk to the driver but got a good look at the passenger. She flipped down a sun glass visor and recoiled in shock. She saw a black-cloaked figure wearing a hood...  

By the time you learn about that death-like being that was found in the back of a cab that Daryl was about to enter, you will have read most of the book and moved forward slowly to actually see why this book is, well, strange, unique, and quite entertaining. And you also will have seen that cabbie in an accident that took his life... Of course, by that time, while Daryl had immediately predicted it and had been looking for verification...sadly, she was right again!

At first I thought this was a romance story...Two couples, one engaged; one married... And they had become close friends, so that, whenever something was happening, it was quite natural to share among the four. It was romantic as it related to the normal interactions; however, with the storyline of the book, tensions run high, quarrels occur...and the two female characters take off and leave both husbands to travel to Hawaii! So, enjoy the time with two women who refused to continually bow to the needs of their husbands! 

Dean, Daryl's fiance, was a cop and had just become involved with a serial killer who seemed unstoppable, providing no clues, leaving no forensics, and quickly killing their victim, then leaving: A young girl dead, and one tooth pulled as a souvenir... Dean wanted badly to be on that investigation team. Daryl, who worked for an institute for the deaf and mute, though, was about to gain a job that she never bargained for.

But that was before Dean and Daryl were both shot by someone who was trying to steal their car... Dean, thinking he would have everything under control, slowly pulled out his gun...Before anything could happen, the robber had shot through the window, hitting Dean badly and Daryl had a major loss of one of her eyes... Both would be grounded for weeks and months...

Yet that serial killer kept killing...10...11...

Daryl's eye loss had required a search for a donor. Shortly one was found from a young girl who had been in an accident. The operation went well; Daryl was adjusting to the eye as expected and the doctors were pleased.

Until she started realizing that the new eye caused a double image of some sort... Doctors found nothing to document this problem.

A whirlwind of action and adventure started as Daryl began to completely see through that new eye. Images of some type of beings were following individuals. A little research made her realize that Daryl was actually seeing these beings that resulted in death to those they followed... Even though Daryl tried to interfere, nothing seemed to work...until...

The writer brilliantly, ultimately, interfaces the two issues in Dean and Daryl's lives.  Jobo and Abbey are wonderful characters who merge easily into the situations, as needed, to complete a group that comes together to provide an unbelievable climax to the book that could not be foreseen! The creativity of the writer in waltzing through romance, science fiction, the paranormal, and religious supernatural power was especially noteworthy. The book is not a thriller where you can anticipate; rather, it is a mystery to be solved--a whodunit versus "Death Squad" concept that readers may have to stay with the early part in order to fully comprehend the magnitude of the potential of what could be if we allowed our senses open to the possibility. 

While I'd love to see a series, I'm not quite sure that what occurred could easily be continued. Either way, Earth Angel is an extraordinary "family" drama that is quite memorable... Highly recommended...


Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward--Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles--226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning and repair book.
Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia--190 pages, non-fiction--1988.
Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada--May, 2007.
Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada--January, 2008
Planet Janitor--Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009
Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press--January, 2009.
The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF (Lachesis) Books, February 2009
The War Gate, a Paranormal thriller, to Pen and Press, 10-12-2012
The Girl They Sold to the Moon, a YA dystopian sold to Intrigue Press, August 2013
Planet Janitor Omnibus with shorts added, Engage SF August 2017
Blackmailed Bride, Romantic thriller to Melange Books, Satin Romance, Feb 2017
Screamcatcher Web World, YA fantasy to Melange Fire & Ice
Stellar by Starlight, to Amazing Stories, 1988.
The Lonely Astronaut, to Amazing Stories, 1988.
Temperamental Circuits, to Gordon Linzner of Space & Time, 1989.
Things that go Clump in the Night, to Richard Fawcett of Doppelganger, 1989.
Dance the Macabre and Dance it Well, to Erskine Carter of Ouroborous, 1989.
Future School, to Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement, January 2006.
The Incredible Mr. Dandy, to Not One of Us--1989
Planet Janitor The Moon is not Enough, to Enage Books, 2012
Planet Janitor Journey Interrupted, to Engage Books 2012
Other magazine appearances from 1988 to 1991 include, Alpha Adventures, Small Press Writers and Artists Organization and Sycophant.

The Summit, 15-minute horror play to Night Sounds, Embassy Cassette Inc, Santa Ana, California--1990
Night of the Moa, 13-minute horror play to Night Sounds, Embassy Cassette Inc, Santa Ana, California--1990.

Finalist in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, for Temperamental Circuits, 1987.
First place, grand prize winner for The Girl They Sold to the Moon, a YA distopian novel, to a Publisher's Novel Writing Competition. Advance and publication offered--June 2012.

350 newspaper profiles, stories, and interviews to Sunset Publishing, Anaheim, California, appearing in The West Coast Jewish News, The Senior Citizens Reporter and The Military Review. From 1988 to 1991. Seven automotive and home and garden articles articles to Dollar Stretcher Magazine, from 12-2-2011 to 2-28-2012. Eight science articles to Xiauduo Media, for Chinese translation( 8 -14 year-old audience)--Astronomy, new transportation technology, space, exoplanets, future spaced ship drives, big bang, theory and inflation.

I have written and published over 1,750 non-fiction automotive, aircraft, marine, home and garden and science articles for Demand Media Studios, under the Beta-Automotive and E-How stations. Six automotive articles to Published. 440 automotive and general articles to TextBroker--plumbing, gardening, home improvement, home utilities, electricity--Content writing for a total of three years.

Served as content editor of Sunset Publication (see above) for three years. Responsible for all writing assignments content editing, filler and artwork and payment.
President and founder of Heartland Writers Group, Huntington Beach, California, from 1987 to 1991.

Past agent--Richard Curtis Associates, from 1988 to 1991.
Past agent--TriadaUS (Dr. Uwe Stender), from 2006 to August 2009
Present agent--Sara Camilli Agency--2010 to present.

Iron Maiden, a military espionage thriller.
Valley of the Mastodons, a non-fiction book involving the Ice Age megafauna discoveries in Hemet, California, during the Diamond Valley reservoir dig. Proposal, chapter outline, and 100 pages available upon request
Dispossessed Incorporated, an urban ghost fantasy with time travel
The Omega Wars--SF, apocalyptic alien invasion (Sequel to PJ)
Screamcatcher, A YA portal fantasy out on agent sub round. Resembles the Narnia world. this includes Screamcatcher two and three. It is currently in discussion with a publisher.
Sky High, a YA fantasy in the vein of Wool
The Magic of the La Brea Tarpits--a non-fiction children's chap-book.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

H. Y. Hanna's New Cozy Series - An English Garden Cottage Mystery!

Do you love strolling through a garden, especially when flowers begin to bloom? One of my passions has been to build garden rooms throughout my primary area outside my log cabin. No, it is not an English garden--it would require many more plantings close to each other. While I like that, adding to a garden each year is more important, as more and more land has been cleared  and finding spots to plant is part of my fun. In the author's trilogy, I got involved with learning about English Cottage flowers and enjoyed it, but it was the mystery that always pulls me most into the storyline...

H. Y. Hanna got a new fan when I bought one of the books in the English Cottage Garden Mystery series...I immediately bought the other two to catch up and follow the fun and informative book series by Hanna.
First, it had a cat on the front...and I was excited to meet the cat character--who belongs to a neighbor and a dog character who belongs to another neighbor...both natural enemies (or are they?) are constantly fighting.
Both are a joy to watch as they are constantly included throughout the book!
What I really enjoyed, though, was how informative the book was regarding the flowers that could be used in the Cottage Garden. As many know, I'm always looking for new additions to my yard...and was grateful for this excellent exploration of plants and flowers...

Hanna begins her new series with Poppy Lancaster, the main character, working in a dead-end job but soon has a wonderful surprise when a solicitor contacted her about her grandmother dying and her being her only heir. Sadly, Poppy's mother had left home before Poppy was born, so she had never known anything about her relatives, if she had any. She had been told that her mother was rather wild in her teen years and, as a groupie, had become one of the guys in the band...

Now she had inherited an English cottage, which also had a huge garden. Only one order to get her inheritance, she had to live and take over the family cottage garden and bring it back to life. Thinking she would sell it, she still decided to visit the cottage, mainly because she did't have the money for an overnight stay. She was thrilled that the inside of the cottage was not in bad shape, even though the garden had become overgrown and full of weeds. But as she settled inside, she decided to check out the garden--and found to her delight that many of the flowers were peeking out of hidden places...

But when Oren screamed out further away, "Noo-oww!" (Yes, Poppy decided that the cat's meow sounds like Now--and even How, sometimes! The entire dialogue between the two of them is a delightful play on Oren's vocal statements. Poppy and I were both delighted.) But when she followed the meow, she found...a hand...attached to a body...with lots of flowers dragged and falling around the area.

Could it be one of her nearest neighbors--an inventor and an author... Can she risk getting to know them both better as she searches for clues?

Yes, a Cozy Mystery that is cat oriented...My favorites for at least 30 years back to when Lillian Braun was still writing...And I've never been disappointed with how the storyline is woven around the cat character to the amateur investigator... 

Great beginning and on to the second in series!

In the second in series, Poppy begins to learn about the danger of poisonous flowers...the hard way... But while that's happening, Poppy has fallen in love with a male with ginger hair...and he can often be found, indeed more than often, at Poppy's house where he is welcome always! Of course, he happens to be owned by a crime author, who somehow thinks he is more than qualified to find whodunit...

Just getting started on her new project of a canine scent garden, Poppy is, sadly, immediately stopped when the next-door neighbor drops dead...She had come over to meddle in how Poppy planned to start the garden, when she turned to leave and dropped to the ground... It should probably be spotlighted that Poppy knew very little about flowers or gardens...still, she was willing to try...

Readers will learn that there are many flowers in a garden that can be used to poison, most times unknowingly... But when a plant is chosen because of its poisonous capability, then considering whodunit, within an area known for gardens can get very...intoxicating...

Poppy is wavering about staying at the cottage inherited from her grandmother, recognizing she knows absolutely nothing about planting, seeding, nor the business... However, as she becomes known as the granddaughter of Mrs. Lancaster who had served the community with such beautiful flowers, she discovered that many were willing to talk about what she needed to do, how to select and plant, and more. When her neighbor returned several books borrowed from her grandmother, she began reading in earnest...and soon was identifying flowers beyond those that are normally known, such as roses, tulips...  

We get to meet Einstein, who in this book falls head over heels with a poodle, owned by a doting and rich woman living nearby... (Check him out in the front cover above.) When she learned who Poppy is, she immediately assumed that she was "skilled" and asked her to create a canine scent garden! Poppy was optimistic, and in need of money, when she said, "yes." But when she actually started working the project after being stopped for a second murder, she was very nervous...

Poppy also gets to meet and become friends with Nick, a writer, who comes to share Oren, with her and just happens to be with her, when the next murder is found at a community event where a dog race, in which Einstein, the dog who belongs to an inventor, the other next-door neighbor, is running... The murder victim was the main leader of this event...

Mystery solving is always fun, albeit, sad to have murders happen, in a cozy mystery...loving this series... Enjoy the first three! Highly recommended


It's been a very hot summer this year...blooms appear and leave quickly...

But with  H. Y. Hanna...there'll be more books in this series!
Watch for them!

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Daughters of Zelophehad, by Barbara M. Britton, A Trilogy of Women Struggling for Equal Rights!

The story of The Daughters of  Zelophehad, which had escaped me as well as the author who is much more a Bible scholar than myself, was a rare treat for me. These five daughters were what might be called, the first individuals who spoke on Women's Equality Rights! And immediately received a blessing directly from God!

Briefly, Zelophehad and his five daughters, were part of those who relocated to a new land from Egypt. It had been a long journey across the desert; however, God had planned to daily provide for them...Manna from heaven for bread and meat from birds. Nothing would be saved from day to day and it was part of their commitment of trust that this would require daily gathering...

The books are based upon the Biblical story, but have been supplemented with fictional story telling. And so it was said that Zelophehad one day had spoken out about the lack of variety in food and how long their journey was taking. He stormed out of their tent and walked toward where Moses and other elders were located... But he died on the way...

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. --Proverbs 31:30

Mahlah arched her back. A sky, blue and crisp like a faceted gem, draped over the camp. No trade winds cooled the warmth of the fresh, new sun. She picked up a basket from outside her family’s ramskin tent and wedged it against her hip. Grasping her woven belt, she shifted the leather, so her knife was but a flinch away. She wouldn’t allow any beast in the wilderness to harm her sisters.

When her mother died, she took over the duties of meeting the needs of the family. Mahlah was not yet out of her teens, with the others ranging in ages down to the youngest two that still needed special caring. Years had passed on the journey and the young girls were each assigned duties to be handled daily--collecting the manna, cooking, caring for the livestock... But they all looked to Mahlah for what they most needed--love and guidance. And so, when their father had a fit of anger and frustration, yelling and leaving to go to the leaders, it was Mahlah who immediately ran after him to try to stop him from disgrace... But it was already too late, God had struck him dead on his way for not having the patience He had commanded.

Her father's body would be removed so Mahlah slowly walked back to their tent. She had already begun to wonder. What would happen now? She was afraid for her four sisters. The law was clear. The promised land was only given

My reading of this first book was that God's heart was touched by the commitment of the daughters to Him. As Mahlah began to pray and seek help in prayer, she would see a cloud; could it be her Lord? She knew that her father had been correct in his rant--without an heir, there would be no land assigned to his family. Mahlah knew that unless she did something, the five daughters would not remain together. Yes, they would be married off, or provided for until old enough to marry, but they would not be permitted to stay as the family of Zelophehad and receive God's promise for the family's long, faithful lives.

Mahlah had no choice. She felt she had God's blessing and she and her four sisters went before Moses seeking God's guidance. And God spoke to Moses...
And changed the law so that, if the father died and there were no sons, then the daughter(s) would receive his inheritance... 

Now, all of the men were astounded and what God had said was not well received... The story of how Mahlah handled God's support of her request is unbelievable, given the time in which this occurred! While she and the other daughters moved forward as one family. Immediately, one of the men began to seek Mahlah's hand in marriage... but Mahlah had been in love with another man, who had been married and had a child. His wife had died, but, then, Reuben had not first chosen her as his wife... Perhaps, now...?

At the same time, the promised land was before them...and the first battle was designated at Jericho...But God's guidance was extraordinary and His people followed His instructions... And the Walls Came Tumbling Done!

Mahlah's love story is delightful to watch as the young man, for whom she had always pined, had married and a child was born to them. Her death had allowed Mahlah to again...hope... The relationship is tender, contentious, yet loving as Mahlah cared for his son as he went to battle...

This historical story, now fictionalized, has been wonderfully expanded. Surely, the author has been given a great gift to study and interpret the scriptures for today's readers... At this time in the world, it is important for a reminder that, God had given women the same rights as men in gaining their inheritance... 

But, additionally, the three books are a fantastic historical saga, based upon the Biblical story of a family coming out of Egypt and depending upon God to bring them to their promised land. It moves from daily living as they traveled all the way through the battles and, finally, being given their individual inheritance of land.  Extraordinary Stories!  Highly Recommended.


Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 

The camp at Gilgal 
In the Promised Land of Canaan
 Near the fortress of Jericho 

Noah bat Zelophehad tugged her donkey farther from the ramskin tents of her tribe of Manasseh and farther from the stone fortress of Jericho. In the distance, the walls of the Canaanite city rose up, up, up, above the lush plain. How would the army of Israel lay siege to a barricaded city? No one had gone in or come out of Jericho for several Sabbaths. 
If any of her tribesmen dared to draw near the gates, they would be struck with arrows and rock. Boiling oil awaited warriors who neared the city of the false moon god. 
The sooner Jericho fell, the sooner she and her sisters would inherit their father’s land. Land where she could watch over her herds and flocks without the oversight of her kinsmen.

In the first book, we learned that God provided for The Daughters in an extraordinary way, changing the laws to reflect a new situation--the faith of the five daughters and their commitment to Him who provided for their family...

Noah might have been selected by her father to become the shepherd for their animals based upon her loving care provided as she grew. She was a physically strong women who had no problem handling and caring for those animals in her flock and working to find them, or help with births, and more... Noah also was kind enough to share support to another shepherd, as he provided her mutual support. 

Noah was just 16, but she was also Mahlah's "second in command" and was able to stand behind her and support her both physically and emotionally. Readers will thoroughly enjoy her story as she not only works within the family of sisters but cares for her herd...

For me, a primary character interest in this second book is Jeremiah, Noah's friend and fellow shepherd and a mute.  Noah had shared so many years with him that she was able to understand and communicate with him. I believe they were already in love, even before it was time to think of marriage. But Jeremiah's family looked upon him as only able to care for animals... Incredibly, he will later show just how much he could do...and how brave he was... An interesting situation occurred, when the brother of Jeremiah was looking to court and marry a daughter of the family. His own desire for their inheritance creates a drama that could only exist when great riches are being provided...even if they were coming from God as a gift. The tension of pressure some of the men felt was very real as the daughters struggled to work together as a family to provide for their future lives.

Ahh. She knew the identity of one of the men in the tent. Her teeth clenched at the thought of Keenan. The troublemaker had tried to trick her sister Noah into marrying him. Praise God, Keenan’s scheme had not succeeded. Though, the menace was now her sister’s brother-in-law. 
“I am well aware of my brother’s curse.” Keenan’s final word hissed through the tent wall. “My brother will oversee the land of his wife, but two of the daughters of Zelophehad are unmarried. Why should unwed women be allotted land they did not fight for?” 
Because God gave us our father’s land.

In the greatest adventure of the trilogy, the writer has separated, but beautifully blended the stories of the five sisters within this saga, so that the conclusion really completes the individual tales of each sister as they participated in daily life. For instance, for the other three daughters: Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. One cooks for the family and the other two younger ones do basic chores to bring water, the manna...and to help with playing with a younger son of a widower...

There is little emphasis on the battles that take place. The people of lands being given to the Tribes of Israel worship gods whose graven image were statues--idols created by man, rather than the worship of One God. Interaction between God's chosen people with these individuals reveals how that association can taint the children of God if allowed.

The realization that, even with the Israelites, the emotions of jealousy, covetous actions, and the "role of women" at that time is, in my opinion, one of the major thrusts identified  and the role of The Daughters of Zelophehad in that long future journey that women still face.

Finally, arriving at the designated land for the Daughters creates the most memorable family drama and ultimate conclusion that is brought to each of the Daughters through God's love. Their faith, perhaps greater than others? Their commitment to God, perhaps greater than others? We don't know. But, what we do conclude through this fantastic sage of women of the Bible is that God also touches and welcomes the association and devotion of women around the world... For so many reasons, I recommend  all three books as Must-Reads!


(From Final Book)

 Devotional Moment 
God promises to go into battle with us always. Whether it is a war of the flesh, heart, or mind, He is a constant companion in our time of need. When we accept God as our Saviour, we step into a battle for our souls. Temptations will abound, things of the fallen world will be tossed in our path to make us stumble or fall. But God is our rock, our steadfast defender, and He promises to help us over every obstacle, large or small.
Have you ever felt torn between doing what
 your peers want and doing what you know to be right? It can be difficult to face rejection or ridicule or loss, but your strength of character comes directly from God. All you have to do is let it shine through. When you stand with courage and strength, God upholds you through every battle to the end. He tells you in His Word that all things will pass. And it always does. This life is impermanent, but God’s Kingdom is everlasting. Hold on and face whatever life throws at you. God has your back. 


Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures from Ancient Israel to Modern Day USA and especially enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. You can visit Barb online at or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Milk Moon Assassin by L. A. Couriel - An Amazing Historical Story!

This book is an echo. No more than an echo. There is no truth to it. Seek, and you will not find. There are no lies in it. Seek, and you will not find. This book is merely an echo returned by the hillsides that surround the Hill of Battle where thirty-five sacred souls fell in the War of Independence, fighters from Palmach and infantry units, on their way to attempt the rescue of besieged Gush Etzion. Their footsteps pressed a deep furrow through our lives, where stories, myths, and echoes have grown. The tale of their heroism echoes in the hilly landscape facing the windows of my home, and it sounds deeply in my life. Their song was played on a unique string that has broken and disappeared from the instrument, and if we, the author and the reader, listen very closely, the instrument’s sound box—the times we live in, here in the State of Israel—provides us with echoes that help us imagine and extrapolate their origin. Most of us no longer have a direct connection with the strings of objective truth, but I hope that we all still seek their pure tone.  And I hope that you find an echo of the notes that I personally found.

It was the title of the book that made me consider buying and, of course, the brief description allowed me to proceed to purchase. Neither of these prepared me for the book itself. It is extremely long, but does not allow for speed in reading. Be prepared to spend time with this story...An amazing story that is like no other, nor should it be. It is based on a true story of what happened on a Hill of Battle. Tragic, yes, but for one man, the main character, it changed his life dramatically, even though he didn't participate in that war...

Instead, he was a young boy, who had just learned about photography and carried his camera everywhere. So, it was that day, when the troup were about to take that hill preparatory to battle, that the young boy was called over to record forever those who were there to serve...

He professionally lined up the men, taking time in preparation so that all who were there were captured. And he promised that group that he would make and present the photograph for them when they returned.

None of them returned... Was that the truth? Thus begins a mystery to be solved--one that will not be solved until the climactic ending of the book!

Promised Land Homestead
Judean Hills—May 4, 1985 
(Hebrew date—Iyar 14, 5745) 
9:59 p.m. 

A kill? 
An actual kill? 

His practiced finger slid around and around the trigger guard. Clockwise. Counterclockwise. Around. And back. The pistol lay in front of him, a Smith and Wesson Model 41. Magazine. Ten bullets. Long barrel. The amber-colored grip responded silently to his touch. Clockwise. And back. Re-accustoming itself to the feel of his hand, to his fingertips, after years of not killing. 
His body, toned and tensed, began to sink into the old armchair. The dim veranda was surrounded by a thick jumble of low stone walls, sketching a plan many times more grandiose than his available budget, and they brought to mind the sides of some ancient unfinished fortress. His resources had dwindled, and now those walls were his testament, the echo of his legacy to the coming generations. 
As always, mid-month on the Hebrew calendar meant a full moon—but the moon, piercing through the the sooty blue paint on the face of Moshe Roth-Vardi, was already beginning to abate. Twenty-three minutes before, his eyelids had been bathing in the sensation of the magic, silvery light when the bottom left edge of the moon had suddenly showed erosion, which progressed with a speed that left no doubt: a lunar eclipse! An unexpected glitch. Moshe screwed his nerves tighter. Can’t go slack, not now. Despite the rare obstacle to his plan, nothing would stop him. Tomorrow, when the moon came up, it would shine on a fresh new mound added to the other memorials that Moshe had left in nation after nation.

As a young boy, Moshe's parents had left their son and small baby alone to go out and enjoy dinner. During that time, Moshe had become afraid and though his parents had warned against any lights, that young boy turned on a very small light.  Just enough to allow a mosquito to come in and bite that small baby. And he died...

Instead of accepting their own responsibility for leaving the children, Moshe's mother instead blamed Moshe. So much so that she told her husband to send him away...

Memories of that event haunted Moshe throughout the rest of his life. He was never able to forgive himself. But having left home, he did form a long-time friendship--Maurice, who through his magnetic personality became his mentor and leader...and a rivalry that also lasted through their lifetimes... especially with regard to women...

Moshe became an assassin. He didn't see himself as a murderer. He was trained to kill and through his vivid mental and psychological skills soon became the best of the best. He was sent all over the world for one reason. To kill whoever he was told to kill. Until that fateful "incident" that led to his forced relocation to another job and ultimately retirement.

Was he really free to go away and create a new life? His family and friends second-guessed him at every turn, up until the point he decided it was time for him to act on his own to make decisions. In writing the story, Couriel has chosen to begin at a place after retirement--he is set up for a new assignment a new hit job...and then he leaves readers to proceed through various points of his history to slowly build an unbelievably taut, extraordinary tale of how an assassin is forced to come to the reality of his past and how each life incident had influenced his actions.

There are periods of deep depression and, perhaps, escapism from reality, for Moshe. On the other hand, he becomes friends with "an enemy" of the past from whom he acquires the land and builds the home he wanted based upon his strict specifications. Can you be neighbors with a man who may also be your enemy? 

More importantly, Moshe had chosen to come back to the days of his youth when he had taken his first picture...of a group of soldiers...who had all died on The Hill that was located just above his new home... Little by little Moshe works through everything that had happened since his younger baby brother died, and he had been blamed.

If you find yourself hearing echos from your past as I did, then perhaps, you will find yourself arriving at the place where Moshe finally lives for the rest of his life. I found it to be a remarkable journey, though vastly different from my own life. Yet, I found myself often seeing Moshe in myself as each of us struggles to proceed through and, hopefully, arrive at a point in life where we are, at last, content, if not totally happy. 

Assassinating other people may be a job. But it also can be the destruction of the mind and heart of he who assassinates. During times of war or in times of daily living, we are often stifled in so many ways from our own reality. Moshe taught me much, even in just realizing that there is no truth in this story, only echoes of a past we have been forced into... If you hope to find yourself in a story, however, this just might be the best possible book into which to immerse yourself. Some might even declare it a must-read... The music of your past life must be heard only by you... Highly recommended.


Lior Couriel is an architect and urban planner who has practiced both in the US and Israel. He is also an e-commerce specialist, fierce environmentalist and a veteran of an airborne intelligence wing. He enjoys volunteering for local public positions to help with his community.
He loves to write about topics describing both struggle and tragedy: romance, vengeance, espionage, history, conspiracy, the Mossad, flight...
Lior is the father of four adults. He's married to his teenage crush, and lives amid forested hills in a stone house, with a fireplace inside and Sienna, the cat, outside.
Lior Couriel pursues the kind of life he would like to remember, never taking his eyes off the target: passionate writing. More historical fiction novels are currently under way, the locations of whose plots he researches thoroughly through extensive traveling.
Wish to take part in the journey? Contact Lior by sending an e-mail to or by leaving a message at