Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Rat Pack Investigated in CNN's Jake Tapper Political Fun Farce...The Devil May Dance 2nd Book With Charlie and Margaret Marder


Ahead, the members of the Rat Pack and their hangers-on were oblivious to the Marders’ concerns; they were soaked in bourbon, singing, laughing, and loudly gossiping about ghosts as they stumbled around the graveyard. Charlie and Margaret could make out pieces of their conversations. 
There goes Wallace Beery. He won an Oscar too, Frank! Remember he and a couple mobsters beat that guy to death at the Troc? 
Suzan Ball. Lucille’s cousin. Twenty-one? Cancer. Bit parts. Aladdin and His Lamp. 
Here’s the Garden of Memory. Some reverence, folks, Bogie is over there. Bogart, Sinatra’s hero, was credited with coining the term Rat Pack to describe an altogether different group of friends, but both the term and Bogie’s beloved Lauren Bacall had been posthumously co-opted by his protégé Sinatra. 
Charlie and Margaret headed back, and the snatches of conversation soon grew too distant for them to hear. They made their way over the hills on narrow paved roads to the parking lot. The others held their breath. Above them hung a half-moon, about which Sinatra started to sing: Something, something, man in the moon something, something, baboon, something, something swoon… Everyone exhaled; the wind had blown his dark mood away with the clouds.
 Lawford led the pack in a charge up the hill as Martin sang a song mocking the very young girlfriend of Sinatra’s rival Elvis Presley. “Are you lonesome tonight?” he crooned. “Are you horny tonight? Have you reached puberty yet, my dear girl?” Sinatra cackled. He’d hosted the television special Welcome Home, Elvis, after Presley’s discharge from the army, but Sinatra made no secret of the fact that he found most rock and roll deplorable; he thought the music was written and performed by cretinous goons, and Presley was the gooniest of them all. 
Charlie and Margaret walked slowly, bringing up the rear. Margaret sighed, seeming annoyed. “Stop pretending that this isn’t a little cool,” Charlie said, indicating the scene—they were hanging with icons of the zeitgeist, boozing in a celebrity graveyard in the middle of the night. 
“Ring-a-ding-ding,” said Margaret dryly. The crack of a gunshot echoed across the grass. It took Charlie and Margaret a moment to make out what was going on: Davis was firing Fat Tony’s gun at a grave. Or, more precisely, at the sculpted angel on top of a crypt. “What th—” said Margaret, poking Charlie in the ribs. 
“I think ‘Who the’ is more like it,” Lawford said to Margaret. “Doyle, the guy buried there, was a producer who screwed Sammy back when he was touring the country on the Chitlin’ Circuit with his dad and uncle.” Charlie looked at the crypt. He didn’t recognize the name. Davis yelled, “Son of a bitch!” as he fired off another round. The angel’s head exploded. “There ya go, Smoky!” Martin cheered. He ashed his cigarette on a freshly dug grave, then took a swig from a paper cup. “I’m not done yet,” Davis said, pulling the trigger once more. The blast hit the cherub in the crotch, shattering the statue. One of the pieces of concrete clipped Charlie. 
“Oof,” he said, grabbing his shoulder. 
“Honey!” Margaret cried. “I’m fine,” he said, rubbing the bruise. “Oh, man,” Davis said. “I am so, so sorry.” Davis was soused but clearly concerned. He made his way precariously toward Charlie, wobbly and contrite. The singer was a wee man, not even five foot five, all bone and sinew, maybe ninety pounds dressed for winter. 
“It’s nothing,” Charlie said.
Earlier, Margaret, the ever-prepared former Girl Scout, had stashed the small first-aid kit she brought with her on all family excursions in the trunk of their rented white 1962 Impala convertible. 
“We’re missing all the fun,” Charlie said as a gunshot followed by the pop of an exploding light bulb cracked in the distance. “I’m really fine, honey.” 
“Sure sounds like fun,” Margaret said as she held out her hand for the keys. Charlie reluctantly produced them. She inserted the key and opened the trunk while Charlie looked to the hills, where the echoes of crooning and guffaws sounded almost like local wildlife.  
“Yumpin’ Yiminy, now it’s a clambake!” yelled Sinatra. “More booze!” Another bottle materialized as the pack continued its run through the cemetery, minus Giancana and Fat Tony, who’d turned to walk back to their car. 
Charlie and Margaret stayed in place, leaning on a thick, slightly cracked tombstone. “Irish exit,” Charlie said, motioning toward the departing mobsters.
Then Margaret screamed. From the gauzy illumination of a distant streetlamp, Charlie saw the shape in the trunk, a big shape. It was a body. Charlie stepped closer. He recognized the face, as did Margaret, who turned away. He looked with horror at the woman that they’d last seen days before and that he’d seen quite a bit of in the past few weeks. Her eyes were two bloody caverns; they must have been shot out. There was some brain and bone residue in the trunk but not enough to suggest she had been shot there. Her mouth was agape, her jaw helplessly, horrifically slack. Charlie and Margaret stood frozen until the sudden arrival of the Rat Pack, who apparently had raced over in response to Margaret’s shriek. 
Sinatra looked into the trunk. “Charlie,” he said. “Just what the hell have you done?”
In the past few years Margaret was often reminded of the army’s slogan that “every man has his breaking point.” She was constantly looking for ways to prevent Charlie from reaching his. Whatever the doctors were labeling it, combat exhaustion or combat neurosis or battle fatigue, Margaret knew it would be with him forever. Beyond that, his life in Congress, where he’d been for almost a decade now, was infinitely frustrating—accomplishing anything good required Sisyphean efforts, while ethical compromises were everywhere. And at some point along the way, Charlie found that the constant fundraising and glad-handing to stay in office for his New York constituents had begun to eclipse the work itself...

After the heavy and complex first book, Tapper took a lighter theme to close out the political life of Charlie and Margaret Marder. I call it a farce, even though some of it might be true. A decade had passed and Margaret was constantly watching how Charlie was dealing with the pressure, and, even though Charlie was trying to hide it from her, his increasing need to use alcohol to keep him going.

So when another favor was requested, which involved the simple task of being a consultant on an upcoming movie, both seemed to think it was a good way to fill up time between sessions and maybe do a little vacationing... The Movie was called "The Manchurian Candidate" and Sinatra was to play the lead...

The  Favor: The Kennedy  Family wanted to know just how close and involved Sinatra was to the Mob! And  would his involvement with the presidential candidate be a burden or a good thing...

So Charlie and Margaret were often at the set while the film was being made, with Charlie giving his feedback related to what happens in particular political-related scenes...

And for the rest of the time, Charlie was spending lots of time enjoying the partying that always seemed to be going on... Even when he was at a party, without Margaret, he enjoyed himself, except he was soon placed into another situation when one of the beauties that always was around wound up in the hot tub with Charlie...and a picture was snapped! Fear of its going public was bad enough, but when the girl was found in Charlie's car trunk, he was once again afraid--afraid he was guilty of murder and would spend the rest of the days in prison for a crime he didn't remember, but could have(?) done... Finally, drinking so much, Margaret got involved and Charlie shared it all!

In the meantime, Frank was making changes to his home, doing everything possible to ensure Jack Kennedy's comfort and all that he could possibly need when visiting with his friend, Frank...

[Talking with Robert] Charlie had to smile at the excess. “You don’t want the president to stay there?” Throughout the 1960 election, Sinatra and the Rat Pack had gone all in for Kennedy, and the campaign had been only too happy to capitalize on the fame, the glamour, the money. Sinatra had even rerecorded his Oscar-winning song “High Hopes,” written by Sinatra songmeister Jimmy Van Heusen, with new lyrics: Everyone is voting for Jack ’Cause he’s got what all the rest lack Everyone wants to back—Jack Jack is on the right track! 
As if reading Charlie’s mind, Kennedy shrugged. “When I started at Justice, an agent asked me how he could be expected to go after Mob bosses when my brother’s most famous supporter is paisans with a bunch of them. I took his point. Unfortunately, the FBI doesn’t have any evidence supporting the rumors that Frank is mobbed up, but now he shows up in this wiretap.”

In fact, the majority of the book is in casual settings with various members of the Rat Pack, partying... So, here's some of the music at those times...

“Our crew’s in the back,” Lawford said, pointing. Live jazz played in one of the rooms; the Daisy had so many, it was hard to keep track. Charlie recognized the tune: “Pfrancing,” from Someday My Prince Will Come. He polished off his bourbon in one gulp and began to lose himself in the tempo and the strutting trumpet solo, which sounded to him like a man crying. “It’s like Miles Davis himself is here,” Margaret said. She was trying to keep cool, but she had her hand on his arm, and he could tell she was a bit thrilled. They followed Lawford through the crowd of stars, ogling in every direction...

“Congressman, this one is a keeper,” Sinatra said, pointing at Margaret. “C’mon! Let’s get some swinging music going in here!” He raised his glass and held it up to Margaret. From the speakers came a rapid race of trumpets and trombones, soon interrupted by Sinatra’s voice singing an old Mexican song from the 1930s that he’d covered in May and released on Swing Along with Me in June. Granada, I’m falling under your spell And if you could speak, what a fascinating tale you would tell…

“Sure looks like him from here,” Charlie said. He pushed his chair back from their tiny square table (dinner and two-drink minimum, $5.95 per person, not a room for people without some means). “I’m going to go over there and check it out.” “You sure that’s a good idea?” Margaret asked. “No, but I suspect a middle-aged white guy will blend better at this stag party than either of you.” “Point, Charlie,” said Street. “What is this thing called love?” Sinatra sang. Onstage, he and Martin slouched on stools, drinks in hand. “Frank, if you don’t know, then we’re all in trouble,” Martin quipped. Then, in a singsongy voice: “Did you ever see a Jew-jitsu?” “I did,” Sinatra responded, raising his hand. Davis, who had considered himself a Jew since the 1950s and had formally converted earlier this year, ran onto the stage in mock offense. “Be fair!” Davis barked at Martin as Sinatra pretended to hold him back.

Charlie’s heart sank as he again imagined his once indomitable father alone and hopeless. “We need to get something to the AG about—” He gestured toward Sinatra, who was in the midst of the intro to “Luck Be a Lady.” “They won’t even let Charlie talk tohim on the phone,” Margaret said. “They really seem to relish being bastards, the Kennedys,” Charlie said. “The good news is, the prison doctors told me they don’t think it was a heart attack after all.” “If it wasn’t a heart attack, then what was it?” Street asked. “I don’t know; they don’t know,” Charlie said. “Nothing life-threatening, they don’t think. They also ruled out a stroke. But he isn’t talking.” They all sat sadly at the table. “Why is he at the Tombs anyway—isn’t that a city jail?” Street asked. “Feds have a wing,” Charlie said. “And the AG gets a lot of leeway.”

By the Way, there is no song, "The Devil May Dance"--it was a title created by the author...

Charlie and Margaret, ten years from the first possible death sentence for Charlie are also worried about his father who was arrested and Charlie has not been able to visit. Stress grows and it was time to take the offense and find out exactly what was going on! Politics always seems to be...messy...doesn't it? Me, I enjoyed the music more than anything. I found, even though they were all friends, I was offended by the racial slurs constantly in their comedy... But then, I'm not much for comedy at the expense of...anybody... Guess my empathy gets in the way...

I enjoyed this much more than the first book, simply because of the setting. Sure the mob was there in many scenes, but it didn't necessarily seem like they were involved politically, even though that was the purpose of Charlie and Margaret's involvement. Have to admit that I was more impressed with Margaret as a character. She was a strong woman who still loved her husband, even though he was not doing well in dealing with the politics of, seemingly, every part of their life... But the ending was satisfactory, if not thrilling or spectacular... From a historical perspective, it was indeed a trip back into the 50s, with The Rat Pack leading in bringing music into so much of the book! It's worth my recommendation for you to check it out!

In the meantime, I'd like to share a little bit of the words directly from the author, Jack Tapper, about today's political division...

A personal note: 

I know many of you don't have the time I have to follow what is happening, by watching multiple sites for news information. At the same time, I must point out that it is only through Americans themselves that we can...and hopefully will...maintain our democracy. Right now, I have decided to go to the polls on May 17th, the day before I go in for hip surgery, BECAUSE I DON'T TRUST WHAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DONE AND MAY DO TO PREVENT MAIL BALLOTS FROM BEING CORRECTLY COUNTED.  
We all saw Trump's Big Lie that the presidential election was not real...that it was a big lie! And republicans are doing everything to change or manipulate voting activities to try to again force questions regarding who wins in the primaries! YOU must help ensure that our democracy--the privilege to vote, is not made into a farce once again... lies controlled by the republican party that is infecting our nation... 

Book Readers Heaven will do all that it can to share the truth. I care little about politics, as my comments on Tapper's two books have shown. I do care about the rights of ALL PEOPLE TO BE EQUAL... 




That is not what Democracy is or was in America... Please do everything you can to learn who speaks truth and responds to our constitutional rights in all ways...

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Jake Tapper's, The Hellfire Club, Regurgitates the Political Climate in the 50s With Thoughts on Today's World...


The self-satisfaction was almost like a physical presence in the theater lobby, a distinct mélange of aromas exclusive to the halls of power—high-priced perfume and expensive hors d’oeuvres, top-shelf liquor and freshly minted cash. It all billowed into a rich toxic cloud that made Charlie Marder’s throat constrict. Charlie generally prided himself on his ease in social settings, but tonight he was on edge, feeling oddly exposed while he waited for Margaret to return from the powder room. 

As a professor at Columbia, he’d given countless lectures, lectures, attended dozens of professional functions, and even made a few TV appearances when Sons of Liberty, his book on the Founding Fathers, hit the bestseller list four years before. Tall and broad-shouldered with piercing blue eyes, Charlie had found it easy to navigate the worlds of academia and literary celebrity. But he felt out of his element here, surrounded by political and press powerhouses drinking and smoking and chortling among themselves. He rubbed the back of his neck, scanning the room for any sign of Margaret. The crowd, of course, couldn’t have cared less about his anxiety, busy as they were with their own competing agendas. He ambled around the auditorium to pass the time; bits of conversations flew by his ears: Let’s just say my respect for the congressman knows bounds. If the court rules to desegregate, it’s going to get ugly. No, I don’t hate musicals. I just don’t understand them. Why would people break out in song? And even suspending disbelief, the songs are seldom any good. No kids. She’s a work nun. Has anyone actually gotten a look at the naval records of PT-109? I’ll say it: If Ike was as weak against the Krauts as he is against McCarthy, we’d all be speaking German right now. Did you see it? First issue came out last month. Naked Marilyn Monroe. No, when I said they were bums, I meant the baseball team the Senators, not actual senators. We still have troops in Korea, darling. We’ll have them there forever. 

Miserably self-conscious, Charlie gulped his martini, swallowed wrong, and coughed loudly just as Senator Jack Kennedy made his entrance. Heads turned as the handsome senator glided past Charlie, glamorous new wife in tow. Charlie caught a strong whiff of bandages and ointment. He wondered which of them had recently sustained an injury. From his earliest days, Charlie had possessed an abnormally keen sense of smell. He did not consider it a gift. He gave his empty glass to a passing waiter and watched the celebrity couple as they made their way across the plush maroon carpet to join the senator’s brother Robert. The younger Kennedy was deep in conversation with Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Republican from Wisconsin currently about to start the fifth consecutive year of a reckless smear campaign designed to drive the threat of Communism, real and imagined, from every corner of American society. Charlie knew that Robert Kennedy and McCarthy worked together on the committee McCarthy chaired, and from all appearances, they were pals as well. 

Charlie’s pondering of their seemingly odd friendship ended when Margaret reappeared. Even after nine years of marriage, Charlie still felt his heart jump when he saw her. Her blond hair was swept off her forehead; a simply cut emerald-green dress made the most of her athletic frame, its color highlighting her kelly-green eyes. Eyes that betrayed no sign of the frayed nerves Charlie felt, he noticed, although she was just as new to this scene as he was; they had arrived in Washington, DC, only three weeks earlier, after Charlie was appointed to fill a congressional seat that had suddenly become vacant.


I like Jack Tapper as a CNN political world star and I was curious about his writing style... Publishers Weekly spotlights his intimate knowledge and proceeds to encourage those who are interested in well-researched historical fiction to read the book. While I agree, I found my own reading quite difficult. For a number of reasons...

While the novel takes place in the 1950s, I couldn't help but wonder if and how our present House minority leader is connected to the real-life character Senator McCarthy in The Hellfire Club. Many of you remember, right? Joseph McCarthy, the Republican from Wisconsin currently about to start the fifth consecutive year of a reckless smear campaign designed to drive the threat of Communism, real and imagined from every corner of American society. Charlie knew that Robert Kennedy and McCarthy worked together on the committee McCarthy chaired, and from all appearances, they were pals as well. Charlie’s pondering of their seemingly odd friendship... Especially given the many leaked emails/messages from the present House member McCarthy that reveal the two-faces of a leading republican now in congress...

Tapper creates an "outsider" to congress at that time, by having an appointment made upon the death of a former congressional member.  He and his wife her very close so, fortunately, she became an anchor for Charlie as he was dropped into the political scene that literally "blew his (and my) mind..."

Soon, he was caught, he was found in an accident where a young woman was dead... He had no memory of what happened and could not even be sure that he had not caused the accident. He was scared, not knowing to whom he could...or...should go.

But somebody came along and took care of everything... put the body into the driver's seat, and then set fire to the car! Then drove Charlie out of the area... Soon, he knew one thing--"they" owned him...

About that time, I was having problems continuing to read the book. But I finished it and thankfully good won out for the main character... and democracy...

But, I wonder, how did our democracy survive what was happening at that time. While Tapper has dramatized much, there was still, for me, such a comparison to what we had seen during the last four years of the presidency of our former incumbent, that I became too caught up in realizing just how bad it could be... Drinking, sex parties and more... Surely we've been having many politically-related encounters in our present lives...

And I had to ask, just how many of our elected officials are also caught up in the exploitation that could occur if an individual even attempted to present opposition. Surely we all saw what happened when Liz Cheney and then another republican voted to impeach the president. They were literally stripped of their duties, just for doing the right thing! But not the republican political party's wishes...

Tapper did include a reference in the back of this fictional book to help readers tell what is true and what was dramatized and includes reference for further information. I have to say that it was necessary because the story became so real that anything that was happening could be actual historical events. That makes it a good book for lovers of history. But, for me, I just became more and more frustrated, hoping that this new, young appointee could get himself and his wife free from all the terrible actions happening around them.

With the continuance of disinformation, lies, sexcapades, and attacks against anybody who is not white...and now, anybody who supports anything that republicans do not, we are all facing a bleak future. Especially, as Putin continues his one-man autocrat attack on a democratic nation... yet nothing has changed the actions of the republican campaigns against women, gays, and non-white races--anybody else they can think of. like Disney! Or even math books!

I admit that I've begun to wonder--Like the autocrat Putin, fighting just because he wants the power, isn't that what the republicans are doing within America? Voting changes are being made across republican run states, books are being banned indiscriminately, especially by Black writers, and religion is being used as both a weapon and an incitement of fear... Tell me, isn't this just the same, since it appears that Trump's Big Lie is being used--an autocrat... working against the American democracy that now is under attack?

I did not enjoy reading this book, but I can attest to its being well-written, thought-provoking, and an excellent reality look of what may be happening within Washington, even today. Only a very few republicans are willing to stand to meet the needs of Americans. Instead, incitement of prejudice, fear, and expansion of disinformation is spreading without restraint, it seems...

Will the majority have to fight to retain the democracy of America? Ukranians are doing a wonderful job, working together and with other nations. I applaud their efforts... But I fear the division of America still looms over our future...

Funny, how the communists played such a big part of politics in the 50s...and has again come alive within America during the last five years... Consider reading this book if you want to see how manipulation routinely occurs when people lie to get or retain power...

Will We Have to Fight to Keep Our Democracy?
Note I am A Christian
I do not support what is happening to divide and continue the division of America!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Wild and Wonderful Chrome Mountain and The North Factor Chrome Mountain Saga Brought to Readers by Ben Schneider

Why do these bad dreams keep coming? he thought. This has been going on nearly every week since I started the invention. This last one was by far the worst of them all. Funny how it happened the same week my revolutionary device became operational. I could introduce it to the company and become one of the richest citizens of San Antonio. Plus, I’ve always wanted to make scientific history, like the ones who have inspired me––Darwin, Einstein, Hawking, even my dad. And now I could. However, could something like the dreams become reality? Could my contraption fall into the wrong hands and cost more lives than I can count? Of course, it could. 

Why have I wasted so much time on this scientific path? What was I thinking? I was thinking only about my future? What about the world’s future? Why have I never thought of that? The world’s future affects my future. If not mine, my kids’, if I ever have any. And what about my niece and nephews? Why did it never occur to me that anyone who would travel with a cloaking device, such as a chopper pilot, would never do so, unless…their intentions were evil? 

This can’t happen. It just can’t! I will not be responsible for any dark realities that are even remotely similar to those ghastly events haunting my dreams. As sad as it makes me, my goals of early retirement, making scientific history, and impressing my father will have to be forgotten. I’ll have to give those weaker projects at Envisiocom a shot instead. He got out of bed and went straight to his garage. When he flipped the light switch, fluorescent bulbs buzzed as they lit up the room, with his tan Toyota Corolla on one side, worktable on the other. Scattered about the table were science-related notes and tools that had aided his creation of the apparatus. Fastened to the old car’s hood was the cloaking device, an odd-looking stack of circuitry the size of a shoebox. The name of Trey’s creation was the VV1––Veiler, Version 1.

I have to end it now. I can’t take any more of those nightmares. A mallet was taken from a toolbox atop the table. He approached the Toyota with it, wanting to see the miracle gadget perform one last time. His hand felt its way through the multicolored wires for the correct switch and flipped it. A few scarcely audible bleeps could be heard as lights twinkled through the circuitry. After forty seconds, the red READY light came on. He flipped the second switch. Yellow radiance hummed, coating the entire Toyota. Then–– ––all signs of the vehicle were gone...

Next, Trey recalled the first eighteen years of his life. He’d been raised by good parents who’d brought him to church every Sunday. The church had constantly emphasized how important it is to love people. It’s so hard to love when there is so much to hate.


First, let me say that these books will not be for everybody. Language and violence are the hallmark of many of today's criminals--they are truly presented in these books! On the other hand, both of the main characters come to accept God as their Savior... And are often saved or act in accordance with His guidance... Given the issues confronting each of us in these days of chaos, prejudice and violence, I find I enjoy reading about how good always reigns over bad... So, you decide because I do recommend them as exciting sci-fi, action adventure stories mostly on bikes of all kinds, which will thrill you as every form of travel is exploited and used practically on every page!

Readers enter into the lives of two characters--one a former member of a biker gang and a genius scientist being hunted for his invention.  Trey had created something that would definitely change the world. He almost immediately, even though he'd worked diligently to achieve his dream, realized how criminals could use it for evil and decided to destroy it! He knew he'd done the right thing but that didn't mean he was safe. For his former fiancée was furious when she learned that he had destroyed the invention which would have made them all the money they would ever need. When she immediately left him, Trey realized that she had only been in it for the money...

Problem was, she had reappeared when Trey had been running from the evil group that knew what he'd built. And that's when the two main characters meet--Sonya had attempted to help this man who she immediately thought was cute...a good sign for the future! But even after many thrilling attempts to lose the enemy, both had been swept up into space by something that then disappeared, and taken into the secret location of a criminal group which was widely causing havoc all over--The Chrome Falcons.

This is an unbelievable futuristic criminal group who had already created a teleportation field. If they had Trey, they would make him recreate his invention through persuasion...or otherwise! And I don't think it is giving away too much when he learned that his "ex" was a member of the group and already involved with someone there and carrying a briefcase full of money and precious diamonds...

Sonya, who had escaped from the Screamon Demons Motorcycle Club immediately left town. Her grandmother, Iza had coincidentally (God Incident?) called and Sonya set out for home, living there for three years, staying even after her grandmother had died. Sonya had begun taking Iza to church and had finally heeded God's call... She now sought God's guidance in all things.

But that did not eliminate the danger that she had left behind when she was called the "old lady" of the leader of a dangerous and increasing murderous club. When her good friend risked her own life to call her, Sonya got on her low rider bike and soon was on her way...back into danger, but with God now as her co-pilot...

Sonya Radisson—formerly Sonya McCall—woke with a gasp. She was in her dark bedroom, not a parking lot. Instead of soaked blacktop, she was reclined on her soft, memory-foam mattress. Putting her sweaty hand between her breasts, she thanked God there was no shotgun hole there. Her racing heart was still intact and safe inside her rib cage. Her skull was not cracked, either. That’s not what happened last spring, she thought, annoyed. The rainy day in Fraser replayed in her head. When Levi was astride the police bike, he’d not been armed. Also, her flying kick had broken his neck. 

Where’d that awful dream come from? Her head spun to the clock on her bedside table. It was 5:51 A.M. She turned the other way, relieved to see she’d not wakened Trey, her husband of three months. They were married two weeks after she’d defeated Levi North. Levi was more than her vile ex-boyfriend; he was also the president of a lawless motorcycle club. They called themselves the Screamon Demons. Last December, the crime ring had disbanded after Sonya had spilled most of their secrets to the Feds. No one in the posse ever found out she was the rat—except Levi. Moreover, he was unlikely to find a chance to tell anyone who’d be a threat to his ex. Very few members of the MC had evaded arrest, but they’d stopped caring where Levi was and what he wanted. Sonya wondered if Levi was still alive. If he was, he probably wished he was not. Nova Krenshaw, Sonya’s friend in the FBI, had assured her and Trey that Levi would never be found. He would never be a free man, either. Being paralyzed from the neck down, he’d no chance of escaping from wherever he’d been locked up. 

Still disturbed by the dream, Sonya swept the blankets aside, baring muscular limbs and washboard abs. Her ivory skin starkly contrasted with her lacy lingerie, as gloss-black as her curly, mid-back-length hair. Feeling a slight chill in the room, she got off the bed and covered her shapely form with a fleece robe. Then she kicked into her slippers and strode from the room. The dark hallway led her to the great room of the spacious chalet-style house, located in the home rule municipality of Winter Park, Colorado. She flipped a switch, turning on a gas fireplace, and plopped down on an L-section sofa of soft gray leather. She faced a wall made mostly of large windows. The stunning, twilit view of the pine-cloaked Rocky Mountains was a vast improvement over the dull, flat scenery of Artesia, New Mexico, where Sonya had grown up. She sporadically told herself to return to the small town, someday. She could chat with old friends and set flowers on the graves of Derrick McCall, her late father, and Iza Gibbs, Derrick’s mother. She’d not seen Iza’s house for nearly a year, but had heard the Screamon Demons had torched it. Frank Giles, the pastor of the church she’d grown up in, had given her the bad news about the home. Last January, Sonya had called him to confirm all her friends in Artesia were extremely worried about her. Frank was more than happy to honor Sonya’s request of letting the church know she’d not gone missing. One night, almost a year ago, she’d had no choice but to leave town—without telling a soul. She’d had no intention of coming back, either. 

Days later, her friends and coworkers had grown concerned. They’d feared the worst once word got around of what had happened to her house. She’d had no time to think things over—not since that night Becky Lugo had called, warning her that Levi’s gang was coming to Artesia to look for her. Again, her brain reran the nightmare of her ex. Before heading to the kitchen to get hot coffee, she musingly eyed the majestic scenery for another minute. 

Was God trying to tell her something? Was someone with a grudge against her still out there, somewhere? Did the stench of Levi North still, somehow, linger in the world? And was it coming for her?


By the time of the second book, Trey and Sonya were in love and had married three months before. Once again, she had heard from her friend Becky, and needed to leave... Only to wind up in a hospital for the insane--and being called by another name and a complete history of that woman. But Sonya knew her real life, even though she'd been injured... Indeed, Sonya was soon to find out that she was not the only one who had been placed in that hospital under false names. There she met Judy and when it was time to escape, Sonya and Judy were helped by Judy's biker sisters.

Hoping to calm her frazzled nerves, Sonya turned on the radio. The selected station played “Hey Brother” by Avicii. The song helped swap her anxiety with a sense of triumph over her escape. But the feeling didn’t last; for ten more miles, her rearview mirror showed a single headlight a quarter mile behind her. Sonya was convinced she had a tail. She would need to somehow take her tail’s ride and ditch the crippled SUV. If she waited too long, either the steaming engine would die, or the vehicle’s damage would draw a cop’s eye. Either scenario would end badly for her. Seconds later, she grasped the best way to make her need a reality. With one of the switches on her door, she opened the front-right window. Then she tapped S-O-S on her “wristwatch,” activating the veil. Once the two-minute countdown started, she hit the brakes, pulled over, put the vehicle in park, and killed the engine. Without turning off the outer lights, she climbed out the open window, took the tranquilizer pistol, and waited by the front-right tire. As she’d suspected, the headlight belonged to a biker—one interested in the Outlander...


In both books, a connection had been established with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. In the first book, Trey and Sonya helped to bring down the Chrome Falcons. In the second book, Judy's MC had also been working with a local FBI agent. Sonya was honored to take a temporary membership in the Night Mares MC... who were helping gather evidence and then providing it to the FBI agent for legal actions...

But Sonya still did not understand how and why she had been placed in a hospital for the insane... Her greatest nightmare was yet to be revealed...

The two books are so action-packed that readers will be boggled by just how much havoc can be made by criminals in their search for revenge...or power and wealth!

And when most needed, prayer by those who are fighting evil, will be spoken and in miraculous ways, all that seems impossible is made possible...

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Beneath the Lake - Travel Through time to 1949! Presented by Casi McLean


The houses began to get closer together as we approached Sidney, typical of a small town. Bobby pulled up, parked in front of a quaint steel diner shaped like an old RV with a red and yellow neon sign that flashed Eat at Millie’s. Square glass tiles curved around the corners meeting the bright red roof at the top. “Here we are,” Bobby said, getting out of the car. “Millie serves the best eats south of the Mason Dixon. It’s no Varsity, but I promise Atlanta’s got nothin’ better.” 

When we walked in, I felt like I was sucked into an old-fashioned movie set. The classic jukebox played Ezio Pinza’s “Some Enchanted Evening” Really? That song was way older than I was. Mother had loved South Pacific and after she died, Daddy had played the old vinyl incessantly on his antique record player. It was a perfect accent to Millie’s retro ambiance, though. Formica topped counters surrounded a soda fountain bar lined with red-leather cushioned stools on steel bases. The entire restaurant oozed with authenticity. 

“Say Millie, how’s the special today?” Bobby asked the woman behind the counter. 

“Bobby Reynolds, do you need to ask? Now, sit yourself down. Fried chicken just came out fresh and hot, so you and your lady friend relax in your booth, and I’ll bring out a couple of plates.” 

“What a gal.” Bobby grabbed a newspaper from the bar. “And what do ya know? Today’s paper, too.” He walked over to one of the booths and sat down. “It’s pretty hard to eat standin’ up, Maddie. Come on over here and take a load off. I promise I won’t bite.” 

Carefully sliding across the red cushioned seat, I looked around for a menu but couldn’t see one anywhere. I crossed my hands on the Formica tabletop. “This place must have cost a fortune to reproduce. Everything is so realistic.” 

“I’m not sure, but wait till you taste Millie’s fried chicken. It’ll melt in yourmouth, and her mashed potatoes are the cat’s pajamas.” 

“The cat’s pajamas, huh?” I smiled, playing along with his slang. “It smells delicious, but honestly, I don’t eat fried foods very often. The cholesterol is over the roof, and mashed potatoes destroy my waistline. Do you think I could see a menu?” 

He looked at me with a perplexed stare. “Sorry, Maddie. Today’s menu is fried chicken. But I’m sure Millie would rustle up a hamburger and fries or a hotdog if you prefer.” 

Before I could answer, Millie stood at the table holding two large plates filled with fried chicken and okra, mashed potatoes with gravy and hot biscuits smothered in butter. She had two huge slices of cherry pie balanced on her forearm. The aroma was amazing, but I could almost feel my arteries harden and the pounds roll onto my hips. 

“You dig in. I’m gonna jazz this place up.” Bobby bounced out of the booth toward the jukebox. “Any tune you’d like to hear?” “How about some Doris Day or Ella Fitzgerald?” I replied, keeping in the retro spirit. “Oh, why not be adventurous and throw in some Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift.” He shrugged, turned, and began sifting through songs on the jukebox. 

Biting into Millie’s chicken took me back to my childhood, sitting in Grandma’s kitchen, my feet swinging back and forth beneath the seat, chicken leg grasped in one hand, biscuit slathered with butter in the other. Grandma called it comfort food, when the aroma and flavor brought back wonderful memories. And the fried okra and mashed potatoes only added to the mood. I practically inhaled the first few bites promising myself that when my body healed, I’d work out extra hard to make up for my splurge. I’d just taken a big gulp of Coke when I glanced down at the newspaper Bobby had brought to the table. I read, choked, and spewed soda across the booth. He’d said today’s paper, but the date at the top of the Sidney Gazette read: Sunday, November 6, 1949.

After lunch, Bobby gave me the grand tour of his hometown. I felt like I was wandering through a scene from Back To The Future. At any moment I’d see Michael J. Fox pull up in his DeLorean and warn me about breaking the space-time continuum. But no one could have designed a Hollywood set as perfect as Sidney. The streets were lined with classic storefronts. Metal signs advertised: More Doctors Smoke Camel Cigarettes and The Smoothest Men Use Barbasol. When we pulled into the service station, attendants rushed out to the car to fill the gas tank and clean the windshield. People dressed in clothing like I’d seen on American American Movie Classics. Every detail reeked of an era tucked into the pages of history. Prices appeared in sync as well. Gas for seventeen cents a gallon, milk for thirty-four cents. And a loaf of bread cost only eight cents. Offhand, I couldn’t think of a single item in the twenty-first century that sold for under a dollar. 

The local theater featured Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan in I Was A Male War Bride. Tickets for the show cost forty-six cents. It would have been impossible to create such an elaborate hoax. The drive around Sidney felt surreal. Was I drifting through a dream, or lost in time? “Moonlight in Vermont” a scratchy, romantic melody, streamed from the AM radio, deepening the uncanny ambiance. Phone booths dotted every street corner and the local A&W drive-in buzzed with activity as carhops roller-skated back and forth serving root beer and burgers curbside. My senses battled a tug of war with my intellect. Visible reality convinced me I had been swept into the past, while logic screamed impossible. So I focused on what I knew for sure. Bobby had found me after my accident. Instinct was all I had to rely on, and my gut said he was a good man, a little cocky at times, but decent. My mind raced trying to make sense of the vintage town rolling past me. 
Nothing resonated, until I noticed a road sign that read: Looper Speedway. Looper. I’d heard that name somewhere before. “Bobby, can we go to Looper Speedway?” 
His tone revealed a tinge of excitement. “You like the races?” I nodded, offering an agreeable smile. “Max Looper and his nephew Edwin are friends of mine. We can take a drive down the Gainesville-Cleveland Highway to see the track if you’d like.” He frowned. “Unless downed trees from the storm have blocked the way.” 
Why did Looper Speedway sound so familiar to me? I’d never been to a racetrack racetrack in my life. Had I? No. Why would I want to watch grown men chase each other around in a circle at ridiculously dangerous speeds?” 
“Say, if you really want to see the cars race, how about going with me next Saturday? That is, unless you’re sweet on someone else.” 
“I was, but not anymore.” My thoughts spun to Cole, drenched, with daffodil petals stuck to his face. The sorry, lying jerk. “The truth is I tore out of the party into that storm, because I walked in on my boyfriend kissing someone else.”

This is a really enjoyable, fun book. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend... 

Imagine if you would attending a party hosted by your best friend in this decade, seeing your main man getting it on with another woman, fleeing in anger and, then, being followed so that you are forced off the road...and wind up in the past! All that she had been thinking about was that, once again, she had been betrayed by somebody with whom she thought she was in love...

Even then, though, she did remember the emotional jolt upon meeting Rob, a neighbor of her best friend...

The emotion behind my icy comments must have resounded a lot louder than I’d intended as the crowd below hushed. I turned in a huff, glancing over the banister, and realized I wasn’t alone. All eyes gazed up as if some starlet had spilled fine Bordeaux on her snow-white Valentino dress. Dropped jaws and blank stares fell over the entire room and followed me step-by-step down the lavish, never-ending staircase. To make things worse, soft background music amplified through the silence “…when you find your true love…fly to her side…or you’ll dream all alone…” 

Perfect: a romantic ballad confirming my loveless life. I had to say something to break the tension. “Lawyers,” I announced, wishing I could just fade into the woodwork and disappear altogether. Halfway down the steps, I felt a rush of emotion explode inside. My head swirled. Dear Lord, please don’t let me collapse right here in front of everyone. I held the handrail tightly to keep from losing my balance. 

That’s when a single pair of hands in the middle of the crowd began to clap, slowly at first, inviting others to join. When Rob’s cobalt eyes met mine a flood of tranquility flowed through me like warm honey, calming me as if he had willed my composure.

I loved it~ And it is certainly fun to relive parts of your past life, experiencing them anew...or, like the main character, Lacey Montgomery, seeing what, to her, from 2012, must be a retro town and people from the far past... and memories of her own family members talking about the past...

Lacey was rescued from the lake by a strong hand who pulled her to him. She learned his name was Bobby and, for some reason, she felt safe with him--more safe than when she had been with Cole - the bum! It took awhile for Lacey to grasp that something was very wrong. For one, they couldn't find her car and therefore she had nothing--no purse, cell phone, clothes...and a potential way out of wherever she was and back home...

Bobby was gorgeous and she found herself responding to him, even when, after he had taken her home with him to meet his sister and, hopefully, borrow some dry clothes for the damsel he had rescued. She immediately was accepted and realized that she felt, for perhaps the first time in her life, at home!

The book goes back and forth between 2012 and 1949-50. In the present, readers read about a stalker, a man who wants to find Lacey Montgomery, no matter what... Readers are teased in the present while enjoying diving into the past where living is easy...

Many readers may not remember the period of time in which Lacey had fallen, but I remember the decade, most from the continued music for the time period, which continued to be popular for many years...Love songs to dance to were the rage during that big band era that followed... Here's two of my favorites by one of the singers mentioned by Lacey...

There was one major problem Lacey encountered... she found what the definition of many words, often used as slang or sayings in her 2012 world, meant something entirely different. That's how, when she talked about Bobby with his sister, that she got the impression that Bobby was a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy--again... Still it was apparent to everybody in the small town, that Bobby and Lacey were falling in love, even when Lacey realized what must have happened and hoped that she would find a way to go home...

Because she knew one thing...the town where she was actually living...was, in her time period, completely under the lake into which she had driven and almost drowned... Was it fate, a God incident? For surely, it was clear once Lacey realized the future for this small town, she had a chance to help those people who were to lose their home through eminent domain...

I've already downloaded the next two in the trilogy...and looking forward to seeing how McLean manipulates time into a true adventure for those of us living in the present world...

Maybe I'll be able to go back? Would you want to? I know one thing, people were kinder. They were good people and wonderful neighbors... Given the world of today--it's wonderful to escape back into a wonderland...even if only for the length of time reading a fantastic book! Enjoy this one!

Summertime is coming! Spring jonquils are out, forsythia is second to bloom in my area of Pennsylvania... Looking forward to smelling grass being mowed and new flowers appearing daily through the upcoming months...
Had my pre-op review this past Monday, tests, lab work and questionnaires of issues being considered... Wow, I didn't have this much action with my brain surgery... Strange isn't it, cutting into the brain is less invasive than cutting into my hip and remaining/replacing damaged bone... Don't remember whether I mentioned that I walked out of an earlier potential hip surgeon's office and immediately asked for a second opinion... What a difference in approach, professionally speaking... So, remember, if you are worried about what your doctor is saying or have a right to seek a second opinion! God Bless... 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Annaleigh Taylor Presents A Cozy-Mystery Series Steeped in Christian Growth Steps - Celebrate! - He is Risen!Fi

Let us all Trust that Evil is Always Vanquished!
Jesus Christ Died that All May Live!
May the Truth Be Known Across the World!

It is the Time of His Death and His Rising! If we only can Believe. If we can only turn our eyes to Jesus. He who died, descended into Hell, and Arose on the Third Day...

To Celebrate, I'm choosing to share excerpts showing the steps taken as the two main characters work to solve the mystery... of accepting Christ as just...believing... Then, learning to trust in all things...

In an unique cozy-type mystery series, Annaleigh Taylor presents something that is important to today's readers... While presenting a murder to be solved by amateur detectives, Taylor is actually providing a chance for each of us to consider our role as a Christian. Beginning in the first book, we meet two main characters who continue throughout the short books, normally readable in about an hour. Yet each contains the stages we may go through as we turn to Christ as our Savior...

Rachel Russell has already become a Christian, but is still learning. She has been selected for a number of adventurous events that has led her into danger. Jacob Andrews was one of the team that was sent to participate in a research project in Antarctica. Jacob stood up for Rachel as she was being ridiculed for speaking in her new role as a Christian. And Rachel did respond to him, then...and more so in each book...  Some of us may remember how our lives were changed... Some of us may have forgotten...and little by little we begin to say, "Yes, But, Lord..." 

Years pass and by the time the book ends, they are engaged, looking toward a future that was literally put into their hands...

If you want to know more, or if you need a rejuvenation of your earlier commitment, then this series is a wonderful way to begin. The mysteries are interesting, although not complex. But then, the two main characters are in their teens when the series starts, and are trusting to respond to each of the requests, the assignments, that are being made for their action. There is an overall life plan for Rachel and Jacob... Curious to see what happens by just letting go and trusting? 

A touch of the supernatural, God's words through dreams, and meeting and learning from others who believe are woven into what can happen if we only believe... and become a child...of a Risen King!

First in Series

“God got us here safely,” Rachel told Matt. 

“God is—” Matt waved his hands in the air. “Cool it with that religious routine, Rachel. I've told you once and I'm telling you again: I don't believe in your God or your Jesus.” Matt looked at Rachel. “I thought you were really cool, you know? But ever since you let those religious nuts brainwash you...” He shrugged his shoulders. “I don't seems like you've changed into a zombie.” 

Rachel looked at the thick white gloves covering her hands. “Jesus saved me, Matt. He can save you, too. I was dead, but now I'm alive.” 

“Saved you? From what?” Matt asked in a cynical voice. “Rachel, you're the most honest, kind, noble person I know. What did you need to be saved from?” 

“My sins,” Rachel answered in a sincere voice. She raised her eyes to look at Matt. “While I was dead in my sins, Jesus died for me. We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” 

“There she blows!” yelled a twenty-year-old red-headed guy named Fred Walker. He pretended that streams of water were coming from his mouth. “Rachel is preaching again, ladies and gentlemen! Let's all get down on our knees and listen to her brainwash us!” 

“Knock it off, Fred,” Jacob Andrews said, slapping his friend on the back of the head. “Rachel has the right to believe what she wants. Just because we're not Christians, we don’t have the right to discriminate against her.”


Second in Series

Rachel wasn't sure how to answer Jacob. She was still a new Christian herself and she was struggling in her daily walk with Jesus. How could she explain the mysteries of a loving God who loved justice to a person who had attended church only once? “I guess in time God will reveal to you what I feel He has been whispering to my heart.” 

“I think God brought us together,” Jacob told Rachel, smiling into her eyes. “I think God controls our destiny and that we're meant to be together. I...felt that we belonged together the first day I saw you. I remember you were wearing a pink knocked me for a loop. Your hair was in a ponytail and you were wearing a perfume that smelled like roses...and...fresh rain.” 

“You remember all of that?” Rachel asked, amazed. 

Jacob nodded. “Yeah, I do. I know...I'm a hopeless romantic, right? I resemble a linebacker and can get a date with any girl I want, but when I'm alone I listen to sappy love songs and think about what love...well...could be, I guess.” Rachel listened to Jacob talk with a heart that was quickly falling more in love. “My parents divorced when I was a kid,” Jacob explained. He shook his head slightly. “My mom passed me off to my dad and disappeared for a while. I didn't mind. I liked our farm. The only thing I did mind was seeing my dad date one woman after another. He never remarried or even got engaged...he just drifted from one short-term relationship to another.” 

“And that's what you're afraid of, isn't it?” Rachel asked, squeezing Jacob’s hand. 

“Yeah, I guess I am,” Jacob confessed. He stared into Rachel's beautiful, caring eyes. “Rachel, I want more than what my dad gave himself. I want more than what my mom gave herself. I want...everything offered by all those songs I listen to. Man, that sounds sappy.” 

Rachel smiled. “No, it doesn't,” she promised. “But Jacob, the love you're searching for must begin with God. God must be your first love. Then and only then can a man love a woman the way he is supposed to. When you make God your first love, that's when you truly fall in love and find real love. I hope that makes sense.” 

“Not really,” Jacob confessed. “How can I make God my first love? I mean, that sounds kinda...sissy.” 

“Was Jesus a sissy when He died on the cross?” 

“No way,” Jacob answered immediately. 

“Exactly,” Rachel told Jacob. She squeezed his hand again. Jacob stared at Rachel. His heart slowly began to understand what she was trying to relay to him. “I...think I get it.” “Good...”


Third in Series

Jacob looked down at his hands and spotted leftover worm goo on his fingers. “The kid with the tangled-up line...he told me that his dad used to beat him with a stick.” 

“Henry Bates is his name,” Rachel told Jacob. “Henry's dad is currently serving a very long prison sentence for child abuse, terrorist threats, assault and battery, and attempted murder...all against his son.” 

“That's heavy.”

“Yes, it is,” Rachel agreed. “But Henry is a good kid. He's living in a foster home with a family that takes in a lot of kids, which makes the home more of a swinging door than a residence of stability.” 

“Yeah.” Jacob sighed, spotting the administrative cabin. Sheriff Lansbury and Mrs. Turner were nowhere in sight. “Poor kid.” 

“God will work miracles for these children, Jacob. I'm sure of that. You saw Henry. He wasn't standing around feeling sorry for himself. He was laughing and joking with the other children.” 

“True,” Jacob said, walking Rachel up to the cabin. “Still, I wish that kid was mine. I'd spoil him rotten.”

“I know.” Rachel smiled into Jacob's eyes. She saw goodness there. “You're going to make a really great dad someday.”

 “Someday,” Jacob emphasized. “Not now. I'm still learning to pray, remember?”


Fourth in Series

Rachel walked her eyes around the jungle. The sun was beginning to lower in the sky. 

“Mr. Chan—” 

“Call me Lei,” Lei insisted. 

Rachel smiled. “Lei, I have something for you.” Rachel handed her walking stick to Jacob, reached her right hand into her left pocket, and retrieved a white envelope. “This is the check Mr. Davidson sent us to give you.” 

Lei stared at the white envelope. “Glory to God,” he said as tears began falling from his eyes. “The people in my village will be so happy. The days of their sorrows are quickly coming to end.” 

Jacob shifted from one foot to the other. He didn't know what to say or do. He had never seen a grown man cry out of nowhere before. In his past, most of the guys he hung out with had been tough. “Uh...yeah,” he managed to say in an uneasy voice. 

“Jacob is a new Christian, Lei. He's learning to walk...but right now, he and I are both still crawling.” 

“When one learns to walk too quickly, he falls,” Lei told Rachel. He took the check from her. “I learned that truth the very hard way when I first became a Christian. I wanted to start preaching and leading people to Jesus.  I was on fire for the Lord. The only problem was...I didn't have an understanding of the scriptures and I ended up falling flat on my face.” 

“What do you mean?” Jacob asked. “You were just doing what the Bible tells us to do, right?” 

“In a way, yes,” Lei explained. “But I failed to be taught by a Christian man who was taking his meat and walking on firm legs. I was sipping from a baby bottle.” Lei shook his head. “I thought I had all the answers and knew everything. And then I got into a debate with an atheist who knew the Bible better than I did. The guy tore me up. A preacher was standing nearby and watched me get kicked into the street. That preacher took me under his wing and began helping me learn the truth. So, let me advise you both to walk when the Lord orders you to walk; otherwise, you will fall.” 

“Thank you, Lei,” Rachel said in a grateful voice. “That's wonderful advice.” 

Jacob nodded. “Sometimes it's easier to think we can do things on our own. I've always been like that.” 

Rachel took back her walking stick from Jacob and smiled into his eyes. “I think you're coming along just fine.” 

Lei saw love shining in Rachel's eyes. He looked into Jacob's eyes and saw a special love—one that soaked into Rachel's heart. He smiled. 

“The village isn't far. You two must be hungry.” “Starving,” Jacob admitted. “What's for dinner?” 

“Snail guts and snake brains,” Lei said. Jacob's face turned pale. He swallowed. “Really?”

 “No.” Lei laughed and slapped Jacob on the shoulder. “For dinner, we’re having canned beans and fried bread.” 

“Better,” Jacob said. He laughed. “Much better.”


Final in Series

Jacob stared into Rachel's sweet and beautiful eyes. “Well,” he finally said, “if God did bring us to Pine Willow, I'll trust in His Will and wait and see what our Heavenly Father wants us to do.” “I knew you were going to say that.” Rachel beamed. “It's just hard for me to accept that Esther was telling the truth about her dream. I guess my old carnal mind wants to believe the woman is a liar...but my heart knows to trust in God.” Jacob reached across the table and touched Rachel's engagement ring with his right pointer finger. “I did see the angel in the jungle, Rachel. The angel spoke to me. But it's so easy to let the old flesh take hold again.” “I know.”...

“Doesn't seem fair, does it?” Rachel asked.
“Are you doubting God?” Jacob asked, shocked. 
“No,” Rachel replied in a calm voice. She turned and looked at Jacob. “It doesn't seem fair that the heart gets so tangled up within itself when God makes His Ways so clear to us. If we just acted according to His Holy Word, we wouldn't make terrible mistakes.” 
“I know.” 
“There's so much hate in this world, Jacob. Take the children at Camp Sunflower, for instance.” Rachel grew silent and listened to the heavy sleet attack the Jeep. “Those children, so precious, come to Camp Sunflower to escape the hate.” 
“Only to be thrown right back into the fire.”
 Rachel sighed. “I know what you mean, Jacob, but we can't save the world.” 
“Maybe we can save a few children,” Jacob said. “Rachel, I've been thinking that if God does allow us to have Camp Sunflower, maybe we could turn the camp into a place for children to live year-round.” 
Rachel stared into Jacob's eyes. “Really?” 
“Really.” Jacob smiled. “It's not fair to give a kid a sample of ice cream, then send him home hungry. God is a God of love, and I know our purpose is to own and manage Camp Sunflower for His Glory. Right now God is teaching us how to walk in faith because we're sure going to hit a lot of hard times at the camp. If we're not taught faith right now, we might fail.” 
“I never thought about that.” Jacob touched the tip of Rachel's nose. 
“That's why I'm here,” he said. 
“I'm very grateful you're here,” Rachel said, hugging him...

Got Time for More Then EnJoy~ more or skip to Last!